Eibar v Valencia – Ipurua Municipal Stadium at 19:45 GMT live at Eleven Sports
Eibar have firmly established themselves in La Liga after their first season in the Spanish top-flight back in 2014/15, finishing 10th in 2016/17 and ninth last term, concluding their campaign much closer to European qualification than they were to relegation.
Jose Luis Mendilibar remains in situ and continues to punch the Basque club well beyond its weight. Los Amerros pocketed their first-ever win over Real Madrid three weeks ago and have held Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano; gradually the divisional minnows are matching the league’s elite.
At their home base in Ipura, Eibar tend to tough opposition. The hosts have avoided defeat in 44/65 (68%) La Liga encounters here and this term have been posting plenty of impressive performance data figures that make supporting Mendilibar’s men with an Asian Handicap start here an attractive play.
Eibar’s impressive numbers
Los Amerros sit second in Spain for ratio return when viewing shots attempted from inside the penalty area, giving up a divisional best of 5.07 per-game. Elsewhere, Eibar are sitting fifth for xG ratio and fifth for xG from open play ratio, as well as top of the tree for touches in the box ratio. Remarkable.
Such outstanding efforts make having the hosts onside with a +0.25 start the way forward on Saturday night. Visitors Valencia are the league’s biggest underperformers this term, regularly failing to turn promising performances into points, although that situation threatens to turn nasty after last Saturday.
Marcelinho’s men scraped a last-gasp point at home to high-flying Sevilla at their Mestalla base but unhappy locals vented their frustration at the match’s end, waving white handkerchiefs and whistling the side. Los Che were fortunate to pick up a stalemate with Sevilla missing numerous key opportunities.
Valencia’s poor form
With a Europa League berth guaranteed following a disappointing Champions League campaign, Valencia were set to rest and rotate their squad for Wednesday night’s tie with Manchester United, preferring to focus their priorities on this weekend trip to the Basque Country.
However, the guests have regularly been below-par on the road under Marcelinho, performing at their best on home soil. Under the current regime, Valencia have claimed 11/26 (42%) triumphs on their travels with just two wins secured in eight away days this term.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Eibar +0.25 at 1.740
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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