After losing six consecutive games away from home, Sevilla drew the last two rounds but this is too little too late. Now they’ll be facing Malaga, a team that fiercely defends its Europa League placement and even if they would prevail away from home, this won’t help them play in European football next year.
Bet: Malaga 0:0 Asian Handicap
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 1.98
The visitors find themselves in the awkward position of helping their city rivals if they defeat Malaga away from home, as Betis is within striking distance and with a game in hand. This doesn’t mean that Sevilla will rollover and allow the hosts to cruise to an easy victory, but the players will be far less motivated. Jose Antonio Reyes joined Trochowski on the disabled list and this will create a gap in the midfield that coach Unai Emery would have a hard time filling.
Malaga plays without Caballero and Toulalan while Sergio Sanchez will be serving a suspension after receiving a red card in the recent defeat against Real Madrid. The reigning champions prevailed by six goals to two, but this seemingly categorical defeat was the result of a complete meltdown in the second half. Malaga played some offensive football at Santiago Bernabeu and didn’t try to defend, which proved to be a mistake that eventually eroded their position in the standings.
Now that Malaga returns home to face Sevilla, they have all the reasons to push for a victory and maintain their advantage over Betis. The two teams are evenly matched, and that’s why the best choice is to back the hosts with the cover of a 0:0 Asian handicap at Pinnacle Sports, so that the stakes are turned if the game ends in a draw.