Brilliant Bats home form means Valencia can sink Yellow Submarine
Only La Liga leaders Barcelona have beaten Valencia at the Mestalla this season, and Los Che have won all of the last seven on home turf and previous three to nil.
Provincial rivals Villarreal come to their regional capital off the back of four losses in six, including three defeats on the spin to Sevilla across all competitions. Couple this with the fact the Yellow Submarine haven’t won this fixture away since 2007, and that explains why the Bats are 11/10 favourites for victory and the visitors are 5/2 outsiders at Coral. Odds for a draw are 9/4.
Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo will be pleased to have homegrown striker Francisco ‘Paco’ Alcacer back fit and firing, after netting two in as many matches before the international break.
The young poacher, who is Los Che’s leading marksman with 10, is an even-money anytime scorer chance against a Villarreal defence that have conceded seven in their last four. Alcacer is also a 4/1 shot to open proceedings, having offered so much more than Manchester City loan flop Alvaro Negredo.
Another Bats threat is midfielder Dani Parejo, with eight La Liga strikes to his name, and he is a nifty 9/4 to net again here. Punters may also want to watch out for set piece threat Shkodran Mustafi, who scored twice in the reverse fixture, and he’s 13/2 to torment the Yellow Submarine once more.
Where Villarreal’s problem lies is consistency from their frontline. Argentine attacker Luciano Vietto has 20 goals in all competitions this term, yet these have come in fits and starts. If you think he can end a three-match dry spell at the Mestalla, then take anytime scorer odds of 15/8.
Giovani dos Santos has three in his last three against Los Che, so the Mexico international must be considered at a decent 11/4 price. La Liga’s top four finish market tells punters all they need to know about this encounter, with Valencia odds-on to make a Champions League return at 1/6 and the Yellow Submarine rank outsiders at 16/1.
Backing the Bats to win to nil here enhanced their outright match victory odds to 13/5, and that is well worth considering against Villarreal and Vietto, who has blown hot and cold.