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

27 Aug

Valladolid vs Levante

One of the promoted teams usually wins on the opening weekend and this time it was Valladolid. Scoring the only goal of the game, Oscar Gonzalez gave Djukic’s boys all three points in defeat of Zaragoza at La Romareda.

Levante, who opened the scoring through a superb Nabil El Zhar goal, drew 1-1 at home to Atletico Madrid last weekend. Levante held their own throughout the game and look set to be hard to beat in the Ciutat de Valencia in 2012/13.

Given that Levante had to travel to Motherwell to play in the Europa league on Thursday evening, you’d favour a narrow home win for Valladolid. Under 2.5 goals also seems like a sensible bet.

Recommendation: Valladolid – 0.25 Asian handicap at 1.83

Atletico vs Athletic

Well, Atletico couldn’t win at Levante last weekend, but Arda Turan scored a superb individual goal to compliment Levante’s similarly impressive opener, and the draw was a fair result.

Athletic, in disarray due to the well publicised Llorente and Martinez transfer sagas, started the season as they ended it – by being comfortably defeated. Burnout was big factor at the end of the 2011/12 LIGA BBVA season, but a perceived lack of focus and low morale were spoken of after Los Leones 5-3 defeat at home to Real Betis.

However, morale has improved a little for Bielsa’s boys after they won their first leg Europa League qualifying game 6-0 at San Mames. But they were up against very, very weak opposition in HJK Helsinki and I’m not reading much into the result.

Historically, Basque giants Athletic do not win a lot of road games, while Atletico Madrid are strong at home. Diego has left, but consider also how easily Simeone’s troops handled Athletic in the Europa League final and you have to favour a home win today.

For betting purposes, the only decision I can see is whether to bet on Atletico HT/FT or with an Asian handicap. I’ll go with the handicap as it’s a less stressful bet to take!

Recommendation: Atletico – 0.75 Asian handicap at 1.86

Scorer recommendation: Falcao anytime at evens

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