Fixture list to decrease quality in Seville
The showpiece of this weekend’s La Liga action is when Sevilla host Barcelona on Saturday. This is not a match that I see fireworks occurring in, mainly due to the hecticity of the fixture list for both sides, they both play in midweek, against Osasuna and Elche respectively, with the second leg of their Copa Del Rey semi final just four days after this fixture. Immediately after that match, these two will be preparing for their Champions League last 16 second legs, relentless. In amongst all of that I see this match as a less significant one and one that both managers would happily agree a draw on now.
Sevilla are punching a little in the league table compared to their underlying data, but they have played less than some of the teams around, in my eyes they are well worthy of their spot in the top four. Julen Lopetegui has instilled an outstanding defensive mentality into the squad and combined with a blessing of attacking talent, Los Nervionenses are a tough proposition for any team in Europe. They rival Atletico Madrid in terms of the best rearguard in the division, conceding just 16, the same as Diego Simeone’s men, but from a huge overperformance of 24.2 expected goals. Bono has been a real find in between the sticks and Jules Kounde next to Diego Carlos ahead of him give Sevilla the chance to earn a foothold in every match. They have scored just 32 goals from 38.1 expected, far too reliant on Youssef En Nesyri for goals, there is plenty of room for improvement in terms of the clinicality of their frontline.
Barcelona have the best underlying process in La Liga, away from all the criticism, most of it justified, that Ronald Koeman’s men have come under this season, they are playing an excellent brand of football, the backline let’s them down. Barca have scored 50 goals from chances equated to 52.5 expected goals by far and away the best in the division, yet they have seen 22 goals fly in their own net from 27.7 expected, ranking them fifth and seventh for each metric. Not good enough for a club of their stature.
Not for me and that is my angle. The unders markets provide value.
- Sevilla have scored in 10 of 10.
- Sevilla have conceded in two of 10.
- Sevilla have seen both teams score in two of 10.
- Sevilla have seen over 2.5 goals in five of 10.
- Barca have scored in nine of 10.
- Barca have conceded in eight of 10.
- Barca have seen both teams score in seven of 10.
- Barca have seen over 2.5 goals in six of 10.
I see this one as a game too far in the schedules of both teams and in that it will not be great viewing. This selection will see half of our stake returned should there be exactly three goals in the match.