Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 2

25 Aug

Osasuna vs Barcelona

They had a few chances, but Osasuna couldn’t score away to Deportivo in the Riazor last weekend and lost 2-0. Barca, on the other hand, comfortably defeated Real Sociedad 5-1 at Camp Nou. Most pleasingly, David Villa came off the bench to score the game’s final goal.

Set in a small stadium with partisan support, Osasuna – Barcelona clashes are fiery and don’t always result in away wins. Indeed, last season Osasuna won 3-2. In the 2012/13 version, Osasuna do have a weaker squad, but the crowd usually inspires the team – whoever the players are – and Barca have a Super Copa Clasico sandwiched in-between their trip to Pamplona.

In fact, If not for the two matches with Real Madrid I’d go for a Barca win. Instead it seems better to focus on both teams to score or Osasuna with a + handicap start. Without knowing the starting eleven of Barca it seems better to go for the former.

Recommendation: Both teams to score at 1.98

Getafe vs Real Madrid

With the players they have, Getafe played well in defeat away to Sevilla last weekend and their boss, Luis Garcia, see’s the Azulones performance as encouraging for the long season ahead. Key to this will be the on-loan Pedro Leon – who’ll need to get back to the level he was at before leaving for Real Madrid. Sadly, Leon won’t play against his parent club today.

Jose’s Real Madrid put a lethargic, pre-season like performance in against Valencia and didn’t deserve to win. Already two points behind Barca, Mourinho will expect to win at neighbours Getafe while hoping that Barca drops points in Pamplona.

Los Blancos go into this game having lost 3-2 away to Barca in the Super Copa first leg, so it’s possible that they’ll be distracted tonight. Even still, Real will surely perform better than they did against Valencia, and they have a big enough squad to rotate.

My initial pick was both teams to score, but Getafe are weaker than they used to be offensively and sold their best defender in Cata Diaz, so a 2 or 3-0 Real Madrid win seems more sensible.

Recommendation: Real – 1.5 Asian handicap at 1.98

Granada vs Sevilla

Granada certainly had their chances to defeat Rayo in Madrid last weekend and can count their selves very unlucky not to have gained at least a point from their first road game of the 2012/13 Liga BBVA season.

Sevilla led 2-0 at half time and eventually defeated Getafe 2-1, allowing me win the over 2.5 goals bet at evens. Fazio and Negredo (pen) were the Rojiblancos scorers. After watching the game, I think it’s worth noting that Sevilla lacked concentration in their defence at times – maybe something Granada can exploit.

Though they faced a different team due to Granada’s seasonal loan a squad policy, Sevilla comfortably won 3-0 here in the 2011/12 Liga BBVA season and an away win seems like the most plausible bet again today.

However, it’s hard to know what to expect with Granada, they certainly should have scored against Rayo. New Sevilla keeper Diego Lopez is a superb stopper, but I have a feeling that he won’t keep a clean sheet in Granada. Over 2.5 seems safer than BTTS though.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 2.1

Valencia vs Deportivo La Coruna

Los Che, though they offered little going forward – happy to keep Real at bay – did play very well in the Bernabeu and deserved their point. Jonas cancelled out Higuain’s opener with a header, but Valencia could have won the game if Soldado wasn’t ruled to be offside.

As expected, Deportivo defeated Osasuna 2-0. Riki – who had already missed a penalty- scored the opener before on – loan Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira came off the bench to add the second.

In rapid conclusion, today I expect Valencia to create a lot more chances than they did in Madrid, but also have a feeling that Deportivo – namely Riki or Oliveira – will score. I do expect Valencia to win but prefer to bet on goals this time.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 1.83

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