Real Madrid v Sevilla – Santiago Bernabéu at 15:15 GMT
Former Real Betis star Dani Ceballos held his hands up in apology as the Benito Villamarin whistled him last weekend. The now Real Madrid midfield scored a late free-kick somehow gave his new club an undeserved 2-1 triumph against Betis; it was about the only time Madrid touched the ball in the second-half.
Los Blancos were given an early lead by Luka Modric, but the home side dominated possession and equalised through Sergio Canales after an offside decision was overturned by VAR. Santiago Solari’s side seemed happy to earn a share of the spoils before Ceballos’ decisive intervention.
Victory was only Real Madrid’s fourth on their travels this term and ensured the capital club remained in the Champions League qualification places despite a tumultuous first half of the season in Spain. The European champions will now look forward to returning to the Bernabeu where they boast a W6-D1-L2 return.
Real can make their mark
Madrid have bagged 18 wins in their last 25 on home soil and will be keen to make their mark against Sevilla on Saturday having suffered a dreadful and convincing defeat in the reverse encounter earlier this season. Indeed, three points this weekend will see Los Blancos leapfrog their visitors to third.
The hosts have been chalked up as 1.75 shots to succeed at the Bernabeu, and although Real have been poor for large swathes of the campaign, look too big to ignore here. The Spanish giants rank second in terms of Shots In The Box ratio, as well as Expected Goals from open play ratio, suggesting they remain a tough opponent to see off.
What’s more, Sevilla tend to struggle when taking on La Liga’s big two. The visitors have been beaten in all 13 trips to Barcelona or Real Madrid since 2013/14, with nine losses arriving by a two-goal margin or bigger, whilst Los Rojiblancos have been behind at half-time on 11 occasions.
Out of form Sevilla
Sevilla sat top of the standings as recently as December but their title challenge has stalled in recent weeks with Pablo Machin’s men returning a sole success in six. The away side are winless in their last six games as guests and their only three wins on the road this term have arrived at teams in 12th or below.
Considering all the evidence at hand, it may pay to support Real Madrid at unusually high odds of 1.75 at home this weekend.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Real Madrid -0.50 at 1.750
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.