Malaga have just three games left as a Primera Division club and all they really have left to fight for is trying to avoid the wooden spoon. They were 2-0 winners in their last home game against Sociedad but there have been too few results of that nature this season and they will need to make good decisions this summer if they are to stand a chance of bouncing back to this level.
Alaves were strong favourites for the drop earlier in the campaign but a smart managerial appointment and a fine home run saw them ultimately cruise to safety. Motivation could be a bit of a factor now but they have still managed to win 3 of their last 5 games despite not really having much to play for.
This is unlikely to develop into a classic in truth. Malaga’s attack is as toothless as they come. They average just 0.66 goals per game this term, the joint worst record in the division. They’ve failed to score in 60% of their matches overall and over half of their home games have also resulted in Malaga firing blanks.
Defensively though, they aren’t that bad for a side that has already been relegated and has just 20 points. They’ve a 24% home clean sheet ratio and they’ve actually conceded fewer goals in La Liga this term than both Sevilla and Real Betis, who are currently fighting for European places.
69% of their matches have produced under 2.5 goals in total while the same is true of 54% of Alaves’ matches. 4 of Alaves’ last 6 have also produced two or fewer goals so the stats all seem to point towards this being a low-scoring game and backing Under 2.5 Goals looks like the way to go.
In terms of the result, it’s interesting to note that Malaga are the slight favourites here with the bookies. That’s slightly baffling given the nightmare season they’ve had. Alaves have twice as many points and have also won their last two away games to nil, which suggests they will travel with plenty of confidence.
Given that, there looks to be decent value in backing Alaves to Win to Nil at quite long odds, considering how bad Malaga’s forwards are. Overall it’s a game that is highly unlikely to live long in the memory but one the visitors will fancy they can shade.