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With neither side in spectacular form, Phil Kitromilides can see a tight first half in Pamplona on Sunday afternoon

Osasuna begin the new year in the relegation zone for one primary reason, namely that they have won far too few of their home matches.

El Sadar was once one of the most feared grounds on the Iberian peninsular, but this season, the likes of Levante, Almeria and Granada have all gone there and won.

It must also be said that the side from Pamplona have held both Real Madrid and Barcelona to draws at home, but against more modest sides they have struggled badly.

Espanyol, meanwhile, visit the region on Navarre without the strongest away record in the division, but with a sense of quiet optimism that they might push on from their ninth position to the upper reaches of the table.

Betway price a home win at 7/5 (2.40) with a victory for Espanyol offered at 9/4 (3.25).

Yet this is likely to be a tight game, with neither side in the most explosive of form and, as a result, backing a close first half could be a wise option. The draw at half-time is offered at 21/20 (2.05).

The majority of Espanyol's goals have tended to come in the second half of matches this season, while Osasuna have struggled to find the back of the net at all.

The Rojillos have scored just 14 goals in their 17 league games and are the most goal-shy team in the division. The opening 45 minutes may well be goal-less but for a more general bet, backing a half-time draw looks like a solid selection.

BET
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DAY
BEST BET
Draw at half time at 21/20 (2.05) 1.5 point stake with Betway

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV Presenter in Madrid.

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