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Jonathan Cordingley 30th Jan 2011 - 9:21

Sunday's Spanish La Liga Betting Preview

Sunday's Spanish La Liga Betting Preview


Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao, 16:00

One of the first previews I wrote was about Atletico Madrid's unpredictability. Over a year later it's no different. After some poor results in recent games - including the pathetic, over defensive 2nd leg cup defeat to Real Madrid - Atletico travelled to Gijon to face Sporting last Sunday.

Always a poor traveller but likely to spring an upset when you least expect it, Atletico were backed to win by your writer. Despite peppering the Sporting goal with shot after shot, Atletico lost 1-0 and I was not a happy camper.

Also not happy is Diego Forlan (4/1 to score first, evens anytime), one of many Atletico players who would like to leave the club. Despite wanting away, though, the Uruguayan has certainly put an effort in for Atletico recently but misses his striker partner Kun Aguero.

A Spanish chap from work said to me yesterday "No Aguero, Atletico no win". I wouldn't necessarily agree with that as providing Diego and the players around him are playing with confidence, they can still win - it's happened many times before.

Alas, Atletico (4/5) are not playing well and their coach, Quique Sanchez Flores, looked like a beaten man after the Sporting game. According to Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague, it's 100% guaranteed that Quique will leave the club at the end of the season. If this is true, then surely the players also know and will therefore put less effort in to upcoming games knowing that the coach is now a sitting duck.

Tonight's visitors to Madrid, 6th placed Athletic Bilbao (19/5) easily beat Hercules 3-0 in Bilbao last weekend. Scoring the goals were Javi Martinez (14/1 to score first, 11/2 anytime), Fernando Llorente (13/2 to score first, 15/8 anytime) and Iker Muniain (12/1 to score first, 5/1 anytime).

Notably, Munain and Martinez scored for the second and third times in a row respectively. Llorente had not scored in two games so it's good to see him back amongst the goals, a pity he couldn't score first as suggested though.

Suggested tonight is to bet in-play. If you can't wait and are prepared to chance your money on one of La Liga's worst away teams taking advantage of a deflated, injury ridden Atletico, then I'd recommend Athletic, draw no bet at 2/1.

Osasuna v Real Madrid, 18:00-Sky Sports 1

Despite scoring twice away from home last weekend, Osasuna (8/1) still lost to Almeria. Scoring a goal apiece for the Pamplona based outfit were Aranda (11/1 to score first, 4/1 anytime) and Lekic (14/1 to score first, 11/2 anytime).

This evening's visitors, 2nd placed Real Madrid (1/3), passed the Michael Laudrup test at the second of asking by defeated the Dane's Mallorca side at the Bernabeu. On the scoresheet both in this game and the 1-0 away Copa del Rey semi final defeat of Sevilla was Benzema.

Not rated by his manager Jose Mourinho, Benzema (3/1 to score first, 8/11 anytime) has nevertheless began to show some form in front of goal and could be worth a punt to make it three in three tonight.

Looking to add to his staggering tally of 22 top flight goals is Cristiano Ronaldo (9/4 to score first, 1/2 anytime). Not scoring in every game at the moment and too short priced to see my money, the Portuguese must nevertheless be strongly considered by punters.

Punters might also want to consider the anytime scorers doubled bet of Benzema and Ronaldo (8/5), though I'm not convinced that there will be more than one goal in tonight's game. Why? Well, Real often struggle in Osasuna and their coach, Jose Antonio Camacho, a former Real Madrid player and coach, has serious disdain for those that run Real Madrid.

Put simply, Osasuna are bobbins but hard to beat at home if motivated and organised. Camacho will have them well drilled tonight so I'd suggest you choose from the following bets:

Draw/Real Madrid (18/5): Often a winner and very plausible tonight.

Osasuna + 2 goals (3/4): Covers a 1 goal Real Madrid win, the draw and an unlikely home win.

Under 2.5 goals (13/10): Safe bet on paper.

No in the both teams to score market (10/11): Osasuna draw plenty of blanks at home and if that proves to be the case today, a Real win is also covered with this bet.

Correct score punts of 0-0 and 1-0 to Real Madrid - priced at 14/1 and 7/1 respectively: Nil - nil is my favourite, but I'll also be covering 1-0 with a few quid.

90 Minute draw (4/1): Well worth a punt at the price and covers a 1-1 if you back 0-0.

Espanyol v Villarreal, 20:00-Sky Sports 1

Coming from a goal down to beat Getafe 3-1 in Madrid last weekend, Espanyol (11/8) are unlikely to do the same against Villarreal this weekend and must instead look to take the lead first. That won't be an easy task with top scorer Osvaldo injured, but both Sergio (6/1 to score first, 7/4 anytime) and Luis (7/1 to score first, 2/1 anytime) Garcia scored in Madrid and can take up the slack again tonight.

Villarreal (19/10) looked shaky in the first half of their entertaining 2-1 defeat of Real Sociedad last weekend but, like Espanyol, must be given credit for coming from a goal down to win. Scoring both goals for the Yellow Submarines was Giuseppi Rossi (11/2 to score first, 6/4 anytime).

Rossi should certainly be considered to score again tonight, but winger Cazorla (9/1 to score first, 10/3 anytime) has been supplying the bullets for his American born colleague and is due a goal himself.

Keeping with goals and I'd suggest it's a "Yes" in the both teams to score market at 4/6. I cannot, however, give you a clear reading of the over/under 2.5 goals market as these two teams have contested a few low scoring draws in recent seasons and Villarreal are averaging two goals per game at the moment!. If you can decide now, both under and over are priced at 10/11.

This is a bet in-play game for my money, but if it's pre-match only for you I'd suggest you chance a 90 minute draw at 23/10.

Whatever you choose, enjoy the action and don't forget that you can always make adjustments in-play at Williamhill.com



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