La Liga Preview
The week after European competition and it was a mixed week for the five teams involved.
Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid all picked up victories, Barcelona drew in Milan and Valencia lost at AZ Alkmaar but it's back to league action this weekend.
Real have a tough looking away fixture in Pamplona on their hands as they face up against Osasuna. This is a potential banana skin for Jose Mourinho's team Real are a good price for them at 4/9 but that is hardly worth taking n such a difficult looking fixture.
It is the kind of game that can win you titles and a typical Mourinho team would go away from home and win this 1-0. At 15/2 that score line has major appeal but after the 3-0 first leg win in Cyprus against Apoel in the Champions League, the second leg can take a back seat and a win here would really set Los Blancos on the home straight.
Two of the other sides representing Spain in Europe go head to head at the Nou Camp on Saturday night in a dress rehearsal for the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao.
Bilbao tore Schalke and Manchester United apart in Europe, two semi finalists in the Champions League last year and are maybe a little bit underestimated with a Barca victory at 1/8.
Both teams will have an eye on the forthcoming European return legs but 7/1 for this to be a shock draw is tempting.
The William Hill Match Winner is for there to be five or more goals in the match, priced at 15/8. If you like entertainment, then why not? The reverse fixture did finish 2-2 with a last gasp equaliser from Messi. He is 7/4 to net last again this time.
Atletico Madrid came out 2-1 victors at home to Hannover on Thursday night which is quite a dodgy score line going into the away fixture.
This weekend they face Getafe in the early kick off on Sunday. Atletico are 8/13 to record the victory but did look out of sorts when losing away at Zaragoza last weekend.
They should still be trusted to get the job done and keep the pressure on Malaga for that fourth position. They host Betis on Saturday night and are an interesting looking 4/6 to win.
The final team of the European battlers are Valencia. They have been in poor form of late but losing 2-1 away from home in a two-legged affair in Europe is not a bad result. They host Levante on Sunday and at 8/13 should not be trusted to record a victory.
The draw has appeal at 11/4. The William Hill Match Winner is for Valencia to score first and Levante to win. That is a huge 20/1.
There are a couple of big six pointers on Saturday as Racing host Granada and Gijon welcome Zaragoza. Both home teams seem very good value, as does the away side in the Real Sociedad and Rayo match. Rayo are a good side and at 9/4 for the three points must not be sniffed at.
The final two games of the weekend are Villarreal at home to Espanyol on Sunday and Sevilla at home to Mallorca on Monday night.