Thursday, August 23, 2012



Levante have no European experience, but, as we discussed in depth last season ,this competition has been dominated in recents seasons by teams form the Iberian Peninsular and Russia/ Ukraine and they will be looking to go deep and make their mark on a bigger stage, having said that and despite a 6th place finish in La Liga last year, survival in the top flight will doubtless be their real priority this season. They opened with a 1-1 draw with Atletico, with all the action, such as it was, coming in the opening 20 minutes. Levante like to sit deep and play on the counter, which is how this is likely to play out, Well lost 5-0 on aggregate to Panathinaikos in their Champions League qualifier earlier this month, they tried to take the game to their classier opponent and struggled with the Greeks on the break.

No Simon Ramsden for the hosts, the central defender has started all five games for the SPL club this season and is seen as a big loss, but this illustrates the divide between the two clubs, Ramsden was signed at age 30 from L2 club Bradford City and has spent much of the last two years injured. Winger Omar Daley is also considered another important player and was also deemed surplus to requirements at Bradford City, both were well known to boss Stuart McCall, previously in charge at City. No disrespect to either player, I am just trying to show the gulf in class, but they are fourth tier footballers in England, not wanted by a club struggling at the foot of L2, but deemed good enough to start in the SPL. 
Levante played 38 matches last season and finished above Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and a whole host of other talented teams. They did lose Kone to Wigan and Papakouli Diop is not eligible tonight, but their game is more about the collective and they should have enough to win this, but whether there is any real value in their odds of circa 1.88 is open to debate. Motherwell held out for 50 minutes in Greece and McCall is talking about being a little more "cute" defensively this evening, but also knows his side need a lead to take to Spain. No bet for me, but a possible "in play" angle .... WHICH IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday all offer far better opportunities.

Good Luck.

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