The Spanish La Liga resumes play after a long break brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Spanish top flight’s week begins with the Sevilla Derby vs Real Betis but the week also features an intriguing matchup between Valencia and Levante at the Estadio de Mestalla on Friday afternoon. The game will air live on beIN Sports at 3:50 p.m. EST on June 12, 2020.
This is the first game back for both sides and 7th place Valencia enters this week 28 matchup with a 1-1 draw against Alaves in their last La Liga assignment. Likewise, Levante is coming off a 1-1 tie against Granda in their most recent Spanish top-flight game played.
Valencia heads to this match sitting on 7th place in the Spanish La Liga standings with a total of 42 points from 11 wins, 9 draws, and 7 losses. They are currently occupying the final Europa League position but can finish anywhere in the table with still enough games to play. They are just four points away from a Champions League spot but are also only five points clear of 13th place Levante.
Valencia’s last game before the shutdown was a 3-4 Champions League loss to Atalanta where the Italian side advanced to the quarterfinals on an 8-4 aggregate score. In their last La Liga match, Valencia figured in a 1-1 draw against Alaves. Daniel Parejo got Valencia on board early but Alaves tied the match just under 30 minutes into the second half.
Maxi Gomez leads Valencia with a total of nine goals on the season while Parejo has a total of 8 and Kevin Gameiro has five goals scored. Forward Rodrigo leads the team with a total of seven assists on the year while Daniel Wass has six assists and Ferran Torres with four assists plus four goals scored.
Valencia ranks 8th in the La Liga in scoring with a total of 38 goals this season. They are tied for 14th in goals conceded with a total of 39 allowed this term. Valencia is ranked 7th in assists with a total of 26 on the season and they are 10th when it comes to goal difference.
Odds from Bovada as of 06/10/2020
Levante enters this week’s match at 13th place with a total of 33 points earned from 10 wins, 3 draws, and 14 losses. They are still fighting for a Europa League spot but they are also just eight points clear of the relegation zone so more than earning a trip to Europe, they are trying to pick up points to keep their La Liga spot.
In their last game before the shutdown, Levante hosted Granada and walked out with a 1-1 draw. Roger opened the scoring for Levante with a goal in the 11th minute but Granada would equalize at the one hour mark of the match. Both teams went scoreless in the final 30 minutes and they ended up splitting the points after the final whistle.
Roger Marti leads Levante with a total of 11 goals on the season. Borja Mayoral and Ruben Richona have also scored five and three times, respectively. Jose Campana has a team-high five assists and two goals while Jorge Miramon has three assists and Jose Luis Morales has two assists while also finding the back of the net twice.
Levante ranks 11th in the Spanish top flight with a total of 32 goals on the season. They rank 16th in goals conceded with a total of 40 goals allowed this year. They are 11th in assists with a total of 21 this term. They are tied for 13th in goal difference with their -8.
Valencia has more to play for here as they look to move from a Europa League position to a Champions League spot while their rivals are in mid-table right now. The last time that Levante won was a 1-0 home triumph in 2016 but they haven’t won an official match at the Mestalla since 1937.
Head to head, these two clubs have met each other 27 times in the past and it is Valencia who has a comfortable 15-7-5 lead in their all-time head to head matchups. Valencia also won their reverse fixture last December with a score of 4-2 and they are unbeaten in their last five head to head matches.
Valencia is the third-best home team in the Spanish top flight with 30 points earned from their 8-6-0 home record. On the other hand, Levante is among the bottom road teams in the league with a record of 3-0-11 and nine points earned. However, they are unbeaten in their last five matches overall.
The plus money on the draw and Levante are tempting here because this is the first game for both teams since the pandemic break and there is a possibility that teams will be rusty or they are going to take things slowly while playing with a methodical approach. With no supporters in sight, Valencia’s home-field advantage won’t do much for them.
However, when you look at both squads, Valencia is the much better team and Levante has struggled to play away from their home field, losing their last five. Having said that, I will have to be conservative here and pick Valencia for the win.
Prediction: Valencia (-140)
Odds from Bovada as of 06/10/2020
Both teams have scored in their last five head to head meetings with four of these games featuring over 3.5 goals. Levante’s defense has been leaky and it has led to over 2.5 goals scored in eight out of their last nine outings on the road. Valencia’s defense has also allowed at least two goals in six out of their last eight overall matches. With those stats, I’m confident that we’ll see at least three goals scored on Friday.
Prediction: Over 3 goals (EVEN)