Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 3

31 Aug

Rayo Vallecano vs Sevilla

Leo was the star man with one goal and an assist as Rayo defeated Real Betis 2-1 in Seville last weekend. It wasn’t a result I wanted given that I’d picked Betis to win, but it was a fair one.

Sevilla, reduced to ten men after giving away a first half penalty, managed to escape Granada with a point thanks to Negredo’s strike. Overall, it was a dogged performance from the Rojiblancos and a credible point considering the circumstances.

Today’s match will be played in the baking noon heat and that suits the Andalusian team. However, in 2012/13 most of the games starting at this time went over 2.5 goals and both fixtures between these two went over that mark in the same season so I’m going for it again.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (2.0)

Athletic Bilbao vs Valladolid

As expected, Athletic’s misery continued as Falcao and Atletico destroyed them 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon last Monday evening. With Martinez having completed his move to Bayern Munich and Llorente’s future still uncertain at the time of writing, Athletic’s suffering should continue for a while yet.

With two wins in two games, newly promoted Valladolid could not travel to crisis club Athletic at a better time and it’s surely worth backing them in the draw no bet market to make it three wins in three games.

Recommendation: Draw no bet – Valladolid (2.9)

Levante vs Espanyol

As expected, Levante fell victim to newly promoted Valladolid last weekend, losing 2-0. Both goals were penalties and Levante possibly suffered from having a Europa League qualifying round sandwiched in-between this game.

Espanyol, who took the lead through a stunning Alvaro goal, had a man sent off and were eventually defeated 2-1 at home to Zaragoza. Pochettino’s Espanyol have now played two and lost two in 2012/13 and will look to capitalise on the longer rest period they’ve enjoyed compared to their hosts today.

If they hadn’t played Motherwell midweek I’d go for a home win, but instead I’m going to take a chance on both teams to score – a bet that twice won when these teams met in 2011/12.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (2.0)

Real Madrid vs Granada

I made an error in choosing an Asian handicap bet over both teams to score in the Getafe – Real Madrid match last weekend, but I didn’t expect Real to actually lose. To their credit, Jose’s boys did overturn a first leg deficit to defeat Barcelona and lift the Super Copa midweek, but they’ve still made a terrible, unexpectedly bad start to the 2012/13 La Liga season and need to earn an easy three points at home to Granada today.

Granada, who scored home and away against Real Madrid in 2011/12, could only draw 1-1 at home to a Sevilla team who played more than half of the game with ten men.

In conclusion, Real Madrid need to hit the ground running and score a few goals, while we know that Granada can notch here and that Real may be suffering after part celebrations midweek. Therefore, I opt for goal related betting incorporating all of these factors. Ronaldo – who has had the most shots on goal without scoring in the 2012/13 Liga BBVA season – must be due a glut of goals and why not against Granada.

Recommendations: Both teams to score (2.1), over 1.5 first half goals (1.8) and over 3.5 match goals (1.8)

Worth a small punt: Ronaldo to score a hat-trick (8.0)

Barcelona vs Valencia

After a slick first half display that saw them lead Deportivo 3-1 through two superb Soldado strikes and a low shot from Feghouli, Valencia were outplayed and undone by defensive mistakes in the second half.

Saved by a Messi brace in Pamplona last weekend, Barcelona came from behind to defeat Osasuna 2-1. Midweek, they looked all at sea defensively as eternal rivals Real Madrid defeated them in the second leg Super Copa Clasico to win the trophy.

In conclusion, Barca have had a demanding week and will miss Puyol. Coupled with the fact that Valencia are in good offensive form, these factors lead me to think that – like last season – both teams to score is the best bet to take.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.96)

Worth a small punt: Soldado anytime scorer (5.0)

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