Friday 29th April. 7:30PM. Live streaming available at Bet365
A three-way battle for the title has football fans from all over the world tuning into the final weeks of Spain’s La Liga season. However, there’s another enthralling battle taking place at the bottom as six teams fight for survival.
Sporting Gijon are one of those that enter the final three rounds of fixtures residing in the dreaded bottom three. However, their Friday night clash with Eibar gives them a fantastic chance to pile the pressure on those other relegation battlers, which should make for a thrilling contest at El Molinon.
You can tune in to watch and bet on the action live at Bet365.com. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the battle.
Can Sporting Bounce Back From Barca Mauling?
It might have been inflicted by the mighty Barcelona, but last week’s 6-0 hammering will do no favours for Abelardo’s men ahead of this crucial Friday night showdown, which is a real shame given that they had rebuilt some confidence with four points from the two previous fixtures. However, Gijon have no option but to dust themselves off and go again.
Unsurprisingly for a team in the bottom three, the home side’s record at El Molinon isn’t great. However, they did register a fifth home win with that 2-1 win over Sevilla just nine days ago, and they certainly have enough quality to cause problems for Eibar.
The duo of Carlos Castro and Arnaldo Sanabria has registered 18 Liga goals this term, helping the hosts to a total of 24 in front of their supporters. Meanwhile, on-loan star Alen Halilovic has shown more than enough promise to see why Barcelona rate him so highly for the future. If the Croat can make his mark on this one, then the hosts might just drag themselves out of danger.
Sporting have no option but to go for the win, and that could work to their advantage at this crucial stage of the campaign. Whatever happens, you can expect 100% commitment from the kick-off.
Eibar Aiming For Top Half
The visitors might not be the most fashionable team in La Liga, but they’ve had a very productive campaign under Mendilibar and could yet end the season with a top 10 finish. To achieve that goal, though, they’ll need to end the dismal away form that has plagued them throughout 2016.
Following a solid away form at the start, Eibar have registered just one win on the road since the turn of the year, and that came on January 3rd. Since then, it’s been just two points from a possible 24. But a trip to Gijon gives them a genuine chance to arrest the slump.
They’ll have a particularly good chance if they can find Borja Baston on a regular basis. The 23-year-old boasts 17 league goals this term, but has failed to hit the target in five games this month. Can he end the month on a high here?
Eibar are already safe and don’t necessarily need to win. Nevertheless, this is a free shot at ending their away day woes. It should be intriguing to say the least.
Sporting Gijon v Eibar Betting
Despite their lowly position in the table, Bet365 have established Gijon as the firm favourites at odds of 1/2. The draw, meanwhile, can be backed at 11/4 and the away win is priced is 13/2.
Considering the fact that the hosts haven’t lost any of the previous 10 head-to-head meetings on this ground, it’s not hard to see why they are riced this way. However, the 2-0 reverse result, along with the current standings would make it difficult to back them at such a price.
However, they do need to go for it and can take advantage of an away defence that’s leaked 33 on the road. We’re backing Sporting to score at least twice.
Our second bet is being made with the heart rather than the head. Halilovic didn’t have a great game last week at the Camp Nou, but he clearly has so much to give. This could be the perfect tiem to do it.
We wouldn’t suggest backing him too heavily after a return of just three goals all year. But at 5/2, we think the young Croat is well worth backing for an interest.