Levante v Celta Vigo – Estadi Ciutat de València at 17:30 GMT LIVE AT Premier Sports
Levante were amongst the most entertaining sides to watch in La Liga last season as the 125 goals total across their 38-games was only second to the 126-goal tally in Barcelona’s fixtures. And Los Granotas are following a familiar pattern this term with plenty of entertainment and excitement.
Paco Lopez’s men were the league’s fourth top goalscorers in 2018/19 with as many as 12 different players netting more than once. As hosts, only three teams averaged more goals per-game, and despite a relatively low-key opening stanza, Levante have found their feet since late October to settle into mid-table.
Los Granotas’ issues remain at the back. Levante leaked the second-most La Liga goals last term, although Expected Goals (xG) suggests the porous backline could and should have conceded at least 13 goals more. It’s therefore no surprise to see the Valencia-based club again struggling to keep their sheets clean.
Attack is often the best form of defence for Levante – only five teams have won more league games than Sunday night’s hosts– and since reverting to their offensively-minded style, Paco Lopez’s men have proven a real menace, especially at their Ciutat de Valencia base where Barcelona were downed.
Los Granotas also led Valencia by two goals in the derby before running out of steam. Nevertheless, the hosts look underrated to garner another positive result when lowly Celta Vigo arrive this weekend. The counter-attacking specialists have W15-D9-L8 here under Paco Lopez – a marvellous 48% La Liga win rate.
Despite that excellent return – plus Celta’s dismal W3-D8-L16 away record since the start of last season (including a 59% loss rate) – the layers have given Levante just a 41% chance of succeeding. Paco Lopez’s posse might underwhelm on underlying metrics but they’re worth supporting in this situation.
Celta easily opposed
Celta have shown marginal improvements since the appointment of Oscar Garcia at the beginning of November. The former Barcelona midfielder – who also enjoyed playing stints at Valencia and Espanyol – has extensive coaching experience but this was his first taste of top-flight coaching in La Liga.
The Galicians had lost each of their last four and only scored one goal during that run – courtesy of the penalty spot – before Garcia’s arrival. The club have since W1-D2-L2 – and although the goals have at least returned, the visitors have shipped 10 goals in those first five fixtures, suggesting the balance isn’t yet right.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Levante +0.00 at 1.820
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