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Jonathan Cordingley 21st Sep 2010 - 7:41

Spanish La Liga Preview - Tuesday evening

Athletic Bilbao v Mallorca, 19:00

In my Sporting vs Athletic preview, I could not clearly pick a winner pre - match and instead opted to take a chance on a scoreline punt of 1-0 to Athletic, with Llorente the likely scorer.

Sadly the game ended in a 2-2 draw, but Llorente (6/5 anytime scorer tonight) did score - though not first - and Athletic did very well to come back from two goals down; it did not make me any money, but what a game!

Anyway, the good news is that tonight's game is a straightforward pick. Athletic (evens) are, despite the 2-1 home defeat to Atletico a week and a half ago, usually excellent at home and Mallorca (11/4) don't travel well.

At least Barralets coach Laudrup and his charges can make the long journey north with a first win under their collective belts: Mallorca beat Osasuna 2-0 with a Castro (14/1 to score first tonight) penalty and De Guzman (7/2 anytime scorer) injury time goal on Saturday night.

New Mallorca loan signing Cavenaghi (15/2 first scorer, 9/4 anytime) looked out of sorts on the Island and will therefore be left alone from a betting perspective in this game. The only bets I'm taking in this match are those listed below:

Recommendation: Athletic (evens)

Worth a punt: Llorente first scorer (9/2)

Osasuna v Real Sociedad, 19:00

Poor, poor Sociedad! They deserved to take at least a point from Saturday night's exciting home match with Real Madrid but got nothing, going down 2-1 thanks to a deflected Ronaldo free kick and Di Maria wonder goal.

Harsh justice, but then deserved counts for nothing in football as we all know. Jose get's the win but Sociedad's performance bodes well for their future in the Primera Liga.

Raul Tamudo (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) is part of the Basques future and, with 2 goals in 2 starts, must be considered a worthy punt in the scorers market tonight.

Tonight's opponents, home team Osasuna (11/10), have failed to score a goal in any of their three La Liga outings so far - They lost 2-0 away to Mallorca on Saturday night - and coach Camacho has understandably demanded more from his forwards.

Camacho should get more effort from his team tonight, who it must be noted do not lose much in Pamplona, but I'm not convinced that they can gain anything more than a point against a Sociedad (5/2) side brimming with confidence.

Recommendation: Draw (23/10)

Worth a punt: Tamudo first scorer (7/1)


Real Madrid v Espanyol, 21:00-Sky Sports 3

In typical Jose Mourinho fashion, Real Madrid did just enough to beat a gutsy Sociedad side 2-1 in Basque country last Saturday night. You could say that they were lucky not to draw, but a win's a win and Real keep on doing that.

Also winning at the weekend were Espanyol who beat Almeria 1-0 through a first half Callejon (16/1 to score first, 6/1 anytime) goal. With a 4-0 away defeat to Villarreal sandwiched between a home defeat of Getafe, the Catalans are once again showing how perfect they are for the win at home, lose away theory.

And lose away Espanyol coach Pochettino will do today, particularly when you consider that four of his best players - Osvaldo, Marquez, Datolo and Ivan Alonso - are all unavailable for the trip to Madrid.

With the price so short on a 90 minute Real Madrid win (1/6) along with the double result bet of Real/Madrid/Real Madrid (4/7), anyone looking to get some value out of backing Los Blancos might want to consider Draw/Real Madrid (3/1); including their Champions league victory over Ajax, that bet would have won in three of Real's four games this season.

Another point of note in three of those four games is that Real have won by one goal twice and two goals once. Credibility must therefore be lent to margin of victory bets depicting Madrid winning by one (16/5) and two goals (11/4).

Nobody is in good enough goalscoring form to be directly recommended by me in this match, but if you want to bet on this market Di Maria (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) and Ronaldo (2/1 to score first, 2/5 anytime) have a little merit through each scoring last week.

Finally, anybody who likes to play the under/over 2.5 goals market will be interested to hear that under is priced at a tempting 13/8. Given that Real have yet to score three goals in a competitive game under Mourinho while considering that Espanyol (14/1) will likely put a gritty defensive performance in, that could be a winning bet.

Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet in-play with William Hill Online.



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