Sunday's La Liga preview - 3rd October
After a winless start at home in the Primera Liga, Almeria coach Juan Manuel Lillo is under real pressure to win this derby game. With Malaga (21/10) in unusually superb form away from home this season, you have to give strong credibility to an Anchovies win tonight.
However, be aware that the head to head statistics say otherwise: Almeria (13/10) have won five of their six league meetings with Malaga, winning the home fixture every time.
Believe in current form or history in the 90 minute market, but have a good look at the scorers market in which Malaga's Rondon (6/1 to score first, 13/8) has impressed recently with three goals in his last three games; including one in Malaga's 3-2 home defeat to Villarreal on Monday night.
With two goals in his last game - a 2-0 away defeat of not so super Deportivo - is Almeria's Uche (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime). If the Nigerian scores again today I will recommend him as worth a punt in Almeria's next game. For now he just gets a mention.
The suspended Eliseu will be a big blow to Malaga's counter attacks, but I fancy Rondon to score without the Portuguese's assistance and think that the double result of Malaga/Malaga (9/2) could be a winner given that the Anchovies have scored nine of their eleven goals in the first half.
Recommendation: Malaga (21/10)
Worth a punt: Rondon to score first (6/1).
In their last three fixtures - in Europe and in Spain - Getafe have lost away to Young boys, won away at Racing and lost at home to Malaga. This makes Azulones fixtures difficult to predict, though you could say that they are in bad form with two defeats against a solitary win in those games.
Bad enough form for Hercules to take something from this game I think. Consider also that the away team from Alicante are undefeated on their travels with one win and one draw so far.
Hercules (23/10) beat Sevilla 2-0 at home in their last game and have kept clean sheets in their last two games; a Hercules clean sheet tonight is priced at 5/2 should you fancy them to make it three in a row.
Frenchman David Trezeguet (13/2 to score first, 7/4 anytime) netted a brace against Sevilla and has scored each of Hercules last three goals - Enough logic to make him the only choice in the scorer markets if you fancy an away win today.
This will be the first top flight meeting between these teams and I think that the better rested Hercules will win it. By what score I'm not sure, but anyone interested might want to consider 1 and 2-0 (priced at 9/1 and 18/1 respectively).
Recommendation: Hercules (23/10)
Worth a punt: Trezeguet to score first (13/2)
Camacho's Osasuna (4/5) lost 1-0 away to Espanyol last weekend, but did not play that badly and will expect to edge past Levante (15/4) in Pamplona tonight.
Osasuna are unbeaten in their last eight league games at home, with a record of four wins and four draws; one win and one draw is their record so far this season.
Levante held Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw in Valencia last weekend and will have gained a lot of confidence from that. Another 0-0 today (priced at 17/2) is not without merit given that Osasuna have only scored in one of their five league games so far this season.
If Osasuna are to win, Walter Pandiani scored first in their last home game a week and a half ago and is the bookies favourite to do so again today at 4/1 (11/10 anytime scorer).
These two teams have each won three games in their six league meetings, though it's debatable what you should read into that considering the last of those was a few years ago.
In conclusion, I recommend an Osasuna win (4/5) with a much smaller cover bet on 0-0 (17/2) just in case.
A pity this one will not be under the live Sky cameras. Nevertheless, for anyone able to view it you have a potentially very exciting game to look forward to: A repeat of the Copa Del Rey final and, while that game was played at a neutral venue, a repeat of the same outcome I think.
For Sevilla (6/5) have a new manger in Gregorio Manzano, the miracle working former Mallorca boss who lead the Barralets so close to the final Champions league berth last season.
This will be the most talented squad that Manzano has worked with and given what he achieved with a weak Mallorca team, expectations will be high from the Rojiblancos board and fan base.
Expectations last weekend were that former Sevilla boss Antonio Alvarez would lead his charges to an away win at Hercules. Sadly for Antonio and your writer Sevilla lost 2-0.
I had been recommending going against Sevilla for a few weeks, but had decided to start looking for the upset that got Alvarez sacked at home matches as the Rojiblancos looked like a different team on the road and kept on winning their away games.
I'm a little miffed not to have recommended the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, but I was on the right track and sensed what was on the cards long before most others did.
Never mind, Atletico (11/5) looked a little shaky in their 1-0 home defeat of hapless Zaragoza last weekend and don't usually match up well with their hosts at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Atletic will be without the suspended Reyes tonight, and Aguero (13/2 to score first, 7/4 anytime) and Forlan (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime) have been either rested or simply out of form. The same applies to Sevilla's Fabiano (5/1 to score first, 13/8 anytime) and Kanoute (6/1 to score first, 13/8 anytime) so I'd suggest you tread carefully in the scorers market.
Manzano gained his first official win as Sevilla boss in Europe midweek and I expect him to win his first Primera Liga game in charge of the team tonight.
Recommendation: Sevilla (6/5)
The Yellow Submarines currently occupy second place in the Primera Liga standings and have won their last four league fixtures; a 3-2 away defeat of Malaga was the most recent of those four.
Scoring against Malaga and also in Villarreal's midweek Europa league defeat of Club Bruges was American born Italian international Giuseppe Rossi (4/1 to score first, 11/10 anytime).
Not hitting the back of the net in either of those two games, but in great goalscoring form prior to that is the Brazilian Nilmar (4/1 to score first, 11/10 anytime).
The final potential goalscorer to consider is winger Santi Cazorla (7/1 to score first, 15/8 anytime), who scored a brace in Malaga.
Anything can happen in football but I cannot find anything to justify considering a Racing (4/1) win this afternoon - Statistics back this up with Villarreal (7/10) unbeaten in their last seven meetings with The Verdiblancos (five wins and two draws).
Quite simply, Villarreal are great at home while Racing are poor away. This may not translate into the double result bet of Villarreal/Villarreal (8/5) being an easy winner due to the subs tiredness from their Thursday night European game, so be warned if you bet in that market.
Scoreline punts of 2 and 3 nil to Villarreal seem sensible and are priced at 7/1 and 12/1 respectively. Finally, Just Villarreal to score in the both teams to score market could pay dividends and is reasonably priced at 17/10.
Recommendation: Villarreal (7/10)
Two things stand out in this matchup: Messi is back and Mallorca boss Michael Laudrup will, after playing Real Madrid on the opening day, face another team he used to play for.
The Great Dane should receive warm applause from the Nou Camp faithful and his team will try hard to stop Barcelona from weaving their magic. What level of magic we will see depends on the form of FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi (2/1 to score first, 2/5 anytime).
Messi looked pretty good in Barca's 1-1 draw away to Rubin Kazan midweek, but personally I'd reserve judgment on him as a potential first scorer (at such a short price) until he shows us that he's back to his best in front of goal.
Showing his first signs of composure in La Liga last weekend was Mallorca's Argentine striker Cavenaghi (10/1 to score first, 7/2anytime), who scored a brace in the islanders 2-0 home defeat of Real Sociedad.
Scoring at the Nou Camp is a very different proposition to scoring at Son Moix but if you are looking for a massive long shot, Senor Cavenaghi could be worth a small punt.
Barcelona (1/6) were impressively held for 55 minutes of their 3-1 away victory in Bilbao last weekend but had around 75% of the possession in the first half- a staggering statistic indeed.
I would give Mallorca (14/1) only a slim chance of winning tonight's game, but they just might be able to hold Barca to a draw at half time (priced at 15/8). Take note of the word might and also have a look at Draw/Barca (16/5) in the double result market which is a plausible punt- No guarantees though; you make your own decisions.
Jose's Los Blancos may have played away from home when drawing 0-0 with Levante last weekend, but attendances at the Bernabeu are sliding and that surely comes as no surprise to anyone with the brand of football on show.
I cannot keep going through the same points every week, but once more; Jose brings boring football but eventually wins titles at major clubs. He did it with Porto, Chelsea and Inter.
Until Real Madrid (1/6) gel in the manner of which their coach desires, the fans will get just get the boring football. From my viewpoint, watching paint dry is a better option than watching Real right now.
Ronaldo (9/4 to score first, 1/2 anytime) and Higuain (10/3 to score first, 4/5 anytime) cut frustrated figures and, at such short prices, do not represent any value in the scorers market.
In the double result market, every time I pick Draw/Madrid (3/1) it ends up being draw/draw! You cannot trust Real Madrid/Real Madrid (11/20) in the same market so come to your own conclusions here.
Deportivo (14/1) lost 2-0 at home to Almeria last time out and should therefore be given nothing more than a slim chance of winning today. Depor may make it hard for Real, but Mourinho has promised goal, goals and more goals!
Should you fancy Jose's promise to ring true, over 2.5 and 3.5 goals are available at 6/10 and 13/8 respectively.
Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet in-play with William Hill Online.