Archive | February, 2013

Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 24

13 Feb

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Real Sociedad v Levante

A team in great form, La Real defeated Real Zaragoza 2-1 at La Romareda last weekend. Griezmann and Agirretxe were their scorers – both netting in the first half.

Levante -generally poor away yet good at home – lost 2-1 to Malaga in Valencia last weekend. From the penalty spot, Bakero scored Levante’s – the opening – goal.

In conclusion, we should see a home win today as the stats and current form favour it heavily. However, I feel obliged to point out a few other factors that I deem worth consideration.

They are:

-Both teams have scored in the last six head to head meetings, with Levante emerging victorious in the last three.

-This a noon Sunday kick off in Spain, and they are notoriously erratic results wise; I’ve seen many a home team start slow and concede to the un-fancied away side.

So, you’ve been warned and now know that over 2.5 goals and BTTS are viable alternatives/additions, but I’ve got to pick what makes sense on paper here.

Worth a punt: Real Sociedad (1.8)

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Valencia v Mallorca

Some correct, some not, Soldado was ruled offside more times than I can remember in Valencia’s road game with Celta last weekend! Thankfully for Los Che, though, super sub Valdez scored in injury time to give them a 1-0 victory.

Mallorca were second best at home to Osasuna last weekend, but rescued a draw through Geromel’s injury time header. All in all, a less than impressive start for new Barralets boss Manzano, but he is undefeated in his second stint at the helm!

In conclusion, Valencia played and lost a tiring game at home to PSG in the Champions League midweek and Mallorca have a good record at the Mestalla. Therefore, I shall avoid betting on a home win and have instead opted for both teams to score – a winning bet in the last three head to head clashes between these two in Valencia.

Lastly, over 2.5 goals (1.73), Mallorca total goals over 0.5 (1.91 with only one firm) and maybe even Mallorca + 1.25 Asian handicap (1.88) are also worth consideration.

Recommendation(s): Both teams to score (2.0) or, if you can get this price, total Mallorca goals over 0.5 (1.91)


Valladolid v Atletico Madrid

Djukic’s Valladolid were reduced to ten men during their game away to Real Betis last Monday evening, but held on to draw 0-0.

Atletico were once again put to the sword on away ground when losing 2-1 to city rivals Rayo Vallecano. Falcao scored Atleti’s goal in injury time.

In conclusion, with five wins, four draws and three defeats, Valladolid are decent on home soil, while Atleti haven’t won a road game in some time and will play in the Europa League the day after I’ve penned these previews.

Recommendation: Valladolid + 0.5 Asian handicap (1.9)


Espanyol v Real Betis

Most impressively, Aguirre’s Espanyol swept Athletic Bilbao aside 4-0 at San Mames last Sunday. Honestly, It wasn’t how I expected to win my over 2.5 goals bet, but I expected Espanyol to score and, of course, profit is profit!

Betis, devoid of Ruben Castro through injury – expected to last for another week or so yet – could only draw 0-0 at home to Valladolid last weekend. Pepe Mel’s boys had loads of chances, but lacked the cutting edge that number 24 provides.

In conclusion, we know that Betis can win away, but they’ve been in poor form recently and haven’t scored many goals. Therefore, it seems wise to go with the excellent form and home advantage of Espanyol this time.

Recommendation: Espanyol (2.2)


Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano

With Ronaldo haunting Sevilla yet again, Real Madrid defeated Emery’s boys 4-1 at the Bernabeu last weekend. Indeed, Ronny stole the show with a hat-trick of strikes – his final effort coming from a run he began in his own half!

Of course, as tweeted before kickoff, I got the red card I wanted and was most happy to win at a 3.0 price!

Rayo came out of the blocks fast to defeat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the Teresa Rivero last Sunday evening. All in all it was a very impressive performance from Paco Jemez’s boys, with Leo gaining the headlines for scoring against his future employers.

In conclusion, with Real due to play Manchester United hours after I’m writing this preview I wanted to bet on both teams scoring in Real Madrid v Rayo, but then the price – at 1.75 – is a bit too short for my liking, so I’ll either choose another bet before kickoff or bet in-play.

Finally, I must say that I’m tempted by Rayo + 2.25 Asian handicap at 1.88, but they lost 6-2 here last year and some form of over goals may be wiser. I’ll see how the markets shape up nearer the time.

Worth a small punt: Leo Baptistao anytime scorer (6.5)


Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 24

13 Feb


Getafe v Celta de Vigo

In round 23, Getafe lost 6-1 at Camp Nou. Alvaro Vasquez was the Azulones scorer. Today’s opponents, Celta, had a few chances at home to Valencia in their round 23 fixture last weekend, but lost 1-0 to a late goal – it was a fair result.

In conclusion, whether this pick turns out to be correct or not, I can’t see any other bet apart from a home win here. After all, Celta have lost ten of their twelve away games in 2012/13, and Getafe, with five wins, three defeats and three draws at the Alfonso Perez, should be able to make it eleven.

Recommendation: Getafe – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.88)


Malaga v Athletic Bilbao

Previously really good at home and indifferent but not bad on their travels, Malaga have won their last two away games and draw the last two at La Rosaleda! In round 23, Malaga won 2-1 at Levante last Saturday, with the talented Isco scoring both goals.

Now, despite Athletic’s stunning San Mames demolition at the hands of Espanyol last weekend, the Basques have scored in every road game they played for months, and I fancy them to do the same today against a Malaga team that will have one eye on their upcoming trip to Portugal to play Porto.

I’m tempted to back Athletic on a + Asian handicap, but they seem unlikely to keep a clean sheet and recent stats are very much in favour of both teams scoring.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.8)


Granada v Barcelona

Making my + 0.5 goal start an easy winner, Granada won 3-0 away to Deportivo at the Riazor last weekend. With an own goal from Depor’s Marchena opening the scoring, Ighalo and Siqueira each netted for Granada.

In the noon Sunday timeslot, Barca demolished Getafe 6-1. Messi, Villa, Iniesta, Pique, Tello and even Alexis Sanchez each netted for the Catalans.

In conclusion, I’m tempted to give Granada a handicap start as Barca struggled to defeat them at Camp Nou earlier this season, could only win 1-0 here in 2011/12 and are due to play Ac Milan in the Champions League next week.

However, a Granada + 1.5 Asian handicap (currently priced at 2.21) could make for uncomfortable viewing given how many goals Barca have scored on the road this season – and I’m not sure If I’m brave enough to take this bet right now.

All in all, it seems wise to see how strong a team Barca field in Granada before making a decision, so that’s what I’m going to do.


Osasuna v Real Zaragoza

The better team and deserving of all three points, Osasuna conceded a late goal to draw 1-1 away to Mallorca last weekend. Lolo, with a header, was the Osasuna scorer.

Zaragoza, reduced to ten men after Ortega was given his second yellow card midway through the first half, lost 2-1 at home to Real Sociedad last weekend. Apono – a reliable penalty taker – scored from the spot in the dying moments of the game.

In conclusion, Zaragoza have proved to be a good road team in 2012/13, but they’ve lost three out of their last four and, amongst others, will be without top scorer Positga today.

Zaragoza have also lost to Osasuna in three of their last four visits to Pamplona – drawing the other – and failed to score in any of them. So, that coupled with Osasuna winning their last two home games and drawing with Real Madrid in the game prior to those make this a straightforward pick.

Recommendation: Osasuna (2.0)

Friday’s La Liga preview: New manager changes everything!

13 Feb


Sevilla v Deportivo La Coruna

Losing their fourth game in a row, Deportivo were defeated 3-0 by Granada at the Riazor last weekend – a result that led to coach Domingos parting company with the Galician club.

Manu del Moral scored a late goal for Sevilla at the Bernabeu last Saturday evening, but it was in vain as the Rojiblancos lost 4-1 to a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid.

In today’s match, I was all set to punt on Sevilla HT/FT at 2.3, only to later learn that Domingos had left Deportivo after only a few weeks in the job.

Of course, as regular readers will know, I won’t oppose a new boss in his first game and am therefore now without a bet.

Priced at 1.85, Deportivo + 1.5 fits my scheme. But I’m not sure if I want to follow it this time as three different Depor managers in six weeks is unchartered territory for this column!

Instead, over 2.5 goals could be a runner as Sevilla usually get a couple at home and Depor have scorer options like Riki.

However, at 1.73 the bet is a little shorter than it should be – and games between Sevilla and Deportivo at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan have gone under 2.5 for many years.

So, I’m going to either make a late decision on Depor + 1.5 when I’ve seen the team sheets, bet in-play or not at all!

Good luck if you’re punting pre-match.

Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 23

13 Feb

Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 23

8 Feb

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Mallorca v Osasuna

Handicapped after midfielder Javi Marquez was given two yellow cards in the first half, Mallorca’s remaining ten men lost 3-0 away to Real Sociedad last weekend – a result that cost manager Joaquin Caparros his job.

As expected, Osasuna defeated Celta Vigo in Pamplona last weekend. Armenteros scored the only goal of the game in the second half.

In conclusion, I don’t oppose new managers in their first game, and as Osasuna have lost 7/10 away games I’m going for Mallorca – 0.25.

Recommendation: Mallorca – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.88)


Celta de Vigo v Valencia

Celta, a poor away team, lost 1-0 at Osasuna last weekend. Valencia, however, earned an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Barca in their round 22 clash, with Banega scoring the Che goal.

In conclusion, Valencia’s road results have improved dramatically since Valverde was appointed coach. But with Celta strong at home and a UEFA Champions League match on the horizon for Valverde and co it seems wise to favour Celta in the 90 minute betting.

However, both teams have scored in Celta’s last 2 home games, with each side also netting in Valencia’s last two away. Should end 1-1 or 2-1, I think, but both teams to score seems like the best choice.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.85)


Levante v Malaga

Although Pellegrini’s Anchovies were far from their best at home to Zaragoza last weekend, they were denied a legit goal and likely victory after Saviola – who was clearly at least half a yard on – was deemed offside by the visually impaired officials.

Unable to repeat last season’s win at the Cornella El Prat, Levante nevertheless played quite well in their 3-2 away defeat to Espanyol last weekend. Ruben and Martins were the Levante scorers.

In conclusion, Malaga won their last away game at Mallorca and do not concede many goals, but I’d favour Levante – who have won 7/10 home games – to make it three wins in a row against the Anchovies in Valencia.

Recommendation: Levante – draw no bet (1.83)


Deportivo La Coruna v Granada

Through Pizzi’s pen, not so super Depor opened the scoring away to Getafe and even enjoyed a one man advantage for part of the game, but after having a player of their own sent off in the second half the boys from a Coruna folded, allowing Getafe to win 3-1.

With a new boss in charge, Granada stunningly defeated Real Madrid 1-0 at Los Carmenes last weekend. Amusingly, Madrid’s Ronaldo scored the goal!

In conclusion, I’m keeping with the momentum of a new boss by giving the visitors a plus handicap start against a Deportivo team that has lost her last three games and is riddled with suspensions.

Recommendation: Granada + 0.5 Asian handicap (1.84)

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Real Madrid v Sevilla

With a meek, disinterested performance, the players of Real Madrid lost 1-0 away to Granada in round 22. You can say that the midweek cup Clasico took something out of the Los Blancos players, but their all round performance was pathetic and I’ve lost count of how many away games they’ve lost in 2012/13!

Sevilla defeated Rayo 2-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in their round 22 Liga BBVA fixture. Rakitic and Negredo were the Rojiblancos scorers.

In conclusion, Medel and – if he plays –Pepe should both be good for bookings, and I can also see someone getting sent off! After all, clashes between these two are pretty much always bad tempered affairs and Sevilla have seen red a lot recently.

I’d expect Real – 1.5 Asian handicap to win, but without knowing how strong a team Jose is putting out with Manchester United on the horizon, I’m not going to place a bet at this stage.

However, be sure to join me on Twitter to see what I choose nearer the time.

Sunday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 22

1 Feb


Malaga v Real Zaragoza

Impressively, Malaga took a two goal lead within twenty minutes away to Mallorca last Sunday. Saviola and Isco were their scorers. Anchovies left back Monreal added a third goal after Mallorca had pulled one back, but Pellegrini’s ten remaining players had to work hard to protect what had now become a 3-2 lead after Demichelis was sent off in the 72nd minute.

Zaragoza rested most of their starters for the cup defeat to Sevilla last midweek, but gained only a point in the resulting La Liga clash with Espanyol at La Rosaleda a few days later. With nothing of note to report, the game ended 0-0.

In conclusion, as Malaga look in good form offensively, their home games usually go over 2.5 goals, Zara have a decent road record – scoring in each of their last two visits to La Rosaleda – and Demichelis is suspended, I fancy a few goals!

Finally, after it failed in their last game, Malaga should cover a -1 Asian handicap tonight if that’s you kind of bet.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.92)


Sevilla v Rayo Vallecano

Emery’s Rojiblancos swept Granada aside and avenged last year’s defeat to their Andalusian rivals with a dominant 3-0 victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in round 21. Kondogbia, Negredo and Medel were the scorers in this Monday night game.

Rayo, for the fourth time in a row, defeated Real Betis 3-0 in Madrid last Sunday. Piti, Delibasic and Carlos each scored for Paco Jemez’s side.

In conclusion, Sevilla aren’t conceding many goals under Emery, but Los Rojiblancos defence will be tired after midweek Copa action and Rayo have scored in their last 4 visits to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Rayo are also in good general form and have best attacker Leo Baptistao returning from injury – enough to tempt me into both teams to score.

Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.85)


Valencia v Barcelona

Aided by a red card for Deportivo, Ernesto Valverde ‘s Valencia nonetheless deservedly defeated their Galician hosts 3-2, with a late header from Costa sealing the points.

In what was expected to be a low scoring game, Jonas netted within a minute of the game starting, before Depor made a comeback and Valencia did the same. Nelson Valdez, not long after Depor were reduced to ten men, scored Los Che’s second goal.

Barca, of course, drew 1-1 in the midweek Copa Clasico first leg at the Bernabeu with Real Madrid. Once ahead, the Catalans were clearly happy with a 1-0 lead and paid the price for failing to add to it. The second leg, which isn’t played until Feb 27, is very well poised and I for one can’t wait to watch (and bet on) it.

Prior to their trip to the Spanish capital, Barca hosted Osasuna in round 21. With Messi scoring four times and Osasuna reduced to ten men with the score tied at 1-1, Barca comfortably won the match by a 5-1 score.

In conclusion, Valencia could only score one at home to Real Madrid in two recent games, but with Barca are little tired from midweek action Los Che should be able to net one or two today.

However, tiredness and Valencia’s strong home record considered, I prefer Barca to score in both halves at a fair 1.91.

Recommendation: Barca to score in both halves (1.91)


Atletico Madrid v Real Betis

With Falcao absent through injury and one eye on their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg clash at home to Sevilla the following Thursday, Atletico lost 3-0 away to Athletic Bilbao. It was a poor performance from Simeone’s boys, particularly given that they gave up three second half goals.

After this game, Los Colchoneros remain in 2nd place of the 2012/13 Liga BBVA standings but are now only three points ahead of their illustrious city rivals Real Madrid.

Betis, as they have always done in recent seasons, lost away to Rayo in Madrid last weekend. Ruben Castro had a couple of good chances, but Betis drew a blank, losing 3-0 and sliding down to 5th in the standings.

In conclusion, Atleti left back Filipe Luis is suspended, while the man he supplies, Falcao, is injured, so there is hope for Betis!

As much as I’d love to see Pepe Mel’s boys win or draw here, I’m not going to oppose Atleti’s 100% record at the Vicente Calderon. However, with Los Colchoneros having played a Copa game midweek and Betis unlucky not to have scored in the last meeting between these two teams in Madrid, I’m going for both teams to score.

Worth a punt: Both teams to score (1.93)

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Real Sociedad v Mallorca

Great at home and getting harder to beat away, La Real secured a point in their round 21 trip to Vigo last weekend. However, they had to come from a goal down and were aided by a second half red card for Celta’s Augusto Fernandez in this 1-1 draw. All in all, this was a good result for Montanier’s men – and they had chances to win the game.

Mallorca, whose players are still playing and fighting hard for manager Caparros despite consecutive league defeats, lost for the third time in a row at home to Malaga. Victor and Giovanni – who scored a stunning free kick – were the Barralets scorers in this 3-2 home defeat. All in all, Malaga took their chances well and Mallorca were unlucky not to get something out of the game.

In conclusion, this could be a banana skin for a La Real side that is very strong at home and beat Barca last time they played at San Sebastian, but with Mallorca in such bad form it seems like an easy decision to make at an acceptable price.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad (1.75)

Saturday’s La Liga previews: 2012/13 – round 22

1 Feb


Osasuna v Celta de Vigo

They did manage to score a well worked goal through Loe, but Osasuna later saw Arribas sent off and eventually lost 5-1 away to a Messi inspired Barcelona last weekend. All in all, it was as expected – ten or eleven men.

Celta, via Krohn Delhi’s first half strike, took the lead at home to Real Sociedad in round 21 but eventually drew one all – forced to play with ten men for a large portion of the game after Augusto Fernandez was given his marching orders early in the second half. Given their numerical handicap, Celta did well to hold on for a point.

In conclusion, Celta managed a draw away to Malaga in their last away game, but they’ve lost 9 out of 11 away games in 2012/13 and will be without the attacking tandem of Krohn – Delhi and Augusto Fernandez.

All in all, the above reasoning is enough to temp me into backing an Osasuna side that has beaten Deportivo and drawn with Real Madrid in her last two home games. Should be a closely fought match, though, as both teams struggle to score goals but don’t concede many.

Recommendation: Osasuna – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.88)


Getafe v Deportivo La Coruna

Lafita had a shot cleared of the line and the Azulones held Real to a scoreless first half, but otherwise Getafe’s short journey across Madrid played out as expected in round 21, with 4-0 the final score.

Deportivo fell behind to a first minute goal during their clash with Valencia at the Riazor last weekend, but through two great Riki goals led 2-1 at half time. However, Valencia had been the better team until that point and once Depor were reduced to ten men it became clear that Valencia would win – and that they did.

In conclusion, Getafe have drawn their last 4 games, and I’d like to give Depor a half goal start as a consequence. However, Depor’s Assuncao, Silvio and Marchena will all miss today’s game – with Valeron listed as doubtful – and we have to assume that Domingos honeymoon period is over after two straight defeats.

Getafe’s best player, Barrada, returns from African Nations duty and this, coupled with home advantage and Depor’s injury woes, tilts the balance towards an Azulones victory today.

I’ve decided not to bet on this game pre-match, though.


Espanyol v Levante

In a sleep inducing game bereft of clear cut chances, Espanyol drew 0-0 away to Zaragoza in round 21. The Catalans now occupy 15th position in the 2012/13 Liga BBVA standings.

Although they were extremely fortunate to win through a comedy own goal, Levante improved their excellent home record to 7 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses after 2-1 defeat of Valladolid. After this victory, Levante sit in 8th place.

In conclusion, be at in Valencia or Barcelona, Levante have won the last four head to clashes with Espanyol. Also, the last 3 matches between these two have seen both teams score and at least three goals in each.

Espanyol to win is the obvious choice if you’re looking purely at home and away stats, but given past history I’m going for the over goals.

Worth a punt: Over 2.5 goals (2.25)


Granada v Real Madrid

Meekly submitting to Andalusian rivals Sevilla last Monday evening, Granada eventually lost 3-0. In truth, it could have been a lot more had it not been for the excellent goalkeeping of Granada keeper Roberto. All in all, it was a bitterly disappointing result for Granada considering their recent form, and ultimately it cost the coach his job.

Besides the midweek 1-1 Copa del Rey Clasico draw at home to Barcelona, Real defeated Getafe 4-0 at the Bernabeu last Sunday lunchtime. The first half was poor viewing with few chances, but Real found their scoring touch in the second half after Ronaldo netted a hat-trick in this eventual 4-0 win for Los Blancos.

In conclusion, due to short prices about both to score and over 2.5 goals, I’m going for Real to score both in halves at 1.83. I am tempted by Real HT/FT and – 1 AH, but I don’t oppose new managers in their first game as a principle.

Recommendation: Real to score in both halves (1.83)