Archive | January, 2013

Friday’s La Liga preview: 2012/13 – round 22

31 Jan


Valladolid v Athletic Bilbao

Javier Baraja gave Djukic’s boys the lead with a well struck volley away to Levante in round 21, but ultimately – through a great free kick and comedy own goal – Valladolid lost 2-1. All in all, they were very unlucky not have gained at least a point.

On a rainy night in Bilbao, Athletic put a cup occupied Atletico Madrid to the sword with the kind of performance you’d expect from Los Leones at home.

Indeed, it seems as though Bielsa’s voice is once again well received within the changing rooms of San Mames, but we’d be better served judging this again in a couple of weeks.

For once, Aduriz wasn’t amongst the scorers, but he did provide an assist for De Marcos – who added to Susaeta and San Jose’s second half strikes.

In conclusion, Valladolid have only lost three games at home this season – to Betis, Barca and Real Madrid – so it’s hard to back against them.

Instead, with Athletic having scored in their last x away games, I’m going for both teams to score. The price isn’t great, Valladolid will miss their best striker and have a had a few wins to nil, but Djukic’s boys conceded at home to Mallorca a few weeks ago and should be able to construct something through Oscar to hold up their end of the bargain.

If you prefer a handicap bet, Athletic defeated Valladolid at San Mames and haven’t lost to them for a long time. Athletic + 0.25 is 1.87. This is a Friday night game, though, and they can be erratic!

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.8)

Whatever you choose, good luck!


Thursday’s Copa del Rey preview: 2012/13 – Atletico Madrid v Sevilla – First leg

31 Jan


Atletico Madrid v Sevilla

Click for projected Marca line-ups

-Falcao is no longer listed as injured, but is unlikely to start tonight.

-Diego Simeone’s Los Colchoneros have won every game played on home soil in 2012/13.

-As we’ve seen vs Betis in the last round and many times in the league this season, Atleti look for two goal leads and then shut up shop, so to speak.

-Sevilla are unbeaten under Emery, conceding only 1 goal in 4 games.

-While statistics relating to Sevilla’s away results are of less importance leveraged against those posted since Emery took charge, it’s still the same set of players – just with more confidence and desire to play for their boss.

-Sevilla’s last three away games – with Emery in charge of two – have all gone under 2.5 goals.

-Atleti’s last three home games have also contained 3 goals or less – all ending 2-0.


Well, it would take a brave man to back Sevilla considering Atleti’s home record. But with Falcao likely to miss out, Sevilla undefeated since Emery took charge and both teams being low scorers, under 2.5 goals looks like the best bet at 2.0 with blue square.

However, although this is the best conclusion I can come to for you, I want a relaxed evening after wagering more money than normal on last night’s Clasico and will abstain from pre-match betting tonight.

Lastly, for those looking for alternatives to the stressful unders bet, the draw at 3.8 (Stan James) and Sevilla + 0.75 (188bet) are worth consideration, while Negredo anytime (3.0, various) is the obvious choice is you’re looking for a decent priced anytime scorer.

Whatever you choose, best of luck!

Wednesday’s Copa del Rey preview: 2012/13 – Real Madrid v Barcelona – First leg

30 Jan


Real Madrid v Barcelona

Click for Projected Marca line-ups

First off, be it for William Hill, Forza futbol or my own wordpress website, I’ve written so many Casico previews in great depth that I see no need to re-tread old ground this time.

Basically, Barca – so to speak – had Real’s number for some time. Now, Real did manage to beat Barca and win the Copa del Rey a couple of years ago, but Barca continued to dominate their eternal rival in the league, Spanish SuperCopa and Champions League – with Real and their manager, Jose Mourinho, unable to defeat Pep and his charges for a second time.

Real would often take the lead in these Clasico’s, but couldn’t hold onto it, their heads would drop and the mental advantage that Barca had grown over Real each time they met took effect and Barca would go on to draw or win the match.

Eventually, though, Real did get that second win (impressively, at Camp Nou) and resulting Clasico’s have been a lot closer, with Real defeating Barca at the Bernabeu to win the Spanish Super Cup in the 2012/13 season opener.

The last Clasico we witnessed took place earlier this season at Camp Nou: From early viewing, it looked like Barca would probably go on to win the game, but Ronaldo opened the scoring and, given that Barca were at home and had previously looked the more likely winner, you just knew that a glut of goals would follow – at least 2 more I thought to myself.

The game finished in a 2-2 draw, over goals and BTTS backers were happy and we’d seen both Messi and Ronaldo score – as they now routinely do after a long period in which it was just Messi who showed up and netted in the biggest game in Spanish football.

In all truth, unless I can see a clear winner at a good price I don’t want to pick the 90 minute market in Clasico’s anymore – preferring to bet on goal related markets. Providing my bet(s) actually win, I take this route so I can just sit back and enjoy Spain’s biggest match without needing to worry about who wins it.

All in all, over two legs, I favour Real to progress to the 202/13 Copa del Rey final because they are not 15 points behind Barca in this competition and must win something.

Now, I’d like to see Los Blancos win this year’s Champions League and backed them to do just that some time ago, but the King’s Cup is certainly the more winnable of the two – and I can’t think of a season in which Jose Mourinho has finished empty handed (one of his early jobs in Portugal is the answer, I’m sure!).

As for tonight’s recommendation, well, given how many goals Barca score in away games and how consistent they are at scoring early on – coupled with the absence of Real’s Sergio Ramos tonight – Barca to sore before 41:00 was my instinct pick last weekend.

However, the mark was quickly moved to 40:00 minutes and given that Real have scored first in the last four Clasico’s at the Bernabeu (all coming in the first half) and the last six in total, Los Blancos to score before 49:00 at 1.83 with Bet365 seems like the value bet to offer you.

Of course, hopefully both teams score in each half, there are loads of goals and Messi and Ronaldo both net one or more each, but I can only really recommend one main bet and advise that Barca to come from behind to win or draw – as they so often do – is also worth consideration if you don’t like my pick.

Anyway, whatever you’re betting on, good luck and don’t forget that there is a second leg to this – and they’re generally easier to read than the first because we know what each team needs to progress.

Monday’s La Liga preview: 2012/13 – round 21 – Sevilla v Granada

28 Jan

Nava despiar

Sevilla v Granada

-Sevilla are unbeaten since Emery took over as coach, with one cup win, one cup draw and one league draw.

-Granada have also been in good form recently, drawing their last away game (at Getafe) and winning their last home game (against high flying Rayo).

-After a long goal drought, Granada have scored 7 goals in their last 4 games.

-This is an Andalusian derby game.

-Granada beat Sevilla 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in 2011/12.

-Granada beat Betis 2-1 in Seville earlier this season.

-Seville played Zaragoza in the cup midweek.

-Sevilla will again play in the cup this midweek (Thursday).

-Seville will tonight field their third choice goalkeeper.


Seville, with the momentum Emery carries as a new coach who is undefeated, should win the game. However, given all of the factors listed above (seems no point in re-listing them as I often do!), I’m taking a chance on both teams to score in this derby game.

Worth a small punt: Both teams to score at 2.1 with Boyles.<

If you prefer, seemingly viable alternatives are Sevilla – 1 AH (too short for me at 1.76 with 188bet, but should be at least a push), Granada to score before 79:00 at 2.0 with Bet 365 and Granada + 1.25 at 1.93 with 188bet (likely to only be a half win, I think).

Sunday’s (brief) La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 21

27 Jan

Once again, apologies that today’s previews are short and rushed, but I’ve hit a wall in terms of burnout this week and must take it easy. I’ll come back to the late games later!

Best of luck


images (7)

Real Madrid v Getafe

-Di Maria, who has been in great form recently, was reported as missing this game but is now listed as a starter by Marca!

-Real Madrid played in the Copa midweek and, at least for those who played, have had less rest compared to Getafe.

-Los Blanocs will play Barca in the Copa midweek.

-Time of first Real Madrid goal is too low at 25:00 (29/30 mins and I’d do it).

-Time of first match goal is also too low at 20:00.


I can’t be sure if we’ll get the Real Madrid that destroyed Valencia 5-0 in their last league game or the one that stuttered to a draw with Osasuna. Also, as mentioned above, Real will play Barca in the Copa midweek – and that will certainly be their priority over today’s game with Getafe.

However, the 12:00 games are crazy (I expect Getafe to score but wouldn’t bet on that) and with the time of first match and/or Real Madrid goal too low (see above), I’ve gone for a medium stake on over 1.5 first half goals at 1.83 – hoping that Getafe can net a surprise early goal with Real (and most of Spain) half asleep, or that Jose’s boys try to put the game to bed in the first half with Barca in mind midweek.


Rayo Vallecano v Real Betis

-Good home team vs good away team.

-Rayo will miss their best player Leo Baptistao, but attacking midfielder/forward Alejandro Dominguez is back after missing Rayo’s defeat in Granada last weekend.

-Betis played in the Copa midweek.

-Rayo beat Betis in Seville earlier this season.


A draw is not a bad shout all things considered, but I’ll go with home advantage and the fact that, as well as the pre –mentioned Rayo win in Seville, the Madrid based side beat Betis home and away last season.

I refuse to bet against my own team, but Rayo are my recommendation – with Ladbrokes listed as offering a generous 2.03 on Rayo – 0.25 (half loss if Rayo draw).


Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid

-Falcao is injured and will not start.

-Atleti played Betis in the cup midweek, drawing 1-1.

-Athletic beat Atleti 3-0 at San Mames last season, but have been easily beaten by Atleti since Simeone took charge.

-As above – one of those games was at the Vicente Calderon earlier this season, where Atleti won 4-0.

-Athletic have been poor in recent home games, with consecutive losses to Zaragoza and Rayo.

-With the only exception being their trip to Camp Nou, 6 out of the last 7 league Atleti away games have gone under 2.5 goals

-In all competitions, 5 out of Athletic’s last 7 home games have contained less than three goals.


I don’t trust Athletic to win, even if Atletico played in the Copa midweek – and with Falcao out under 2.5 goals looks like the best bet to me.

images (5)

Mallorca v Malaga

-Malaga played in the cup midweek, losing 4-2 at home to Barca.

-Statistically, Malaga have the best defence in the league.

-On the Island, the last 3 head to head clashes between these two have gone under 2.5 goals.

-The last three (league) Mallorca home games have gone under 2.5 goals.

-The last five (league) Malaga away games have gone under 2.5 goals.


I wouldn’t trust Malaga to win given their average (at best) away record, and I don’t fully trust Mallorca to win – even if Malaga played an extra game midweek – so it seems best to follow the stats and back under 2.5 goals.

Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 21

25 Jan


Celta de Vigo v Real Sociedad

Beat Barca one week and then lose to Celta the next is the kind of result that La Real should suffer here. However, the Basque boys must be brimming with confidence in front of goal after handing Barca their first league defeat of the season.

In conclusion, with both teams having scored in 4/5 of Celta and Real Sociedad’s respective home and away La Liga games, I’ve opted to chance 5/6 for each come Saturday evening.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.75)


Levante v Valladolid

Without a goal to his name in nearly two months, it’s fair to say that Obafemi Martins has reverted to type! His team, Levante, have lost their last three games in all competitions – each of them road games.

However, as hard to beat as Valladolid are, they will miss star attacker Ebert (injured again), and Levante have proved to be a good home team in 2012/13. Therefore, Levante get the nod, but under 2.5 goals also makes sense given what I’ve just written!

Ever honest, I’m just too tired to choose one so I’ll leave it up you to decide.

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Real Zaragoza v Espanyol

Zara fielded a team of reserves in their 4-0 Copa del Rey defeat at Seville midweek, so you can forget the extra game factor today. However, Zara are a poor home team, having lost 6 of their 9 La Liga games in 2012/13.

Espanyol have only lost to Barca since Javier Aguirre was installed as coach, but they haven’t won an away game under his tutelage either. Given this, Espanyol + 0.25 seems like a good bet.

But with key attacker Verdu out for the Catalans, along with having the opinion that every outcome is as likely as the other, I’ve decided not to bet on this game.


Deportivo La Coruna v Valencia

After losing 2-1 at Osasuna last weekend, Domingos tasted defeat for the first time as Deportivo manager. However, as pointed out by a few of my Portuguese followers, the former Sporting Lisbon boss has quickly strengthened the midfield, making it hard to play through.

Although they’ve proved to be a very poor away team in the league this season, Valencia, under Valverde, have won both road league games played under the former Olympiacos boss.

However, with star striker Soldado likely to miss the trip to Galicia and Los Che tired and mentally weak after failing to bother Real Madrid in three consecutive games – one of which was midweek – I wouldn’t back Valverde’s boys to win today.

It must be said, though, that I can’t remember the last time Depor defeated Valencia at the Riazor, and Los Che have always been considered a bogey team for the Northerners – even relegating them here a few seasons ago when Valencia had nothing to gain by winning.

All in all, I’m expecting a low scoring game as Depor’s midfield is now hard to pass, they are without star striker Riki, Valencia are tired, dejected and will likely miss star striker Soldado who, even if he starts or makes an appearance from the bench, is not fully fit.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.85)

Thursday’s Copa del Rey previews: 2012/13 – 24th January

24 Jan


Real Betis v Atletico Madrid (2nd leg)

Projected Marca line-ups

-Atletico won the first leg 2-0, with both goals coming in the first half.

-Falcao is injured and won’t play tonight.

-I can’t say for sure that Ruben Castro and Benat will start for Betis, but it’s likely that they do.

-In the league, Atletico won 4-2 here earlier this season. However, Betis had two players sent off.

-Atleti, who fielded Falcao for sixty minutes, drew 0-0 away to Getafe in their second leg tie in the last round of the Copa. Simeone’s boys had won the first leg 3-0 and therefore didn’t need to win the second.

-Getafe played half of the above game with ten men.


If Ateti were happy to protect a two goal lead for nigh on seventy minutes on their own patch, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them do the same for ninety minutes here.

Los Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone is quite happy to play out 0-0 draws if his team have a first leg cushion, and with Falcao out I’d expect Betis to be able to draw or win on the night, but exit the competition.

Recommendation: Betis + 0.25 Asian handicap at 1.89 with 188 bet


Malaga v Barcelona (2nd leg)

Projected Marca line-ups

First leg overview:

-Both teams fielded weakened sides, though Messi did start for Barca.

-Malaga took a shock lead after dispossessing Thiago.

-Barca quickly responded, leading 2-1 at half time.

-Malaga played better in the second half and brought a couple more of their first teamers on.

-Barca were lethargic in the second half, paying the price when Malaga equalised via a set piece.

-This was the seventh time in a row that both teams have scored when the two have faced off.

Second leg info:

Malaga’s Toulalan will again not feature, while left back Monreal is suspended. Attacking midfielder Isco will likely miss the game through injury.

Barca have taken a very strong squad to Malaga, including Pique, Villa, Messi, Alves, Iniesta, Xavi, Dani Alves, Busquets, Puyol and Fabregas.


As they showed us a few weeks ago, at their best, Barca can brush Malaga aside at La Rosaleda – and given that they are likely to field an extremely strong side against a weakened Malaga X1, I can see the Catalans winning by two goals or more.

However, although Barca – 1.5 AH looks like a good bet, and as the Catalans are exiting the competition as things stand, I’ve gone for a fast start with time of first Barca goal before 31:00.

Recommendation: Time of first Barca goal before 31:00 at 1.83 with Bet 365