Levante used to be a team struggling to avoid relegation each season, but this year they have an excellent chance of playing in the Europa League. They won the opening leg against Motherwell in Scotland and will probably close the deal on Thursday in front of their fans. All this success has its downside, because the players are forced to compete in several games over a short period of time.
Match: Real Valladolid vs Levante
Bet: Real Valladolid
Odds: Pinnacle 1.92
Just three days after winning away from home and virtually booking a place in the group stage, Levante travels to Valladolid. Their hosts have recently moved back in Primera Division after being relegated for a season in the lower echelon and they made their debut with a victory. Despite the fact that it was playing away from home against a stringy team such as Zaragoza, Valladolid kept its cool and emerged victorious. They placed the emphasis on defense and made it impossible for their opponents to rebound after they scored late in the game.
Absences and fatigue torment Levante
The visitors have obviously the better squad, and even with the likes of Pedro Rios and Juanfran they would still be more than a match for Valladolid. Having played so many games within a short period of time, and with difficult matches taking shape at the horizon, Juan Ignacio Martinez has to rest some players at the certain point. This will provide Teofanis Gekas and Pape Diop have the chance to feature in the starting lineup, but both these players are a bit rusty after being kept on the bench for so long.
Levante drew the opening game at home against Atletico Madrid and a similar result in this confrontation would be regarded as a success. They have plenty of time to earn the needed points for another Europa League appearance but right now they need to avoid injuries and focus on pressing matters. Valladolid will once again play a defensive oriented game, patiently waiting for an opportunity to score and then fend off the opponents’ attacks.
Serbian coach Dukic prepared the game against Zaragoza very well and despite the fact that his team had less ball possession then it’s opponent, Valladolid was never in danger. By passing the ball long enough and luring Levante out of its half, the hosts can speculate the lack of fitness of some opposing players and score before the break. The odds offered by Pinnacle are not spectacular but a value of 1.92 is nothing to frown upon given the special context.