Football Bet of the Day: Super Cup won't be so super
Spanish Super Cup to start slowly
Valencia v Real Madrid Wednesday 08 January, 19:00
Flu is rarely a helpful thing, but it aided our cause last night, as illness-hit Sporting Gijon went down 2-0 at Real Zaragoza to bring us a winner.
We retain the Spanish flavour, but switch to Saudi Arabia, because Valencia and Real Madrid are kicking off the expanded Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah (the Saudi city, not the doomed planet from Rogue One.) The RFEF have pocketed a tidy sum to take the annual showpiece to Saudi Arabia for three years, and only a hardy band of domestic fans are making the trip.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will plat the second semi-final tomorrow, but first Valencia face in-form Real Madrid. The two teams recently drew 1-1 in La Liga at the Mestalla - Valencia were moments from victory, before Real keeper Thibault Courtois joined the attack and set up a late equaliser for Karim Benzema.
Benzema is out injured, as are Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard. Although Real have a wealth of attacking options, the loss of such impressive players can't be ignored. Two of the last three meetings between the sides have featured fewer than three goals, and my suspicion is that the pace of play will be rather slow. Not because of the weather (it'll be a reasonable 25 degrees Celsius this evening) but because this is a game that doesn't demand full intensity. With big games coming up in La Liga, how hard will these players push themselves? Real are in a title race, while Valencia are just four points off the Champions League spots.
Valencia have seen their last four matches feature fewer than three goals, and they have conceded just two goals in that sequence. Los Che haven't scored more than once in any of those matches.
Under 2.5 Goals is trading at a hefty 2.30 here, and I think that's an attractive price.