29 February 2020
The two struggling La Liga (LL) sides will face off at the Estadio de Mestalla this weekend, as Valencia take on Real Betis.
The hosts are desperate to respond to their recent dip in form (D1, L2) and stay in touch with fourth-placed Sevilla that currently hold a five-point lead over them. For Valencia, it’s all about keeping a clean sheet. Indeed, six of their ten LL victories this season yielded a blank sheet, including five of seven that came at home. The visitors are the ideal candidates for such a scenario, considering Los Ches have won four of their seven previous top-flight home H2Hs, shutting Betis out on six of those occasions (D2, L1). In turn, each of Valencia’s three LL triumphs since the turn of the year was ‘to nil’ and took place at this venue. Yet, all three of the Oranges’ league defeats in 2020 have produced a losing margin of three goals, with the last two seeing Valencia draw a blank.
Meanwhile, the visitors are without a win in five league matches, with each ending separating the sides by under 1.5 goals (D2, L3). But, away from home, Los Verdiblancos have suffered just one defeat in their past seven games (W1, D5). Five of those seven fixtures have seen under 2.5 goals and Betis score one or less, including the last four. In fact, for Betis, goals have been in short supply when away from home. Only 28.57% (ten) of their 35 LL goals scored came on the road, with Rubi’s men scoring 2+ goals in just three of 12 league away outings so far this season. Particularly ponderous in the final stages, the Andalusians have found the net in the last 15 minutes of play once in 12 LL road trips, conceding at least one goal in the same interval on three of those occasions.
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