Sunday's La Liga previews
None too impressive in their 1-0 away derby defeat of Levante last weekend, Valencia (4/9) will look to the in - form Juan Mata to keep them on the heels of third placed Villarreal.
Bar his penalty miss, Mata has been excellent and key to Valencia's chances of winning tight games. Simple proof of this comes in the fact that, as well as in Levante, he scored the winner in Valencia's defeat of Espanyol the week before.
Sometimes dropped, rested or suspended are the Che strike force of Aduriz and Soldado. Neither has scored in the league recently so both will be hungry to bag one today should they get the nod.
Deportivo (13/2) losing gets the nod tonight, but I should warn you that they are capable of the odd 0-0 (priced at 10/1). Not last weekend, however, where they suffered at the hands of Barca, but they could blank Valencia out until half time.
On that note, the double result bet of draw/Valencia sounds like a worthy punt at 3/1. I'd like to see some goals, and quickly, but I can't ignore that it sounds like a good time to try that with defence minded opposition in town. I'll be taking a punt on this for sure.
I'll also have a small correct score bet on 2-0 to Valencia (priced at 11/2) and suggest that "No" (4/6) in the both teams to score market and "Valencia only" (23/20) in the teams to score category sound like likely winners.
So Real Madrid (2/9) matches are boring, right? At the start of the season yes, but not now, oh no! In fact, Real's last two matches - against Atletico in the cup and Villarreal in the league - have been nothing short of tremendous!
Both games saw Real go a goal down before eventually winning by two goals - Evidence enough that unless Real are playing Levante/Racing or someone similar, betting in-play on Real (how many times have you seen them heading for a draw with 70 minutes played only to score two more?) is probably the most profitable method to use for the 90 minute market.
For sure, it's chancy doing this and many punters will be happy to bet on Real's 90 minute result pre-match, but there's no value in doing that for me and I'm very comfortable betting in-play on Real matches.
Though he scores in pretty much every game, there is no value in backing Ronaldo (2/1 to score first, 2/5 anytime) either. The best value comes in the double result bet of draw/Real Madrid.
It's not recommended in every game, but draw/Real Madrid (17/5) wins when strategically placed. The Villarreal game was perfect for it, and I recommended it to you. The Atletico game, however, did not seem suited to it as one would expect that, as usual, Atletico would quickly fold in enemy territory.
Despite countless first half chances for Real, it was 1-1 at half time. I gave no mention to the double result market in that game, but its proof that logic doesn't always pay off.
Logic suggests that despite Barca winning 8-0 here a month or so ago things have taken a slight upturn for Almeria (11/1) in recent games, particularly in the cup where they twice beat Mallorca 4-3.
Almeria subsequently lost to away to Mallorca a few days after their second cup tie, but then it's clear that they were concentrating on the cup. It's no given, but I think that after beating Deportivo 1-0 in the first leg of their quarter final tie on Thursday, rather than concentrating on tonight's match with Real, Almeria will be focusing on the return leg with Depor at the Riazor next week.
Normally I'd go for draw/Madrid in this match, but it's time to switch up and back Real Madrid/Real Madrid at 4/6. However, I must confess to deciding on this bet before the prices were released, so given how short priced it is, those looking for better value should consider the Ronaldo wincast at 23/10.
After twice drawing with Athletic Bilbao and only beating Levante 2-1, I thought it was worth having a punt on a very big priced 0-0 correct score in the Catalans clash away to bore draw specialists Depor.
Sadly, despite competently holding Barca for 24 minutes, Depor let David Villa in to open the scoring and Messi (7/4 to score 2 or more, 6/1 for a hat- trick) put the result beyond doubt with a stunning free kick.
I also thought that, in their Copa Del Rey first leg quarter final match midweek, Segunda leaders Real Betis would not get totally hammered at the Nou Camp.
Betis did really well for 44 minutes, but Messi took over and what can anyone do about that. Five - nil it finished and if you do bet on correct scores in Barca games, you might as well take your chances and blindly bet on that score every game given how often (I've lost count) it comes off - Today Barcelona to win 5-0 is priced at 17/2.
Malaga (18/1) might, however, have a goal in them tonight, and after Demichelis scored a debut goal in The Anchovies disappointing 1-1 home draw with Bilbao last weekend, should he be cleared to play, it could be Baptista's turn.
Billed as "The Beast," Brazillian Baptista is priced at 20/1 to score the first goal or 7/1 anytime. I'll be having a couple of quid on him each way for a fun bet really as value is hard to find in Barca games.
If you want a firmer recommendation at a lesser price, the best I can suggest is Barca - 3 goals at 29/20.
Whatever you choose, enjoy the action and don't forget that you can always bet in-play with William Hill Online