La Liga Weekend Preview
Spanish La Liga Preview 05/11-06/11 by Mark Young (Twitter: @markyoung1988)
Real Madrid returned to the top of the table in La Liga last weekend after a 1-0 victory away at Real Sociedad and the pace setters, Levante, finally lost somewhat surprisingly to Osasuna. Barcelona are still on the tails of the chasing pack after a big 5-0 win at the Nou Camp against Real Mallorca.
This weekend sees Real Madrid back at the Bernabaeu hosting Osasuna. They won 2-0 in midweek away at Lyon in the Champions League after Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace to take him into three figures in terms of goals in his Real Madrid career. The man that has been in the best form in front of goal in recent weeks is the Argentinian striker, Gonzalo Higuain. He was rested midweek as Karim Benzema played his old club but should be retained to the starting line up this weekend. He is 5/2 to score first against Osasuna. Another man who was rested against Lyon was the rejuvenated Brazilian playmaker Kaka. He has been in good form in the last few weeks and is tempting at 5/6 to score at anytime.
Levante will be disappointed that their recent run of good form came to an abrupt end last Sunday against Osasuna. They have a tough test against Valencia this Saturday but look big at 2/1 to overturn a decent Valencia outfit. Valencia played mid week in Europe and although they won the squad is still thin. Canales is out for a substantial amount of time three games in a week may well be a step to far for Los Che.
Barcelona are away at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night. Bielsa's men have hit some form recently including a 1-0 away win in the Europa League on Thursday night. They could be another side that will suffer from fixture congestion because Barcelona will want to keep the heat on Madrid after Los Blancos play on Saturday and the Catalan's will know the outcome of the game. Guardiola's men are still short at 2/7 but a comfortable 3-0 away win at 13/2 appeals. Bilbao's two biggest threats come from Fernando Llorente and Iker Muniain. Llorente is 4/1 to score anytime with Muniain as big as 11/2. If Bilbao are fancied to score it should come from one of these men.
Malaga have hit a snag in form of late and travel to Betis on Saturday. Both teams are 17/10 to win but it would be a much better bet to go with the Pelegrini's Malaga. Another team that are a good price to win away from home are Betis' rivals, Sevilla. They are 6/4 to win on the island of Mallorca. One last decent away bet could be Atletico Madrid at Getafe in the final game of Sunday night. It is a Madrid derby so 7/5 for Falcao, Diego and Co. to walk away with the three points could be well worth a bet.
Elsewhere this weekend Zaragoza host Sporting Gijon, Granada play Racing Santander, Espanyol play a beleaguered Villarreal and Rayo Vallecano host Real Sociedad on Sunday.