thumbnail Hello,

With both sides regularly failing to score in the first halves of matches, backing under 0.5 goals in the opening 45 minutes looks like a wise bet, says Phil Kitromilides

Given Rayo Vallecano's current run of form, it is a miracle that they are not further adrift from safety. Six successive home defeats in the league have left them rooted in the relegation zone, yet they remain just five points from the right side of the line and the visit of Malaga on Friday provides them with the perfect opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them.

Malaga, for their part, are hardly flying with just one win in five but derby success over Sevilla in their last match has given them a little breathing space. Bet365 price a home win at 7/5 (2.40) while Malaga are offered at 2/1 (3.00) and the draw available at 11/5 (3.20).

Rayo's home form has been abject, not only losing their last six league games but conceding 21 goals in the process. Malaga, however, are far from prolific, with the Andalusians netting in only one of their last five league games.

Indeed, Bernd Schuster's men have scored more than one goal on only two occasions in their last 15 Primera Division fixtures and, despite Rayo's defence being the worst in the league, this should be a low-scoring encounter.

To this end, a small bet on a goalless first half at 7/4 (2.75) is worthy of some consideration. Rayo have only scored one first half goal at home since the opening day of the season, while Malaga have only scored two first half goals in their last eight matches, making this a sensible selection.

Under 0.5 goals first half at 7/4 (2.75) for 1.5pts with bet365

Sign up with bet365 for a first deposit bonus of up to £200