Leganes v Getafe – Butarque at 20:00 GMT live at Eleven Sports
Leganes have defied pre-season predictions to preserve their La Liga status since achieving promotion to the top-tier in Spain. Los Pepineros may have finished 2017/18 down in 17th but they were a cushy 14 points clear of the drop zone and never appeared in any danger of suffering demotion.
The Madrid minnows kicked-off their campaign with five wins from their opening nine encounters, recording seven clean sheets along the way. That strong start kept Leganes’ heads comfortably above water with the Butarque club prioritising their home games (W9-D4-L6).
The impressive efforts brought interest from elsewhere and head coach Asier Garitano was persuaded to join Real Sociedad in the summer. However, Los Pepineros pulled off a coup by bringing in ex Alaves and Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino for the 2018/19 season.
Hosts unlikely to excite
Like Garitano, Pellegrino prefers to build his teams from a solid platform with 47% of his home matches in charge of Alaves featuring no more than a solitary strike. Considering no Leganes player scored more than five times last term, it’s not a huge surprise to see Friday night’s hosts rarely troubling the scoresheet.
That was until last weekend when Los Pepineros – with only three goals away from home to their name all season, put four past Valladolid in one afternoon. Coming hot on the heels of a 1-0 triumph over Alaves at Butarque, Leganes head into the weekend outside of the relegation zone.
In front of their home supporters, and against their regional rivals, the hosts will be keen not to suffer only an eight defeat 26 here. Leganes have already beaten Barcelona and held Atletico Madrid here, so shouldn’t be overawed by the occasion, although two well-matched defences could cancel each other out.
Getafe continue to upset the odds
Like their city neighbours, Getafe continue to upset the odds. Los Azulones have cemented themselves in the top-half since returning to the top-flight with Jose Bordalas’ charges devilishly difficult to beat. In fact, Getafe have only suffered 17 defeats in 52 matches La Liga, seven of which came against Barca, Real Madrid or Atletico.
In 2018/19, no Spanish top-tier team are giving up as few Expected Goals from open play as Los Azulones (0.56) and their safety-first, direct and uncompromising style presents plenty of problems for opposition outfits. Bordalas’ eye for organisation always keeps the guests competitive and Getafe appeal at 1.73 with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start on Friday night.
However, Under 2.00 Goals also appeals at 1.79. Collectively, these two teams average just 2.07 goals per-game, with only 12/28 (41%) of their respective fixtures seeing both sides score. The duo have each achieved failed to score in five of their 14 fixtures, but managed to keep their sheets clean 8/28 (26%) matches.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Getafe +0.25 at 1.720
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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