Valencia v Real Betis – Mestalla Stadium at 17.15 live on Sky Sports Interactive
Zenit St Petersburg were a 5.50 shot to win away at Valencia on Wednesday night in the Champions League. With Russian sides’ previous track record for flopping on the road, not many expected the La Liga side to slip-up at the Mestalla on their return to Europe’s premier club competition.
Los Che suffered a surprising 3-2 set-back with Hulk hitting two thunderbolts past rookie third-choice goalkeeper Jaume and Valencia head coach Nuno Espirito Santo was understandably disappointed, especially as the Bats had recorded their first La Liga win of the season just four days earlier.
Nuno’s troops have made a slow start to their season with draws against Rayo Vallecano and Deportivo before squeezing previously unbeaten Sporting Gijon out 1-0. But their formidable Mestalla record under the Portuguese boss should ensure they bounce back to winning ways when Real Betis arrive on Saturday evening.
Since his appointment at the start of last season, Valencia have W15-D4-L1 of their 20 fixtures when welcoming La Liga opposition. In fact, Los Che have W11-D8-L1 in their past 20 league fixtures when including away games – their only loss coming against Barcelona back in April.
Andre Gomes is back to full fitness and should play a part whilst Antonio Barragan is back from a ban to line-up at right-back. Nuno’s an almost full-strength squad to pick from and you’d have to assume the hosts will be bang up for putting their midweek blues behind them.
Betis recorded their first win since getting back into the top flight last time out, with a 1-0 victory over goal shy Real Sociedad. However, Pepe Mel must contend with Petros’ suspension and an injury to Cristiano Piccini for the journey east and his settled side may not have enough depth to match the home side in a difficult contest.
The guests’ goalkeeper Adan has faced more shots-on-target than any other La Liga rival and the Verdiblancos have a horrid record when visiting Valencia – losing on each of their last 10 trips. Betis’ only away day this season ended in a 5-0 trouncing at Real Madrid and although Valencia aren’t quite at the same level, they should be expected to pocket the points.
During Nuno’s reign, Los Che have won by two or more goals in 12/20 (60%) games at the Mestalla. A 60% success rate would equate to odds of around 1.67 but we’re getting the chance to back Valencia off a -1 Asian Handicap start at 1.88. Bearing in mind the hosts have won 75% of those 20 matches, the price looks irresistible.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Valencia -1 at 1.88
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