Side with Villarreal for HT victory

In a must-win game for both sides, Paul Higham says Villarreal represent value in the half-time specials market against Valldolid…

Valladolid v Villarreal
Thursday 13 May, 18:00

It’s a crucial La Liga contest on Thursday with Valladolid mired in relegation trouble while Villarreal are slipping behind in the top six race.

Unai Emery’s side have made the Europa League final but may have to beat Man Utd for that trophy in order to get back into European competition next term.

The Yellow Submarines have lost three of the last four but with a short break until the Europa League final they can get their heads back into league action against struggling Valladolid.

The draw here is a live play given Valldolid have a league-leading 16 stalemates and are just two short of the La Liga record of 18 in a season. Villarreal have 13 draws themselves with only Thursday’s opponents having more.

However, with so much on the line we can expect even these two draw specialists to expand their playing horizons here – a point is really no good to either of them.

That opens the door for the visitors, who have one of the league’s best scoring returns on the road (1.65 goals per away game) and have only lost four times on their travels.

Across the season, Villarreal have also been a decent first-half side, having been in front 14 times at the break. What’s more, they’re even more effective away from home, with nine half-time leads as the visiting team.

Only Barcelona (11) have been in front at the interval more in away La Liga games this season.

Villarreal have converted six of those nine half-time leads into away wins, but with the increased odds of 2.26/5 to be ahead at the break that’s enough for us to take this prop bet over the outright.