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Rich 14th Aug 2013 - 16:25

La Liga Opta Facts - Matchday 1 - 17/18 August

Statistics and facts to help your football betting are available every week at William Hill courtesy of Opta Sportsdata, Europe's leading provider of sports performance statistics.

Almeria v Villarreal

  • Almeria have not lost any of their four home meetings with Villarreal in the Primera Division (3W 1D).
  • Villarreal achieved their third promotion to the Primera last season - after their first promotion, they suffered their worst ever top-flight campaign to date (1998/99, 36 points).
  • On the contrary, Almeria achieved their second promotion to the top-flight last season - they gained their best ever points total the year after their promotion (52 points in 2008/09).
  • Current Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral has never lost against Almeria in the top-flight (W3 D1).
  • Villarreal have only won two of their 13 previous opening day games in La Liga (D5 L6), though both victories came away from home (1-2 in Vallecas, 0-3 in the Mestalla).
  • The Yellows claimed promotion to La Liga in the final gameweek of the Segunda last season despite losing 1-0 at home to Almeria.
  • Villarreal only conceded more than one goal in two of their final 20 league games last term.
  • Almeria scored a league-high 19 headed goals last season.
  • Since the Frenchman made his Segunda debut, only former Almeria striker Charles (13) scored more goals in the second division than Jeremy Perbet (11).
  • Ustari has lost all three league games he has played against Villarreal.

Barcelona v Levante

  • Barcelona have won eight of their last nine meetings with Levante in La Liga, drawing the other.
  • The Catalan side have won all of their eight previous top-flight meetings with Levante on home soil.
  • Los Granotas have conceded an average of 3.25 goals per game in these eight trips to the Nou Camp in the Spanish league.
  • The 5-0 hammering Levante suffered in the Camp Nou last season equalled their worst ever La Liga defeat (also lost 5-0 v Real Madrid in 2004/05).
  • Cesc Fabregas has scored in three of the last four clashes between Barcelona and Levante in the league, including the victory in the Nou Camp last term.
  • Fabregas made 185 passes in the opposition half against Levante last season, the most by a single player against one opponent in the top-flight.
  • Barcelona had the highest average possession in any of the top five European leagues last season (69%), whilst Levante had the lowest (35%).
  • Levante will be playing in their fourth successive top-flight season; their best ever run of consecutive top tier campaigns.
  • Lionel Messi was the top scorer in La Liga last season, netting 46 goals - four few than the 50 goal record haul he netted two campaigns ago.
  • Levante have never won their opening fixture in a La Liga season (D5 L3).

Celta Vigo v Espanyol

  • Celta Vigo sealed La Liga survival last season after winning 1-0 against Espanyol on the final day.
  • Four of Celta Vigo's five previous home victories over the Catalan side have ended with the same scoreline: 1-0.
  • Luis Enrique will make his La Liga managerial debut; his Roma side in 2011/12 had the second highest possession figure in Serie A (60%) after champions Juventus (61%).
  • Espanyol won just three points having conceded the first goal last season - a La Liga-low.
  • Celta Vigo have lost last season's star man Iago Aspas to Liverpool; only Lionel Messi contributed directly to a higher portion of his team's goals in La Liga than Aspas last term.
  • Sergio Garcia has participated in more goals for Espanyol than any other player in La Liga under Javier Aguirre (seven goals, four assists).
  • With 27 goals last season, new Celta striker Charles was the top scorer in the Segunda last season (Aspas scored 23 goals in Celta's promotion campaign).
  • The last four times Espanyol have started a top-flight campaign away from home, they have suffered defeat, failing to score in three of those games.
  • Pizzi attempted more crosses than any other player in La Liga last season (338, including corners).
  • Rafinha attempted more passes in the opposition half than any other player in the second division last term (1417).

Osasuna v Granada

  • Osasuna lost both clashes with Granada last season; their last victory over the Andalusian side came back in February 2012 (2-1).
  • In that victory, Javad Nekounam scored his final league goal for Osasuna; the Iranian is Osasuna's top scoring midfielder over the last 10 seasons (24 goals).
  • Granada have only won one of their five visits to Pamplona in La Liga (2-1 last season).
  • Dani Benitez was the scorer of the winning goal in this one Granada victory in Pamplona, netting his first ever top-flight goal in the process.
  • The Andalusian side have lost their opening game in each of their last two top-flight seasons (1-0 v Betis and Rayo Vallecano).
  • New Osasuna striker Oriol Riera scored more headed goals than any other player in the Segunda last season (seven).
  • Granada had the second worst shot conversion rate in La Liga last season (10%), behind Osasuna (8%). Two years ago, Granada had the worst rate (9%).
  • Osasuna scored just 15 goals at the Reyno last season, their worst ever home goal haul.
  • New Granada striker Riki scored 13 goals for Deportivo last season; his best ever return in a top-flight campaign.
  • The Reds scored their last five goals last season after the half-time break.

Rayo Vallecano v Elche

  • Under Paco Jemez, Rayo Vallecano registered their best ever top-flight points haul last season (53 points).
  • Elche have won their last two top-flight meetings with Rayo Vallecano (3-0 and 1-0 in 77/78).
  • In fact, this was Elche's only victory in 39 total visits to Madrid in La Liga (D6).
  • After Barcelona (69%), Rayo Vallecano had the highest possession figure in La Liga last season (58%).
  • Edu Albacar was the top scoring defender in the Spanish segunda last season (eight).
  • Roberto Trashorras averaged more long passes per game than any other player in the top-flight last season (12.4).
  • Rayo Vallecano have never won a first round game when they have started the campaign away from home in La Liga (D4 L8).
  • Elche are one of only two teams Rayo Vallecano have faced in La Liga but never scored against (other is Castellon).
  • Cristian Sapunaru was shown a league-high 18 yellow cards last season.
  • Of the last 18 goals scored by Rayo in La Liga last season, none of the scorers remain at the club.

Real Madrid v Real Betis

  • Real Madrid have won four successive league games against Betis in the Bernabeu (scoring 3.7 goals per game).
  • The Green-and-Whites are the only team to have recorded more than one 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu over the last 10 seasons.
  • Betis are one of two teams (with Tenerife) that Cristiano Ronaldo has faced in the league on home soil and never scored against.
  • Jorge Molina has scored more goals against Real Madrid than any other Primera side, including in each of Betis' last two trips to the Bernabeu.
  • Mesut Ozil, scorer of a brace in the 3-1 victory over Betis last season, created more big chances than any other player last season (24).
  • Betis were the first team to ever beat Real Madrid on their own pitch in a La Liga season (1-0 in 1934).
  • Asier Illarremendi won 59% of the duels he contested in La Liga last season, the best record of the ten midfielders to contest the most duels.
  • Ruben Castro scored his first top-flight goals against Real Madrid in 2001 when he played for Las Palmas, but has not scored against the Whites since.
  • The last time there were five Andalusian teams in the top-flight (2008/09), Real Betis were relegated to the Segunda.
  • The Whites have not opened a season with a home defeat since 1984/85, when they lost 0-3 to Barcelona.

Real Sociedad v Getafe

  • Real Sociedad have only won one of their six home meetings with Getafe in the top-flight (3-0 in 2005).
  • The Blues have logged five draws at the Anoeta in La Liga, more than against any other opponent on the road in their top-flight history.
  • Getafe have found the net at least once in each of their previous nine opening La Liga fixtures.
  • The last three goals netted by Real Sociedad against Getafe in La Liga have all been headers scored by different players (Paco Sutil, Carlos Martinez, Carlos Vela).
  • Real Sociedad defenders scored a joint-high 11 goals in La Liga last season, whilst Getafe conceded a league-high 12 to opposition defenders.
  • Pedro Leon made a league-high six assists from dead ball situations last season.
  • Carlos Vela was one of only two players (with Iago Aspas) to be his team's top scorer and top assister last season (14 goals and nine assists).
  • Luis Garcia has never lost against los txuri-urdin in the top-flight (W3 D3).
  • Carlos Martinez scored the only goal of his La Liga career against Getafe.
  • Alvaro Vazquez was caught offside more frequently than any other player in La Liga last season (52.6 minutes).

Sevilla v Atletico Madrid

  • Sevilla are without a win in five league meetings with Atletico Madrid (D3 L2), their last victory against them coming back in 2010 (3-1).
  • Sevilla did, however, beat Atletico Madrid on the last occasion they played them on the opening day; Julio Baptista scored a debut goal in that game back in 2003.
  • Atletico have won two successive league games against Sevilla; they last won three in a row against them in La Liga back in 1993.
  • Both these teams have lost the player that scored the highest percentage of their league goals last season: Alvaro Negredo (43%) and Radamel Falcao (42%).
  • New Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro had the second best minutes/goal average in Ligue 1 (eight or more goals) last season (one every 108 minutes) after Zlatan Ibrahimovic (one every 99).
  • David Villa will make his debut for Atletico against the team he has scored the most La Liga goals against (14).
  • Thibaut Courtois kept more clean sheets than any other La Liga keeper last season (20).
  • Ivan Rakitic created more chances per game than any other player in La Liga last season (2.97).
  • The last time there were five Andalusian teams in La Liga, Sevilla qualified for the Champions League (2008/09).
  • When they have opened the season on home soil, Sevilla have opened with a victory in seven successive campaigns.

Valencia v Malaga

  • Valencia have won four successive home league games against Malaga; they have never won four in a row against them.
  • The Mestalla is the ground that Malaga have played the most often without winning in La Liga (12 times, no victories) together with the Bernabeu since their reformation.
  • Excluding Sevilla, Valencia are unbeaten in 17 home league games against sides from Andalusia (D3).
  • Malaga lost on the last occasion they faced Valencia on the opening day of a La Liga campaign.
  • Valencia scored a league-high 17 headed goals last season.
  • Willy Caballero conceded five goals on the last occasion Malaga played at the Mestalla, more than in any other game he played last term.
  • Los Che saw a league-high 11 opposition players sent off last season.
  • Malaga were the only team not to lose having scored the first goal of a game in the 2012/13 La Liga campaign.
  • No team won more points with goals scored in the 88th minute or later than Valencia last season (10).
  • Helder Postiga committed a league-high 100 fouls and was offside a league high 52 times last term.

Valladolid v Athletic Bilbao

  • Athletic have only lost one of their last eight league games against Valladolid (5W 2D).
  • However, the Basque side have only won one of their last nine league games in Pucela against Valladolid (D2).
  • The last four times Valladolid have opened up a top-flight season on home soil, they have lost.
  • The last time Athletic Bilbao played a full league game without picking up a yellow card was against Valladolid at the old San Mames.
  • Against no other side has Susaeta scored more league goals than against Real Valladolid (three).
  • Txingurri Valverde has never drawn in six league games against Valladolid (W2 L4), nor has JIM in the league against Bilbao (W3 L1).
  • Indeed, Valverde has lost both of his previous two league trips to Pucela, conceding exactly twice in each of these games.
  • Gorka Iraizoz made more saves per game than any other stopper in La Liga last season (4.37).
  • Ander Herrera won more fouls than any other player in the top-flight last term (107).
  • Valladolid scored more own goals than any other side in 2012/13 (four).




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