Saturday’s Round 24 La Liga Betting Previews

13 Feb


Atletico Madrid v Valladolid

Although they looked to have run out of gas in their 3-0 Copa del Rey semi-final first leg defeat to Real Madrid, it was still a shock to see Atletico Madrid (1.2) lose away to Almeria in the game after.

Midweek, Diego Simeone rested all of his key players, and several others, in the second leg cup tie, which Atletico lost 2-0. Therefore, Costa and co should be fit enough to put Valladolid to the sword.

Although they did well to come from two goals down to draw at home to Elche last weekend, Valladolid (21.0) are still in 18th place in the table and therefore badly need the points.

Of course, for very different reasons, Atletico need the points too, and we have to favour them to win. The only question, seemingly, is how we can get a decent bet out of this.

Atletico – 1.5 sounds good, but then it’s only available a paltry 1.57. Los Colchoneros – 2 is probably a winner, but then Atletico will miss left-back Filipe Luis, his replacement Manquillo, midfielder Tiago, striker David Villa and possibly goalkeeper Courtois.

Therefore, minus two doesn’t seem worth the risk, particularly if key player Courtois misses out. Instead, with over 2.5 goals a mere 1.53, I’ve gone for over three goal line, Atletico to score in both halves and a small punt that will need Atleti’s weakened defence to concede.

Recommendations: Over 3 goal line (2.0) & Atleti to score in both halves (1.75)

Worth a small punt: Atletico to win & BTTS (3.4)


Levante v Almeria

Levante (2.1) dug their heels in and ground out a 0-0 at Real Sociedad last weekend – the exact same result we saw in the repeat fixture earlier this season.

Almeria (4.2), on the other hand, shocked the world by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos. From viewing, the game looked certain to end 0-0, but in the last ten minutes it was evident just how tired Atletico were and Almeria took advantage.

In conclusion, Levante are in 9th position and should beat 12th placed Almeria – who have four points less – but I find it hard to trust them at a 2.2 price since they’ve only won three league games on home soil.

Indeed, if Levante goalkeeper Navas misses out and his replacement is the same guy who played in the recent cup tie with Barca at Camp Nou, then you might be better chancing your money on Almeria + 0.5 (1.88) or even a shock over 2.5 goals at 2.45.

For now, however, I opt not to place a bet on this game.


Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona (1.08) conceded an early goal away to Sevilla last weekend, but eventually won 4-1, with Messi the star of the show. After Atletico Madrid lost and Real Madrid won, Barca are level on points at the top of the table once more.

Surprisingly, Rayo (41.0) demolished Malaga 4-1 at Vallecas last weekend. Falque (2) Arbilla and Larrivey were the scorers. The Madrid based side did benefit from Malaga having a man sent off early on, but they looked likely to win before that anyway. With this win, 18th placed Rayo are now four points off 16th place.

In conclusion, Rayo won when they needed to at home last week, and they won’t expect to get anything out of their trip to Camp Nou. Past head to head matches have seen at least four goals score in crushing Barca wins and this should be no different.

Over 3.5 goals is, however, too short priced for my liking at 1.65, while total Barca goals over 2.5 and -2.5 Asian line are the same at 1.4 and 1.67 respectively, so I opt for over 1.5 first half goals instead.

Ok, Barca haven’t been as efficient as they used to be at scoring at least twice in the first half, but I think they can do it at home to a Rayo team that continues to play ‘wide-open’ football.

Recommendation: Over 1.5 first half goals (1.73)


Villarreal v Celta Vigo

Villarreal (1.57) gave a good account of themselves, but ultimately lost 4-2 away to Real Madrid in round 23, with Mario and Giovanni their scorers. The Yellow Submarines remain in fifth place, four points behind fourth placed Athletic Bilbao.

Celta (7.0) put us all to sleep in their 0-0 home draw with Athletic Bilbao last Monday night. It really was a dire game, but Celta coach Luis Enrique and his charges will be happy to occupy 11th place in the La Liga standings, and they have improved recently, winning two and drawing one of their last three games.

In conclusion, with Villarreal missing key midfielder Cani (well, he’s been out for ages), striker Uche and goalkeeper Asenjo, they’re hard to trust at a 1.57 price.

Now, I’d like to back over 2.5 goals and that stats look good for that, but head to head this is always an under 2.5 goals game, and that scares me a little. Also, both Villarreal and Celta like to keep possession of the ball, which could lead to a frustrating game with few goals.

Instead, with Celta having won their last road game and Villarreal missing their goalkeeper, I’m thinking about backing both teams to score at even money.

However, I do have a feeling that Celta will get something out of this game and am torn between BTTS and Enrique’s boys + 1 on the Asian lines, also at even money.

Indeed, if we consider Atletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Sevilla to be on a similar level or better than Villarreal, and factor in that Celta won in Seville and lost away to the others by a one goal margin, then, all in all, Celta + 1, in theory, looks like the bet to take against an injury riddled Villarreal side who drew the reverse fixture 0-0.

Worth a punt: Celta + 1 Asian handicap (2.0)


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