As things stands, Zaragoza are in a strong position. If the hosts win each of their last two matches then they’re guaranteed a place in the top six; however, with a host of teams stacking up behind them, if they lose here then nothing is guaranteed. Having lost against Cadiz in their penultimate match, the position of Natxo González’s men was weakened, though they re-strengthened their play-off credentials with a thumping 4-1 win over Albacete last time out.
Like the hosts, Valladolid also have their destiny in their own hands. In fact, they’re in the same position. Take maximum points from their last two matches and they’ll be competing in the play-offs. After winning each of their last three, scoring plenty of goals in the process, Sergio’s side will be feeling confident about their chances ahead of this match, while their recent record at this venue is also a reason to be optimistic.
Perhaps Sunday’s most appealing match in the Spanish Segunda, certainly the most intriguing. A case could be made for both Zaragoza and Valladolid, though only one team stands out at the prices. With the pair being reasonably closely matched, as the table suggests, it’s very easy to feel that the visitors are a tad too big in the winning.
Make no mistake about it Zaragoza are a strong side, especially at home, though Valladolid are no mugs. What’s more, the hosts have started to wobble a bit of late, while the visitors have been rock-solid, losing none of their last five.
From a defensive point of view, it’s not hard to pick holes in the hosts, especially of late. González’s men have conceded in each of their last six matches, while they’ve not been at their best during that time, winning just three of those six. What’s more, Zaragoza have conceded in each of their last three at home, as well as in six of their last seven at La Romareda. They have of course scored plenty during that time, though outscoring a Valladolid team who’ve scored the second highest number of goals in the division this season will be anything but easy.
Going forward is where Valladolid thrive, and it is their quality in the final third that could perhaps see them through on Sunday. The visitors also conceding a few, though they’ve impressed offensively, both from a creativity and end-product point of view. Having got on the front foot to see off the likes of Oviedo and Numancia in recent weeks, the visitors will fancy themselves to get at the hosts.
In truth, both teams are similar at the back in the sense that they can both be got at, though it is the visitors, who, with the 32-goal Jaime Mata in their ranks, have that extra bit of quality in the final third. Siding with Valladolid on the ‘Draw No Bet’ market makes far more sense than taking a skinny price on the hosts to win.
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Valladolid, who won by three goals to two when the teams met earlier in the season, have a pleasing recent record in this fixture. Sunday’s visitors are unbeaten in four against Zaragoza, two of which they’ve won. Sunday’s visitors have also won four of their last five matches at La Romareda. A positive record indeed.
The hosts have just one concern at present. Simone Grippo is injured and will not feature on Sunday. Aside from that, the hosts have no problems.
Nacho Martinez is suspended for the visitors, while both Deivid and Antonio Cotan are likely to remain out injured.