La Liga betting previews: 13-15 Dec 2013

12 Dec

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Levante v Elche

Levante (7/5) had a strange habit of picking up away wins, but have now lost five league games in a row, only scoring in one of them. They didn’t score many to begin with, but have a lot of players injured. El Zhar is, however, fit, half useful and represents their best chances of a goal.

Elche (11/4) should miss the also half useful del Moral, but Boakye is more key, and the promoted side will travel to Levante with confidence after coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Villarreal in the Copa del Rey recently. In the league, Elche are in better form compared to Levante, with losses to Atletico (expected) and Villarreal (close game with a late winner), a defeat of Valencia and a draw with Getafe making up their last five league games.

All in all, if you’re going to bet on this game then you surely have to oppose the home team, particularly as Elche have draw two and won two in their last four league away games.

However, with only a 4/6 best price about the double chance and with draw no bet 6/4, I instead opt for a small punt on the straight Elche win. Take Elche draw no bet if you want a safer option. Finally, worth noting for the in-play bettor is that Elche are very good at coming from behind.

Worth a punt: Elche (11/4)

Osasuna v Real Madrid

Osasuna (12/1) away is usually a tough fixture for Real Madrid (1/4), indeed one they’ve only won twice in the last five years, including a 0-0 draw last season. Now, given that Los Blancos played Champions League midweek, and that Barca were held to a 0-0 draw in Pamplona a few weeks ago, it seems that we have enough reasoning to bet on Osasuna + as much as we can get close to evens. However, I think that Ancelotti’s side is playing well, has too much firepower for Osasuna this time and expect a comfortable away win. Besides, Barca were not playing well at the time of their draw and Levante lost to Almeria in their last home match.

Besides, eager to impress with the FIFA/Ballon d’or/change the rules as you like award coming up soon, Ronaldo will be keen to bag two or more, particularly after his penalty miss in Copenhagen.

Final word, then – If Alonso and Ronaldo start, I say go with over 2.5 total Real Madrid goals (10/11), but If Illaremendi, Jese and Morata start (surely not when experience is required in such a fixture) then attention should be directed to Osasuna + as much as possible.

Rayo v Granada

They didn’t get the win I expected at Betis, but Rayo (11/10) did at least draw 2-2 with the Seville based team in their last leage game – a result that snapped a long losing streak. However, the Rayo coach, Paco Jemez, is still under massive pressure and likely to be the next manager sacked after his Betis counterpart was recently given the boot.

As you’d expect, Barca won 4-0 at home to Granada (3/1) when the the two met at Camp Nou a few weeks ago, but Granada have been strangely more effective on the road than they have been at home this season, recording consecutive wins at Levante and Elche prior to their trip to the Catalan capitol.

In conclusion, if we factor in that Rayo, who drew 0-0 in the cup away to Valladolid midweek, have improved a little with two draws in a row and combine it with the fact that Granada have won two of their last three away games, Granada or the draw seems best. Just better hope Rayo aren’t ready to win again just yet!

Recommendation Granada or draw (10/11)

Barcelona v Villarreal

Well, I had fancied Villarreal + 1.5 Asian line or possibly BTTS since Barcelona (1/3) had lost two games in a row, but the Catalans have since racked up a few in their cup game, put six past Celtic midweek and, with key Villarreal (19/2) players Cani and Bruno listed as injured and suspended respectively, I’ve changed my mind.

Indeed, when their opponents are missing key player(s) through suspension, it usually results in an easy win for Barca as the ‘other’ teams has conceded before a ball’s been kicked. However, if anyone is to score for the Yellow Submarines, it should be Giovani. For my money, I’ll take the home side to score at least three.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 Barcelona team goals (EVS)

Malaga v Getafe

Schuster’s Malaga (11/10) managed to throw a three goal lead away to draw 3-3 at home to Osasuna in their cup fixture, but enjoyed fortune of their own after equalizing with virtually the last kick of the game away to Villarreal in their league game prior to.

In recent away games, Getafe (31/10) drew 1-1 in the cup, were hammered 7-0 at Atletico Madrid in the league, but did win away at Villarreal and Granada.

In conclusion, I’d go with Getafe + 0.5 Asian line at 11/12 on current form, but don’t want to bet on every game and opt to leave this one alone. Besides, it’s on TV in the UK so you can watch and judge in-play.

Almeria v Espanyol

Almeria (7/4) lost to Celta Vigo on the road in their last league game, but did win their first home game of the season prior to a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Real Madrid.

Espanyol (15/8) on the other hand, lost at home to Real Sociedad in their last home game, but did win away at Rayo in the game before.

All in all, I’m tempted by Espanyol, but only like to back them away at 5/2 or better and opt not to bet on this game.

Real Sociedad v Real Betis

La Real concluded their non existent Champions League campaign with yet another loss, this time at home to Bayer Leverkusen. A few days earlier, they could only draw 1-1 at Algeciras in the cup. Real Sociedad (3/4) did, however, impress in an away defeat of Espanyol in their last league game.

Betis (4/1) sacked coach Pep Mel after their 2-2 draw with Rayo Vallecano last time out, with Juan Carlos Garrido – formerly of Villarreal – quickly appointed as his successor.

In rapid conclusion, just like La Real’s win at Espanyol, styles make fights and Betis have drawn their last two fixtures at San Sebastian. For my money, with Ruben Castro back and the never oppose a new coach in his first league game rule that I have, Betis to avoid defeat is my pick. For those who like such markets, I would also expect BTTS and over 2.5 goals to be winners.

Recommendation: Betis or draw (6/5)

Sevilla v Athletic Bilbao

Sevilla (11/10) defeated Granada 2-1 on the road in their last league game, and also won 1-0 away to Racing Santander in the cup a few days later.

Of course, with Muniain scoring the only goal of the game, Athletic Bilbao (3/1) beat Barca at the new San Mames last time out.

In conclusion, I’d love to go with BTTS – a consistent winner in Sevilla home games – but it’s only 13/20. Instead, with Sevilla having played an extra game midweek, away to Freiburg in the Europa League, their key midfielder Rakitic set to miss this game through suspension, and Athletic confident after beating Barca and having won here before with similar players, I’ve gone with Athletic not to lose. Over 2.5 goals should also be a winner.

Recommendation: Athletic + 0.5 Asian line (13/14)

Atletico Madrid v Valencia

Right, this is the last one, I’m tired and want to go to bed! Nothing is impossible, but I can’t see anything other than a home win here. Atleti HT/FT is a constant winner in their home games, as is over 2.5 goals. Both bets come with bigger prices than normal.

For a longshot anytime scorer bet, Jonas – who scored a hat-trick for Valenca in their 3-0 defeat of Osasuna – is priced at 9/2.

Recommendation: Atletico HT/FT (EVS) and over 2.5 goals (4/5)

Take note that although I work for a bookmaker, this is a personal blog written in my own time with no affiliation. All prices, correct at the time of going to press, are the best market prices available.

Anyway, thanks for reading and good luck with your bets.

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