Sevilla v Valencia – Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan at 19:45 live on Sky Sports 4
Seething Sevilla return to their fortress Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan home on Saturday night eager to right the wrongs of their Wednesday night Champions League defeat against Juventus on home soil.
The Andalusians took an early lead and looked odds-on to clinch another positive result against the Old Lady to secure top spot in a competitive Group H. But English referee Mark Clattenburg then incensed the Sevilla players, management and supporters with a number of contentious calls.
Clattenburg sent off Franco Vazquez for two yellow cards in the first-half, as well as head coach Jorge Sampaoli for his protestations. The Premier League official also awarded Juve a penalty on the stroke of half-time, which Claudio Marchisio scored to start the comeback.
Two late goals from the visitors secured a rare away-day victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, leaving Los Rojiblancos followers fuming at the apparent injustice of Clattenburg. The whistblower required a police escort off the pitch at both the interval and at full-time.
Sevilla to bounce back
Sevilla now return to La Liga action and you can sure Sampaoli will be pushing his players’ buttons in the lead-up to their encounter with Valencia, bidding to turn the anger and frustration of their midweek loss into another intense home display.
The hosts trail second-placed Barcelona by only two points and know another positive result in front of their home supporters will cement their place in the top-four position in Spain. And at odds of 1.76 to overcome an Asian Handicap betting hurdle of 0.50, we have to support Sevilla.
Europe’s strongest home records
Despite their defeat to Juventus, Los Rojiblancos still boast one of the continent’s strongest records on home soil. The Andalusians won five of their six La Liga tussles at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this term and a staggering 62/81 (77%) of all home matches across all competitions since February 2014.
Taking league matters only, Sevilla have secured 19/25 (76%) home triumphs since the start of last season – a percentage success rate that implies betting odds of just 1.32 for a win.
Los Rojiblancos have beaten Valencia in eight of their last 10 duels on home soil and although Samir Nasri remains an injury doubt, there’s still plenty of quality in forward areas capable of hurting Los Che on Saturday night.
Vitolo and Vazquez should provide plenty of service to lone striker Luciano Vietto and rampaging right wing-back Mariano has been passed fit this week, giving Sampaoli further options.
Visitors Valencia have collected only 11 points from their 12 games thus far – all 11 of which have been picked up against clubs residing in 14th or worse. In seven games against sides in 13th and higher, Los Che have lost on each occasions, conceding at least two goals in six of those contests.
The away side’s road record also leaves a lot to be desired. Valencia have suffered defeats in 13/25 (52%) and last weekend’s 1-1 draw against winless Granada has seen Los Che slip further towards the dreaded bottom-three.
The expected bounce following the appointment of Cesare Prandelli has failed to materialise (W1-D2-L3) – both Celta Vigo and Barcelona have bagged maximum points against the guests in recent weeks and although there’s undoubted talent in the Valencia squad, it’s hard to find faith in the visitors this weekend.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Sevilla -0.50 at 1.76
Prices correct at time of writing.
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