Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 14

1 Dec

joaquin

Getafe v Malaga

With on-loan Real Madrid wideman Pedro Leon opening the scoring, Michel’s Getafe won 2-0 away to crisis ridden Espanyol last Sunday. All in all, and considering that I thought Getafe would either win or draw the game with my + 0.25 Asian handicap, this result wasn’t a surprise.

Malaga, somewhat surprisingly – I expected 1 or 2-0 – easily defeated Valencia 4-0 at La Rosaleda in their last league game. Although Valencia have proved to be very poor on the road in 2012/13, Malaga played exceptionally well and won (in the league) for the first time in four games.

In a total reversal of their performance against Los Che, the Anchovies, with a significantly weakened team on show, lost 1-0 at home to lowly in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday evening. I actually watched the game live on TV and can tell you that Malaga should have lost 2 or 3-0 and exited the competition.

Anyway, I’d discount the cup game as many of the players have not been paid for a while and ensuring their progress to the next round of the Copa (which will doubtlessly be Malaga’s lowest priority) was all that they were bothered about on the night.

In conclusion, Malaga rested their ‘stars’ midweek and should therefore be fresher than their hosts – who also played Copa action – so I’d expect a narrow away win.

However, even with thee knowledge that, in league and cup, Malaga twice won here last season, I’ll take the draw no bet option at an acceptable price.

Recommendation: Malaga draw no bet (1.91)

soldado1

Valencia v Real Sociedad

Che boss Pellegrino rested several of his regular starters when Valencia travelled to Malaga last weekend and paid the price when his chosen eleven lost 4-0. However, it’s fair to say that Valencia would have lost with their first team out – they really are that bad on the road!

Offensively, Real Sociedad didn’t play anywhere near as good as they had in recent weeks when hosting second bottom Osasuna last Friday night, and could only draw 0-0 with the Pamplona natives.

With regards to today’s game, Valencia – with five wins and a draw from six games – are very good at home and it’s therefore hard to oppose them.

La Real, on the road, have won one, drawn one and lost four. Not impressive reading you might say, but then the draw and win were in Real Sociedad’s last two road games, so they are improving and certainly capable of scoring against Valencia today.

In conclusion, Valencia should win, but given that 4/6 Valencia home games have gone over 2.5 and considering that 3/4 recent La Real road games have passed the same mark, I’m going for over 2.5 goals as the safest bet.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.83)

messi

Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao

At one point during the match, fielding eleven players who had all come through the clubs youth setup, La Masia, Barcelona comfortably defeated Levante 4-0 in Valencia last weekend. As usual – and with Gerd Muller’s record goal haul in his sights – Messi scored a brace. Iniesta and Fabregas were the Catalans other scorers.

Basque giants Athletic, with Llorente in their starting eleven because of injury to Aduriz, could only draw 1-1 at home to crisis ridden (financially) Deportivo. Big Nando, who clearly lacks match fitness, missed a few chances and it was De Marcos who scored Athletic’s goal – with a cool finish into the corner.

Both Barcelona and Athletic played midweek matches – the former at home to Alaves in the Copa del Rey, the latter away to Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in Israel – but Villa and Llorente aside, very weak teams were fielded by each.

In conclusion, this is always a fiery affair (though more so at San Mames) and Athletic will give their all. However, I don’t forecast anything other than a Barca win and, given how short other scoring related or handicap markets are, see the best bet as Barca to win both halves.

Recommendation: Barca to win both halves (1.83)

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Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

Though they didn’t play badly, Real Madrid were unable to score away to Real Betis and duly paid the price as Betis ran out 1-0 winners in last weekend’s clash at the Benito Villamarin.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, though helped by a red card, easily defeated Michel’s Sevilla 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon in round 13. After converting a first half penalty, Falcao –who’d endured a barren run recently – was back amongst the scorers.

In conclusion, Atletico haven’t beaten Real since 1999, and as much as Los Colchoneros have improved since then, this should still be a home win. Tough choice this time, though – nothing last forever so tread carefully.

Recommendation: Real Madrid – 1.25 Asian handicap (2.0)

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