Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 20

16 Jan


Granada (17th) v Rayo Vallecano (6th)

Granted a spot kick in each half – both for handball – Granada, via Siqueira, converted both to earn a 2-2 draw away to Getafe. All in all, it was a decent game to watch with more goals than you’d have expected pre-match.

Rayo, in their round nineteen game, won 2-1 away to Athletic Bilbao. Lass opened the scoring, before Piti converted a contentious penalty to effectively win the game for the Madrid based side.

In conclusion, both teams are in good form, particularly Rayo, and both are scoring goals – with over 2.5 a winner in each of their respective last three games.

However, with star Rayo attacker Leo Bapstistao out through injury, Granada having netted in their last three games and both teams scoring in this clash last for the last two seasons, I’m going for both teams to score instead of over 2.5 goals.

If you fancy a handicap bet I also like Rayo, who haven’t lost to Granada in years, + 0.25 at 1.98. This bet surely offers further value given that there are eleven places between the two teams in Liga BBVA.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.86)

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Real Sociedad (9th) v Barcelona (1st)

La Real, in the pouring rain at San Sebastian, drew 1-1 at home to Deportivo La Coruna last weekend. Vela, who cut in to curl the ball past the Depor keeper just before half time, was their scorer.

Barca, as discussed in Malaga’s round twenty match preview, put Malaga to the sword in round nineteen – winning 3-1. Messi, Fabregas and substitute Thiago were the Catalans scorers.

In conclusion, Real Sociedad have completed staggering comebacks to draw and defeat Barca at San Sebastian in the last two seasons and, though I expect Barca to win this time, prefer to bet on goal related markets.

Both teams to score – a winner in La Real’s last three home games and Barca’s last three away – stands a very good chance of winning and I think that it will, but with Barca scoring so many goals on their travels I opt for two bets here.

Recommendations: Over 3.5 goals (2.1) and both teams to score (1.83)


Getafe (11th) v Sevilla (12th)

With several players missing for the visit of Granada last Monday night, Getafe played better than expected and were seriously unlucky to draw 2-2 with their improving visitors.

Indeed, with two penalties awarded against them for handball, the second of which came in the dying moments of the game, luck – and the officiating – was not on the side of Azulones coach Luis Garcia and his charges.

Sevilla have parted company with Michel and replaced him with former Valencia coach Unai Emery. Though this was on the cards once the former Real Madrid winger was given the dreaded vote of confidence by his chairman in December, the final straw turned out to be last weekend’s 2-0 away defeat to Valencia.

In conclusion, Getafe usually win this fixture – one Sevilla haven’t taken all three points in since 2008 -but I don’t oppose a new manager in his first league game at the helm. I will admit to having a feeling that both teams to score is the best bet today, but I must stick to the principle.
Worth a punt: Sevilla, draw no bet (2.0)


Malaga (5th) v Celta de Vigo (15th)

Pellegrini’s Anchovies tried to play Barca at their own game in the first half of their clash at La Rosaleda last weekend – and they did a good job of it until a mistake allowed Messi to open the scoring.

Malaga did net a beautiful consolation goal through Buonanotte’s late free kick, but Barcelona, as predicted, put in a commanding second half performance and the result was never in doubt once Fabregas had put the Catalans two up in this eventual 3-1 win.

Celta, as usual, lost away from home in round nineteen – this time 1-0 to Espanyol. Celta did have a few good chances, but there’s little to say apart from that their defeat was expected.

In conclusion, Celta, with nine defeats from ten road games in 2012/13, are a poor away team, while Malaga – who rested their best attackers for the midweek Copa del Rey draw away to Barca – are a very strong home team.

Recommendation: Malaga – 1 Asian handicap (2.08)


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