Malaga can secure themselves a play-off spot with a win against Zaragoza. Who have very little to play for realistically after a disappointing campaign see’s them currently languishing in 14th place.
The hosts head in to this game having had some patchy form recently. Three wins from their last eight along with two draws and three losses is far from blistering pace but their place in the play-offs is in their own hands and they’ll be keen to kick on as they look for an immediate return to La Liga after their terrible relegation last season. Malaga haven’t lost a fixture against Zaragoza since 2011 and they’ll be hoping that that omen can continue in to this match where they are the favourites to win at a price of 1.44 with their opponents sitting out at 6.0 to take the three points.
With four wins in their last six, Zaragoza have found some late season motivation which has now pulled them away from any fears of relegation. The visitors are now mathematically safe from the drop but cannot make a late surge for the play-offs. Their season ahs been hampered by some torrid for before the turn of the year which effectively killed their campaign before it had truly got going. Zaragoza were one of the favourites to go up this season however their defensive issues have seen them struggle to keep pace with the stronger sides in the Segunda Division.
Both sides have been a bit more active in terms of goals recently too. Zaragoza average the second highest number of goals in the league at 2.54 per match, however Malaga sit second bottom in this regard at just 1.85. However in their last six games they have seen 15 and 16 goals respectively which for the hosts in particular is much higher than usual which would make over 1.5 goals look tempting at 1.3 or even plucking for both teams to score at 2.1
Zaragoza have won 4-2 and 3-0 in their last two matches, with the 3-0 coming on the road so I wouldn’t discount them from this contest at all. They have the capability to come and get a result and I like the price of them to win or draw at 2.6.
Keidi Bare is still suspended for Malaga and is the only real absentee of note from the side that has started the past two games. Adrian Gonzalez is fully fit to start in midfield after some doubts about his condition at this stage of the season. He’s been superb in recent matches and is integral to controlling the tempo of the game for the home side.
Alvaro Vazquez will lead the line for Zaragoza after his two strikes against Sporting Gijon last time out, there was also some concern over his fitness after he came off having taken a knock in that match but he should be okay to play on Friday evening.
These were two of the pre-season favourites for promotion but now only Malaga have the opportunity to make that expectation a reality. However Zaragoza have improved dramatically of late and I think they could really make this tough going for the home side. They’re 1.83 just to score a goal and after hitting seven in their last two outings that looks like an exceptional price.
Zaragoza have nothing to lose and are playing without fear, looking to win back some of their lost reputation. Malaga could be a little jittery as they have in their past few games as the final result to get in to the play-offs looms ever larger. I think the draw is also well priced at 3.75.
Zaragoza to score 1+ goals @ 1.83
Draw @ 3.75
Both teams to score @ 2.1
Over 1.5 goals @ 1.3