Almeria vs. Real Madrid Estadio del Mediterraneo, Almeria Spain 2 PM EST Thursday April 14, 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Real Madrid 1.30 / Almeria 7.50 / Draw 5.00
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Real Madrid -330 / Almeria +725 / Draw +425
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On Thursday night in a La Liga match that is especially important for the away squad Almeria hosts Real Madrid. With 7 matches left in the domestic league Real Madrid trails 1st place Barcelona by 3 points and unless they catch them you can believe that they will catch hell from their fans, as they spent a ton of cash in the off-season and have already flamed out of the Champions League.
Real lost the El Clasico match to Barcelona at home no less over the weekend and they will look to get back on track in this one. Unless Real can win the La Liga crown head coach Manuel Pellegrini may be out of work this summer. Real does have more goals so if they and Barca tie for the lead in points they will win the title, but they have to catch their rivals first.
Almeria is currently in 13th place in La Liga with 37 points and it is generally considered that 40 points is the safe amount to have to not be relegated. They have had a decent season and since head coach Juan Manuel Lillo took the reigns during the winter break they have yet to lose on their home field. They will be confident going into this match, but will have to deal with a Real offense that has scored the most goals in La Liga this season. They did play to a 2-2 draw against 1st place Barcelona and they will have to repeat that performance to have any shot to win this match.
Lillo has only lost 4 matches since taking charge, but 3 of those losses have come in Almeria’s last 5 matches.
This season Real Madrid has scored the most goals in La Liga with 83 goals and have given up 28 goals. Almeria has scored 33 goals and given up 43 goals in league play.
Almeria Recent Form:
4/11/2010 AtleticoBilbao 4 Almeria 1 (La Liga)
4/4/2010 Almeria 1 Mallorca 1 (La Liga)
3/28/2010 Osasuna 1 Almeria 0 (La Liga)
3/24/2010 Almeria 1 Zaragoza 0 (La Liga)
3/21/2010 Valencia 2 Almeria 0 (La Liga)
Real Madrid Recent Form:
4/10/2010 Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 2 (La Liga)
4/4/2010 Racing Santander 0 Real Madrid 2 (La Liga)
3/28/2010 Real Madrid 3 Atletico Madrid 2 (La Liga)
3/25/2010 Getafe 2 Real Madrid 4 (La Liga)
3/20/2010 Real Madrid 3 Sporting de Gijon 1 (La Liga)
For Almeria Chico is still out with an injury, but former Real striker Esteban Solari may be available for this match and the home squad could really use his offense against his old mates.
For Real Madrid Rafael van der Vaart seems match fit after getting a slight knock in the loss to Barcelona this last weekend. However, the big news is that Kaka is still out and even though he may come back this weekend he is still out for this match. Raul and Christoph Metzelder are both injured and will be out a little less than a month and will not play against Almeria.
Almeria’s Pablo Daniel Piatti may have a big match in the midfield, as he is the target of moving onto a big club and he will want to look good in this encounter of a elite squad like Real Madrid.
Almeria G Diego Alves will have to have a good match for the home squad to win and even though the Brazilian G is on AC Milan’s wish list he will not keep a clean sheet in this match against a powerful Real offense.
Even though Real Madrid’s Higuan and Cristiano Ronaldo have had up and down seasons I look for at least one of them, if not both of them, to score in this match. Almeria will have to key on Ronaldo so I see Higuan having a few chances to find the back of the net.
Real really needs to win this match and will push forward on offense, so they need to be wary of the counter-attack.
Almeria has really struggled on offense with only 3 goals in their last 5 matches, so they will likely drop back on defense being more than happy with a low scoring draw.
Jason’s Pick: I am sure the Real Madrid players have heard it all after getting blanked at home to their hated rival Barcelona and they will come out en fuego in this match. Sure, Almeria has not lost at home under their head coach, but that will change in this match, as Real Madrid will win and win with ease. I see Real winning by a score of 3-0 or 4-0.