Espanyol v Atletico Madrid
Atletico may have considered themselves unfortunate to have drawn 2-2 with Villarreal in their last outing before the international break, with their visitors managing just two attempts all game with both finding the back of the net. However, having been 2-1 down in the dying seconds and then gifted a calamitous own goal, they’ll be happy with a point and move on to the next.
While this is essentially a top-5 v bottom-5 clash, it’s too early in the campaign to take those positions seriously. However, with Espanyol a newly promoted side, recent history doesn’t give them much of a chance. Atletico have now won 18 of their last 20 unbeaten matches against newly-promoted opposition, keeping clean sheets in 16 of those games.
While Atletico have put many of those promoted sides to the sword, there’s every chance that Espanyol can keep this relatively tight. Indeed, the Catalan club have seen a grand total of just six match goals across their last eight La Liga fixtures, and just one so far this season. They’re a defensively solid side and with their visitors’ record or low scoring matches under Simeone, the unders bet looks the way to go here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS
Real Madrid v Celta Vigo
Los Blancos will be happy that they sit at the top of La Liga after three games, though at this early stage of the season and with six sides all level on points at the top, that position largely means nothing.
Despite the difficulties surrounding the club, Real have still proven there are exceptionally hard to beat, not losing a league outing since the 30th January and winning 15/21 of those unbeaten games.
Celta Vigo are yet to score from open play this season, with Iago Aspas’ penalty in the opening day defeat to Atletico the only goal of their only goal of the campaign to date. They’ll be happy for Real to have a lot of the ball here and look to catch them on the break, and with Ancelotti’s side not looking at their best at the moment, failing to dominate proceedings against Betis last time out, we’d back Celta to keep this one tighter than expected
Real have failed to cover the +2 handicap in four of their last five games, and we’d expect this to follow a similar trend.
CELTA VIGO +2 HANDICAP