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 Sunday games.
Barcelona v Levante (3.15pm)
Clear La Liga leaders and still unbeaten Barcelona go into this game as huge favourites. That’s an understatement. Complacency is going to be Barca’s biggest opponent in the next few weeks in their league games after they dismantled rivals Real at the Bernabeu last time out.
It was a very impressive performance and result and with Atletico and Valencia also losing it was the perfect Christmas boost for Valverde and his team. I’m going to foolishly try to make a slight case for Levante in this game. They have only suffered one away defeat this season but they have also only won one away game. They have had five away draws including a 1-1 at the Bernabeu.
They are clearly difficult to break down on their travels, don’t concede many (seven) and don’t score many (five) and they are facing Barcelona after the winter break where Messi and the rest of the South Americans have travelled back home to spend Christmas with their families.
They will be hoping that they perhaps have enjoyed themselves a little too much regarding their festive celebrations. I’m really clutching at straws here, so of course I’m going to go for a Barcelona win and a resounding one at that.
Despite Levante being resilient so far this season I’m going to go for a 4-0 home win with the impressive Paulinho opening the scoring. I can’t go with Messi every week!
Celta Vigo v Real Madrid (7.45pm)
How will Madrid respond to the recent defeat at home against Barcelona and the now 14-point deficit between them and the league leaders? Will there be a response?
Karin Benzema is out injured for a few weeks and this makes Zidane’s team selection a touch easier. I expect Bale to come back in to partner Ronaldo up front as a replacement and I would also expect Isco to come back in for Kovacic after that experiment failed horribly against Barcelona.
That change against Barcelona was far too drastic and it was far removed from Madrid’s usual style. Playing four central midfielders was unusual to say the least but most alarmingly for me was that Modric and Kroos were the two slightly wider midfield players meaning that Kovacic and Casemiro were the two with the responsibility of controlling the centre of the pitch.
I expect Modric and Kroos to link up again centrally with just Casemiro holding in this game. The combination play of Modric, Kroos and Isco is so important in terms of Real’s style and I was so surprised that Zidane opted to change in that particular game.
They certainly are going to have to be at their best to win this match as Celta are a very exciting and enterprising outfit. Celta will be boosted by the fact that they recently drew at the Nou Camp and they will adopt the same style to try to deal with Madrid.
That will be to play deep, look to be solid and tough to break down and then look to counter attack with the pacey threat of Pione Sisto and Iago Aspas. Those two potentially are a real threat that Real Madrid have to be aware of.
Celta’s games this season have produced goals for and against, they have scored 30 but have conceded 25. I’m going to go for a 2-2 draw in this game with Aspas getting the first goal.
- Celta 2, Real 2 (11-1, Unibet)
- Aspas to score first (15-2, Unibet)
- Both teams to score (43-100, Unibet)
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