La Liga live! Spanish football previews
Sky Sports are showing four live Spanish La Liga Primera matches this weekend with the top three in the table all involved in the action.
Sporting Gijon vs Real Madrid
Live on Sky Sports 3 at 19:00 on Saturday.
Real Madrid (2/5) defender Pepe (8/1 anytime scorer) failed to make any of us money last week but Raúl has been in great form and deserves attention whatever the price. This week he is priced at 7/2 to score first or last and 10/11 to score anytime.
Another that deserves attention is former Atlético Madrid midfielder Miguel De Las Cuevas, who has scored 4 goals in his last 2 games. Always rated as a wonderful prospect throughout his youth he is just the kind of goalscoring midfielder that Atlético lack and they must now be ruing letting him leave for Sporting Gijon (5/1).
Known simply as Miguel on the betting lists, De Las Cuevas can be backed at 5/1 to score anytime and given his delightful free kick against Athletic Bilbao last week, Real Madrid’s susceptibility to set pieces and lack of general defensive organisation, this is the bet for me.
Recommendation: Miguel (De Las Cuevas) to score at anytime (5/1)
Sevilla vs Espanyol
Live on Sky Sports 3 at 21:00 on Saturday.
Last week Sevilla (2/5) lost to a stunning goal from Deportivo La Coruña midfielder Juan Rodríguez but they certainly had their chances with the previously in-form Álvaro Negredo (4/1 first goal) the guiltiest culprit for spurning opportunities.
A crushing win in Stuttgart midweek should raise punters confidence in Los Palanganas and the fact that Sevilla has beaten Espanyol (11/2) in their last three league encounters and scored 18 goals in the process means that even at 2/5 it’s hard to ignore betting on the home side.
For those who like a goal scorer, former Tottenham and West Ham striker Freddie Kanoute has scored 5 goals in his last 6 competitive matches against Espanyol and can be backed at 7/2 first scorer, 10/11 anytime scorer or even 6/1 to score 2 or more.
Recommendation: Seville (2/5)
Worth a punt: Kanoute to score 2 or more (6/1)
Almería vs Valencia
Second half live on Sky Sports 1 at 19:00 on Sunday.
David Villa did not play last weekend and Los Che coach Unai Emery came up with a canny game plan to combat Barcelona’s short passing game in that he plugged the middle to stop Barça playing and attacked down the wings. However, without Mr Villa there was no one good enough to convert the crosses when they came in and the game ended in a draw.
This week Valencia (evens) are away to Almería (11/5), a team who have only lost once in their last five games, but have allowed their opponents the most shots in La Liga (43). This should be music to the ears of the now fully fit David Villa who has scored 3 goals in 3 games against Almería and can be backed at 4/1 first scorer or evens anytime scorer.
Another interesting fact is that only Espanyol and Barcelona have left the Estadio Del Mediterráneo with three points since December 2008. Given that statistic a draw looks good value at 11/5.
Recommendation: Villa anytime scorer (evens)
Worth a punt: Draw (11/5)
Barcelona vs Real Zaragoza
Live on Sky Sports 1 at 21:00 on Sunday.
Barcelona’s 100% La Liga record is gone and they failed to set a new club record in successive wins at the start of the season. Worse still they lost to 14/1 outsiders Rubin Kazan in the Champions league midweek at home.
A much underrated team the Russian champions are and you have to concede that they scored two stunning goals. Not a bad effort from Ibrahimovic for Barça either and the Catalan giants will be hoping he can continue to hit the back of the net with the Swede priced at 11/4 for the first goal against Zaragoza or 8/13 anytime scorer.
At 1/9 Barcelona represents no value to me and Draw/Barça (10/3) in the double result market is a better bet for punters who want some value out of the reigning champions.
Those hoping Zaragoza (12/1) can get something from this game should look to the fact that Zaragoza have scored 6 of their ten goals from set pieces and that probably represents their best hope of a goal in the Camp Nou.
Other revealing statistics show that Barcelona boast the highest shooting accuracy (45.5%) and conversion rate (21.5%) in La Liga. Barcelona also top the pile in converting corners into goals with 5 from 17 attempts. Zaragoza have conceded the most corners in La Liga with 50 so far, so over 12 corners looks an attractive bet.
Recommendation: Over 12 corners