Lays of the Weekend: Eibar to enter Christmas on high

Alvaro Negredo has scored just once on loan for Valencia
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Michael Lintorn goes on a continental pre-winter break laying tour, opposing Valencia, Toulouse and Torino...

"Eibar's sole home reverse in five came against Real Madrid, while they drew away to fourth-placed Sevilla last weekend."
Lay Valencia to win at Eibar @ 2.186/5

Lay Valencia to win at Eibar @ 2.186/5

Nobody seriously bought into the concept of Valencia as this season's Atletico Madrid, and the false-dawn-screaming cynics will feel vindicated by their recent run of one La Liga win in five. They have also won just one in five on the road to snake their way out of the top four.

By contrast, Basque newcomers Eibar's bubble is refusing to burst. Successive defeats in November appeared to signal their descent, yet they embarked on a fresh three-match unbeaten sequence instead to occupy eighth. The promoted club's sole home reverse in five came against Real Madrid, while they drew away to fourth-placed Sevilla last weekend.

Lay Toulouse to beat Guingamp @ 2.1411/10

The first indicator that the favourites are worth opposing is form: Toulouse have lost seven of their past nine Ligue 1 games, including three in four at home. Guingamp are on a three-fixture winning streak, the latest two against top-half teams and the most recent against unbeaten Paris St-Germain.

Then there's the clichéd "bigger picture". Guingamp have triumphed in five of their nine 2014/15 meetings with sides tenth or lower, including three in five away. Toulouse have a poor 38% win rate in front of their fans, which shrinks to 20% when entertaining opponents above them in the table.

Lay Torino to beat Genoa @ 2.111/10

One of this Serie A campaign's most satisfying subplots has been the resurgence of Gian Piero Gasperini, the coach who made his name by taking Genoa tantalisingly close to Champions League qualification in 2008/09, was chewed up and spat out by Inter and Palermo but is now doing it all again in Liguria.

The Rossoblu are a point off third and above the likes of AC Milan, Fiorentina and Inter, with their most impressive feat being that they are the only undefeated travellers in Italy's top tier. Surely a Torino side without a victory in six Serie A outings - and managing a mere two in eight all season as hosts - won't change that.

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