Villareal v Espanyol Betting Tip Under 2.5 goals – 9 January 2019

Low-scoring game expected in Villareal

International Football Tips

SpainVillareal v EspanyolSpain
Wednesday 9th January 1930hrs 
Football – Spain – Copa Del Rey
Pick: Under 2.5 goals
Bookmaker: Marathon Bet
Odds: 5/6 (odds taken 22.10 GMT, Tuesday 7th January)

League Cup Betting at Marathon Bet

This one of seven all La Liga ties in the last 16 of the Copa Del Rey and a match-up between two teams who have experienced contrasting seasons to date. The hosts have been extremely disappointing in the league and remain in the bottom three whilst their opponents have been something of a surprise package at how they’ve been able to hang around the top end of the table for the first half of the season. Their current league positions may determine motivation levels for this game so continue reading for a match preview of Villareal against Espanyol, with a selected best betting tip.

Villareal Preview

Luis Garcia may well be still looking for his first league win since taking over Villareal towards the end of last year, but he will be somewhat content by the start his team have made to 2019. A 2-2 draw at home to Real Madrid last midweek was followed by a goalless draw away to Eibar, making it a solid enough start to this calendar year. Had you offered the new coach a point at home to Real before the game he would no doubt have taken it but the way in which the game panned out may mean he looks back on it as a couple of points dropped. Villareal remain in the bottom three in spite of those draws and we’ll see how important they take the Copa Del Rey with their top flight future uncertain. They certainly had no worries in the previous round as they dispatched Almeria 11-3 on aggregate, winning 8-0 at home in the second leg. That was under the previous regime, however, and priorities may well have changed since.

Espanyol Preview

Espanyol are well used to living in the shadow of the team whom they share a city with and it means when their fans sense the slightest bit of success may be possible, they are desperate to seize it. It may only be the last 16 and all the big guns remain in the hunt for this year’s Copa Del Rey, but they have been presented with the chance to reach the quarter final stage and then the situation begins to get more attractive. It’s especially the case this year when they have been performing well in La Liga and their current position of eighth is arguably understating the job that Rubi has done as coach since arriving in the summer. The last round proved something of a struggle as they only made it past Cadiz by virtue of away goals but they have to fancy their chances of getting the better of Villareal over two legs, especially as they play at home in what is often the crucial return. Espanyol reached the semi-final of this competition as recently as 2015 and after some underwhelming efforts in the last couple of years, will be desperate to continue their progression this time around.

Villareal v Espanyol Betting Advice

These two clubs will be well used to each other as this is the first of three meetings within the next three weeks with a clash in La Liga to come at the beginning of February. Espanyol were victorious in the first meeting between the two back in early October, running out 3-1 winners. That came at a period when Espanyol were at their best point of the season, but after losing six straight in the league they were able to halt that last time out with a 1-0 home win over Leganes. Villareal have not won many games this season but the appointment of Luis Garcia definitely seems to have given them some much needed belief and they have picked up three straight draws under the new coach in La Liga.

There may be 10 places between these two clubs in La Liga but that equates to just a seven-point differential. It suggests there may not be as much between them as the table portrays on first inspection, however Espanyol should be confident of progressing from this tie over two legs, if they’re at their best. It tends to be all or nothing for Rubi’s men who have the fewest number of draws in the league which puts me off my original selection. Instead, I’m opting to go for a low-scoring game instead. Four of the last five meetings between these clubs had two or fewer goals, whilst both average under 2.5 goals in their season so far.