Levante – Alaves SOCCER PICKS
Levante is struggling again this season and knows that it has to catch points in Valencia’s own Ciutat in order to be able to keep their heads above water in La Liga. The redblue in Alaves, however, an opponent in top form.
The magic wand of Paco Lopez has cures. Last season, he managed to save miraculously against relegation with an impressive series of Levante and the new season also started off fine with a resounding 0-3 victory over Real Betis. Since then, however, the club from Valencia has lost it, because the five subsequent games yielded only one point. Last Thursday, Levante lost 2-1 to Real Valladolid, a direct competitor in the fight against relegation. Lopez did not ignore it: “This was our worst match since my appointment. I still have every confidence in a turnaround, but we will have to work hard for that. ‘
The problem of Levante is in my eyes that the team is not completely in balance. Roger Marti, Borja Mayoral, Jose Luis Morales and Moses Simon are all La Liga worthy attackers, but the defense leaves a lot to be desired, especially after the loss of the injured Coke Andujar. In addition, the midfield with Enis Bardhi, Morales and Simon is very offensive, so the already weak defense is thoroughly put to the test.
Alaves is a lot better with eleven points from six matches and a provisional fourth place. The Basques could have even shared first, were it not that Ibai Gomez last Thursday in the 1-1 draw against Getafe a penalty kick helped. The club from Vitoria, however, was not allowed to complain, since the equalizer of Jonathan Calleri only fell deep into injury time. Anyway, it does indicate that Alaves, who lost only once this season, has an excellent competitive start.
The rise of Alaves is mainly due to the fantastic work of trainer Abelardo Fernandez. Since his arrival at El Glorioso in December last year, the blue-whites picked up 52 points in 31 competition matches. Only FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid pooled more points during that period, so in a way you could call Alaves as the Spanish number four of the past nine months. That is impressive, since the Basques in terms of budget absolutely can not match clubs like Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla.