Sunday's La Liga previews
Malaga v Villarreal, 16:00
As predicted, Malaga (13/8) lost to Almeria last weekend and Villarreal (6/4) beat Xerez at El Madrigal.
Malaga will have Sergio Duda (10/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime) back after serving his suspension, and the Portuguese set piece expert will no doubt be looking to be made up for lost time when the Yellow Submarines come to town this afternoon.
To summarise, Villarreal are poor away from home and Malaga are probably not good enough to beat Villarreal.
I am therefore picking a draw (11/5) in my small stakes accumulator bet.
Mallorca v Atletico Madrid, 16:00
A horrible game to predict, with two teams that have caused nightmares for forecasters and pundits alike.
Whenever I thought Mallorca's 100% home record would come to an end, they would win! Whenever Atletico would impress and win a game, they would play poorly and lose their next fixture!
Picking a draw (11/5) might therefore be the easiest decision to make, but Mallorca (23/20) have continued to win Son Moix since Sevilla beat them, and Atletico (21/10) are generally very poor at home.
Atletico also have the disadvantage of having travelled to Lisbon to face Sporting in the Europa league on Thursday night.
Enough to convince me that a Mallorca win (23/20) is the pick I should make on small stakes accumulator.
Osasuna v Racing Santander, 16:00
Last time out, Osasuna lost 1-0 away to Atletico, while Racing drew at home to Zaragoza.
On paper you would expect a home win but, Like Racing, Osasuna have been going through something of a goal drought in recent times. In fact, neither team has scored in their last two games.
Given that Osasuna (evens) have drawn five at home and Racing (5/2) have drawn five away, a low scoring draw seems likely. For anyone who fancies it, the match x goals bet of draw and under 2.5 goals fits that description and is available at 11/4. As separate bets, the draw is 9/4, while under 2.5 goals is 6/10.
I'm picking a draw on my small stakes acc.
Valencia v Almeria, 18:00 (2nd half on Sky Sports 1 at 19:00)
Unai Emery faces his former employers for the second time this season. The first clash ended in a 3-0 win for Valencia, with an unlikely repeat priced at 10/1.
Devoid of the talents of David Villa in the Nou Camp last weekend, Valencia were the better team in the first half, before succumbing to the sublime skills of Lionel Messi.
Almeria (5/1) beat Malaga 1-0 last week, with a goal from Oscar Soriano; who has three goals in his last five games.
As we saw when they hosted Barcelona, Almeria are a good team and formidable at home.
However, they do have exactly the same away record as Atletico (2 wins, 4 draws and 7 defeats), so a Valencia win looks likely.
Given the tired legs of the Los Che players after their Thursday night trip to Bremen in the Europa league, I would not rule out the draw (13/5).
Villa (11/4 to score first, 8/13 anytime) scored a hat-trick in Valencia's entertaining 4-4 draw in Germany and, despite not scoring in La Liga recently, must be considered today.
Goes down as a Valencia win (8/15) on my small stakes acc, but I'll be assessing the draw In-Play.
Real Zaragoza v Barcelona, 20:00-Sky Sports 1
Zaragoza (9/1) drew 0-0 in Santander last time out, with a clear offensive over reliance on the silky skills of Humberto Suazo (8/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime).
They will likely need more than just the Chilean to beat Barcelona (2/7) this evening and, while Zaragoza's defence looked competent against Racing, what hope do they have of stopping Messi?
Very little I'd suggest, with the outstanding Argentine available at 5/2 to score the first, 4/7 anytime, 4/1 to score 2 or more and 12/1 for a hat-trick.
Pre match, bets giving Zaragoza 1,2 and 3 goal starts are available at 12/5, 5/6 and 2/7 respectively.
Will they be enough? Only Messi can decide! Away win on my accumulator.