Sunday's La Liga betting previews
Surprisingly, 0-0 specialists Deportivo (7/5) lost 1-0 at home to Levante last time out. Their opponents today, Michael Laudrup's Mallorca (21/10), won 1-0 at home to Zaragoza on the same day.
Scoring Mallorca's only goal direct from a free kick was De Guzman. Thought it was a decent strike, this goal was of great disappointment to me as I had bet on the guy who had taken and scored a free kick and penalty in previous weeks, defender Ramis.
Changing your set piece taker without telling me is not permitted Laudrup, take note!
Anyway, today should be a home win, but Mallorca are capable of winning away and there's always the possibility that Depor grind out another 0-0 (priced at 13/2).
I won't be betting on this game but, if you absolutely have to, the short priced under 2.5 goals (1/2) appears to be the safest bet.
Pochettino's Espanyol (10/11) did what they were supposed to and lost away (to Malaga) in their last fixture. This weekend they are supposed to beat Racing at home, but do you trust them to?
From past history I should, but I don't. As any forecaster will tell you, selling half of your defence makes a big difference and Espanyol's results have suffered as a consequence. The Catalans also have injuries worries up front.
Racing (3/1) have been in decent form since former manager Marcelino returned to the club, with their most recent result a 2-1 home defeat of Zaragoza.
In all honesty, I prefer to avoid this match but if you have to have a punt and need something, you might as well take a chance on Racing pulling of an upset at 3/1.
If Marcelino starts Dos Santos, Espanyol's young, inexperienced defence could be in for a bad day.
Winning 1-0 away to Depor a couple weeks ago, Levante (11/8) continued to show that, since Christmas, they are one the best form teams in La Liga. Though he didn't score in A Coruna, Caicedo has been a big factor for the Valencia based side with 11 goals in 21 games and, if he's cleared to play today, must be considered.
Also worth consideration as a scorer today is Malaga's Rondon. Two well taken goals in the 2-0 home defeat of Espanyol brought his seasonal total up to 12 and I wouldn't bet against him making it 13 today.
In conclusion, I wouldn't have hesitated putting a "1" down for this game a few weeks ago, but Malaga (2/1) have been on a roll in the interim and now look a different proposition - even with so many of their new signings on the injury list.
I think a draw (9/4) could be the outcome with 1-1 (priced at 6/1) a fair shout as a scoreline, but my favourite punt relates to the scorers markets.
Worth a punt: Rondon, e/w first scorer (6/1)
Sociedad (5/6) lost 2-1 away to Racing last time out and must win most of their remaining home games if they are to avoid being dragged into the relegation dogfight.
Hercules (7/2) sacked their manager, Estaben Vigo, after shockingly losing 4-0 at home to Osasuna. New manager Djukic is a former Deportivo and Valencia centre back with little managerial experience, he has a big task on his hands no doubt.
I often go with a new manager wins his first game, but not away from home and not this time. Maybe Hercules can secure a draw (12/5) tonight, maybe they will actually score away from home for the first time in months, either way I'm only betting in-play.
Despite being a Valencia fan I was very happy when Sevilla (4/7) won 1-0 at the Mestalla two weeks ago. Why? Well, because the Rojiblancos looked like an excellent bet at 3/1 and I have to consider profit.
New signing Rakitic has yielded profit for punters on many occasions since signing for Sevilla and is my pick to net one again today.
Zaragoza (5/1), who lost 1-0 away to Mallorca last time out, badly need the points in their quest for survival but are the second worst travellers in the Primera division and should not put up much of a fight this evening.
Recommendation: Double result of Sevilla/Sevilla (5/4)
Worth a punt: Rakitic, e/w first scorer (6/1)
Amazingly winning 4-0 away to Hercules last time out, Osasuna (6/4) are in great form.
Their opponents today, Atletico (15/8), are also in good form but will be missing top scorer Sergio Aguero and have several tired players returning from international victory. Atleti are also usually poor on their travels and few teams take points of Osasuna in Pamplona. All of this means that Osasuna should win and that's all I'm prepared to bet on.
Recommendation: Osasuna (6/4)
JC'S Sunday double: Osasuna (6/4) and Sevilla (4/7)