Sunday's La Liga previews
Fairly short preview here folks as I can only see one outcome in this one: a 90 minute Getafe win-priced at 6/10.
However, it must be said that, besides some cavalier attacking play once 2-0 down away to Espanyol, Getafe looked way off the pace for most of their eventual 3-1 defeat in Barcelona two weeks ago.
Michel's boys had played extra time in their Europa league tie in Cyprus a few days prior to this fixture and aren't great on the road in La Liga, so there is fair reason for their defeat to the Catalans.
Levante (17/4) caused me some earache in the office after I recommended them to beat a shaky Sevilla side last time out! I felt I had reason enough to go for this upset, and how many times do the bigger teams all win away from home on the opening day of the season? Hardly ever is the answer.
Never mind, Levante did at least go a goal up in that game. Sadly their lead did not last long and 3 of the 4 goals they conceded were very poor. They totally crumbled, but if they could have kept it to 0-0 for 70 minutes before taking the lead I may well have clearer hearing and a healthier betting account balance!
I expect my balance to grow after this game but if the price on a Getafe win (6/10) is too short for you, mix them into a double with Sevilla; I already have!
Recommendation: Getafe (6/10)
Worth a punt: Getafe (6/10) in a double with Sevilla (8/15)
Zaragoza (10/11) really should have beaten hapless Deportivo in the Riazor two weeks ago, but could only draw 0-0. A result that gave me one of my 5/6 winning recommendations on that Sunday (I picked under 2.5 goals).
The main culprit for Zaragoza's failure to take all three points was young Columbian forward Marco Perez who managed to miss from close range when it would have been easier to score! Certainly one for a bloopers video!
Malaga (11/4) went into the interval tied 1-1 with Valencia at La Rosaleda last time out, but were destroyed in the second half by an inspired Joaquin led Los Che.
I have been asked how much of this game was down to Valencia being good and Malaga being poor. My answer is that most of it was down to Los Che's offensive superiority and that-though it's too early to judge properly- Malaga are not that bad of a side.
Malaga coach Jesualdo Ferreira has, so far, been unable to successfully implement his favoured 4-3-3 formation and will need time to do this. He may also need better players but they can only come once the transfer window re-opens.
Tonight I expect a work in progress Malaga side to lose, but not by much.
Recommendation: under 2.5 goals (4/6)
Worth a punt: Zaragoza win and under 2.5 goals (11/4)
This matchup see's two team's face off who have yet to score a goal between them. Well, they've only had one game each, but with notably very different outcomes.
Today's hosts Sporting (29/20) were hammered 4-0 away to a rampart, in form Atletico while Mallorca drew 0-0 at home to Real Madrid.
Credit must go to Great Dane Michael Laudrup who masterminded this draw- A pity he didn't have a decent striker available to him at the time, though it's also a pity that Real Madrid could not find a second half goal to allow my double result bet of draw/Madrid to yield profit!
Laudrup does, however, now have a decent striker to work with: Bordeaux's on loan Argentine, Fernando Cavenaghi. A couple of years ago the front man looked a far better player than recent Arsenal signing Chamakh.
Sadly injuries and loss of form contributed to Cavenaghi's poor return of 3 league goals in 20 league games last season. However, Fernando should benefit from working with an attack minded coach such as Laudrup and I expect he'll net 10 or so league goals once the pair have had ample time together.
For now I won't be backing him, particularly away from home where Mallorca (17/10) always struggle. Picking a 90 minute winner in this match is also a struggle as I can't be sure that either team will score.
Recommendation: under 2.5 goals (7/10)
Worth a punt: 0-0 (17/2) and the 90 minute straight draw (11/5)
Great at home but pathetic away; that was the mantra for the Yellow Submarines last season. Given their 1-0 away defeat to Real Sociedad in week 1, should I revert to type and pick Villarreal to win today?
Well, Villarreal did pepper Sociedad's goal in the closing stages of that game but clearly left it far too late to do so. However, I expect them to come out of the blocks early tonight and chase the opening goal so I'm inclined to say yes, Villarreal (4/5) will win this one-though not by a landslide
Despite this prediction I will only bet in-play on the 90 minute market, and will instead look to the goalscorer markets pre-match. I won't however be picking from the Villarreal strikers until one of them scores. It's also worth adding that Giuseppe Rossi has recently spoken of his desire to return to Italy-hardly good for team morale!
I will be wagering a small pre-match e/w punt on week one's worth a punt winner, Pablo Osvaldo (13/2 to score first, 15/8 anytime). The on loan Bologna striker netted twice in Espanyol's enjoyable 3-1 home defeat of Getafe.
Another of Espanyol's borrowed players, Jesus Datolo (12/1 to score first, 5/1 anytime), scored the final goal in that game to cap off a good debut for the Napoli owned Argentine.
I am not 100% certain with my Villarreal pick, but Espanyol (10/3) are another good at home/poor away type team so the home team is usually the winner in clashes like this.
However, if you are not totally convinced either, betting in-play is always an option.
Worth a punt: Osvaldo e/w first scorer (13/2 first goal)
Despite beating Levante 4-1 away from home last weekend, Sevilla are still a club with many problems: Manager Antonio Alvarez is under massive pressure from the board and fans after the Rojiblancos exited the Champions League and the much vaunted sporting director, Monchi, has failed to effectively replace the talent that has left the club in recent years.
Why Monchi is now buying players like Dabo from Europe instead of picking up rough diamond South Americans for a bargain price before polishing them I don't know.
Perhaps the strength of the Brazillian economy forces Monchi to look to Europe instead of pursing the potential "new Dani Alves" or "new Baptista"-both of whom were bought for peanuts before being sold for massive profits.
If you assess the current Sevilla (8/15) team it's fair to say that they have a shaky defence and a midfield devoid of creation. Their positive's are that they have excellent wingers and very good strikers.
Negredo (9/2 to score first, 6/5 anytime) is one of those strikers but, like I said last week, needs to prove he can help the team by scoring consistently. Last season he came close to racking up as many red cards as goals!
Though neither scored last week, I must give a mention to Kanoute (3/1 to score first, 8/11 anytime) and Fabiano (10/3 and 4/5 in the same markets) who are a danger to any defence if fit and in form.
Deportivo (11/2) were pathetic in their 0-0 draw at home to Zaragoza last weekend and, despite my earlier criticism of Sevilla, should be beaten with ease tonight. Not enough ease to make me confident enough to recommend Sevilla/Sevilla in the double result market, but a win for Sevilla nonetheless.
Recommendation: Sevilla (8/15)
Worth a punt: Sevilla (8/15) and Getafe (6/10) in a double
Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet in-play with William Hill Online.