Osasuna v Málaga Betting Tips: Defensive troubles to continue for Los Rojillos
Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs looks ahead to the upcoming La Liga fixture between Osasuna and Málaga.
Málaga travel to Pamplona to take on Osasuna at El Sadar on Friday night – a fixture that both teams, in their current predicaments, really need to win.
Recent matches haven’t exactly been kind to either of these sides. The hosts are without a win in the league since October, although they did recently manage to stop the rot a bit by earning back-to-back draws before once again losing last time out against Sevilla. Things haven’t been quite as bad for Málaga, but they’re out of form at this moment in time and come into this fixture having lost each of their last four league matches.
What stands out ahead of this one, or ahead of any match involving Osasuna, is the hosts’ inability to keep teams out. Time and time again, the Pamplona outfit fail to defend with any conviction and are conceding goals at an alarming rate. With this in mind, it’s hard not to fancy Málaga goals. At odds of 11/8, ‘Málaga to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ looks a good bet.
It’s not so much that the visitors have excelled going forward, although their attacking efforts have certainly improved this season, but more the fact that Osasuna have just been that poor at the back. They conceded four last weekend against a Sevilla side who certainly weren’t at their best and have now conceded no less than 22 goals on home soil this season.
That 4-3 defeat against Sevilla marked the eighth occasion in which the hosts have conceded at least twice in front of a home crowd. Such a statistic goes someway to explaining just why Osasuna currently find themselves propping up the rest of the division. Even though they might have upped their productivity going forward of late, failing to defend to with any sort of solidity is drastically hampering their chances of survival – something that is getting slimmer and slimmer with each match-day.
The positive for teams visiting El Sadar right now is that Osasuna are in desperate need of points. This means that the home side cannot simply sit back and soak up pressure (not that they’re any good at that anyway). The onus is very much on Los Rojillos to try and win matches, especially on their own patch. Such tactics may well have seen Petar Vasiljević’s team score a few more goals in recent weeks, but it certainly hasn’t helped matters at the other end and you’d have to think that Málaga – a team who like to play on the counter – will get plenty of opportunities to get in behind what is the shakiest of back-lines.
The visiting side have scored in each of their last five away trips and have an excellent opportunity to add at least a couple more goals to their tally here. At odds of 11/8, backing Málaga to enjoy themselves in front of goal is the way to go on Friday night.
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