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 Sunday games.
Leganes v Valencia (Sun 3.15pm)
It probably has gone unnoticed but Valencia are bang in form again. It’s six wins and a draw for Marcelino’s team in their last seven games and they look exactly like the team that thrilled us in the opening 15 games of the season.
They certainly had a mid-season dip in form but are now certain of a top four finish, being 12 points above fifth place Villarreal. I expect them to continue the winning run, although Leganés will provide stubborn resistance.
Leganés have again overachieved and they are now assured of another season of top flight football after a win last time out at home to Sevilla.
That win now sees them on 36 points, 15 clear of Las Palmas and I would be interested in seeing a Leganés performance that is free of the pressure of their objective of staying up.
Their relative success has been built on a rigid defensive system, which ensures they are hard to score against and hard to beat. How else can you explain that they have 36 points from just 25 goals scored in total.
They have accumulated 24 points at home and have done so scoring only 15 times! I’m scratching my head at that one. However, I’m going to go for Valencia to get a couple in this game and I’m going to go for Rodrigo, who scored for Spain against Germany, to get the first goal in a 2-1 victory for Valencia.
- Leganes 1, Valencia 2 (15-2, Unibet)
- Rodrigo to score first (51-10, Unibet)
- Valencia win (11-10, Unibet)
Atletico Madrid v Deportivo (Sun 7.45pm)
This should be totally straightforward for Simeone and his team and should be a straightforward prediction from me. They face a Depor team who haven’t won in their last 14 games and who barely score a goal.
I am, however, slightly concerned that after the defeat in their last game at Villarreal, that Atletico will feel slightly deflated that their faint title hopes have now totally dissipated. The challenge now in the league is to finish above Real, who trail by just four points.
Perhaps their focus will now be mainly on the one trophy that they can win this season and that is the Europa League. They host Sporting Lisbon on Thursday and they are now huge favourites to win that trophy.
If they win that and finish second it would have been a more than satisfactory season for Simeone. Going into this game his squad is thin on the ground in terms of numbers. Atletico currently have only 19 senior players in their squad and with one or two injuries this could be an issue for not only this game but Thursday’s as well.
With such a small squad, which incidentally was Simeone’s choice, he doesn’t have too many options to rotate. It was his choice to allow Carrasco and Gaitan to depart in the winter window but it has left them thin on the ground in numbers, although certainly not in quality.
I’m going to go for a pretty much full strength Atletico to beat Depor and Simeone will be hoping that Diego Costa’s bang on the shin he picked up against Argentina in midweek will have properly healed in time for him to get the first goal in a 3-0 win.
- Atletico 3, Depor 0 (6-1, Unibet)
- Costa to score first (11-4, Unibet)
- Atletico win to nil (19-25, Unibet)
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