Sunday's La Liga previews
Almeria v Espanyol, 16:00
Almeria (6/5) face the team beneath them when thirteenth placed Espanyol visit town this afternoon.
Both teams consider their selves safe from relegation so a low scoring draw looks likely; the match x goals bet on under 2.5 goals and draw (11/4) could therefore be a winner.
Espanyol (13/5) deserve credit for the effective game plan of coach Pochettino, along with the execution and effort of his players. They are, however, very bad away from home with a record of one win, five draws and ten defeats.
The Catalans last away game was a 3-1 defeat in Santander and many people will fancy a home win today, even if Almeria have seemingly given up; see their draw away to Depor last week for evidence.
Pablo Osvaldo (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime) nearly gave me a first goal winner in the Catalan derby last Saturday evening but fell short by hitting the post. I'd only back him in-play today as I want to see how much effort Espanyol put in first.
In-Play is strongly recommended today as you can back several markets (e.g. under 2.5 goals, 0-0) if it plays out as expected and peters into a boring draw (2/1 pre-match).
Mallorca v Malaga, 16:00
Superb at home, fourth placed Mallorca beat Osasuna 2-0 last Monday night and are expected to vanquish relegation threatened Malaga with similar ease today. A defeat that would see William Hill sponsored team slide into the bottom three if Tenerife upset Atletico later this evening.
As I have no sane option not to say, other than when they big boys visit, I can't consider anything other than a home win on the Island today. Fourteen wins out of sixteen possible says Malaga (6/1) have no chance, however hard they may make it for Champions League chasing Mallorca (1/2).
On loan Argentinean striker Fernando Forestieri (10/1 to score first, 11/4 anytime) spurned Malaga's best chances in The Anchovies 0-0 home draw with Valladolid last Sunday. I won't be chancing my money on him today, nor can I confidently consider anyone else-for either team.
There are two markets I would suggest serious consideration of, both double results: Mallorca/Mallorca (5/4) and draw/Mallorca (16/5). I fancy a bit of value and will plump for the latter.
Racing Santander v Villarreal, 16:00
Only four points clear of the drop zone in fifteenth position, Racing Santander face a Villarreal team who have only won twice on the road this season.
Of course, The Yellow Submarines had a terrible start to the season but have manoeuvred their way from twentieth to sixth position through their impressive home form. Twelve wins is their tally with the most recent being the 2-1 defeat of Atletico Madrid last weekend.
Diego Godin (28/1 first scorer) bagged the first goal in that game and, given that he has done this twice recently, could be worth a small punt to do it again today. A longshot indeed for a defender, though besides Giuseppi Rossi (6/1 to score first, 13/8 anytime), there is nobody else in good enough form to offer for your consideration.
Racing's Mohammed Tchite was offered in last week's previews and came up trumps with a brace, one of which was a penalty. Today he priced at 13/2 to score first, 7/4 anytime or 11/1 for an unlikely third double in a row.
The Verdiblancos drew 2-2 away to Xerez last week (not a bad result these days) but need all three points tonight. The problem lies in their home form; in sixteen games Racing (2/1) have won three, lost eight and drawn five.
If starlet Sergio Canales and influential veteran Pedro Muntis were fit to play I would have gone for a draw (11/5) but........
I'll put Villarreal's European ambitions above Racing's ability to cope without their best players and bet on Villarreal win (7/5).
Sporting Gijon v Valladolid, 16:00
Like several teams in La Liga, the Rojiblancos of Gijon consider their selves safe from relegation and consequently have all but given up trying to win games requiring effort. Javier Clemente's Valladolid will certainly make them work so an upset seems likely this afternoon.
Sporting (5/4) meekly lost 3-0 away to Sevilla last weekend and must alter their mindset with 18th placed Tenerife only five points behind them in the Primera division standings. It stuns me to think so many teams are convinced of their safety with fifteen points to play for, but I'll continue to go against those lured into a false sense of security until they prove otherwise.
Securing 19th placed Valladolid's top division status is what former title winning Athletic Bilbao boss Clemente has been brought in for and while he needs to reconsider his theory of win at home, draw away, the point gained away to fellow relegation battlers Malaga shows the side are improving.
Not, however, improving enough to avoid relegation with those around them also picking up points but Clemente must be praised for his results so far; a home defeat of Sevilla and 0-0 draws away to Tenerife and Malaga.
Based on Valladolid's away results, 0-0 (9/1) and the draw (11/5) itself become attractive options in today's game. Another bet along those lines is "no" in the both teams to score market (evens); that would cover one team winning to nil, and a scoreless draw.
If you fancy a goalscorer, Valladolid's Diego Costa (13/2 to score first, 7/4 anytime) scored in the defeat of Sevilla but has a very poor strike rate of 8 goals in 29 games. He does, nonetheless, offer their best hopes of a goal today.
I hope the Brazillian does net one as I'm going for a 90 minute Valladolid win (23/10) with a much smaller stake on a 0-0 scoreline (9/1) just in case Senor Clemente reverts to type.
Atletico Madrid v Tenerife, 18:00 (2nd half on Sky Sports 1)
Los Colchoneros lost to Villarreal in La Liga then beat Liverpool in the Europa league a few days later. Those results alone should give you an indication of where Atleti's priorities lie so why can't Tenerife win today?
I think the Islanders will win but concede that a reason why they might not comes in the way of a one win away record; 2-0 away to Sporting a week and a half ago. Despite how poor that record is, Tenerife (10/3) will have gained a lot of confidence from their win.
Morale, particularly hat-trick hero Nino's, took a further boost when Tenerife beat Getafe 3-2 last Sunday. Nino is today priced at 7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime or 50/1 for another treble.
Kun Aguero (4/1 to score first, evens anytime) scored a cracking goal in Atletico's defeat at Villarreal and given his absence from the tie with Liverpool, seems a more likely starter then Diego Forlan (4/5 anytime scorer) who would normally be my top pick to score in the Vicente Calderon.
Atletico (4/5) will rest starters and seventeenth placed Tenerife (10/3) need to win. I think that the away win is the best bet on offer in this match.
Getafe v Sevilla, 20:00-Sky Sports 1
Eighth placed Getafe still have an outside chance of the final Europa league berth and can enhance their chances by winning Sunday's intriguing clash with fifth placed Sevilla.
The hosts lost 3-2 away to a Nino inspired Tenerife last time out but impressed in the process. Pedro Leon (15/2 to score first, 9/4 anytime) was the most impressive, taking his goal well. The right winger should also do well today, especially when you factor in that Sevilla's left footed defender Draguitinovic is missing through injury.
Back from injury is Getafe's top scorer Roberto Soldado, though he will probably be on the bench with Miku (11/2 to score first) in decent form.
In great form for Sevilla is defender Calla (14/1 to score first, 11/2 anytime) who, after scoring in Sevilla's easy 3-0 home defeat of Sporting, made it an amazing three goals in three games last weekend.
Kanoute (6/1 to score first, 7/4 anytime) and Fabiano (4/1 to score first, evens anytime) completed The Rojiblancos three goal win that day, but I'm not convinced that either are in good enough form to back against a decent team playing at home.
Unusually, Sevilla (6/4) have yet to draw an away game in the Primera division this season. I don't see their first coming tonight but if you disagree, I'd consider it more likely than an away win and 11/5 is a rewarding price.
Getafe were heartbreakingly eliminated from the Copa Del Rey after dominating Sevilla in both legs, particularly the second. The Madrid side do, however, have a great La Liga record against their Andalusian opponents with three wins in their last four meetings.
Azulones manager Michel has been in the press again; linked with Real Madrid. He will therefore look to impress the biggest club in the city with all three points today.
It's a tough pick and no certainty but I think that Getafe will win (9/5).
Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet In-Play with William Hill Online.