Valladolid v Real Madrid – Estadio José Zorrilla at 20:00 GMT Live at La Liga TV
Real Madrid remain tied at the top of the La Liga standings with old rivals Barcelona after pocketing a hard-earned 2-1 triumph at home to Sevilla last weekend. Zinedine Zidane’s side secured top honours at the Bernabeu thanks to two second-half goals from unlikely goalscorer Casemiro.
Los Blancos were second best on their return to league action in the opening 45 minutes with Sevilla also having a goal controversially ruled out by VAR, due to a foul in the build-up. However, the capital club improved after the interval with Brazilian midfielder Casemiro twice getting on the scoresheet to secure the win.
Madrid were without forward pair Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, as well as Sergio Ramos for the Sevilla showdown. Benzema and Bale are set to be recalled for Sunday tricky trip to Valladolid but skipper Ramos remains sidelined with an ankle problem, along with long-term absentees Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard.
Zidane will give his returning players and squad members an opportunity to impress against Salamanca in the midweek Copa del Rey match-up, with a best XI back on the field in Valladolid. Real are understandably strong favourites to succeed on Sunday night, but it might not be one-way traffic at the Jose Zorrilla.
Oppose a high-scoring showdown
Madrid comfortably top the La Liga ratio rankings for Expected Goals (xG), xG from open play and shots from inside the penalty box with noticeable improvements made to the team’s defensive process this season. Zidane’s outfit give away just 0.39 xG from open play per-game, a divisional best return.
What’s more, Los Blancos have shipped only 13 league goals in 2019/20, recording clean sheets in half of their 20 tussles. Such strength should put the visitors in a good position to profit considering Valladolid are amongst La Liga’s lowest goalscorers, notching more than once on just five occasions this term.
The Pucela head into the weekend with a six-point buffer above the drop-zone as Sergio Gonzalez’s outfit have made the most of tight matches. Encounters involving Valladolid average just 2.00 goals per-game and at the Jose Zorrilla, fixtures feature just 2.03 xG per-game and only 0.76 xG from open play.
All bar one of the Pucela’s nine home outings have produced fewer than four goals and the hosts are expected to set up in their preferred defensive system with a deep block in the hope of frustrating Real. It’s a system that worked well at the Bernabeu, as well as when Atletico, Valencia and Sevilla arrived here.
With that in mind, I’m happy to take Under 3 Goals at 1.80 knowing the only way in which our stake will be lost is if four or more goals are plundered. Collectively, just four of the two teams’ combined home and away matches have produced Over 3.5 Goals, suggesting there’s value in opposing a high-scoring clash.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 3.00 Goals at 1.800
Preview by: @MarkOHaire