Friday & Saturday’s La Liga Betting Previews – 17-18/01/14

17 Jan

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Malaga v Valencia

Last week I thought that Valencia draw no bet and under 2.5 goals were good bets in Vigo, but Celta overturned a 1-0 Che lead to win 2-1.

What seems sensible this week is to back Malaga draw no bet (1.95)) and under 2.5 goals, because Valencia have lost their last three away games and Malaga, unlike Valencia, didn’t have to play in the Copa del Rey midweek.

However, as has been the case with some of my picks recently, good logic doesn’t always pay. Now, as I’m tempted to back Valencia draw no bet and go against sense, I’ve opted for under 2.5 goals instead.

Both sides seriously struggle to score goals, with Valencia only netting once in their last four road games and the last five Malaga games containing less than three goals.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.8)

Betis v Real Madrid

Well, constantly keeping clean sheets but not scoring as many as you’d expect, Real Madrid are not fun to watch right now. However, bottom club Betis – who always score in this fixture – will be fired up for this clash, and if there’s a game in which Los Blancos are going to score a few goals coming up soon, given how badly Betis defend, it should be this one.

Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals (1.95)

Elche v Rayo

Elche have only twice won at home in La Liga this season, often losing 1-0. Interestingly, second bottom Rayo won their last away game 1-0, and also defeated Elche 3-0 on the opening weekend of 2013/14.

However, Elche have shown that they’re better than the ‘rabbit in the headlights’ type performance they gave on matchday one, and Rayo have played an extra game midweek – a 1-0 defeat away to Levante in the cup.

Elche will want revenge for their loss and, on paper, a Rayo side that will travel to play its third away game in a row should give it to them.

Under 2.5 goals – a winner in three of the last four Rayo away games and six of the last seven Elche home – has great appeal at 1.78.

Worth a punt: Elche – 0.25 Asian handicap (2.04)), under 2.5 goals (1.78)

Granada v Osasuna

Osasuna kept best striker Riera on the bench for the vast majority of their soulless cup surrender to Real Madrid midweek, and they did defeat Betis in Seville last weekend, but Granada looked good in putting four past Valladolid last weekend and I’m going for a home win.

For what it’s worth, Granada have defeated Osasuna three times in a row, plus they haven’t had to play a road cup game midweek, unlike Osasuna. Home advantage and fresh legs should prevail.

Recommendation: Granada (2.05)

Espanyol v Celta Vigo

On one hand we have an Espanyol side that toiled away against Real Madrid last Sunday and, a few day’s later, Alcorcon in the cup, while on the other we have a Celta Vigo outfit that actually managed to convert a couple of chances to win a game – albeit at home – and didn’t play in the cup midweek.

I don’t trust Espanyol, but three out of their last four home games have contained three goals or more, while 7/9 Celta league away games have passed the same mark. Hopefully Celta and their magnificently named Brazilian forward, Charles, can take advantage of some tired Espanyol legs and bag a couple in a 2-1 win.

Worth a small punt: Over 2.5 goals (2.15), Celta or draw double chance (1.91)

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