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.
After his 863-1 correct score treble last week, here are Terry's tips for two key Saturday games.
Las Palmas v Real Madrid (Sat 5.30pm)
This game depends largely on the selection procedure of Zinedine Zidane, and Las Palmas have made no secret that they hope he rests the “big hitters” for the game against Juventus in Turin on Tuesday.
In fairness, he probably should although, even if he does, I still expect Madrid to win. A weakened team will still consist of around nine or 10 full internationals and I believe they will still be too strong for Las Palmas.
Las Palmas have definitely tightened up at the back statistically but whenever you see them play you are not sure how or why! They have only conceded eight in their last eight games, compared to 50 in the previous 21.
With games running out now and a six point deficit to Levante and safety, it is a game that Las Palmas have to go for. This should make for exciting viewing but problems at both ends of the pitch for Paco Jemez and his team.
Offensively, they don’t have too much to trouble Real, with Jonathan Calleri the only obvious goalscoring threat, while defensively they will struggle to contain whoever is selected by Zidane.
If I was certain that Ronaldo would start then I would nail him down for the opening goal in a 2-0 win but that is the dilemma. I’m now looking for a player who I think might play in this game and not against Juventus and that may well be Gareth Bale! I’m going for Bale with the first goal in a 2-0 away victory for Real Madrid.
- Las Palmas 0, Real 2 (8-1, Unibet)
- Bale to score first (41-10, Unibet)
- Bale to score and Real win (27-20, Unibet)
Sevilla v Barcelona (Sat 7.45pm)
There are team selection issues for both of these going into the Champions League midweek fixtures.
Sevilla face Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the Sanchez Pizjuan and that is an historic fixture for them to look forward to but they are under pressure now to qualify for next season’s Europa League, with Girona and city rivals Betis both just two points behind in the league table.
Barca host Roma on Wednesday but they do have more injury issues to deal with than Sevilla going into this game. Messi is back in training after missing both of Argentina’s friendlies, Busquets definitely misses out but is hopeful of being back for the Roma game and Lucas Digne is going to miss the next three weeks.
Barca do have the incentive of remaining unbeaten in La Liga this season and they are facing opponents who they normally beat and who Messi normally scores against.
So far Valverde has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes in league fixtures in his attempt to win the title but I think it’s probably safe to do so now!
Sevilla’s focus has certainly been on the Champions League and they have lost their last two league games at home to Valencia and away at Leganés, which has allowed Villarreal to go above them in the table.
I’m predicting a few changes from Valverde but nothing drastic, Messi is the interesting choice. I expect Dembele and Coutinho to start for sure so it will still be a strong Barca team and I’m going to predict an away victory of 2-0. Despite traveling to China to play for Uruguay I believe Luis Suarez will start in this game and I’m backing him for the opening goal.
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