Sunday's La Liga previews
Malaga v Valladolid, 16:00
La Rosaleda offers a pivotal clash that could have a big say in the Primera division futures of William Hill sponsored Malaga (19/20) and nineteenth placed Valladolid (14/5).
The Anchovies are dangerously close to dipping their toes into the relegation pool, and all three teams beneath them won in the midweek La Liga fixtures. Pressure indeed, but Juan Ramon Muniz's team managed to rescue a very credible draw out of their own midweek fixture in Pamplona.
On the score sheet once again was Felipe Caicedo, who has a goal in each of his last two games. The on-loan Manchester City striker will likely never get a proper look in at the world's richest club, so continuing his goalscoring form in Spain could perhaps result in a permanent move elsewhere.
It's been a while since Duda (15/2 to score first, 2/1 anytime) scored, but Valladolid will likely kick the Portuguese free kick expert's teammates, thus allowing the Malaga man more set piece opportunities.
Much travelled, experienced disciplinarian Javier Clemente has so far had the desired impact at Valladolid. Last weekend he drew at Tenerife, last Tuesday he beat Sevilla. An impressive start, and one that makes me unsure of what to forecast in the 90 minute market today.
Both teams need to win so I've concluded that picking a winner pre-match is too dicey for my money. I'm prepared to risk a small stake on the draw as the price is decent (5/2), but further assessment is recommended In-Play when dealing with larger stakes.
Xerez v Racing Santander, 16:00
After their amazing 2-1 away win at Atletico, it should come as no surprise that I will be backing Xerez (6/4) to continue their revival by beating Racing Santander (7/4) this afternoon.
Scoring the first goal in Madrid was the red hot Bermejo (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime), a man whom Xerez's revival would not have been possible without.
Mohammed Tchite (5/1 to score first, 11/8 anytime) has not been as consistent as Bermejo, but scored a brace in Racing's 3-1 home defeat of Espanyol and therefore offers their best hopes of a goal today.
A little danger note must be added to this game as Racing have been very good away from home this season, winning five times on their travels; six draws and five defeats complete the record.
Racing are not safe from relegation and could be hungry to win today. Nonetheless, I go with a Xerez win (6/4).
Deportivo La Coruna v Almeria, 16:00
Deportivo coach Lotina freshened the team up a little and denied that his players had given up prior to their last home game, the 1-1 draw with Racing.
Nobody expected Deportivo (evens) to do anything other than lose in Barcelona but they did well to keep the score to 1-0 for two thirds of the match.
Today the Galacians host an Almeria (11/4) team that lost to great individual goals at when hosting Real Madrid, but could have snared a draw if not for better finishing from their own players.
Pablo Piatti (8/1 to score first, 9/4 anytime) impressed on the wing, but ultimately made the wrong choice when presented with one of Almeria's best opportunities.
More to blame was Uche (7/1 to score first, 15/8 anytime) who, instead of just prodding the ball home to give Almeria a 2-1 lead, clumsily back heeled it against his other leg! He also missed an easy header with the goal at his mercy late on so I give Uche a miss, along with predicting the outcome of this "both teams may not be bothered" matchup.
This player is not for me either but if you fancy a Deportivo scorer, Riki (9/2 to score first, 5/4 anytime) has impressed recently and scored after only one minute in that draw with Racing (time of first Deportivo goal is 4/1 if scored 1st to 15th minute).
I would suggest assessing each team's intentions for 20 minutes to see how much they attack. Maybe they start quick and settle into a slow draw (12/5)? I'll be betting In-Play to work it out.
Tenerife v Getafe, 16:00
The islanders passed their tough do or die clash at hard to beat at home Sporting midweek, and must fancy their chances of collecting another vital three points at home to Getafe (19/10) this afternoon.
The Azulones defeated Villarreal 3-0 in the Alfonso Perez on Tuesday night. More one sided than I thought, but Villarreal are poor on the road and the pouring rain seemed to hinder the subs more than their hosts.
Despite winning, Getafe's performance was not as impressive as the scoreline suggested. They do have everything to play for in that they are just behind Athletic in the table, with a Europa League berth therefore within their reach.
Tenerife have drawn their last two games at home, while Getafe have won their last two away. Maybe enough to tempt punters into the short priced Getafe or draw in the double chance market (4/7).
I have added travelling to the equation along with the who needs it the most factor, and concluded that a 90 minute Tenerife win (7/5) is the bet I will stake.
Athletic Bilbao v Real Zaragoza, 18:00 (second half on Sky Sports 1 at 19:00)
The Basques did nothing to enhance their chances of a European spot by meekly losing 2-0 away to Valencia on Thursday night. They should get back on track by defeating Zaragoza at San Mames tonight.
However, with Zaragoza (7/2) desperately in need of a win to alleviate relegation pressures, there a slightly larger than normal risk involved when backing a 90 minute Bilbao (4/5) win.
Not a big enough risk to put me off though, and despite failing to get on the score sheet in the Mestalla, always back at home Fernando Llorente (4/1 to score first, 11/10 anytime) is my first choice as a goalscorer in this game.
Humberto Suazo (15/2 to score first, 2/1 anytime) has received many plaudits in my previews, but until recently had failed to score after my praise was printed. The Chilean scored a lovely lob in Zaragoza's 1-1 home draw with Mallorca on Wednesday, and so returns to being mentioned in my articles.
The best and most simple bet is an Athletic win (4/5).
Real Madrid v Valencia, 20:00-Sky Sports 1
With Barcelona drawing away to Catalan rivals Espanyol a few hours before I wrote this preview, Real Madrid (2/5) can haul there selves within a point of Pep Guardiola's boys if they can beat third placed Valencia (6/1) tonight.
Given the significance of Real's head to head record with Barca the gap would effectively be two points if that were to happen. Considering Valencia's awful away record in the second half of the season, you have to fancy Los Blancos to defeat Los Che and take all three points tonight and edge closer to their target.
With such attacking talent an upset is possible, but Valencia have massive injury problems defensively and, despite impressive approach play, spurn far too many chances going forward.
David Villa (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime) did not impress in Valencia's defeat of Athletic Bilbao, but David Silva did. Priced at 11/1 to score first or 4/1 anytime, the skilful Spaniard took his brace well and will be out to impress against potentials employers Real Madrid in the Bernabeu this evening.
Ronaldo (5/2 to score first, 4/7 anytime) should prove to be too hot to handle and must be credited with a fine solo goal away to Almeria. Van Der Vaart (6/1 to score first, 7/4 anytime) also deserves credit for a well taken goal that still ensured my Almeria +2 goals bet bore fruit!
As with the 90 minute price on Real Madrid (2/5), there are many markets that are just too short for my consideration, so I opt for some value and recommend David Silva anytime scorer; priced at 4/1.
This should be very entertaining to watch so enjoy and don't forget that you can always bet In-Play with William Hill Online.