Round 37 La Liga

6 May


Villarreal v Rayo Vallecano

Neither team has anything to play for, and it should be noted that Villarreal have beaten Rayo four times in a row. However, we have one season of Segunda for Villarreal sandwiched in between these results, and Rayo are surely a better side now.

Indeed, despite Rayo’s pathetic surrender at home to Athletic Bilbao last weekend, Villarreal haven’t been that impressive recently and I wouldn’t back them to win at 1.57 (price is getting bigger everyday) when they don’t need to.

Stat wise this game stands a very good chance of seeing both teams score and three goals or more, but 1.62 and 1.57 respectively I prefer to chance that Rayo are not quite in holiday mode and will put on an unexpected performance this weekend, or at least not lose by more than one goal.

Recommendation: Rayo + 1 Asian handicap (2.02)


Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad

Of course, this is a big derby game with pride at stake, but in terms of what either side can gain in their league position by winning, nothing is the answer.

All in all, perhaps it’s time for Athletic to finally defeat their Basque rivals after three straight losses to them, but at 1.83 I’m not bothered and will instead take a chance that Real Sociedad can follow up winning the last ever Basque derby at the old San Mames by winning the first at the New San Mames.

I’d like to bet on BTTS or over 2.5 goals, but both have failed in recent derbies and their respective prices do not reflect this.However, I do expect Athletic to score this time, so I’ve bet on the match result and BTTS market.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad to win and BTTS (7.5)


Elche v Barcelona

Of course, the players of Barcelona put in a lame performance against Getafe, severely reducing their chances of winning the La Liga title after conceding a late goal to draw 2-2, while relegation threatened Elche did what they had to and won 1-0 away to Malaga in round 36.

All in all, Elche need one more win or probably two points from their final two games to be safe from relegation, have not lost at home since December and have only lost by more than one goal at home once this season, while Barcelona have been well below par in road games for some time, losing three of their last six, and have not won by more than one goal in the league since February = Elche + 1.5 AH is worth a bet.

Recommendation: Elche + 1.5 Asian handicap (2.35)


Espanyol v Osasuna

Well, the price isn’t as good as usual, and it’s pushed me into the straight Osasuna win rather than + 0.5, but Espanyol are famed for losing at home to lesser teams who need the points more so, since the Catalans have nothing to play for and third bottom Osasuna need the win, I’ve bet on Osasuna.

Recommendation: Osasuna (3.25)


Levante v Valencia

My initial reaction was to back Valencia, as beat Atletico one week but loser to a lesser team the next is exactly the sort of thing I’d expect from Levante, but then Valencia also produced a shock by drawing – and very nearly beating – Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Given the above, the fact that this is a derby game and that neither team has nothing to play for, it seems best to give this game a wide berth from a betting stance.


Atletico Madrid v Malaga

We knew that Levante wasn’t an easy place to visit after a Champions League game, and that the players of the Valencia based club are likely to have been offered huge financial incentivies not to lose by a rival of Atletico Madrid, so it’s not a big surprise that Atletico Madrid lost last weekend.

In rapid conclusion with regards to today’s game, the players of Malaga, like Levante, could be offered money to avoid defeat, but this time I expect Atletico to get the job done against a side that has nothing to play for.

However, pricewise, I can’t find anthing worth doing. Atleti – 1.5 AH has no appeal at 1.67, HT/FT is 1.63 and I only like to bet on under 2.5 goals in Atletico away games.

I may well bet in-play on this instead but, from a sporting perspective, let’s just hope that Los Colchoneros win.


Real Betis v Valladolid

Of course, Betis lost again last weekend, 3-2 away to Almeria, and they will probably lose again this weekend. Valladolid desperately need the points since they’re only one point above the relegation zone, but their price is off no appeal to me and it doesn’t seem worth the risk.


Celta Vigo v Real Madrid

Luis Enrique – the next Barcelona manager – saw his Celta side win 2-0 at Osasuna last weekend, and unable to qualify for the Europa league or get relegated, they didn’t even need to win.

As you’ll know, Real Madrid have been dropping points for fun recently, drawing 2-2 at home to Valencia and 1-1 away to Valladolid in the last few days. Four points behind Atletico Madrid with two games to play, it looks like Real Madrid’s title challenge is over.

In conclusion, Enrique is a Barca man, several of his players are owned my the Catalan club and Celta played very well against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last time out, so it shouldn’t be an easy game for Los Blancos in Vigo this weekend.

However, Celta’s win price has gone from 11/1 to 6/1 since I started writing these previews, so Enrique’s boys + 2 on the Asian lines – which I had planned to do – is no longer doable pricewise.

I’m tempted by Celta + 1.5 instead, but at 1.75 and considering the shift in prices, I’m going to leave it.


Getafe v Sevilla

Sadly, Getafe have gone from a 3.1 price to 2.1 overnight. Of course, since Getafe are third bottom and need the points, while Sevilla have nothing to play for, I was going to back the Azulones. However, I’m not sure they’re worth the risk at 2.1 (now 1.9 as I update the previews) and will abstain. What a bummer – I’m even writing these previews on Tuesday to try and get the early prices. Seems the oddsmakers woke up just in time.


Granada v Almeria

After earning a 1-1 draw away to Real Sociedad last Monday evening, Granada have inched closer to Primera Liga survival, but they’re not yet mathematically safe.

Almeria, on the other hand, had to come from behind to beat bottom club Betis 3-2 last weekend and are still in grave danger of being relegated.

So, Granada could do with the win and will expect to get it since they have home advantage, but Almeria need the points a little bit more. All in all, I don’t trust the over goals and BTTS is only 1.7, so I’m leaving this one alone.


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