Celta Vigo - Espanyol Betting Preview: Why a home win is on the cards

Our Spanish expert, Phil Kitromilides, likes the look of Luis Enrique's hosts and is backing them to overcome their Barcelona-based opposition at Balaidos on Monday
The final day of last season was an experience that no Celta Vigo fan will ever forget as they stayed up at the expense of their fiercest rivals, Deportivo La Coruna.

In a strange quirk of fate, Celta begin this current campaign with a match against the side whom they beat on the final day of the previous one - namely, Espanyol - and Coral price the home side at 6/5 (2.20) for the win.

Espanyol, meanwhile, can be backed at 9/4 (3.25), with the draw offered at 9/4 (3.25) as well.

There is hope, however, that this season will be different for Celta, with the arrival of new coach Luis Enrique seen as something of a coup for the Galician giants.

The former Barcelona B and Roma boss is expected to try and implement a more attractive style of play and, while he has lost Celta's star man in Iago Aspas, who moved to joined Liverpool, the side have reinforced intelligently.

Brazilian Charles, who was the top scorer in the Segunda last season, should easily get into double figure with goals, while Thiago's younger brother, Rafinha, has joined on loan from Barcelona.

It is worth noting that, while Celta struggled badly last season, it was due mainly to their appaling away form, as at Balaidos they were tough to beat.

Indeed, only five teams conceded fewer goals at home than them last season, with Real Madrid and Barcelona both failing to win there (Madrid's defeat came in the Copa del Rey).

Espanyol, meanwhile, have once again lost their best player in Joan Verdu, the heart and soul of their side last season, and, while the arrival of dynamic winger Pizzi is exciting, the Catalans could struggle in the coming campaign.

Traditionally they are poor on the road with the previous campaign seeing them net just 18 goals in 19 away matches.

All this then means that the price of 6/5 (2.20) for a home win looks generous and is worth a small investment, while backing Celta in the half-time/full-time market at 5/2 (3.50) should be considered for a small value bet.

Celta Vigo to win at 6/5  (2.20) 0.5 pts with Coral
Celta Vigo Half time/Full time at 5/2 (3.50) 0.5 pts with Coral

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid