Archive | December, 2012

Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 18

27 Dec


Levante v Athletic Bilbao

Not so great on their travels, Levante lost 3-0 away to Rayo Vallecano in round seventeen. The Valencia based side rarely threatened going forward and their eventual defeat was fair enough if you were watching.

Athletic surprisingly lost 2-0 at home to Zaragoza in the final La Liga fixture before the holiday break. Bielsa’s Basques had a few good chances but otherwise played poorly and didn’t deserve anything out of the game.

If you are interested in past matchups between Levante and Athletic, Levante won 3-0 in this fixture last season, but Athletic were pre-occupied with cup finals at the time. Otherwise, Athletic have defeated Levante on every occasion the two have met in recent seasons.

In conclusion, at 2.4 the price value is with Levante, who have won five at home. However, Obafemi Martins is out for the hosts – and Athletic have scored in their last five away games so the shorter priced (1.8) both teams to score should also be considered.

Recommendation: Levante – 0.25 Asian handicap (2.02)


Granada v Valencia

Having previously failed to score in several hours of play, Granada surprisingly netted twice in a 2-1 away defeat of Osasuna in Pamplona before the holiday break. Diego Mainz and Dani Benitez were the scorers.

Valencia also won their round 17 game, beating Getafe 4-2 in an entertaining game at the Mestalla. Soldado, Oliveira, Costa and Valdez were the Che scorers in what was new boss Valverde’s first league home win.

In conclusion, despite the fact that Los Che have only won one road game out of eight played, I think that Valencia, like they twice did last season, will have too much for Granada – who have lost their best attacker El Arabi to the African Cup of Nations.

Recommendation: Valencia – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.98)


Deportivo La Coruna v Malaga

Crisis club Deportivo had a few early shots on target but otherwise didn’t do enough in the final third of their clash away to Espanyol last weekend and duly lost 2-0.

Malaga kept a tame Real Madrid at bay in the first half of their round 17 clash at La Rosaleda, before taking the game to Los Blancos with an attack minded second half – one that yielded great dividend in their entertaining 3-2 win.

In recent away games, Malaga have (fortuitously) defeated Sevilla, lost to Getafe and drawn 0-0 with Osasuna and Espanyol. All in all, you have to say your safest option is draw no bet if you’re considering backing Malaga.

However, the Anchovies have the league’s best defence, their last five league away games have gone under 2.5 goals and Deportivo – who now have their regular defence back after shipping goals without them – have failed to score in their last three games.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.95)

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Sevilla v Osasuna

As you would expect given their poor away record of one win, three draws and five La Liga defeats in 2012/13, Michel’s Sevilla lost 2-1 away to Real Sociedad prior to the holiday break.

Osasuna also lost their last game 2-1, but at home to Granada. Nino opened the scoring for Mendilibar’s side, before goal-shy Granada –who hadn’t scored in several hours of football prior to this game – made their comeback.

With regards to today’s matchup, it looks like a clear home win, but I’ll admit to be being slightly put off by the fact that Sevilla have lost their last two home games (to Valladolid and Malaga).

Sure, Sevilla need to get back to winning ways at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and nineteenth placed Osasuna – a team they haven’t lost at home to for many years – are a good opponent to facilitate that.

But it seems wiser to bet on goal related markets with Osa undefeated in their last three away games and six out of the last seven Sevilla games containing at least three goals.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.98)


Friday’s La Liga preview: 2012/13 – round 18

24 Dec


Real Zaragoza v Real Betis

For the third time in two weeks, Zaragoza won away from home – this time against Athletic Bilbao. Apono (penalty) and top scorer Postiga each netted in the 2-0 victory at San Mames.

As feared, Betis came a cropper at home to Mallorca in round 17. Benat opened the scoring before the Islanders completed their comeback to win 2-1. All in all, credit to Mallorca, but this game just goes to show that Betis are alarmingly capable of losing to lesser teams at home. A little complacent perhaps – something a side in need of a win can feed off.

Pepe Mel’s boys – who have won five, drawn zero and lost two on their league travels in 2012/13 – can go to La Romareda with confidence, though, as Zaragoza have lost five times on home soil this season – by a 1-0 score every time.

Betis also won here in 2011/12 and have a strong record in recent years. Maybe the first round of games after the holiday break will produce erratic, unexpected results, but it looks like a poor home team vs a good away team.

Recommendation: Betis (3.45)

Worth a small punt: Real Zaragoza 0 – 1 Real Betis (9.5)

Saturday’s (very brief) La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 17

22 Dec

Real Betis v Mallorca

The latter are in free fall and haven’t won in 14 (approx –I’m too tired to check) games, while fifth placed Betis just keep on winning. However, like against Rayo and Granada (both unexpected 2-1 home losses) Betis are seemingly due another shocking upset on home turf, so beware of that. But on current form you have to back Betis, and 1.8 seems generous.

Recommendation: Betis at 1.8 with William Hill

Valladolid v Barcelona

As they did against Real Madrid, the home side will give Barca a run for their money and won’t be short of effort, but you have to expect Barca to score a few goals and dedicate the victory to Tito.
Given the price with this firm (others are 1.62), I like Barca to score in both halves.

Recommendation: Barca to score in both halves at 1.91 with Totesport

Malaga v Real Madrid

Malaga have the best defence in the league, while Real Madrid are in shocking form having drawn 2-2 at home to Espanyol last weekend and lost 2-1 away to Celta Vigo in the cup. Of course, you would expect a reaction from Real Madrid today and they could score a few goals, but Los Blancos have struggled with Malaga in the last year or so and it therefore seems prudent to apply a + handicap to the Anchovies.
However, the price has gone (was 1.96) on this bet so you choose if it’s an acceptable risk to take at the new price.

Recommendation: Malaga + 1 Asian handicap at 1.86 with Pinnacle

Osasuna v Granada

I genuinely don’t have time to look up the stats as I write this in work, but Granada haven’t scored in several hours of play and Osasuna are a low scoring team who are very capable of 0-0 draws. Both teams to score NO is the value bet at 1.83, but I also like Osasuna to win at 2.0 with Ladbrokes.

Recommendation: Both teams to score NO at 1.83 with Paddy Power and Stan James

Athletic Bilbao v Real Zaragoza

One would expect a home win, but Zara have been winning a few away games recently and I’ve decided in-play or not at all with this game.

Thursday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 17

19 Dec


Rayo Vallecano v Levante

With a hard working display against an out of sorts Valencia at the Mestalla last weekend, Rayo shockingly won 1-0 after former Che forward Alejandro Dominguez converted a late penalty.

Levante, through a first half Ruben goal, gained a little revenge over cup rivals Zaragoza by winning 1-0 at La Romareda in their round 16 clash. Levante, if they want to progress to the next round of the cup, will have to win here again in January.

Anyway, today’s fixture is a hard call. Why? Well, although Rayo won at Valencia, they didn’t look like scoring in open play, couldn’t score at home to Zaragoza and failed to net over two legs v Las Palmas in the Copa Del Rey.

The Madrid based side also struggled with their shooting at home to Mallorca a couple of weeks ago – leaving it late before sealing the points through Leo. So, all in all, I don’t trust Rayo to score today – and with fair reason.

Levante, however, have scored in four of their last five away games and actually won 2-1 here last season. Therefore, one notable conclusion I can find in this match is that Levante will likely score.

Under 2.5 goals could well be a decent call, but the value, considering that they’ve only lost at home to Real Madrid, Barcelona and (shockingly) Zaragoza, is most certainly with Rayo – 0.25 at a 2.0 (even money) price.

However, for my money, but this feels like a betting for the sake of it game and I’ll likely leave it alone.


Espanyol v Deportivo La Coruna

Javier Aguirre’s Espanyol drew for the third time in a row last Sunday – staggeringly, away to Real Madrid! Whilst Los Blancos problems are well documented enough for me to have no need to discuss them, a 2-2 draw wasn’t in anyone’s thoughts and massive credit must go be given to Aguirre and his charges for their never beaten attitude at the Bernabeu.

Deportivo, with defenders Marchena and Ze Castro back to marshal a back four that had leaked goals at an alarming rate during their absence, had at least two easy chances to win their (fairly dire) home match with Valladolid on Monday night but could only draw 0-0.

In conclusion, you’d expect Espanyol to win given home advantage, but then long term followers of La Liga will be aware that the Catalans have a habit of losing at home to teams who need the points more than they do – and nobody needs points more than bottom club Deportivo right now.

However, instead of the straight Depor win – and keeping in mind that Espanyol have yet to lose under Aguirre – I’m going for Deportivo + 0.5, which would yield profit if Espanyol were to draw for the fourth time in a row.

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Real Sociedad v Sevilla

In a game devoid of clear cut chances, La Real drew 0-0 away to Granada last weekend. It was their second away draw of the season, with the Basque club currently occupying ninth position in the 2012/13 Liga BBVA standings.

Sevilla, despite spurning chance after chance in an eventful first half, managed to lose 2-0 at home to Malaga last weekend. Negredo, scarily competent at missing easy chances, was the guiltiest party – hitting the post with an open goal.

Today’s game is a hard call for sure. You would expect Real Sociedad, who have four wins, two draws and two defeats to defeat a Sevilla side who have failed to win eleven of their last twelve (league) away games.

But then La Real have drawn their last two home games and are therefore hard to fully trust. Also, Sevilla have had a man sent off in pretty much every game recently, but if they can avoid that today they’re certainly capable of a draw or better.

For those of you that like the over/under goal markets, six out of the last seven Real Sociedad home games have gone under 2.5 goals, while the last four Sevilla away fixtures have gone over 2.5!

With six out of seven La Real home games level at half time and 4/7 Sevilla away the same, a half time draw is probably a better statistical pick at 2.3.

All in all, the value is with Real Sociedad – 0.25 at 2.08, but I’m undecided enough to bet in-play or not at all. Hopefully, though, if you’re betting I’ve at least given you fair arguments to consider when making your choice.

Good luck


Monday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 16

17 Dec


Deportivo v Valladolid

Not so super Depor were destroyed 6-0 by a Falcao inspired Atletico Madrid last weekend, losing their record of scoring in every road game in the process. This was the thirteenth time that Deportivo has failed to win a La Liga game in their last fourteen attempts – a statistic that leaves the northern club bottom of the 2012/13 Liga BBVA standings.

Valladolid, who twice took the lead through Manucho, eventually lost 3-2 at home to Real Madrid last weekend. Overall, they played very well and bar an excellent Ozil free kick would have gained a deserved point.

In conclusion, I’d like to go for Valladolid to win, but Depor have got their defence back and Ebert is missing for the visitors. Both teams can score, though, and Djukic’s boys have netted in 6/7 league road games this season, but with Ebert out and crisis ridden Depor (surely) looking to keep things tight this evening, the hard to beat 10th placed Valladolid + 0.25 looks like a safer play compared to anything goal related.

Recommendation: Valladolid + 0.25 Asian handicap (1.96)


Celta Vigo v Real Betis

Home team Celta lost 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao last weekend, but stunningly defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in their first leg Copa del Rey clash days later. Heartbreakingly, I had thought about putting a few quid on former Xerez striker and column favourite Bermejo to open the scoring at 12/1 in the half time interval, but decided to leave it because I thought the rain may stop and either Aspas scores or Real win 1-0! Oh well….

Betis, of course, played extremely well in defeat to Barca at the Benito Villamarin last weekend. Naturally, I was delighted to see current favourite Betis player Ruben Castro score their goal. He was, as I pointed out, well worth a punt at 4/1 anytime given his record against Barca.

In conclusion, with both teams attack minded and BTTS having won in Celta’s last three home games and Betis’ last three away, we have a clear betting pick.

However – and it’s a fairly big one – Ruben Castro is listed as seriously doubtful for this game (as is Joel Campbell) so I would wait and see if he starts before doing this bet. Betis can score without him, Molina is a good striker, but Mr Castro accounts for over 40% of his teams goals.

What might work in our favour is if Celta are distracted after beating Real – not something they’ll do often, less so than Betis, for example. Perhaps even Betis + 0.25 is the best bet should our boy not start.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.75)

Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 16

13 Dec

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Real Zaragoza v Levante

With Obafemi Martins amongst the scorers, Levante destroyed sorry Mallorca 4-0 in Valencia last weekend. Their opponents today, 12th placed Zaragoza, surprisingly defeated Rayo 2-0 in Madrid last Monday night. Zuculini and Apono were the scorers.

In conclusion, Levante host Zara in the Copa del Rey hours after I’ve written these previews, and without knowing the result of that I’ll abstain from betting or making any kind of a recommendation for their round 16 league match. Follow me on twitter to see if I do later place a bet.


Valencia v Rayo Vallecano

Los Che, under new boss Valverde, have twice defeated Osasuna in the last week – once in the league, once in the cup – and looked impressive in doing so. Encouragingly for those who like scorers, Soldado scored in each tie.

Rayo, who seriously struggle to score if star player Leo isn’t finding the back of the net, have been in poor form recently – leaving it late to beat Mallorca, failing to score over two legs vs Las Palmas in the cup and now losing 2-0 at home to Zaragoza in the league last Monday.

In conclusion, apart from the loss to Real Sociedad that cost former Che boss Pellegrino his job, Valencia have been very strong at home and should have no problems beating a Rayo side that haven’t won (or even scored) in their last three games.

Recommendations: Valencia – 1 Asian handicap (1.74) and Valencia HT/FT (2.18)

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Real Madrid v Espanyol

Los Blancos twice had to come from behind to win away 3-2 at Valladolid last weekend, with both conceded goals coming via set pieces – something Real are currently very, very poor at dealing with. Midweek, in the pouring rain (at least in the first half), Jose’s charges put a pathetic performance in to lose 2-1 away to Celta Vigo in their Copa del Rey first leg clash.

Espanyol, with new boss Aguirre remaining undefeated since taking the helm, drew 2-2 at home to Sevila last weekend. Verdu, from the penalty spot, and later Simao – with his first goal for the club – were the Catalans scorers.

In conclusion, it would be better if Espanyol were in bad form, but whether they are or aren’t there’s surely going to be a backlash from Real after their midweek defeat, and I expect Los Blancos to start fast.

Recommendation: Over 1.5 first half goals (1.83)


Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

What an appetising tie this is, and one I can’t wait to watch! Both teams won their respective midweek Copa del Rey ties with ease – Atletico beat Getafe 3-0 at the Vicente Calderon, while Barca, with Messi scoring a brace, defeated Cordoba 2-0 away – and both won their round 15 Liga BBVA fixtures; Barca defeated Betis 2-1 and Atleti, with Falcao scoring an astonishing five times, put Deportivo to the sword with a 6-0 win.

So, it’s Messi vs Falcao and first vs second, but will both score and who will win? Well, Falcao may score but at 2.75 anytime I’m not backing him to, while Messi – who scores twice in pretty much every game – is almost nailed on to net but offers no betting value to do so.

In conclusion, Atleti always get hammered at Camp Nou and, although they are likely put up more of a fight this time, I don’t see the end result being any different.

Recommendation: Barcelona – 1.5 Asian handicap (1.96)

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Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 16

13 Dec


Getafe v Osasuna

The Azulones lost 3-0 away to city rivals Atletico in the Copa midweek, but gained a credible draw (and were moments away from winning) away to Real Sociedad in round 15.

Osasuna also played in the cup midweek and lost 2-0 at home to Valencia. Days earlier, in the league, they lost the same fixture 1-0. Valencia were simply the better team on both occasions, though in part they were revitalised by their new boss Valverde; got to impress the new boss etc.

In conclusion, you have to favour Getafe to beat an Osasuna side who have won one, drawn one and lost five on their travels, but with both teams tired and Getafe only scoring nine goals in seven home games and Osasuna notching a mere five on their travels in 2012/3, under 2.5 goals is also a good bet.

Worth a small punt: Getafe win and under 2.5 goals (3.9)


Mallorca v Athletic Bilbao

After a great start to the season, Mallorca, limited as they are, are in terrible form and without a win in their last thirteen games. Last weekend the Barralets lost 4-0 away to Levante, while midweek they lost 5-0 at home to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey.
Athletic did, through an Aduriz goal, defeat Celta Vigo 1-0 at San Mames in round 15, but they fielded a very strong team in their midweek Basque derby cup game with Eibar and embarrassingly drew 1-1 to exit the completion in front of their home fans.
So, it’s crisis club vs crisis club! Both teams to score with each needing to put an impressive performance in, particularly after their midweek results? Maybe, but Mallorca are the lesser side and have shown no hunger or fight at all in recent games and, if you’re going to bet, it seems wiser to chance an upset. However, I’ll take a small punt on something more ambitious than the straight win.

Worth a small punt: Athletic HT/FT (5.18)

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Granada v Real Sociedad

Goal shy Granada blew several clear cut chances – including missing an open goal – in their 4-0 hammering at Malaga last weekend, but didn’t actually play that badly in all honesty! In a game I fancied both teams to score in but opted for the seemingly sensible pick of Real Sociedad to win instead, La Real duly drew 1-1 at home to Getafe!

In conclusion, I’d expect Real Socieded to score in Granada but am not sure if the hosts will do the same. However, beyond putting La Real over 0.5 goals in a double with Valladolid to score, I’m not going to bet on this game.


Sevilla v Malaga

Malaga didn’t play in the cup midweek, but impressively destroyed local rivals Granada 4-0 last weekend. Sevilla drew 2-2 away to Espanyol in round 15, but the Catalans had a new manager and that often affects results. Days later, in the Copa del Rey, Sevilla destroyed Mallorca 5-0 on the Island.

In conclusion, 5/7 Sevilla home games have gone over 2.5 goals, but only 1/7 Malaga away fixtures have passed the same mark. I do fancy over 2.5 goals in this match with Negredo back from injury and scoring, but on paper it’s a bad bet as Malaga have the league’s best defence with only six goals conceded out of fifteen games!

Maybe the fact that Malaga have had more rest than their hosts will be an equaliser, but the Anchovies haven’t won a road game since they beat Zaragoza three months ago. So, Sevilla – who have won four, drawn one and lost two at home, to win is the statistical pick I feel I have to make.

Recommendation: Sevilla (2.25)

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