Liam Kelly returns to bring you two best bets for the midweek round of La Liga fixtures, posting a 4.31pt profit for the season so far.
1.5pts Sevilla to keep a clean sheet v Espanyol at Evens (Sky Bet)
2.5pts Barcelona to win with -1 handicap v Levante at Evens (Sky Bet)
Sevilla have started their La Liga season in a similar fashion to last term, keeping tabs on the teams at the top thanks to an extremely solid defensive process. Julen Lopetegui's side have conceded only two goals in five matches, allowing chances equating to just 0.70 expected goals against (xGA) per game.
As a result, SEVILLA to keep a CLEAN SHEET looks good value at Evens. Fresh off a 3-1 midweek win at home to Valencia (xG: SEV 1.16 - 0.51 VAL), Sevilla don't have to worry about travel on the short turnaround, remaining at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán for this match-up.
The same can't be said for opponents Espanyol, who make the long trip to Seville after a 1-0 victory over Alavés in Catalunya on Wednesday night (xG: ESP 1.77 - 0.55 ALA).
They do have the ability to keep a game tight, as evidenced by their five goals conceded and 1.12 xGA per game average this season, but it is their struggles in attack that make the selection even more appealing. Vicente Moreno's side have scored just four goals in six league matches, averaging 1.07 expected goals for (xGF) per game.
Score prediction: Sevilla 1-0 Espanyol (Sky Bet odds: 9/2)
Yes, Barcelona appear to be in some sort of crisis, but the price about the Catalan giants to win by two goals or more at the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon still seems a little crazy.
The Evens available for BARCELONA to win with a -1 HANDICAP against Levante should be snapped up. I doubt we will see the same price offered too often when playing at home against a team of that calibre.
Levante are yet to win a game in La Liga this season, and are frequently one of the worst defensive teams in the league in terms of expected goals against (xGA). They've allowed an average of 1.50 xGA per game this season, conceding nine goals in six games. Paco López's side are also finding things difficult in terms of chance creation, averaging just 1.17 expected goals for (xGF) per game, so Barcelona should be able to dominate without fear of giving up good chances.
Additionally, Barca have been fairly sound defensively, too, conceding an average of 1.08 xGA per game in their five league matches in spite of unrest. Ronald Koeman's side were creating a fair few scoring opportunities prior to a poor 0-0 draw in Cádiz on Thursday (xG: CAD 1.40 - 0.43 FCB) - playing with 10-men for the final 35 minutes after Frenkie de Jong's sending off.
He will be missed, but I simply can't see Barca putting in another putrid attacking performance in front of the Camp Nou crowd. This represents a good opportunity to bounce back from disappointment in style.
Score prediction: Barcelona 3-0 Levante (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Odds correct at 2300 BST (23/09/21)
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