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

27 Dec

adurizymunian

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)

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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)

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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)

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