Sevilla v levante – Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium at 20:00 GMT+1
New-look Sevilla have serious aspirations for a return to the top table in Spanish football, as well as Champions League qualification in 2019/20. The Andalusians endured a disappointing campaign last season and revamped their squad in the summer with over a dozen new arrivals and a similar scale of departures.
Los Nervionenses also brought in a new head coach with former Spain and Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui taking the reins. Early signs were promising as Sevilla made an almost flawless start, although positive results haven’t proven quite as fruitful over the past month despite a few decent displays.
The Andalusians were beaten by both Barcelona and Real Madrid without scoring, suffered a late 3-2 reverse at Eibar and secured a victory against Real Sociedad at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan by the same scoreline in a similar fashion at the death. Something just isn’t quite clicking for Lopetegui just yet.
Levante overachieving again?
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. Los Granotas haven’t proven quite as prolific in the goals markets this term, although they continue to punch above their weight.
Paco Lopez’s men have produced their best work at their Ciutat de Valencia base (W2-D2-L0) and continue to toil when travelling; a 2-1 triumph at rock-bottom Leganes before the international break is Levante’s only positive result on the road (W1-D0-L3) with Los Granotas’ defensive flaws continually to blame.
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. Already in 2019/20, no club has given up a large xG, xG from open play or shots in the box figure than Paco Lopez’s troops.
Visitors can avoid a thrashing
Despite their dreadful backline efforts, Levante’s slick, enterprising attack can often give the guests a decent chance of keeping contests competitive. Just once in eight encounters this season have Los Granotas been beaten by a margin of two goals or more and it’s a similarly strong return when playing away.
Just six of Levante’s 29 away days under Paco Lopez have resulted in a reverse by a two-goal margin with the +1.5 Asian Handicap returning profit in 19/23 (83%) La Liga games as guests since the start of last season. Five of seven trips to the top-six have followed the same path, as have nine of 11 at top-half teams.
Sevilla are one of Europe’s most consistent clubs for churning out positive performances on home soil. However, Los Nervionenses have only covered the -1.5 Asian Handicap in 7/22 (32%) of fixtures at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan since the beginning of last term, and in one of eight league games thus far.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Levante +1.50 at 1.850
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.