Malaga v Sevilla – La Rosaleda at 17:30
The other half of the race for fourth place in La Liga takes place in Malaga as Unai Emery takes his Sevilla side to the La Rosleda in the final match of the season. However, even a win might not be enough to take Sevilla into the Champions League qualifying places and Malaga will certainly not be a pushover anyway.
Javi Garcia’s team still have an outside shot at claiming a Europa League place but it would take victory over Sevilla on Saturday, combined with both Athletic Bilbao losing at home to Villarreal on the same day and then they also need Sevilla to win the Europa League Cup Final on Wednesday night.
It is obviously a long shot so Malaga have to focus on beating Sevilla and see if the football gods are smiling on them this season. Sevilla are in the enviable position of getting two shots at Champions League qualification, not to mention winning the Europa League for the second season in a row.
Malaga’s season was flying along for the first two thirds of the campaign, they even beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou back in February, but since March the wheels have well and truly fallen off and they are facing a mid-table finish with no European football next year.
Their current form of one win in ten league games has sapped their confidence and with just two wins at home in the last eight matches in front of their own fans, Sevilla must be thinking that the three points are theirs for the taking this weekend.
Despite this poor recent record, Malaga have proved awkward opponents for even the best teams in La Liga. Only Real Madrid and Espanyol from the top half of the table have come away from La Rosaleda with all three points.
Sevilla somehow seem to be getting better and stronger as the season reaches its climax, which is a testament to the methods of manager Emery who has gained plenty of fans around Europe for the job he has done at the club.
Sevilla have lost just once in their last thirteen league games and that was a narrow 3-2 reverse against Real Madrid. But, on the road they have not been quite as impressive with defeats at all of the top four clubs but, overall they are still the fourth best away team in La Liga and have not lost in their last six away matches.
This is a tricky match to call with Sevilla’s Europa League Final just a few days after so, it would not be a total shock if some of the players were not quite a full tilt towards the end of the game. But with both sides needing the win it should be an entertaining match for the fans.
The Asian handicap betting line of 0.25 for this match would seem to favour Sevilla based on current form but there is no value in backing Emery’s team this weekend.
Instead we will be looking for the home side to keep this game tight, as they have done against all the other big Spanish teams when they visited Malaga this season. But, with a draw looking likely we will take the shorter price on the next Asian handicap line instead.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Malaga +0.5 at 1.86
Price correct at the time of writing.
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