Spanish Football Tips: Villarreal look back to their best


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.

Terry rounds off his weekend tips with a look at two eye-catching Sunday games.

Girona v Villarreal (Sunday 3.15pm)

Girona are certainly finding it tough going at the moment with just the one victory so far this season and today they face a vibrant Villarreal who enjoyed that new managerial bounce in the last game against Eibar.

Fran Escribá lost his job after they were thumped 4-0 at Getafe and new coach Javier Calleja certainly made a bright start with a 3-0 home victory against Eibar. It wasn’t just the result and the win but it was the manner in which Villarreal played.

It was truly a return to the associated style that we have become accustomed to over the years from the Yellow Submarine. Calleja is a former player and B team coach and is steeped in the Villarreal traditional style of play. That is attacking full backs, a narrow midfield quartet and two strikers.

Against Eibar it was Bakambu and Sansone starting up front and Bakambu notched all three. Girona try to play a similar style but with a different tactical approach using a back three system. They are a nice team to play against and a nice team to watch but are finding points hard to come by.

Somehow they need to find that mental toughness pretty quickly to make progress in this division and if I’m being honest I think they will do, given time.

Although I don’t think it will be in this game despite them showing great spirit in their previous game against Celta when they forced a dramatic draw with a late equaliser to make it 3-3.

I’m expecting a more consistent Villarreal under Calleja in terms of team selection and tactical selection and I’m going to predict an away win.

Instead of Bakambu for the opening goal I’m going to go with Nicola Sansone who will probably play again ahead of Carlos Bacca who has been away on International duty with Colombia. My prediction is a 2-0 away victory for Villarreal.

Terry’s Tips

  • Correct score: Girona 0, Villarreal 2 (11-1, Unibet)
  • First Scorer: Nicola Sansone (7-1, Unibet)
  • Villarreal win (17-10, Unibet)


Real Betis v Valencia (Sunday 7.45pm)

If it wasn’t for Atletico playing Barcelona this would be the game of the weekend. It might just still be. Two of the most exciting and enterprising teams of the season go head to head at the Benito Villamarin this weekend and it is a must see.

Both teams have made enormous strides this season with their new managers and the improvement has been rapid.

Betis coach Quique Setien has wasted no time in getting his philosophy across to his players and Marcelino has done exactly the same at Valencia. La Liga is certainly a better League with these two teams flourishing.

Both teams have made excellent signings and mostly in attacking positions. Sergio Leon has started off amongst the goals for Betis, Andres Guardado has been outstanding in midfield, Antonio Sanabria is looking prolific and Joaquin is still finding the back of the net at the ripe old age of 36.

Geoffrey Kondogbia returns from suspension for Valencia, Gonçalo Guedes looks to be a really good attacking player and Rodrigo scored his first International goal for Spain this week against Albania.

What’s not to like about this game. There will also be a great atmosphere in the stadium as the Betis fans truly believe that what they are watching is exciting and they are hopeful of a brighter future. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a crowd in of over 50,000 for this one.

It’s a tough one to call because it will be so open, I was leaning towards Valencia because they might be slightly more solid in defence but I’m also leaning towards home advantage.

I’m going to plump for the home advantage and for it to be a thriller. For me, then, it’s a 3-2 Betis win with Sergio Leon getting the first goal.

Terry’s Tips

  • Correct score: Betis 3, Valencia 2 (19-1, Unibet)
  • First Scorer: Sergio Leon (11-2, Unibet)
  • Over 3.5 goals (17-10, Unibet)


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