Sunday’s La Liga Betting Previews

14 Dec

eibar

Leganes v Eibar: 15:15 – Live on Sky Sports 5

Madrid-based Leganes drew their first league road game of the season after a penalty earned them a 1-1 draw in Las Palmas. Basque side Eibar, meanwhile, also drew their round 15 fixture, 0-0 at home to Alaves.

A draw this weekend, then? Well, it’s very possible, but I like to bet on the side of the handicap that covers such an eventuality. Sadly, however, both teams are priced around 4/6 on a + 0.25 Asian handicap basis!

I just don’t bet on draws – unless it’s an end of season game and a share of the spoils suits each team. Instead, you could argue that as there’s been over 2.5 goals in three of the last six competitive games both Leganes and Eibar have played, anything above evens offers value on three goals or more – and you can get a juicy 27/20 about that – but this game could just as easily be 0-0, 1-0, 0-1 or 1-1. Up to you, but no bet here.

aguilar

Deportivo La Coruna v Osasuna: 17:30 – Live on Sky Sports 5

Through a brace from substitute Joselu, they were actually leading until the 84th minute, but plucky Deportivo eventually lost 3-2 to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last Saturday.

Largely because Barca kept missing clear-cut chances, Joaquin Caparros’ Osasuna held the Catalan side for nearly an hour of their round 15 clash in Pamplona, and a 0-0 did not look out of the question, but Messi scored and Enrique’s boys ran out 3-0 winners.

In conclusion, Osasuna have lost their last six competitive games and are, surely, the worst team in La Liga Primera. As such, we should back Depor, but then their 8/13 price, in my book, is too short for a team that’s only won one of their last nine games – that 5-1 at home to Real Sociedad.

As is often the theme, goals are next on my radar and since the last seven Depor league games have resulted in both teams scoring at least once each, BTTS Yes is a runner.

However, Osasuna have only scored once in their last six competitive games. Caparros’ boys have conceded at least twice in each of their last four league games, though, while Depor have scored two or more in their last four La Liga fixtures, so the Northern side to score over 1.5 team goals at a more agreeable 4/5 it is.

Recommendation: Over 1.5 Deportivo team goals (4/5)

qsf

Barcelona v Espanyol: 19:45 – Live on Sky Sports 1

As mentioned in the last preview, Barca missed a lot of first-half chances before eventually putting Osasuna to the sword and winning 3-0 last weekend. Albeit against the worst team in the league, it halted a run of three straight league draws for the Catalan side. Midweek, Barca played a friendly organised by sponsors Qatar Airways, in Qatar, defeating Al-Ahli Jeddah 5-3. Many of their regulars, including Messi and Neymar, took part.

Quique Sanchez Flores’ Espanyol, meanwhile, defeated Sporting Gijon 2-1 in Barcelona and are now unbeaten in nine league games, ten if we count the cup. Their goalkeeper, former Villarreal and Real Madrid man Diego Lopez, hadn’t conceded in five straight league games until that picture-perfect last gasp Sporting free-kick stopped it becoming six in a row.

In conclusion, as documented and including their 0-0 home draw with Malaga, Barca haven’t been in great form recently and you can’t ignore their 2-1 home loss to Alaves either. That, playing in Qatar midweek, the fact that Espanyol beat Barca in the Copa Catalunya at Camp Nou, the ten-game Espanyol unbeaten streak and illustration that their defence first philosophy worked in a 0-0 draw away to Atletico Madrid all says that an upset is very possible in this massive derby game.

As usual, I’ll play handicapper and take the away team on a + 2.25 basis at 11/8, which looks like an excellent bet, particularly as I thought it would be around evens for + 2.

Recommendation: Espanyol + 2.25 Asian Handicap (11/8)

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