A Copa Del Rey week is approaching of us

All good for Villarreal

Copa del Rey action returns this week with the first-leg of the last 16 taking place and Villarreal can build a healthy advantage when they welcome Espanyol to the Estadio de la Ceramica on Wednesday.

Home comforts for Yellow Submarine

It has been a dreadful season for Villarreal as they sit 18th in La Liga, just one point outside of the relegation zone, but they have shown signs of life over recent weeks and they can keep that momentum going.

Luis Garcia’s men are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions and last Thursday’s 2-2 draw at home to Real Madrid will have boosted confidence levels, having scored late on to snatch a share of the spoils.

The Yellow Submarine’s home form has been particularly impressive with just one defeat from the last eight outings at La Ceramica, and they have won their last three Copa del Rey matches at the game.

As for Espanyol, they are enjoying a decent La Liga campaign as they sit in eighth position but they have struggled on their travels this season, making it difficult to back them at 4.30 to win the game.

Rubi’s side have lost their last four away matches, which included a 2-1 loss in Cadiz in the Copa del Rey, and they have only won one of their previous 10 encounters on the road.

With Villarreal apparently on the up, and Espanyol’s woeful away form, the smart money looks to be on the hosts picking up the win on Wednesday night at 1.90.

Azulones to build first-leg advantage

Getafe are enjoying one of their best La Liga seasons for the last decade and they head into Wednesday’s home encounter against Real Valladolid full of confidence, having climbed to seventh in the domestic standings.

Jose Bordalas’ men narrowly lost 2-1 to Barcelona on Sunday, a result that ended a six-game unbeaten run, but they haven’t lost back-to-back games this season, highlighting the squad’s mental resilience.

El Geta have won three of their last four home matches – the loss to the Catalans the only blemish – and they look good value at 1.90 to get the better of an out-of-sorts opposition.

Valladolid, who are 15th in La Liga, have taken just one point from the last nine on offer and their only victory at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez came back in 2008.

However, Sergio Gonzalez’s side have only failed to score in one of their last six matches and there appears to be some value in backing both teams to scores at a juicy price of 2.30.

Betis to down Sociedad

On Thursday, Real Betis welcome Real Sociedad to the Estadio Benito Villamarin for an all-La Liga clash and the hosts look good value at 1.95 to pick up the win in their own backyard.

Betis are on a seven-game unbeaten run at home – winning four and drawing three – and they comfortably beat Racing Santander 4-0 in their last home Copa del Rey clash.

Sociedad ended a three-game losing run by beating Real Madrid 2-0 last time out at the Santiago Bernabeu and that will have boosted the confidence-levels massively ahead of Thursday’s encounter.

However, Imanol Alguacil’s men have won just one of their previous four visits to the Benito Villamarin and they may just get squeezed out again against a Betis side that are proven at home this season.

Share of the spoils at San Mames

Athletic Bilbao welcome Sevilla to the San Mames Stadium on Thursday and backing a draw at 3.20 looks tempting. The hosts are battling against relegation this season but they have picked up in recent weeks, winning three and drawing two of their last five matches.

Sevilla are flying high in third position – seven points behind leaders Barcelona – but they have found life difficult on the road in recent weeks, having drawn their last three away games 1-1.

Los Rojiblancos have also drawn their last two away matches in the Copa del Rey and they are set for another difficult might at the San Mames, a stadium they last won at in 2016.

The other Copa del Rey matches taking place this week see Real Madrid take on Leganes, Girona host Atletico Madrid, Barcelona travel to Levante whilst Sporting Gijon host Valencia.