Soccer Picks for Malaga vs. Valencia

Steven Suarez

Thursday, January 16, 2014 7:09 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 7:09 PM GMT

Valencia hasn't been in good form at all recently and now faces a stern test at Malaga. The odds suggest the result could really go either way -- do we have an inkling of who to take with our free soccer picks?

Odds Overview

The soccer odds really couldn't be any closer for this clash at Estadio La Rosaleda.

Both sides are hovering around +175 to win and get the three points, while a draw can be locked in at +230 at essentially every sportsbook we've checked. You can examine all of the up-to-the-minute betting lines for yourself at SBRodds.com.

Malaga

The Anchovies (best nickname ever?) haven't performed at a high level over the last couple of weeks, but they need to figure it out pronto with upcoming matches against Valencia, Barcelona and then Sevilla.

Their last two matches were both 0-1 defeat, the first coming at home against Atletico Madrid and the second away to Levante. Both times Malaga failed to generate a lot of goalscoring opportunities, a common theme thus far.

Malaga's offensive firepower, or shall we say lack thereof, has been a major issue this season. They've managed a paltry 19 goals in 19 league matches. To put that in perspective, Barcelona and Real Madrid have each found the net 53 times in the same number of fixtures.

No player has scored more than four league goals for the Anchovies in 2013/14. Roque Santa Cruz has four goals, with Mounir El Hamdaoui scoring three.

Malaga's home form has been spotty as well. In nine matches they've won four times and lost on five occasions, making them a highly unreliable outfit to rely on when it comes to making your sports picks.

Valencia

Like Malaga, the Goats aren't playing their best soccer at the moment. Far from it.

They haven't won in three straight matches after their recent Copa del Rey replay loss at Atletico Madrid (0-2). Sandwiched in between those two cup matches was a 1-2 league loss away to Celta Vigo.

When it comes to the La Liga standings, Valencia is in eighth place, but they're nine points back of the top six and 13 behind fourth place Athletic Bilbao. It's going to take quite the run of form for the Goats to somehow finish among the European places.

Brazilian forward Jonas has been the main goalscoring threat for Valencia this season – he's netted eight league goals in 15 appearances, this coming after a 2012/13 campaign in which he scored 19 goals across all competitions for the club.

We'll have to see what kind of impact Jonas will have on Friday, as the Goats try to improve on their dreadful away form. In 10 matches they've only recorded two wins and one draw, losing all six of their remaining matches. They've scored eight goals but allowed 18, a worrying sign coming into this trip to Malaga.

La Liga Pick

When these teams faced off back on the first playday of the season, Valencia survived for the 1-0 win at home. Ricardo Costa scored the winning goal 20 minutes into the second half and the Goats' defense held on from there.

What kind of score will we see in the rematch?

Neither side sticks out as a sure-fire soccer pick for us. Malaga has been totally hit or miss at home, while Valencia has struggled immensely away from the Mestalla but does possess more attacking quality.

As a result, we feel it may be in our best interest to recommend a draw in what should be a highly competitive and even encounter.

Pick: Malaga 1 Valencia 1

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