Villarreal v Celta Vigo – Estadio de la Cerámica at 19:45 Live at Sky Sports
Villarreal tightened their group on a European qualification berth as they beat Leganes 2-1 in their most recent outing. With the Yellow Submarine out of action last weekend due to the Copa del Rey, Javier Calleja’s charges will be looking forward to getting back into action on Saturday night.
The club from Castellon has endured a campaign riddled in inconstancy but with the final furlong in sight, Europa League qualification appears well within their range. Enjoying a three-point advantage over seventh-placed Getafe and Sevilla, Villarreal is handily placed for a top-six finish.
Victor Ruiz gave the Yellow Submarine the lead against a resilient Leganes outfit, poking home following a goalmouth scramble before Carlos Bacca’s effort 10 minutes after the break doubled the lead and sealed maximum points.
Villarreal reduced their opposition to a solitary effort on-target in the match but still suffered an uncomfortable finale and a nervy finish when seeing Leganes reduce the arrears with eight minutes to play. Nevertheless, the Yellow Submarine held on and are now in pole position for European qualification.
Celta without their star striker
Celta Vigo picked up a well-earned 1-1 draw with high-flying Valencia last weekend despite missing their star striker and Spanish international Iago Aspas. The former Liverpool marksman has notched 20 goals this term, placing him only behind Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez in the La Liga top goalscorers list.
However, that stalemate means the Galicians have now claimed only three triumphs in 13 league outings and Aspas still absent through injury, plus a rather concerning road record at their disposal, the visitors are easily opposed on Saturday night.
Celta has managed to collect just one point from a possible 18 (W0-D1-L5) over their past six road trips. Arguably more alarming is the fact the guests have scored only twice in that six-game sample. With the Vigo-based club losing 10 of the previous 15 matches without Aspas, including all five away games excluding those against last season’s bottom-four, it’s particularly worrisome.
What’s more, the Sky Blues have bagged a solitary point from seven trips to top-half teams this term. And if we exclude Barcelona and Real Madrid, Celta has actually lost 13 of their most recent 14 visits to top-half teams in La Liga.
The betting angle
Villarreal may not have completely convinced throughout the campaign but the Yellow Submarine remains tough to beat in their own backyard. In fact, the hosts have pocketed maximum points in nine of their 16 outings here to date and look decent value to make it 10 triumphs on Saturday night.
Back the hosts to overcome a -0.50 Asian Handicap hurdle at nice 1.760 odds.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Villarreal -0.50 at 1.760