Julen Lopetegui paid the price for his team’s poor start to the season, but despite their struggles, Sevilla has the ability to earn a draw on Saturday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks troubled Sevilla are big underdogs for their Saturday clash with Athletic Bilbao. The markets suggest that bettors favor Bilbao to get all three points as the visitors are rated as +145 for their trip to Andalusia. But if you are hoping to rely on a Sevilla revival, you can back the home side at +210 while the draw is priced around +230.
|Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao|
Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao, 2022-10-08
Julen Lopetegui was under pressure to produce a more attacking style of play at Sevilla this season but the loss of central defenders Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos meant that his team was suddenly fragile at the back. Four defeats in seven games was enough for the club to remove him and now the task of repairing the damage falls to Jorge Sampaoli.
The Argentine likes to play in a fluid, attacking, possession-based style but in the short term, steadying the ship is the aim, and this is a tough fixture. Athletic Bilbao, once again coached by Ernesto Valverde, are a solid mid-table team who arrive in Seville in strong form, having won three in a row in La Liga. That said, I think the market is overestimating their chances here and I think Sevilla can earn a draw.
Real Sociedad v Villareal, 2022-10-09
Both of these teams have started the season well and fans should be in for an entertaining game on Sunday. Imanol Alguacil has made Sociedad into an entertaining, high-pressing top-six caliber team and they will be confident of continuing their strong start here after putting five past Girona last weekend. They also enjoyed a successful trip to Moldova in the Europa League.
That was a long trip, however, and it may have left its mark on the Sociedad squad as they prepare for this weekend’s fixture. Villarreal were also in European action, but had the luxury of a home fixture against Austria Wien, which they won convincingly, 5-0. That scoreline dispelled some of the concerns about their ability to score goals, however, this is a tougher game and key player Alberto Moreno is still out with injury, so they may have to settle for a draw here.
Valladolid v Real Betis, 2022-10-09
Newly promoted Valladolid have shown some ability to grind out results, with a draw against Sevilla and a narrow win over Almeria, and that gives them hope of avoiding relegation this season, but this weekend they will be taking on one of the best teams in the division.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side play an attractive and successful brand of football and after winning the Copa del Rey last season, are targeting a top-four finish this time round. Five wins from seven games in La Liga is an excellent start and they also earned an impressive win on the road against Roma in the Europa League on Thursday, which has put them firmly in control of Group C.
The stats suggest that they aren’t getting into as many attacking positions as they did last season, which is something that Pellegrini will want to work on, and the defeat against Celta Vigo last time was disappointing, although not a terrible result given that they were down to ten men for most of the game. But with further improvement likely they look a very solid ber here.
Cadiz v Espanyol, 2022-10-09
Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, all the signs are that Cadiz will once again be involved in a fierce fight for survival in La Liga this time around. Five defeats from their first seven games is a stark statistic, and although they earned a narrow win at Valladolid and held Villarreal to a draw in their last two games, they have scored just one goal so far, the lowest goal tally across Europe’s Big Five leagues.
Espanyol’s start to the season has not been that much better than Cadiz’s. Having lost their way in the second half of last season, the club brought in a new manager in Diego Martinez, but he clearly has a big task on his hands as his new team has managed to pick up just five points so far. To their credit, they have recorded a battling win in Bilbao, but they still look overrated in the Match Betting markets, and given that both teams are low on confidence and goals, a draw looks like the best option.