The return of football on Monday brings us a Spanish double header to look forward to, as Seville rivals Sevilla and Betis play their second games since the return to action against Levante and Granada respectively.
The Seville sides got the restart underway on Thursday night as they played out a comparatively tame affair, which saw Sevilla eventually run out 2-0 winners.
While it’s difficult to read too much into one game, there were some notable occurrences in that game which may help find us a bet for these clashes…
The 2-0 scoreline might look a little flattering for Sevilla when you look at the stats (Betis had 55% possession for example), but I thought they were good value for their win.
They missed an absolute sitter late in the first half and once they got the second goal, they took their foot off the gas completely and allowed Betis to come into the game a bit more late on. Sevilla looked the much fresher of the two teams too, and there were a couple of very leg-weary Betis players at the final whistle – even with five substitutions exercised.
A lot has been made of the negation of home advantage in behind closed doors games. However, Sevilla did a pretty good job with their crowd noises (something I never thought I’d say) and someone was on the ball as they were timed to perfection each time there was a dangerous attack/shot/corner/goal for Sevilla.
While not all teams will adapt the same approach, I think it’s something that has to at least be considered. You could see how much it meant to Sevilla at the final whistle too
Their top four and Champions League football ambitions are very much a priority, and I suspect they will continue right where they left off and brush Levante aside.
Levante earned a very creditable draw away at Valencia on Friday night, however they looked out on their feet at the end of the match as they played the last 25 minutes with 10 men (including 10 minutes additional time). The three-day turnaround is huge too, compared to Sevilla’s extra day of rest and Sevilla possess far superior squad depth than Levante.
In the second game, Betis will look to bounce back from that disappointing defeat to their rivals on Thursday when they welcome Granada.
Betis are a good ball-playing side as the possession stats showed against Sevilla, and again the importance of an extra day’s rest cannot be overstated at this stage.
Granada had a very good 2-1 win against Champions League chasing Getafe, although it took a rather fortuitous own goal reasonably late on to get them back in the game before they went on and won it. I do believe Betis look a solid bet at the prices here though.
We have enhanced the double of Sevilla and Betis both to win onsite and I really fancy this.
For an interest bet, I also like the look of Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla) and Nabil Fekir (Betis) both to score.
Ocampos has netted 11 times this season in the league and is on penalties for his side, having scored from the spot on Thursday evening.
With all due respect to Betis, Fekir is far too good to be playing for them and has been excellent this season. Scoring seven times from midfield in La Liga.
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