Mike Holden thinks a comfortable Malaga win is one of the best bets in La Liga on Sunday.
Malaga v Espanyol - Sunday 14:00, Sky Sports 5
A campaign that started in crisis without a goal scored in the opening six matches has subsequently been interrupted by injuries, suspension and fatigue, not to mention Gracia’s inclination to alter tactics and personnel against superior opposition, but now Los Boquerones have an opportunity to finish on a high.
With 39 points on the board and five home games in the remaining eight fixtures, four of them against inferior opposition, the Andalusians might even believe they have an outside chance of catching one of the three teams occupying the Europa League places immediately above them, although that dream surely ends here if they don’t secure maximum points.
Espanyol have lost all eight away games against top-half opposition by an aggregate score of 20-3, losing by two clear goals or more in exactly a third of all their games this term. So there’s value to be had in the 5/2 available on the hosts clearing the -1 handicap but if you fancy something a bit more extravagant, take the 4-0 correct score at 40/1.
Eibar v Villarreal - Sunday 16:15, Sky Sports 5
Only three times in the last 11 league outings have Marcelino’s men taken maximum points. A run of six clean sheets kept them competitive for much of that period, but the lack of emphasis on creativity and guile through January and February might yet come back to haunt them in April and May.
The Yellow Submarine conceded seven goals in three games prior to the international break, picking up just one point in the process, and the gap on Celta Vigo and Sevilla, 10 points at one stage, has now been cut to six. Injuries to Mario Gaspar, Daniele Bonera, Mateo Musacchio and Jaume Costa leave them threadbare defensively for this game.