Posted by: hong hanh phamPosted date: Tuesday, September 25, 2018/comment : 0
Barça may have to work for win
Leganés v Barcelona Wednesday, 19:00 Live on Eleven Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
It's safe to assume Clément Lenglet won't be forgetting his first Liga start for Barcelona in a hurry. The Frenchman was picked to deputise for Samuel Umtiti against Girona, but lasted just 35 minutes, a stray elbow on Pere Pons earning him a red card after a brief VAR consultation.
Barça were ahead by that point but struggled thereafter, allowing spelling fan Cristhian Stuani to wrestle momentum away with a brace. Gerard Piqué ensured the Blaugrana came away with a point, but their advantage at the summit is now down to two goals. Not ideal for Ernesto Valverde, particularly as he only saw fit to bring on another centre-back after Stuani had bullied his way to the equaliser.
On the face of it, a trip to rock-bottom Leganés should be just the ticket as the Catalans look to bounce back. They have won all four league meetings between the sides, making light work of both trips to Butarque (5-1 and 3-0).
Yet Los Pepineros can regard themselves a little lucky to have only picked up one point so far this term, and have made life difficult for Real Sociedad (2-2) and Villarreal (0-1) in their two home matches. Mauricio Pellegrino hasn't got huge quality at his disposal, but he can organise a defence, and there should be some resistance here.
Leganés' last two games have been 0-0 at the break, while Barça very often do their best work late: their first half/second half scoring split this season is 5/15. Take the evens available on the second half being the one with most goals.
Madrid can halt Sevilla goal train
Sevilla v Real Madrid Wednesday, 21:00 Live on Eleven Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
One of these teams has scored 11 goals in two games, and the other needed a scrappy, VAR-checked goal to overcome Espanyol at home. But while Sevilla will certainly have their tails up, this looks like a good opportunity to back a durable Real Madrid side at odds close to evens.
Credit where it is due: Sevilla have had an excellent week. They took Standard Liège apart in the Europa League, and followed it up with victory against Levante on Sunday. That result hardly counted as a shock, but the scoreline did: Pablo Machín's side hit their hosts for six, with Wissam Ben Yedder adding a hat-trick to his midweek brace.
Yet both of those opponents capitulated in a manner Madrid will not, and Sevilla will be in for a more stiffer challenge on Wednesday night. Los Merengues didn't hit top gear against Espanyol at the Bernabéu - a rest for Gareth Bale was a contributing factor - but the defence is tightening up and there is a hard-to-define steel to everything they do at the moment.
There may be a bit more rotation here, with Julen Lopetegui no doubt eyeing Saturday's derby against Atlético. But Madrid have the quality to pierce a middling Sevilla backline and record a first win at the Sánchez Pizjuán since 2015.
Celta spark hard to ignore
Valencia v Celta Vigo Wednesday, 21:00 Live on Betfair Live Video
Any side boasting the collected talents of Rodrigo Moreno, Kevin Gameiro, Gonçalo Guedes, Santi Mina and Michy Batshuayi should be swimming in goals. But Valencia have made a ponderous start to the campaign, struggling to build on the momentum of last season's stirring return to form.
Los Che have scored just three times in six competitive games so far, drawing blanks in each of the last three. But they have been unlucky on a few occasions - going by their xG figure, they might have expected to score three or four more than they have - and Guedes should lend a little extra vim when he's deemed ready to start.
They'll probably need to find a way to goal on Wednesday, because Celta will be confident of scoring. With Iago Aspas and Maxi Gómez combining well, the Galicians will pose problems to every defence in the land, and their shaky defence (three conceded to both Girona and Real Valladolid in their last two games) makes them firm favourites for neutrals.
Over 2.5 goals is a solid option here, then, but we're willing to stretch a little further and back over 3.5. An early goal at either end could coax Valencia out of their shells and lead to a fun game.
Back most goals in second half in Leganés v Barcelona at Evens (Sportsbook)
Back Real Madrid to beat Sevilla at 1.79
Back over 3.5 goals in Valencia v Celta Vigo at 11/8 (Sportsbook)