La Liga Week Two Preview
La Liga Week Two Preview by Mark Young
Even though there has been no football to speak of on the league front this week, it has still been a hectic week within the walls of La Liga but it is time to get back to the real action on the pitch.
There has been uproar by the smaller clubs this week, most of the noise coming from Sevilla over the distribution of television money and they have a right to feel aggrieved but this is nothing new. Real Madrid and Barcelona receive over 100 million Euros more of TV money compared to even the likes of Atletico and Valencia. The smaller clubs have a right to feel aggrieved but for now they are going to have to wait for a solution as there are games to be played.
The weekend kicks off on Saturday in spectacular fashion. The four games are all big ones and Sky are only showing three of them live where on another weekend all would be shown. Barcelona are away at Santander at the same time as Sevilla travel to Villarreal. Needless to say Barcelona are live. After that there is a Madrid derby between Los Blancos of Real Madrid and Getafe. The final game on Saturday is a game that is sure to promise goals at The Mestalla between Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Both Barcelona and Real started the season with comprehensive wins, 5-0 and 6-0 respectively and of course Messi and Ronaldo started the season pretty well themselves, Messi bagging a brace and Ronaldo scoring a hat trick. It is no surprise to see them both very short, once again for the wins this weekend. Barcelona are 1/6 away from home whilst Mourinho's men are 1/10 at home in a local derby. There would be very little point backing either of these in the straight 90 minutes betting. Real should be worth a punt on the -3 handicap (19/10) at home to a Dubai rich Getafe who are still finding their feet under new ownership. Barcelona should also ease to victory even if they are away from home. It will be interesting to see if Guardiola sticks to his 3-4-3 formation for away days and how he will rotate his squad. Barcelona -2 at 11/8 would be a preferred choice if the previous game week is anything to go by, it should have a lot of legs. One bet that should win more than it loses over the course of the season would be Ronaldo (4/11) and Messi (2/5) to both score at any time. It is very rare when both players are not on the score sheet and this would be one week where the recommendation would kick in after taking the first week by storm. The prices are not ground breaking and the bet is somewhat obvious. If more value is what you are after then both of them to score first in a double could work. Messi is 2/1 and Ronaldo is 7/4.
The final game is Valencia hosting Atletico Madrid at The Mestalla. Valencia started the season with a 4-3 victory at home to Osasuna thanks to a Roberto Soldado hat trick. He also netted for Osasuna. Atletico's game could not have been any different after a goal less draw at home. Atletico are expected to start new signing Falcao for the first time and a debut goal to open the scoring at 7/1 would have its backers. Atletico will start to get goals and like Valencia they are probably going to score as many as they concede. Both teams to score in this fixture at 13/20 is usually popular and is a good bet again.
After taking a breather from Saturday there are five matches on Sunday. The early kick off is Real Betis at home to Mallorca and after an opening day victory, Betis have got to be fancied again to win at home against the islanders at 10/11.
The live match on Sunday is Espanyol at home to Athletic Bilbao. After losing Osvaldo to Roma, Espanyol seem to struggle for goals and lack a cutting edge. They still have creative players in midfield like Luis Garcia but without a goal scorer they won't score many at all. Bilbao on the other hand have Fernando Llorente in their ranks but even with him in the side they are both teams that don't really play an expansive game and a low scoring encounter is on the cards. Under 2 goals at 9/4 appeals.
The other fixtures this weekend are Racing Santander at home to Levante, Osasuna at home to Sporting Gijon and Rayo Vallecano at home to Zaragoza on Sunday. Malaga host Granada on Monday evening and the money men of Malaga to open their account at 4/9 should be a banker.
17:00 Real Sociedad v Barcelona
17:00 Villarreal v Sevilla
19:00 Real Madrid v Getafe
21:00 Valencia v Atletico Madrid
11:00 Real Betis v Mallorca
15:00 Racing Santander v Levante
15:00 Osasuna v Sporting Gijon
17:00 Rayo Vallecano v Zaragoza
21:00 Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao
20:00 Malaga v Granada