Round 21 La Liga betting previews

24 Jan


Celta Vigo v Real Betis

As many of you know, I won’t bet against a new coach in his first game in charge. Therefore, it’s double chance or + 0.5 Asian handicap on the team with a new boss in such scenario’s.

However, although the recently dismissed Garrido did win his first game in charge – in the cup – his appointment did not bring about the desired change of momentum when it came to La Liga. Indeed, Betis were beaten 5-1 at Real Sociedad in the former Villarreal boss’ first league outing.

My guess is that Betis will have hired a fourth coach in 2013/14 within a couple of months, and he won’t make any difference to the Andalusian club joining the Segunda ranks for 2014/15.

So, in conclusion, Betis are probably an exception to my rule, but I’m not sure enough that Celta will win and have decided not to punt or pick a bet in this game.

For what’s its worth, unable at home for several months, Celta have won two of their last three league matches in Vigo, drawing the other.


Real Madrid v Granada

Well, we know that, bar against a ‘walk through at will’ Betis defence, Real Madrid have not been scoring as many goals as we’ve expected them to recently.

Contrary to last season and the beginning of this one, Los Blancos have also been keeping clean sheets, meaning that they don’t need to score as often as they used to.

One-nil away wins are now not uncommon, but even in recent matches at the Bernabeu, Real have only won 2-0, 3-0 and 2-0.

However, two of those games were in the Copa against team’s who ‘parked the bus,’ and if we go back even further Real recorded 4-0, 4-1 and 7-3 wins.

Now, as Ronaldo will be parading his new World Player of the Year trophy to the fans prior to kick off, he’ll surely be extra motivated to bag two or maybe three goals himself and we should get to see at least a 3-0 win from Real Madrid, hopefully bigger.

Recommendation: Real Madrid – 2.5 Asian handicap (1.75)

Worth a punt: Ronaldo to score 2 or more (2.38)

Worth a small punt: Ronaldo hat-trick (6.0)


Valladolid v Villarreal

Valladolid will miss Valiente – their best defender –while Villarreal’s Cani, a long-term injury absentee, is rated as doubtful and therefore unlikely to make his comeback in this game.

Still, Villarreal have coped fairly well without Cani and, with three wins in their last four away games, the Yellow Submarines should be able to beat a Valladolid side that lost to them earlier in the season and has only won one of its last seven home games in La Liga.

However, as Valladolid have all of their attackers back and have draw with teams like Real Sociedad and Sevilla in that eight game streak I mentioned, I’ll take the -0.25 at a just about doable price.

Recommendation: Villarreal – 0.25 Asian handicap (1.73)


Valencia v Espanyol

In both Barcelona and Valencia, this fixture has consistently contained three goals or more for many years.

Now, however, Valencia are goal shy and Espanyol will likely be more interested in their impending trip to the Bernabeu to play Real Madrid in the Copa – a tie in which they only trail by only one goal.

In conclusion, I think we have to go for home advantage and fresher legs by backing Valencia to win in some capacity. HT/FT and – 0.75 Asian handicap look best.

Recommendation: Valencia – 0.75 Asian handicap (1.8)

Worth a small punt: Valencia HT/FT (2.5)


Sevilla v Levante

With a 0-0 and 1-1 results in the last two seasons, this is a low scoring fixture and one in which Levante will try to ‘park the bus.’

However, Levante are coming off two draining back to back games against Barcelona and one has to conclude that they’ll struggle to stop a strong Sevilla side that hasn’t had to play cup football midweek.

The prices about a Sevilla win and minus one Asian line are very short, so I’ve opted for a bet which requires a fast start from the hosts. Emery’s boys have scored in the first half of most of their home games, so we should be ok with their fresher legs likely to aid our quest.

Recommendation: Sevilla HT/FT (2.0)


Almeria v Getafe

After a 2-2 draw when they last met, maybe both teams to score in this one, but I’d give the edge to Getafe. However, I just don’t have enough confidence in anything to place or recommend a bet, sorry.

I’ll be watching the game on Spanish TV and can certainly give you my thoughts in-play.


Osasuna v Athletic Bilbao

We all know that Osasuna struggle to score goals at home, while Athletic Bilbao don’t get many away either. Factor in that the Basques played in the cup midweek – narrowly losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid – and will likely have one eye on the return leg, and watching this game could well be like watching paint dry!

Osasuna + 0.5 for the brave at 1.75 but, with eight out of the last nine Athletic away games going under 2.5 goals and six out of the last Osasuna home games the same, under the goals appeals most to me at 1.8.

Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.8)


Rayo v Atletico Madrid

Put simply, Rayo lose virtually every home game, usually by a couple of goals. Atletico are a winning machine, but one that looks to be running out of steam with a brutal fixture pileup that has affected key players.

Star Colchoneros striker Diego Costa is one of those key players, but if there’s a defence he can regain his form against, it could well be Rayo’s.

Whilst it looks highly unlikely this time, Rayo defeated Atletico here last season and with Atletico’s defence tired, they might even be able to bag a goal in this Madrid derby.

All in all, with Atletico HT/FT, minus one and over 1.5 team goals too short priced for my liking, I opt for a straight over goals punt. It goes against the grain with regards to most Atleti away matches, but Rayo just cannot defend.

Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.78)


Barcelona v Malaga

This is usually a high scoring fixture and one in which Malaga score but Barca win. Last time they met, at La Rosaleda, the Anchovies couldn’t find the back of the net and they’ve only scored once in their last four games, home and away combined.

Malaga have, however, drawn with teams such as Real Sociedad and Sevilla on the road, and with a fair few of Barca’s regulars having played a part in their midweek Copa del Rey defeat of Levante, Malaga’s ability to defend fairly well as a unit could see their job get a little bit easier and we might not see a three to four goal Barca win.

Instead, since I’m not brave enough to bet on Malaga with a plus handicap. I’ve gone for Barca to win both halves at an attractive price. The second best price available is 1.73, with some firms gig a low as 1.53.

Recommendation: Barcelona to win both halves (1.85)

Real Sociedad v Elche

These two bets were offered on Twitter, and it seems only fair to include them (one won, one lost).

Recommendation: Real Sociedad – 1 Asian Handicap (1.95)

Worth a small punt: Real Sociedad win & BTTS (3.3)


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