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Jonathan Cordingley 28th Jan 2011 - 8:31

Saturday's Spanish La Liga previews

Saturday's Spanish La Liga Primera betting previews


Levante v Getafe, 17:00

Hammered 4-1 away to Sevilla last weekend, Levante (15/8) are now bottom of the table. Perhaps then it's a good job they are facing a Getafe team that is seemingly in a major slump.

Previously in good form, Getafe (29/20) have now lost two games in a row after going down 4-0 to Sociedad and 3-1 to Espanyol, both at home. The Players looked utterly shell shocked after both and although there's a decent chance that they will regain form as a collective tonight, It seems too good an opportunity to miss in tipping them for defeat.

Stuani (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) is my favoured option to score tonight but he often comes off the bench to do so. Given that, it might be worth having a small punt on him as last scorer should you not be able to wait for the team sheets.

Should you fancy a Getafe scorer instead, Daniel Parejo (15/2 to score first, 9/4 anytime) fluffed an easy chance when through on goal last week and will be keen to make up for his error this week. He rarely scores though - bar against former employers Real Madrid -so bear this in mind when you choose.

I've chosen to wait for the team sheets before deciding on how to back Stuani, but my pre-match bets are below.

Recommendation: Levante (15/8)


Worth a punt: Double result of Levante/Levante (15/4)


Malaga v Real Zaragoza, 17:00

No question, Malaga (19/20) were very, very unfortunate not to have taken something from their trip to Valencia last weekend. In one of the most enjoyable back and forth clashes in recent times, nine man Malaga lost 4-3.

Demichelis was one of the players sent off, proving once again that he is as much a liability as an asset. As a consequence of his red card, the Argentine defender will not be present today. Two goal hero Rondon (5/1 to score first. 5/4 anytime) and his new colleague Baptista (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime) will, however, be present today and along with Duda (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime) should be considered to score this evening.

By virtue of a deflected Boutahar (16/1 to score first, 6/1 anytime) free kick, Zaragoza (11/4) continued their improvement and rise from the relegation places by beating Deportivo 1-0 at La Romareda. That win was their second in a row, but notably both were at home.

Malaga have proven to be a less than reliable pick to win at home this season, but they looked like they'd cause anyone problems offensively last week and should quickly put Zaragoza to bed this week.

Recommendation: Malaga (19/20)

Worth a punt: Baptista e/w first scorer (11/2)


Mallorca v Sporting Gijon, 17:00

Daring to dominate Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last weekend, Mallorca (4/5) were unlucky to eventually lose 1-0 to Los Blancos. Back on the island tonight, Laudrup's boys will expect to add to their tally of 6 wins in 10 home games.

Opponents Sporting (7/2) might have something to say about that as, since manager Manuel Preciado was reportedly one game away from the sack a few weeks ago, their confidence and points tally has grown after an away draw with Racing along with home victories over Hercules and Atletico.

Without as much confidence as usual after failing to score in his last two games is Sporting's Diego Castro (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime). If you want to back a Sporting player then I'd recommend him.

For a potential Mallorca scorer I'd suggest you look at Webo (9/2 to score first, 6/5 anytime) and Nsue (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime), the latter of which hit the post in Madrid last weekend. Caution is recommended though as neither is consistent in front of goal.

Good in front of goal was indeed fair praise for the Sporting keeper last weekend, so I'd be looking at nothing bigger than 1 or 2-0 to Mallorca - priced at 11/2 and 15/2 respectively.

As much as Gijon have improved, they usually lose on the road and I won't go against Mallorca at home to such poor travellers.

Recommendation: Mallorca (4/5)


Real Sociedad v Almeria, 17:00

Defeated 2-1 away to Villarreal last weekend, Sociedad (evens) will expect to bounce back by defeating Copa del Rey semi finalists Almeria in Basque country this evening. Sadly they'll have to do it without target man Joseba Llorente as he's injured.

Fully fit for Sociedad, however, should be the excellent wide tandem of Griezmann (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) and Prieto (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime). Neither scored last week, but both are always a threat and key to a home win today.

After their 3-2 home defeat of Osasuna last weekend, Almeria (11/4) have climbed off the bottom of the table up to 18th position. Scoring twice in that game was Ulloa (13/2 to score first, 15/8 anytime), an Argentine forward who has netted in each of his last two league games.

Maybe Ulloa can score again today, but his team will be tired after the 5-0 midweek cup thrashing in Barcelona midweek and I fancy a Sociedad win.

Recommendation: Real Sociedad (evens)

Worth a punt: Prieto e/w first scorer (8/1)



Hercules v Barcelona, 19:00-Sky Sports 4

Can lightening strike twice? Probably not, but read on for a brief history of Hercules (14/1) famous 2-0 victory (80/1 for a repeat!) over Barca at the start of the season.

Hercules stopped Barca's offence by stuffing the middle of the park and thus forcing the Catalans out wide. Though Dani Alves is a very good right back/right midfield player, since Eto'o and his replacement Ibrahimovic left Barca do not have a forward  taller than about 5ft 9. Hercules has two centre backs above 6ft and hence headed the ball clear when crosses were put in.

On the counter attack for Hercules, Nelson Valdez (14/1 to score first, 11/2 anytime) was highly effective and his brace (20/1 about another tonight) is testament to that. More ineffective than effective was Valdez's colleague, David Trezeguet.

Frenchman Trezeguet (11/1 to score first, 4/1 anytime) has, however, progressed since his debut and is currently the clubs top scorer with nine top flight goals, all of which have come on home turf.

Messi (2/1 to score first, 2/5 anytime) is currently Barcelona's top scorer with 19 league goals, one of which came via the penalty spot in the 3-0 defeat of Racing last weekend. As usual, other Barcelona players to consider as potential scorers are Villa (3/1 to score first, 8/11 anytime) and Pedro (11/4 to score first, 8/13 anytime).

In conclusion, Barcelona will be out for revenge today and I expect them to get it. However, given the short 2/11 price, I won't be betting on them. I will be betting on a certain Frenchman making up for last time I deemed him worth a punt though.

Worth a punt: Trezeguet e/w first scorer (11/1)



Deportivo La Coruna v Sevilla, 21:00-Sky Sports 4

Losing 1-0 away to Zaragoza last weekend, 13th placed Deportivo (23/10) recorded their fifth straight defeat in all competitions. Sad times indeed for the Northerners, but with little offensive firepower they cannot rely on 0-0 scorelines to avoid being dragged into the relegation zone.

With 7 defeats on the road and a home record of 3 wins, 4 draws and 2 defeats so far this season, Lotina's Depor must win more games in A Coruna if they are to survive.

Because of a Luis Fabiano hat -trick, Sevilla (6/5) continued their recent return to form by beating Levante 4-1 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last Saturday. Because of poor officiating, Sevilla had a goal ruled out and lost 1-0 to Real Madrid in the cup on Wednesday evening.

In the cup game, losing 1-0 at the time, Fabiano (4/1 to score first, evens anytime) rounded Casillas and rolled the ball towards an empty net. With a desperation goal line lunge, Raul Albiol cleared the ball just as it looked to have fully cleared the line.

Harsh indeed given that TV cameras favoured a goal, but Sevilla must now concentrate on beating Deportivo before facing the daunting task of beating Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. Looking to aid Fabiano in both games - should they be selected - are strikers Negredo (5/1 to score first, 5/4 anytime) and Kanoute.

Continuing the scoring talk, I'd go with a "no" in the both teams to score market (10/11) along with just Sevilla in the teams to score category (23/10).

Although Sevilla will have one eye on the Copa del Rey 2nd leg semi final with Real Madrid, they should win at the Riazor tonight, hopefully by a score of 2-0 (priced at 9/1).

Recommendation: Sevilla (6/5)

Worth a punt: Fabiano, first scorer (4/1)

As ever, enjoy the action and don't forget that you always monitor the game and bet in-play at Williamhill.com



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