Deportivo Alavés v Celta Vigo – Mendizorrotza Stadium at 17:30 Live at Sky Sports
Alaves appeared doomed to La Liga relegation as recently as December. The club from Vitoria had lost 11 of their opening 13 games following a summer of turmoil. Head coach Mauricio Pellegrino, as well as a spate of key playing personnel, were pilfered by clubs across the continent.
With the side sitting rock-bottom of the Spanish top-tier, they were already onto their third coach of the campaign. Luis Zubeldia was sacked in September and Gianni De Biasi was moved on barely two months into his reign leaving Pitu Abelardo as the next man to move into the hot-seat.
But how that appointment has worked out. Alaves recorded back-to-back triumphs at Girona and against Las Palmas in the first five days of his tutelage – as many La Liga victories as they’d managed in the previous 13 weeks.
Since then results have slowed (W2-D1-L3) but El Glorioso have moved out of the relegation zone with both Munir and loan signing John Guidetti playing starring roles in the offensive third. It’s true too, those losses came in tough away trips to Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Last weekend, plucky Alaves were leading 1-0 at the Camp Nou and could/should easily have extended their advantage before falling to a 2-1 reverse thanks to late Luis Suarez and Leo Messi goals. The Victorian outfit was also denied a penalty at the death that could have levelled the scores.
The betting angle
So there’s a positive feeling back around the place and with three wins from their last four home fixtures, the hosts will fancy their chances of turning over Celta Vigo on Saturday. However, nine defeats in 11 against top-half teams suggest a better play might be to back a goal-heavy game.
After all, Alaves have only fired blanks in three of their 11 outings at Mendizorrotza, scoring in every home match since October. With Celta only twice being shutout this season, and notching in all 11 of their away days, there’s already a great case building for an entertaining encounter.
The visitors have seen all bar one of their previous 16 away La Liga matches produce Over 2.5 Goals winners and with a repeat available to support at 2.00 on Saturday, it has to be our best play from Spain.
Celta’s solid form
The Galicians rarely take a step back on their travels and head to Alaves in excellent shape. The Vigo-based side grabbed a fourth win in five unbeaten games on Monday night against Real Betis and have tasted success in each of their last three games as guests.
What’s more, Celta has delivered maximum points in all six of their duels with bottom-half teams on their travels, scoring at least twice in four of those fixtures. However, the visitors have recorded only two clean sheets in 11 road trips and with an average of over nine shots on-target, matches are often end-to-end.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals at 2.041