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)


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