La Liga Matchday 2 Betting Previews
First off, many apologies that I couldn't get these previews out earlier. I've had a few problems, but hope you all saw my firm recommendation of Athletic Bilbao to win last night, which I posted on Twitter several times.
Anyway, my picks yielded plenty of profit last weekend so let's hope for more of the same this!
Best of luck
Elche v Real Sociedad, 18:00 - live on Sky Sports 4
Newly promoted Elche (2/1) were all at sea away to Rayo last weekend, duly losing 3-0. Real Sociedad (7/5), on the other hand, dispatched Getafe 2-0 in Basque country. Notably, La Real also recorded victory when defeating Lyon 2-0 in France midweek.
In rapid conclusion, Griezmann has been left out of the La Real squad to face Elche and it's a concern that the Basque's will have one eye on the second leg of their Champions League qualifier with Lyon, but Real Sociedad should still be too good for a promoted side.
Recommendation: Real Sociedad (7/5)
Espanyol v Valencia, 20:00
Unexpectedly, Barcelona based Espanyol (2/1) came from two goals down to draw 2-2 away to Celta Vigo in round one. In a game bereft of clear cut chances and final third quality, Valencia (7/5) defeated Malaga 1-0 at the Mestalla.
All in all, despite the blunt display of Los Che in the final third, the last six games between Espanyol and Valencia have produced at least three goals and I think asking for another three is worth a punt. I wouldn't be surprised if Espanyol won with Garcia on the scoresheet either (6/1).
Worth a punt: Over 2.5 goals (10/11)
Villarreal v Valladolid, 22:00
El Madrigal and La Liga Primera football are reunited once again, with the Yellow Submarines recording victory in their first game back in the Spanish top flight last weekend. Their winning goal was offside, but Villarreal (8/11) completed their comeback away to Almeria to win 3-2.
Valladolid, (4/1) as expected, lost 2-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao.last weekend. To make matters worse, their best player, Ebert, will miss the trip to Valencia and that, along with home advantage, is why I've given Villarreal the nod in this one.
Recommendation: Villarreal (8/11)
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Atletico Madrid v Rayo Vallecano, 18:00 - live on Sky Sports 1 from 18:30
With David Villa scoring a lovely goal against this former employers, Atletico Madrid (1/3) drew 1-1 at home to Barcelona in the Super Copa first leg. Prior to this game, Simeone's men defeated Sevilla 3-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to open up their La Liga campaign with a bang.
Rayo (8/1) easily defeated a nervous looking Elche side in Madrid last weekend, recording a 3-0 victory.
In conclusion, despite the fact that Atleti played an extra game midweek and unless they are playing Real or Barca, they've shown us in the last year or so that we should expect them to lead at half time and full time, but will likely only see 1-2 goals.
Sure, Rayo scored three goals in a crazy last ten minutes in this fixture last season, but they've lost nearly all of their attackers in the summer and Atletico/Atletico was a winner then.
Recommendation: Double result of Atletico/Atletico (3/4)
Levante v Sevilla, 20:00
Levante (23/10) were thrashed 7-0 away to Barcelona last weekend, and Sevilla (6/5) lost 3-1 at home to Atletico Madrid. The first result, while 6-0 at half time was a few goals more than expected, does not surprise me, but Sevilla played well against Atletico and maybe they'll fare better than I expected in 2013/14.
Anyway, this is the game of which I'm least enthused about in round two, both from a viewing and betting perspective. While I'm loathe to look up seasonal statistics, Sevilla were a terrible away team in 2012/13, losing to Levante in the process.
Losing 7-0 to Barca one weekend and beating Sevilla the next is not, therefore, as out of the question as you think. Of course, the fact that Sevilla played in the Europa league (at home, winning 4-1) must also be factored in.
All in all, I'm tempted to go with Levante draw no bet (6/4) here, but with the home side lacking quality in the final third, the away side tired and the last four clashes between these two ending 1-0, 0-0, 1-1 and 1-0, under 2.5 goals seems like value.
Worth a punt: Under 2.5 goals (7/10)
Malaga v Barcelona, 20:00 - live on Sky Sports 1
Malaga (10/1) didn't threaten Valencia at the Mestalla last weekend, but bar a goalkeeping mistake would have escaped with a point in their eventual 1-0 defeat.
Barcelona (1/4) defeated Levante 7-0 at Camp Nou, leading 6-0 at half time. I was almost annoyed having only backed over 1.5 first half goals! However, midweek, scoring goals was a problem for Barca as Neymar had to come off the bench to score and earn them a draw away to Atletico in the Super Copa first leg.
Messi, substituted at half time in the Vicente Calderon because of injury, is unlikely to play against Malaga, but I still expect that Catalans to win by a couple of goals or more and fancy them to make a fast start with the return leg against Atleti on the horizon.
From a stat perspective, both teams to score has been a winning bet in the last six head to head matches between Barca and Levante, but with Malaga having lost so many players a seventh time in a row seems a lot less likely than it used to.
Finally, if you can accept 6/10, Barca - 1 goal seems extremely likely to yield profit.
Recommendation: Barcelona Score 1st and 1st Goal Up To And Including 30th Minute (5/6)
Real Betis v Celta de Vigo, 22:00
Costing just over a euro to buy out his contract, new Betis (5/6) signing Cedric set up their goal in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu. All in all, Betis played well and could have snatched a point.
Celta (7/2) played some lovely football at home to Espanyol in their round one clash, but Enrique's boys were poor defensively, allowing the Catalans to come from two goals down to draw 2-2.
Of course, Betis also played and beat their Europa League opponents, Jablonec, 2-1 in the Czech Republic on Thursday night, meaning that there should be some tired legs on show to face Celta.
Betis twice defeated Celta 1-0 last season, but given their small squad, expected tiredness and my guess that the Galicians are going to score and concede a lot this season, I like both teams to score.
Recommendation: Both teams to score (8/11)
Monday, 26 August 2013
Granada v Real Madrid, 20:00 - live on Sky Sports 3
Granada (8/1), to my absolute delight, won 2-1 at Osasuna last weekend - a result that gave me a 5-2 winner on a perfect Sunday. Real Madrid looked unbalanced and stuttered to a 2-1 win over Real Betis at the Bernabeu, but it was 1-1 at half time and my over 1.5 first half goals bet was therefore a winner.
Now, Real Madrid (4/11) rarely won an away game by more than one goal last season and also lost more games on the road than they usually do - which was a major factor in the rapid collapse of their title challenge in 2012/13.
One of the away games Los Blancos were defeated in was away to Granada, with Ronaldo scoring the only goal that gave them victory! Of course, unhappy or not, Ronny will want to write that wrong, but I'm not recommending a 4/11 wincast!
Both teams to score or Granada, who were very unlucky to lose 2-1 to Real in 2011/12, with a two goal start are what I like, but at 8/15 and 7/10 I'm also pondering both to score and Real to win at a more attractive 13/8.
However, betting logic and past knowledge suggests that I should go with the handicap as my recommendation.
Recommendation: Granada + 2 goals (7/10)
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