Spanish Football Tips: Barca to triumph in grudge match


REMEMBER Terry Gibson? Well, we’ve signed him and while he won’t be kicking a football he’ll be looking into his crystal ball and bringing us his best Spanish tips every week.

The ex-Spurs, Coventry and Manchester United striker is probably best remembered for his time as part of the infamous Wimbledon Crazy Gang side of the late 80s and early 90s. Now an expert in all things La Liga he works as a pundit and co-commentator on Sky Sports’ Spanish football coverage and is a contributor to unibet.

Here are Terry’s tips for two key Sunday games.

Espanyol v Barcelona  (Sun 3.15pm)

Another Catalán derby. The teams faced each other very recently in the Copa del Rey and it was a fiercely competitive tie. Barca just scraped home 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a 2-0 home win in the second leg. In saying that, it was a 5-0 home win for Barca back in the third week of the season and unfortunately for Espanyol that is more like the norm.

Their 1-0 victory in the first leg was their first win in 16 against Barcelona in all competitions.

It was a run of 13 wins and three draws in favour of Barcelona until that surprise first leg win and the six previous encounters were also all wins for Barcelona with an aggregate scoreline of 23-2!

Espanyol can and will be tough opponents and will be fired up by some comments made from Busquets and Pique after the cup game.

Busquets said that the celebrations by the Espanyol players after the first leg win motivated Barcelona to win the second leg, nothing too wrong with that and Pique referred to them as Espanyol de Cornella in his post-match comments. This was a reference to the fact that their stadium is actually in the suburb as opposed to in the city centre. Mischievous to say the least from Pique.

Espanyol will be fired up but so will Barcelona. Quique Sanchez Flores will have his team organised and well drilled and they will make life tough for Valverde’s team but Barcelona have shown in recent weeks that they have the fight to match the quality needed to deal with these situations.

Terry’s Tips

  • Espanyol 0, Barca 2 (11-2, Unibet)
  • Messi to score first (9-4, Unibet)
  • Under 2.5 goals (33-25, Unibet)


Atletico Madrid v Valencia  (Sun 7.45pm)

It’s been an unwanted free week for Simeone’s team building up to this game, as opposed to Valencia, who took on Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey after facing Real  last week.

I genuinely believe that this will be a deciding factor. It’s such a tough schedule for Marcelino’s team, with games against Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico and then the second leg against Barcelona at the Mestalla in the space of two weeks.

Nevertheless, he will be grateful that his team are in this position, that’s for sure, and he will be very satisfied that Valencia games are once again seen as important fixtures – that certainly wasn’t the case last season.

Understandably he has had to rotate, he has suffered with players missing through injury and suspension and I get the feeling that they are not able to replicate the tempo and ferocity that they showed in the first half of the season. You certainly need those attributes when going to the Wanda to play Atletico and I’m going to go for firm a home win.

Simeone has been working and preparing with his chosen starting line up since Wednesday, which incidentally sees Diego Costa back leading the line with Griezmann after his recent hamstring issue.

Terry’s Tips

  • Atletico 2, Valencia 0 (6-1, Unibet)
  • Costa to score first (3-1, Unibet)
  • Atletico win to nil (37-25, Unibet)


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