BARCELONA - ESPANOL
These two played out a goaless draw last week in the first leg, that was struggling Espanol's first start under new coach Mauricio Pochettino and they followed up with another draw at Valladolid on Sunday. TheY are in a dire position in La Liga, but would like to build on those two performances and the very last thing they need, would be another heavy defeat. Pochettino was a defender, so will always look to get that right first and as he is again missing two key offensive players in Tamudo and De la Pena, will set up very deEinsively, as you might expect.
They will look to keep this tight for as long as possible and in their last 20 starts this season, have only once conceded two goals in the first half, only one or fewer in their last eleven.
Barce have looked unbeatable this season, but have tended to rotate their squad in the cup, bringing on the "names", if at all, in the second period. It is also true that they have been far more prolific in the second period of all games, their last ten starts have produced 36 goals in total, with just ten coming in the opening 45 minutes. Only three first half's have produced two or more goals.
We can bet under 1.25 first half goals at odds against, this bet would have shown a profit in the vistor's last eleven matches and 18 from 20 and also, in seven of Barce's last ten. That looks excellent value in a game where Espanol will defend like demons and the home side will be wary of injury and can accept a victory by even the minimum scoreline.
6.5 points under 1.25 goals in the first half 2.05 asian line.