Atletico Madrid has twice as many points as Deportivo la Coruna, but tonight the bookmakers are wrong to credit them with the first chance to prevail. Away from home, they’ve been more of a mediocre team and without one of their most prolific strikers, Diego Costa, all the pressure will bear on Falcao. Granted he is more than capable of single-handedly defeat Deportivo la Coruna in a good day, in the absence of any real goal and with motivation at the lowest levels this season, he is unlikely to play at 100%.
By contrast, the hosts are poised to do their best tonight, because losing to Atletico Madrid could render all their efforts virtually useless. Undefeated in six consecutive rounds, Deportivo la Coruna is still just one point above the relegation line and all three counter candidates are within striking distance. Celta Vigo missed out on the opportunities to build a gap between them and La Coruna after drawing at home and will have to settle for being tied for the 17th place.
The hosts have no less than five players missing and two of them are serving a suspension after receiving a red card in the previous round. The most painful absentee is the Portuguese striker Pizzi who used to pair upfront with Riki and was responsible for most of the goals scored in April. Without him, Deportivo will have to choose between Bruno Gama and Nelson Oliveira and none of them are suitable replacements. Together they’ve scored as many goals as Pizzi so we shouldn’t be surprised if the hosts will choose to use a 5-4-1 starting formation with only Riki in the offensive.
The goal of the game isn’t winning against Atletico Madrid, although this would represent an extraordinary performance, but securing a point at home. They have a relatively easy schedule and not losing against one of the top teams in Primera Division would greatly boost their chances of avoiding relegation. On the other hand, both Zaragoza and Mallorca play at home this weekend and there’s a good chance for at least one of them to secure all three points.
Atletico Madrid would normally start with the first chance, but even the fact that they are 100% of their Champions League berth, the visitors will shift into a less aggressive gear. Falcao is highly unlikely to play 90 min. and in this context, it is only fair to assume that Deportivo will have a decent chance of securing at least a point. Punters can take advantage of this rare opportunity and back the hosts not to lose, with the odds revolving around even values.
Betis Sevilla is still in the race for a European cup spot, despite the fact that they have only won a game in more than a month. A string of inconclusive results are endangering their presence in Europa league and their dreams of playing among the best European squads in the Champions League have all but vanished. Tonight they will start as huge underdogs in Madrid against a team that has a good chance at securing the trophy in the aforementioned competition and is already qualified for the next edition.
http://www.wsn.com/football/preview/spanish-la-liga/real-betis-sevilla_vs_real-madrid-preview/ has an insightful article about the upcoming game and raises some questions about whether punters should back Real Madrid at full stakes. The odds for a home victory are insignificant and there is no value whatsoever in placing such a wager, while trusting the hosts to cover a -2.5 goals spread is extremely risky. The visitors miss three players, but none of them are recent injuries and the team has fully adjusted to play without them.
The most recent game against city rivals Sevilla turned into a scoring festival, with both teams leading and then coming from behind. Six goals were scored one week ago and the scenario can’t be dismissed as fantasy for tonight’s fixture, especially with Real Madrid being the top team. The only concern that punters might have, albeit a very serious one is that Mourinho will choose not to field his best starting formation. The Portuguese coach is going to do his best to capture the Champions League trophy with this team, given the fact that he is very likely to leave it in a not so distant future.
Betis failed to win despite having home pitch advantage last round, but they are not the team to defend away from home not even against the Spanish giants. The head to head record is intimidating with Real Madrid winning 10 out of 17 games, but very few of those victories were achieved by a crushing score. From a punter’s point of view, there is simply more value in trusting the visitors not to lose by a wide margin, then to back the hosts to cover a handicap spread. Another interesting choice is to go against the current and wager on few goals to be scored, counting on the fact that Betis will keep its guard up trying to secure a point on one of the most difficult stadiums in Spain.
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Question Posted From Our Readership. Please feel free to add to the discussion below:
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I just saw the following video of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal against Bologna at the San Siro and just had to post it here for you to watch too. If you haven’t already seen it, you have to click below to watch it! It’s only about 30 seconds long but it’s worth it, believe me. WHAT A GOAL!! Continue reading
Every day, late in the afternoon, I receive an email. I look forward to receiving this email every day. Why? Because it always puts a smile on my face. It has a very British, irreverant sense of humour. The latest to arrive into my inbox was no different, it contained the following, which I thought I’d share with you. Continue reading
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