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 Saturday games.
Deportivo v Levante (Sat 12pm)
This is probably the biggest and most important clash in La Liga this weekend!
It’s one win in 10 for Depor and one win in 15 for Levante, so it’s fair to say neither are convincing, maybe that’s an understatement.
Depor sit in the bottom three but can leapfrog their opponents with a win in this game and that’s what I expect will happen.
I feel Depor have the advantage with playing at home and have greater firepower in attack.
It’s going to be tight and very anxious but I’m going for home win.
Valencia v Real Madrid (Sat 3.15pm)
This game is clearly the toughest to call this weekend, with neither in what you would call great form.
Valencia, though, will be buoyed by their dramatic midweek victory against Alavés in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. A penalty shootout took them through to the semi-finals and it was hilarious to watch Valencia coach Marcelino squirming on the bench during the penalties with his eyes closed and behind his hands. He never watched a single penalty for or against his team.
For Madrid it was another setback I’m afraid and one that easily could have and should have been avoided.
After their 1-0 away victory in the first leg it should have been pretty straightforward for Zidane and his team to finish the job off against Leganés back at the Bernabeu. However, he was complacent regarding his team selection and he has paid a heavy price after the 2-1 defeat.
Zizou is going to have to motivate his team for a fight to stay in the top four. That certainly wasn’t the ambition going into the season!
It’s not a “given” that they will do that, seeing as how their season has gone so far, and Villarreal and Sevilla are both more than capable of finishing above them if they knock off completely now.
The focus for Real is obviously going to be on the Champions League tie against PSG in February but they really do have to realise the importance of better form and results in the league until then. I’m not sure they will.
The Mestalla is a tough place to start, although life will be easier in the fact that Valencia are desperately searching for a centre-back for this game. Ezequiel Garay is the only obvious central defender available to Marcelino. Ruben Vezo and Gabriel Paulista are both suspended after being sent off in last week’s shocking defeat at Las Palmas and Jeison Murillo is also out injured. I have no idea who can possibly play there, maybe an untried youngster or maybe a player switching position, full back Martin Montoya or midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia might be options.Not ideal if you are facing Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo!
Although Valencia are not in great form in the league, the supporters are more than happy with this season’s performance.
They are third in La Liga and are now in the Copa del Rey semi-finals. The Mestalla will be in a good mood for Real Madrid’s visit.
Despite having to endure extra time and penalties to overcome Alavés on Wednesday I’m going for a motivated and spirited Valencia to hold Madrid to a draw.
If it wasn’t for their midweek exertions and centre-back issues I would have probably gone for the home win.
- Valencia 2, Real Madrid 2, (10-1, Unibet)
- Parejo to score first (15-1, Unibet)
- Draw and both teams to score (19-5, Unibet)
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