Malaga v Eibar – La Rosaleda Stadium at 19:30 live on Sky Sports 4
With Champions League football returning on Tuesday, Europe’s big guns are all on show pre-Sunday and that’s meant a rather bland card of fixtures from La Liga to round the weekend off. The highlight of which is arguably Malaga’s meeting with surprise package Eibar in the evening kick-off.
Malaga’s renewed policy of selling off their best talent shows no sign of abating with talented midfielder Sergi Darder the latest to leave the club on transfer deadline day. Lyon picked up the highly-rated central midfield star and with Ignacio Camacho sidelined long-term with injury, it leaves Anchovies head coach Javi Gracia without his two most reliable performers.
Understandably, Malaga fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the direction the Qatari owners are taking the club in. Champions League knockout football seems a distant memory now and although Gracia had a talented pool of youngsters at his disposal last season, the majority of since been sold on for profit.
Veteran striker Roque Santa Cruz has returned to La Roselada but he’s injured along with Weligton for the Eibar duel, leaving the Costa del Sol side short on quality and numbers. It’s certainly not ideal with the hosts now winning just once in 13 La Liga outings (W1-D4-L8). Even more concerning is their faltering defence that’s now leaked in 12 of those 13 fixtures.
Malaga have failed to record maximum points in their most recent six encounters in front of their home supporters – their worst run since October 2010 – and it’s hard to find the positives for the Anchovies. Little Eibar make the journey with an unblemished record from their first two outings and are value 2.15 shots to avoid defeat with a +0.50 Asian Handicap start.
Granada and Basque rivals Athletic have both been beaten and Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have rightly earned plenty of plaudits for their cavalier approach. The squad’s been totally overhauled since their 2014/15 efforts and Los Armeros supporters are understandably confident they can come away from La Roselada with their unbeaten record intact.
I tend to agree. With Malaga struggling for success and players, the minnows can take advantage by avoiding defeat at odds-against quotes.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Eibar +0.5 at 2.15
Prices correct at time of writing.
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