Vallecano’s title chances increased dramatically last week when Gimnastic beat Huesca away from home. Having got the better of Lugo by a goal to nil, Míchel’s men know that a win in this final match would ensure that they go up as champions. After an excellent season, winning the division would be a fitting way for Los Franjirrojos to return to he big time.
In stark contrast, Gimnastic are battling at the other end of the table. After a much-needed and somewhat questionable win over Huesca last time out, where there may just have been some untoward goings-on, Saturday’s hosts are very close to securing their safety. With the way the table has shaped up, even a loss here could see them beat the drop, though they’ll want to do better than that and thus ensure that they’re masters of their own destiny.
Gimnastic may have won last time out, though too much shouldn’t be read into that result. The visitors, who’re within touching distance of the title, aren’t unlikely to deliver anywhere near as tame a result as their title rivals did last weekend. At the prices, Vallecano are very hard to resist.
Not only are Vallecano the best team in the division according to the league table, but the hosts haven’t exactly fared well against the top teams this season, even at home. At the end of the day, Gimnastic are where they are for a reason. Interestingly, Saturday’s hosts have won just one of their eight home matches against the current top nine, while they’ve lost five of the other seven. Having also failed to score in five of those eight matches, it’s not terribly difficult to see the hosts faltering in this fixture.
The visitors may have lost their most recent match in seemingly convincing style, but the score-line did anything but tell the full story of a contest that was evenly balanced. What’s more, like Gimnastic have struggled to put their best foot forward against the better teams at home, Vallecano have done well against the lesser teams on the road.
With the best away record in the division, it’s fair to say that the visitors have acquitted themselves well on their travels this season. They’ve lost just four matches away all season, while they’ve fared particularly strongly against teams at the wrong end of the table. Vallecano have lost none of their seven matches against teams currently in the bottom eight, while they’ve won four of those seven. On top of that, they’ve kept a clean sheet in 50% of those matches and have found the net in 71%.
After their win last time out, the visitors are backed to give themselves a shot of securing the title by avoiding defeat at the very least. Considering everything that the two teams have achieved this season, there’s no way the visitors should be as big as they are in the winning. Backing them with the insurance of a ‘+1 Handicap’ is hard to resist.
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Gimnastic did win the reversal of this fixture earlier in the season, though that was their first win against Vallecano since 2010. The time in between saw Vallecano with three out of five renewals.
The visitors should continue to be without Mohamed Djetei, though they have no fresh concerns. With this being a big game, Gimnastic are expected to be at full strength.
Vallecano should be at full strength on Saturday. With the title to secure, Michel is expected to pick his strongest team.