Atletico Madrid at Sevilla and Monaco meet PSG on Sunday night
Just before the international break, there’s top football from two elite European leagues to enjoy, and Coral football experts preview Sevilla’s La Liga meeting with Atletico Madrid plus a battle between Ligue 1 heavyweights Monaco and PSG.
Sevilla v Atletico Madrid
There’s precious little to choose between the Bathtubs and Atleti over the last 20 years with the capital club winning 11 league meetings to their hosts’ 10, and a dozen draws. It’s that latter outcome that appeals here at 21/10, as two of the past three encounters have ended level.
Although Atletico, 31/20 to take three points, have plenty of lauded strikers, it’s summer signing Luciano Vietto who is their only proven threat against Sevilla with two goals in four career appearances.
Unlikely to oust international forwards Antoine Griezmann and Jackson Martinez from Diego Simeone’s starting XI, the Argentine attacker is a superb 6/1 to score last as an impact substitute.
Emerging Belgian talent Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (4/1 anytme) offers a genuine wide outlet to Atleti if they want to move away from a narrow midfield often favoured by their fiery head coach.
Oliver Torres should be in that engine room, and is a nifty 9/2 to show signs of kicking on from an encouraging loan spell at Porto last season with a goal in this game.
Bathtubs boss Unai Emery has opted to remodel the Andalusian outfit, as they prepare to make a Champions League return after winning the Europa League in each of the last two seasons. The price for that success was AC Milan’s big money purchase of Carlos Bacca and Barcelona buying converted right back Aleix Vidal.
Sevilla, 15/8 favourites for victory, are thus sporting a new-look spine. In the Colombia hitman’s place up top should be either Borussia Dortmund misfit Ciro Immobile or Basque target man Fernando Llorente, who joins from Juventus and is a fantastic 5/2 to cap his Bathtubs bow with a goal anytime.
Stoke City midfielder Steven N’Zonzi adds some all-round nous to the engine room, meanwhile, and Milan let fellow Frenchman Adil Rami return to Spain as a sweetener to sell Bacca to marshal the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan club’s rearguard.
Around this core are some exciting wide additions, most notably Ukraine international Yevhen Konoplyanka. After scoring on his Sevilla debut in the UEFA Super Cup, a 14/5 price says he can follow that up with a first home goal for his new team.
Monaco v PSG
Draws are also a regular, and therefore appealing, theme in this fixture with each of the last six head-to-heads in Ligue 1 resulting in honours being even. Again, a 21/10 price is too good to ignore.
What’s intriguing on the eve of this latest encounter between these two French financial heavyweights is the transfer of left back Layvin Kurzawa from Monaco to Paris.
Leonardo Jardim’s Principality team simply cannot hang on to their star performers and that is why the hosts start as 3/1 outsiders. Kurzawa follows Colombia couple James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao, the aforementioned Ferreira Carrasco and Geoffrey Kondogbia out of Monaco, but commanding a high fee at €24m.
Monaco moving for Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao and securing the Portugal international on loan as a replacement is certainly a silver lining following a difficult week. Not only did they cash in on Kurzawa, but dropped out of the Champions League into the Europa League after losing to Valencia in the play-offs.
PSG seem short at evens for an away victory despite their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1, because of Zlatan Ibrhaimovic’s continued absence with a knee problem. Will he play for the French capital club again? He remains doubtful for the game, as are Argentina attackers Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore.
In their expected absence, it’s all about Edinson Cavani (19/10 anytime) and Lucas Moura (better in that market at 23/10). For the hosts, however, Anthony Martial is one of a plethora of fantastic and hungry young forwards looking to make an impression at Monaco.
Why not back Martial at 14/5 to score in this mega match and celebrate his first senior call-up by France in style?
Coral’s top tip: Sitting on the fence is its own reward here, so take 21/10 apiece for two draws.