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Jonathan Cordingley 14th May 2010 - 15:13

Saturday's La Liga previews

Both teams have nothing to play for; Athletic (7/10) cannot qualify for the Europa league and, safe from relegation, Deportivo (7/2) gave up trying months ago.

However, Depor did shock the world by beating Mallorca 1-0 at the Riazor last weekend, though the Islanders amassed eighteen shots on goal!

The shot that did count was from Deportivo's Riki, who is in great form with a goal in each of his last two games.

Athletic surprisingly left many of their regular starters out of the line up when they lost 4-1 away to Real Madrid; Yeste scored Athletic's only goal.

Most of the Basque team should therefore be full of energy and, despite the disappointment of being unable to qualify for European action next season, will be expected to beat Deportivo.

Llorente has been included in Spain's preliminary 30 man squad for the World Cup and will be looking to impress today. Given his form, I'm not so sure if I'd back him today.

My best bet suggestion is a 90 minute Athletic win (7/10). 


First off, congratulations to Los Colchoneros for winning the first ever Europa League final. As has been the case many times this season, Diego Forlan was the difference maker.

Bearing in mind his midweek heroics and Atleti's upcoming Copa Del Rey final with Sevilla, Senor Forlan is not expected to play today.

In fact, Atletico (18/5) will more than likely rest most of their starters and send their youth team out to play Madrid rivals Getafe.

Getafe (8/13) beat Malaga 2-1 last weekend, with column favourite Roberto Soldado scoring as predicted; the impressive Pedro Leon got the other.

With that win, Michel's 6th placed Azulones need another three points today to guarantee European football at the Alfonso Perez next season.

I'm definitely backing Soldado e/w again, but my best bet suggestion is a 90 minute Getafe win (8/13).


Already safe from relegation, Zaragoza (11/4) lost 3-2 away to bottom club Xerez last weekend. Given the circumstances, Los Blanquillos tried a lot harder than you would expect.

Perhaps, as discussed in previous articles, they had been offered a cash incentive to win by one of Xerez's rivals? Perhaps a man from the outskirts of Madrid has offered a win bonus today?

There have been many whispers that the latter theory rings true, but are Zaragoza good enough to beat Villarreal (5/6) regardless of incentives?

Well, Zaragoza raise their game against the top six (ok, Villarreal are seventh!) and The Yellow Submarines are poor away from home so it could happen.

At El Madrigal last weekend, Villarreal easily defeated nothing to play for Valencia 2-0 in a bad tempered derby; Rossi and Llorente were the scorers.

In order to qualify for the Europa League, Villarreal must win today and hope that Getafe fail to beat Atletico.

My best suggestion is that you watch 5-10 minutes and assess how hard Zaragoza are trying before deciding where to risk your money. If you want to bet pre-match, I'd go with the must win factor and nervously suggest a 90 minute Villarreal win (5/6).


Almeria (11/2) had nothing to play for but very nearly beat Tenerife on the Island last weekend. Very nearly is accurate as Nino equalised for Tenerife in injury time; Piatti and Crusat were Almeria's scorers in the 2-2 draw.

This week Almeria again play a team with everything to play for, Champions League chasing Sevilla.

Sevilla (4/11) fought back from 3-0 down to give Barcelona a scare in their matchup at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last weekend; the game ended 3-2 with Kanoute and Fabiano scoring the comeback goals.

At this stage of the season, cash incentives play a part in late season games but I can't see financially crippled Mallorca (Sevilla's only rival for fourth place) offering Almeria a win bonus today.

This is a derby game of sorts, but I would still expect Sevilla to win (4/11). If the price is too short for you, put Sevilla in a double with Racing.


Gregorio Manzano will likely manage in the Champions League next season, just not with Mallorca!

I revealed several weeks ago that the current Mallorca boss has a pre-contract agreement to take over at Sevilla next season, ironically the team directly above his current charges.

Picked for relegation by many experts, the man management of Manzano has given Mallorca (1/4) their best season in years. Such a pity that they failed to beat a there for the taking Deportivo in A Coruna last weekend.

That 1-0 defeat leaves Mallorca one point behind Sevilla in the race for fourth place, and the Islanders must therefore win today while hoping that Sevilla fail to win in Almeria.

Espanyol (8/1) defeated Osasuna 2-1 last weekend, with goals from Forlin and Osvaldo; that result guaranteed the Catalans top division status for another season.

Espanyol are terrible on the road but will probably have been offered a few euros to win today!

Mallorca look like a shadow of the team they were a few weeks ago, but I'd still expect them to win today. I'm not, however, interested at 1/4 and will instead bet on draw/Mallorca in the double result market (16/5).

Enjoy the action and don’t forget that you can bet In-Play with William Hill Online.



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