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 big Sunday games.
Real Betis v Atletico Madrid (Sun 3.15pm)
This would be a real turn up for the books if Betis were to defeat Atletico. Diego Simeone’s unbeaten team take on opponents who haven’t won in five and a promising season is rapidly derailing.
Quique Setien’s strategy is coming into question and although supporters are enjoying his attacking possession style of play they are now concerned that they are far too easy to score against and far too easy to beat.
Setien is refusing to change and has stated that fact clearly on a number of occasions. My opinion is that he is right, to a degree. I love his approach and it will suit Betis long term. However, I don’t yet feel he has all of the positions sorted in terms of the quality needed. Hardly surprising in that it is his first season.
If you want to play high risk football and play dangerously out from the back then you need the right players to do it. A number of them can and will but a number of them can’t and that’s the problem. It’s fair to say that this approach will suit their opponents in this game.
Expect Atletico to press Betis when they are playing out from the back and I believe they will have success in doing so.
There’s a couple of injury issues for both teams in that the Betis centre forward Antonio Sanabria is going to be out with a now long term knee injury which is a massive blow for them and Antoine Griezmann looks likely to miss out after picking up a minor muscle injury against Chelsea.
Despite Griezmann missing out I’m still going to back Atletico for the away win. Simeone can call upon Godin, Juanfran, Correa, Gameiro and Carrasco who all didn’t start against Chelsea.
For me Atletico will continue on their unbeaten run and win 2-0. Because of Griezmann‘s absence I’m going to assume that Kevin Gameiro starts up front and of course the former Sevilla player will open the scoring against former city rivals Betis.
- Betis 0, Atletico 2 (13-2, Unibet)
- Gameiro to score first (41-10, Unibet)
- Atletico win (73-100, Unibet)
Villarreal v Barcelona (Sun 7.45pm)
My prediction for this game has been made slightly easier due to the current injury issues that Villarreal are suffering. It is a long and lengthy list and it is certainly hampering their possibility of getting something in this game.
They are likely to be without Bruno Soriano, who has yet to play this season, Samu Castillejo, Carlos Bacca, Denis Cheryshev and Nicola Sansone.
They do have a fantastic reputation of providing their own young players and some of those will be needed for this game. It will be a great experience for any youngsters who get the opportunity to play against the league leaders but it certainly influences my prediction on the outcome of this game.
If Villarreal were at full strength this would be a tough one to predict, unfortunately they are not though. Therefore despite Barca missing Samuel Umtiti with a hamstring and being replaced by the more than capable Thomas Vermaelen, I’m going to go for the away win.
Barcelona know they got away with the slip up last week and will be expecting a tough encounter and they won’t be complacent in this game.
They were able to rest players midweek in the Champions League having already won the group and it gave Paco Alcacer another chance to start and another chance to score which he did once again.
Taking all this into consideration I’m going to go for a motivated Barcelona to win 3-1. If I’m going to back an opening scorer it’s a toss-up between Messi and Luis Suarez. I’m going with Messi.
- Villarreal 1, Barca 3 (19-2, Unibet)
- Messi to score first (27-10, Unibet)
- Over 3.5 goals (69-50, Unibet)
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