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 fixtures in La Liga.
Espanyol v Valencia (Sun 3.15pm)
This is potentially a tough fixture for high-flying Valencia. Espanyol will be determined and well-drilled by former Los Che coach Quique Sanchez Flores.
They are a tough nut to crack in their own stadium, amassing 10 of their 13 total points in the comfort of their own surroundings. Whilst not prolific by any mean, seven of their nine goals have come at the Cornella El Prat where they have only conceded three goals.
However, Espanyol's nine goals socred this season only puts them level with Valencia’s leading scorer Simone Zaza who himself has scored nine.
Add strike partner Rodrigo’s seven and it gives you an idea of how adventurous Valencia are under Marcelino this season. However there is a huge doubt regarding the fitness of Zaza for this game after he had to pull out of the Italy squad for their two disastrous games against Sweden.
The former West Ham man picked up a knee injury in training with Italy and returned early back to the Mestalla for treatment. Will they take a risk in playing him in this game or be conservative with the fixture next week at home to Barcelona?
They are at least aided by the decent form of the back-up striker Santi Mina who has weighed in with four goals off the bench this season. That is a fine output indeed from your three main strikers at this stage of the season with a haul of 20 goals between them.
Only two players seem to score for Espanyol with Gerard Moreno on four and Leo Baptistao on three – if Valencia can stop them then they should be okay. I hate to put pressure on surprising early season title-challengers Valencia but if they are serious about competing at the top end of the table then this is a game they should be winning.
- Correct score: Espanyol 1, Valencia 2 (15-2, Unibet)
- First scorer: Rodrigo (23-4, Unibet)
- Valencia to score 2+ (27-25, Unibet)
Athletic Bilbao v Villarreal (Sun 7.45pm)
Tough times indeed for Athletic Bilbao this season and the pressure is piling on coach Cuco Ziganda. With just 11 points so far, they have won only three La Liga matches under the new coach having taken only four points from the last seven games.
That is a huge contrast to the form shown by their opponents Villarreal under another new coach Javier Calleja. He has four wins from the first five games and the only blemish was a 1-1 draw away at Atletico.
Cedric Bakambu and Carlos Bacca are forming a potent partnership and they will be a real handful for the Athletic Bilbao defence.
Aritz Aduriz is still shouldering the responsibility of being the main goal scorer for Athletic and the likes of Ińaki Williams and Raul Garcia need to to start contributing more on that front.
I’m going to predict a continuation of the good form by Villarreal and go for an away win in this game. It’s likely that Bakambu starts the scoring if he can stay onside! Last week he had a hat trick of goals against Malaga all disallowed for that infringement, incidentally they were all correct decisions.
- Correct score: Bilbao 1, Villarreal 2 (23-4, Unibet)
- First scorer: Bakambu (23-4, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (43-50, Unibet)
Unibet are making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.