A real battle looks set to take place at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday evening as two of the leagues form sides meet in a game that looks set to be all about tactics
Form can be subjective
If you check the LA Liga form table for the past 12 matches you’ll see Atleti sitting above Valencia having taken one more point than them over that period. However in that time Atleti have lost four times, whereas their opponents have suffered just one defeat. Since the turn of the year Valencia have been a different beast; they still have the most draws in the league at an incredible 16 but they have transferred more of these draws in to wins. Only Barcelona have lost fewer games than Los Murcielagos and I can see this being a very tight game. The draw at 3.4 looks like a brilliant price.
The worry for a neutral watching this game would be the lack of entertainment. We all know what Atletico can be like, they’re superb at staying regimented and making themselves exceptionally tough to beat, especially at home where they’ve lost just once so far in the league this season. Between them, these two have conceded just 11 goals in their last combined 16 games. I can’t see this being an absolute thriller which would lead me to backing under 2.5 goals at 1.6; a price that suggests the bookies also fancy this to be incredibly tight.
Tight towards the top
The league looks to be effectively wrapped up with Barcelona sitting nine points clear of Atleti in second but the hosts will still be keen to keep up the pressure and Diego Simeone will have them firing on all cylinders all the way till the end of the season as the motivation is still there for them to finish above Real.
It is also very close in the race for fourth; currently Getafe lead the way on 54 points after a superb 3-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday. Sevilla are level on points with Valencia as they both now trail Getafe by two points. A win here would lift Valencia back in to fourth in advance of Getafe facing off against Real Madrid on Thursday. I can’t see Valencia going all out for a win here, they’ll stay tight and compact and look to take a point or maybe even nick it on the counter attack. I like the look of Valencia or draw at 1.91 given how solid they’ve been over the past few months.
Think outside the box
With such a close game in prospect I’d be delving in to specials or some slightly more obscure picks for this match. If you were going to look for a goal scorer I’d be edging towards a centre back as it would not surprise me to see this game decided by a goal from a set piece. Diego Godin at 10.0 for example, as it could come down to a corner goal that decides this game.
Or perhaps it’ll be a blinding moment of magic. The most capable of such a moment would be Antoine Griezmann; he’s at 2.7 anytime. If you expect that Valencia might have that magical moment then it may come from Daniel Parejo; the midfield maestro is deadly from set pieces and capable from long range so a price of 5.0 has a good look.
Under 2.5 goals @ 2.5
Valencia draw no bet @ 3.3
Draw @ 3.4