Levante v Atletico Madrid – Estadi Ciutat de València at 12:00 GMT+1 live at Premier Sports
The final weekend of La Liga appears a bit of a non-event. The champions have been decided, the relegation race is run and only the final qualification places for next season’s Champions League and Europa League are in the balance. It makes finding value tricky with plenty of lopsided odds on offer.
Levante and Atletico Madrid meet in the weekend’s opening encounter from the Estadi Ciutat de València on Saturday in what’s largely a dead-rubber for both sides on show. Atleti have guaranteed second, again finishing ahead of their city rivals Real, whilst Levante secured another season in the top-flight last weekend.
However, this contest will be a farewell outing for Antoine Griezmann who leaves Atletico after five successful years at the club. It already feels like the fixture could be played with a ‘laissez faire’ attitude and in such an instance I’m keen to keep the hosts onside at artificial prices.
Atletico can be opposed
Atletico recorded just seven wins from their 18 away games this term and arrive having held Sevilla at home last time out and a fortnight ago Diego Simeone’s side suffered a 3-0 reverse at Espanyol. Performances have certainly dipped in recent weeks as players begin winding down after another arduous campaign.
Griezmann isn’t the only Los Colchoneros star to be leaving this summer and should the visitors play at anything less than 100% here, they’re vulnerable. Atleti just don’t generate enough goalscoring opportunities to be able to drop down the gears and continue to pick up positive results.
Simeone’s troops average just a 53% Expected Goals (xG) ratio on the road and rank outside the top four for all of the major performance data metrics this season. Indeed, hosts Levante even produce a better xG from open play figure (0.82) per-game than Atletico (0.79) highlighting their creative issues.
Levante could spring a surprise
Levante confirmed their status in La Liga with victory at relegation rivals Girona last weekend in an emotional-wrecking encounter. Victory there is part of a run of three triumphs in their last four, with the exception when travelling to Barcelona, as they’ve netted 10 times across these.
Only Rayo Vallecano have conceded more than their 64 goals this term, but Levante have actually scored more than Atletico, as only Sevilla, Real Madrid and Barca have registered more frequently. As a result, their matches at home have been of high entertainment, with 14 of 18 featuring at least three strikes and 10 having four or more (including each of the last five).
There’s certainly a possibility for another high-scoring shootout on Saturday but being the early kick-off and under the early afternoon sun, I’m happier taking Levante in the Asian Handicap with a +0.50 start at 1.90 quotes. This selection has won in 12 of their 18 home outings in 2018/19.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Levante +0.50 at 1.900
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.