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.

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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)

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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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