It’s derby day in Madrid and Savage gives his thoughts on the big game along with two other selections for this weekends Spanish football
Villarreal v Sevilla
Sun 18th Sep 15:15
El Submarino Amarillo have been enjoying a pretty decent start to their season and are probably unlucky to find themselves as low as 5th. They have conceded just one league goal which came in the 1-0 loss to fellow high-flyers Betis last time out. They have been a little more porous in their 4 conference league outings but still maintain a 100% winning record.
Their opponents couldn’t really be in more of a slump this season with only 1 win in 7 games in all competitions (W1 D2 L4). Their solitary 3 points against Espanyol in round 5 is the only thing keeping them out of the relegation zone. Without their current poor run of form and rock-bottom moral this would be a difficult test. The hosts should pile further pressure on an already embattled coach.
Bet: Villarreal and Over 1.5 @ Evs
Real Betis v Girona
Sun 18th Sep 17:30
Betis are, like last season, starting their bid for a top 4 place early on. Their only loss to date has come against the unstoppable juggernaut that is Real Madrid and even then, they gave the champions a run for their money. Pellegrini is able to keep this team operating at level beyond which many outsiders would think possible. They were unfortunate to miss out on a Champions League spot last year but they are more than capable of going deep into the latter stages of the Europa League.
Girona have had a very favourable set of fixtures to ease them into their return to the top flight. However, no team they have played so far currently resides in the top half of the table. The prospect of visiting a well-oiled Betis side may give Blanquivermells’ fans a sinking feeling. Hopefully this will not get too ugly for the new boys.
Bet: Betis and Over 2.5 @2/1
Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid
Sun 18th Sep 20:00
Although it is only a matter of weeks into what will be a very long season, Los Blancos are already in scintillating form. They are the only side in the Top 5 leagues with an unblemished record this term (W5 D0 L0). They are also making light work of their Champions League group as they coast towards the knockout stage without breaking a sweat. For any other team the loss of Karim Benzema for a few weeks could derail their entire season but not this side. The young pretenders have certainly stepped up and have had no problem bagging goals in his absence.
In contrast, the hosts followed up recent back to back wins with a crushing 2-0 loss to Leverkusen who currently sit 18th in the Bundesliga. This is not a settled Atlético team and the spectacle surrounding Griezmann’s substitutions is not helping matters. Real will take little pity in putting their neighbours to the sword in this derby.
Bet: Real Madrid to Win @ 7/5
Villarreal v Sevilla: Villarreal + Over 1.5 goals @ Evs
Real Betis v Girona: Real Betis + Over 2.5 goals @ 2/1
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Real Madrid Win @ 7/5