Despite seemingly being in a non-recoverable position just a few weeks ago, the hosts have somehow dragged themselves off the canvas, beat the count and are now fighting for their lives. Having won each of their last three, Cordoba are now sitting outside of the drop-zone, though they’re not safe yet. With the way things are, anything other than a win here could result in the Andalusian club being relegated.
Gijon, who’ve been one of the best teams in the division this season, have no such problems. The visitors can afford to lose this match and they’ll still be competing for promotion in the upcoming play-offs. They may have failed to go up automatically, but Rubén Baraja’s men are still in with a shout of bouncing right back to La Liga having been relegated twelve months ago.
The hosts are the team with something to play for, and on that alone many people will fancy them to get the job done. However, despite this extra motivation, it’s hard to agree that Cordoba merit such odds-on favouritism against one of the best teams in the division. Technically, Gijon have nothing to play for, though they aren’t likely to roll over, especially since they’ll want to remain competitive ahead of the play-offs.
The hosts will want to go for the win here, though they’ll be very wary of getting caught out by a visiting side who can certainly score goals. Being too cavalier would be foolish, especially since a point might just do. As they’ve done in recent home wins against the likes of Almeria, Sevilla II and Lorca, the Cordoba should look to keep things tight before going in search of goals.
Given their defensive record, it’s easy to see the hosts frustrating a Gijon side who may not be too intent on getting forward with the same intensity as usual. Not only will the visitors perhaps be less keen to force the issue, but Cordoba, despite their relatively lowly position, have defended well at home of late, keeping four clean sheets in their last six at Estadio Nuevo Arcángel. What’s more, José Ramón Sandoval’s men have shut their opponents out in 40% of their matches in front of a home crowd this season.
Cordoba aren’t the only ones who can defend well. Like their hosts have on home soil, Gijon have generally defended well away from home this season. The visitors arrive here having kept a clean sheet in six of their last ten on their travels, while they’ve recorded a shutout in 40% of their away matches overall this season. Gijon have also managed to avoid conceding in 63% of their away matches against teams currently in the bottom eight, so it would be no surprise if they held out on Saturday.
All in all, given the recent relevant defensive records of both, alongside the fact that both may tread with caution, ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ looks a good bet at the prices.
Looking for Accumulator tips? See what our experts are tipping today and follow the smart money.
Cordoba haven’t fared too well against Gijon in recent times. Saturday’s hosts have won just two of the last ten renewals of this fixture and have lost four of their other eight. Earlier in the season, Gijon won by three goals to two. Interestingly, each of the last four renewals of this fixture have seen at least three goals go in, while both teams have scored in eight of the last ten.
Bruno Montelongo, who has been out since January, is out for Cordoba, though they have no other concerns. With this being a huge game, José Ramón Sandoval is expected to pick his strongest XI.
Juan Quintero, who has been struggling with a muscle injury since March, is out, though the visitors could otherwise be at full strength. Manager Rubén Baraja could rotate in order to save his best players for the play-offs.