Deportivo La Coruna v Leganes – Riazor at 17:30 Live at Sky Sports

Deportivo La Coruna continues to flirt with relegation as they’ve now finished in the bottom-six in their last five La Liga campaigns and the Galicians are perched only two points above the drop zone after 14 fixtures in Spain this season.

Former West Brom manager Pepe Mel managed to steady the ship in 2016/17 after a rocky start, losing just six of his last 15 games in charge whilst also managing the same number of victories as his predecessor Gaizka Garitano.

A summer that saw Depor’s three main additions defensive acquisitions suggested the La Coruna outfit should provide a sterner test for the majority of their La Liga foes this time around. However, there was no obvious improvement from the Galicians and Mel was dismissed towards the end of October.

Mel was the fifth coach to be dismissed by president Tino Fernandez since he took over in 2014 with his final fixture a 2-1 home defeat to Girona. Deportivo had earned only eight points from nine games and B team coach Cristobal Parralo was given the gig until the end of the season.

Deportivo’s recent form

Under Parralo, Depor has picked up four points from a possible 15 (W1-D1-L3) and have tended to face in the second-half of matches. La Coruna surrendered a two-goal advantage after the interval away at Malaga and was also undone by a last-gasp winner at the Riazor when welcoming Atletico Madrid.

The hosts recorded only seven defeats on home soil last season and even pocketed a memorable win over Barcelona here. But the majority of their work unsurprisingly against the lesser sides as they were W5-D3-L2 when hosting teams outside the top nine.

So I’m not too keen to back Deportivo here when welcoming a capable Leganes side to the Riazor on Saturday evening. In fact, the 1.86 available to the visitors with a +0.25 start on the Asian Handicap line just looks too big to ignore.

Backing this selection will see us make money should Leganes avoid defeat – a half-stakes profit is made should the Madrid club gain a point but a full-stakes pay-out is achieved should an away victory be sealed.

Leganes’ timely success

Leganes were sitting as high as fifth in La Liga as recently as late October but a four-match losing streak sent the Cucumber Growers plummeting into mid-table. The Madrid minnows’ lack of goals was at fault but Asier Garitano’s group picked up an overdue triumph at home to Villarreal last weekend to get back on track.

The guests flew out of the traps with their well-drilled rearguard helping the capital club to seven clean sheets from their opening nine outings. Of the three goals they had shipped, two were long-range strikes, and no Spanish side had faced few on-target efforts.

Leganes’ limited game-plan was flourishing, especially so against the league’s lesser lights. The Cucumber Growers have W5-D1-L1 when taking on bottom-half teams, including victories at struggling Malaga, Las Palmas and Espanyol, so supporting the organised visitors here holds plenty of appeals once more.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation – Leganes +0.25 at 1.900

By @MarkOHaire

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