Sunday's La Liga previews
Win this game and Barcelona will retain the league title. Lose today and Javier Clemente's Valladolid will likely get relegated; a crucial game for both teams.
The ridiculously short priced Barcelona (1/20) will play this game without the services of Xavi, Iniesta and Puyol. Still enough to beat Valladolid (22/1) at the Nou Camp though Clemente will not make it easy, that's for sure.
As discussed several times in recent previews, former Spanish national team manager Clemente had done fantastically well since taking the reins in Valladolid and must surely wish he was given the opportunity a few weeks earlier.
An earlier appointment would probably have saved Valladolid's Primera League status, but Clemente is no stranger to taking points from the Nou Camp, as proved during his title winning days with Athletic Bilbao in the early 80s.
In those games his team kicked Barca all over the park and you would expect a similar game plan today. Will those tactics be enough to win today?
It's highly likely that they won't with Messi (13/8 to score first, 3/10 anytime and 7/4 to score 2 or more), Bojan (7/2 to score first, 10/11 anytime) and Pedro in such good form.
As usual, there is no value in backing anything to do with Barca so I'd suggest the handicap bet of Valladolid + 4 goals (4/9).
As I expect all of you to be aware, Real Madrid (1/4) must win today and hope that Barcelona fail to beat Valladolid if they are to win the Primera League title.
Like many other teams around them, The Anchovies must win today and hope that the rivals fail to do the same.
Malaga fought hard but lost 2-1 away to Getafe last weekend; Fernando was the scorer.
Los Blancos beat Athletic 4-1 at the Bernabeu last weekend with a dodgy penalty allowing Real to take the lead. Athletic fought well against the individual's only style of Real Madrid, but eventually started leaking goals after the game reached the seventy minute mark.
Ronaldo (2/1 to score first, 2/5 anytime) and Higuain (5/2 to score first, 4/7 anytime) spared Real's blushes and will be expected to score again today.
There is a far greater chance of an upset in this game than there is in Barcelona's home fixture with Valladolid, and you can be sure that Malaga will fight tooth and nail to the finish.
However, and although I can envisage Real leaving it late to seal the win, I can't see William Hill Online-sponsored Malaga (8/1) getting anything out of this game.
Sorry to say it but along with Valladolid and Tenerife, I expect Malaga to be playing in the Segunda division next season.
If Real are too short for you at 1/4, I'd take a chance on draw/Madrid in the double result market (4/1). Not a bad value bet when you consider that Real often fail to resemble anything but a team for an hour or so of their games, before scoring late winners.
Osasuna (13/10) have nothing to play for, but will have been offered a cash incentive to win by one of Xerez's rivals.
Xerez (9/5) cannot afford to offer cash incentives, but must win today and hope that rival teams lose if they are to complete the great escape.
The chances of a great escape were furthered when Xerez beat Zaragoza 3-2 last weekend; top scorer Bermejo was not amongst Xerez's scorers, and so I won't be backing him today.
In fact, the only thing I would back is a Xerez win (9/5). Pamplona is a tough place for any team to take points from, but I think that Xerez can retain their Primera division status and will be praying that I'm right!
Right, Sporting (17/2) are safe from relegation and enjoy a good relationship with Racing.
Sporting's manager is from Santander and supports Racing. Word is that the two clubs agreed (weeks ago) that whichever of the two needed the win today would get it!
Eighteenth placed Racing need the points. I would therefore suggest the 90 minute Racing win (2/7). If the price is too short for you I'd recommend a Racing and Getafe double.
As I told you last week, Valencia (5/4) are guaranteed third place and therefore having nothing to play for. In order to avoid relegation, Tenerife (17/10) must win today and hope that other teams don't.
Los Che lost 2-0 to Villarreal at El Madrigal last weekend as expected.
In others news, Valencia coach Unai Emery has surprisingly agreed to a contract extension (the length of the deal has not been disclosed). Not surprising given that he has guided Los Che to third, more so because most of the players don't respect him or his tactics.
David Villa is 99% certain to be a Barcelona player next year. Maybe he wants to go out with a bang today if this is to be his last game for Valencia? I won't be betting on him due to his terrible recent form.
Tenerife disappointed me by failing to beat Almeria on the Island last weekend (Almeria were probably offered a win bonus by one of Tenerife's rivals), but have striker Nino to thank for salvaging a last minute draw.
That point leaves the Islanders in need of another three today. Even though Valencia have nothing to play for, we can't ignore how pitiful Tenerife have been on the travels this season; only six points gained.
I just don't think that Tenerife are trustworthy enough to risk putting money on them beating Valencia in the Mestalla, whatever the circumstances.
I'm not betting on this pre-match, but if you are I'd suggest a 90 minute Valencia win (5/4).
Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet In-Play with William Hill Online.