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Nic Ladds 24th Mar 2010 - 12:04

Wednesday's La Liga previews

Barcelona v Osasuna (19:00 SS3)

Despite Pep Guardiola's comments that Diego Maradona is the best player ever, if Lionel Messi keeps playing as he is, he is surely going to be changing his mind soon.

After helping Barcelona (1/10) to six trophies last season, he has 25 league goals to his name this season, that's as many as the whole of the Osasuna squad combined. On top of this he has two successive hat-tricks and nine in his last four. He really is unstoppable and at 22, it's bizarre to think he can get even better.

He is understandably favourite to get on the scoresheet in this match, 5/2 first, 11/4 two or more or 12/1 to make it a hat-trick of hat-tricks.

Despite his amazing form, Barca have dropped to second place on goal difference as Real Madrid have picked up the pace in recent weeks.

Their lucky opponents today are Osasuna (20/1) and rarely have I seen such long odds in a match where both teams are in the same league! Osasuna are comfortably 13th in the league but they can't really expect anything out of this match.

They are without a win in six but did manage to win in this fixture last season, surely impossible to repeat it has to be an emphatic Barca win.


Valencia v Malaga (21:00 SS3)

Valencia (4/9) are four points clear in third spot and a win here should go a long way to securing Champions League football for next season. They have only lost one match at the Mestalla all season and picked up their first win in four league outings in their last match.

Malaga (11/2) have managed to pull themselves seven points clear of the relegation zone with an impressive 2-0 home win over Villarreal at the weekend. However away from home they aren't amazing, just two wins all season.

Malaga haven't won away at Valencia since 1955, that's 24 meetings without a win for The Anchovies, it does look bleak for them here.

Malaga's top scorer Duda will miss the game through injury so it is hard to see them scoring, with such attacking quality in the Valencia ranks I'd be tempted to bet on Valencia -1 goal at 5/4 as they should easily outscore Malaga.



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