Villarreal ended Matchday 6 at the top of the Spanish La Liga after a weekend with headlines dominated by the knee injury suffered by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s failure to score at home to Malaga. This weekend sees an epic clash between the Madrid rivals as well as a big test at Sevilla for a Messi-less Barcelona.
|WIN the Ultimate Fan Trip to watch Liverpool play Man United LIVE at Anfield! |
Friday 2 October
Celta Vigo 5/10
Just three days after helping thrash Barcelona, Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas rescued a point against Eibar. Aspas netted twice in the unexpected 4-1 win over the defending champions on Wednesday and came off the bench to force a draw away to Eibar. Getafe earned their second win of the season by scoring three goals in the last ten minutes of their match at home to Levante. The game looked destined for a goalless draw until the talented Alvaro Vazquez bagged a brace. Getafe will need to improve their away performances drastically to overcome their opponents. They have lost all three of their travels, conceding six goals while scoring just once. Celta Vigo hammered Barcelona 4-1 in their last home game and are also unbeaten against Getafe beating them four times and drawing once. The home win is tipped.
Saturday 3 October
These sides have already met this season when they contested the UEFA Super Cup, playing out an exciting 5-4 scoreline with Barcelona claiming the winner in extra-time. Sevilla are coming off their first league victory of the season, edging out Rayo Vallecano 3-2 at home to move off the foot of the table. Sevilla looked to be coasting as they led at the break courtesy of goals from Kevin Gameiro and Steven N'Zonzi, but Vallecano struck twice to wipe out the lead. Vallecano were then handed a red card which gave the hosts the advantage again and substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka, signed from Ukrainian club Dnipro in the summer, capitalised with four minutes remaining. An injury to Lionel Messi overshadowed Barcelona's 2-1 win over Las Palmas as the Argentine forward was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his knee. Luis Suarez's double was enough for Barca to pick up the win, but they were more concerned with the well-being of their inspirational frontman, who lasted only nine minutes of the match before suffering the injury. It was a vital win for Barca after getting thrashed 4-1 at Celta Vigo a few days prior. This is a big test to face without their inspirational captain. The Catalans are unbeaten against Sevilla in the last twelve meetings, winning eight times. You won’t get a better price on the champions against any team outside of the top three so I suggest taking the away win at even money.
Granada fell to their fifth loss from just six matches when they lost 1-0 at Valencia last Friday. Granada were lucky to avoid relegation last season and now find themselves rock bottom. They have conceded three goals in each of their three home games. Deportivo are another team who avoided relegation after finishing joint on points with the third-from-bottom side. However, they have shown huge signs of improvement thus far as they lie in sixth place with three wins, two draws and only one loss. They are coming off a 3-0 home victory over Espanyol which gives us confidence to back them to Win/Draw on the Double Chance at 5/10. If you are looking for more value, back the draw.
Sporting Gijon 3/1
Espanyol have blown hot and cold this season, recording three victories and three losses. Their opponents have also lost three times, but have recorded just one victory. Espanyol look good at home as they have managed wins over Getafe and Valencia, bar a hammering from giants Real Madrid. Gijon started the league without scoring a goal in their first three matches which exposed the number of players they have in their team who are of true quality going forward. The home win looks likely.
Real Sociedad 9/4
Malaga have had an horrendous start by their standards, failing to win one of their six matches and losing on three occasions. However, they are coming off their best result, holding Real Madrid to a goalless draw at the Santiago Bernabeu. They even played the last thirteen minutes a man down after Nordin Amrabat was handed a red card for his elbow on Marcelo. Real Sociedad are coming off two good results, beating Granada 3-0 away to record their first victory and then playing out a home draw with Athletic Bilbao. Malaga would have gained some valuable confidence after their performance at the Bernabeu and that could spur them to their first win of the season here.
Las Palmas 21/20
Newly-promoted Las Palmas look to be settling in with the top dogs after winning their first match 2-0 at home and following that up with a narrow 2-1 loss to Barcelona where they gave a great account of their capabilities. After taking maximum points from their two opening matches, Eibar have gone on to draw three times and lose once. Las Palmas had an impressive home record which earned them promotion last season and they should be backed to record a consecutive victory at the Estadio Gran Canaria.
Sunday 4 October
Rayo Vallecano are looking much better after a slow start. They ousted newly-promoted pair Las Palmas and Sporting Gijon for consecutive victories before losing 3-2 at Sevilla with the final blow coming after they were reduced to ten men. Real Betis produced a second-half turnaround to win 2-1 at Sporting Gijon last weekend and pick up their first away victory of the season and second overall. Vallecano have recently beaten the other two newcomers by a goal but face last season’s Segunda champions. The draw is on the cards. If you are not one to back draws, I suggest Over 2.5 Goals available at 13/20.
Athletic Bilbao 14/10
Both of these top four hopefuls are struggling to get into winning form. Athletic Bilbao’s sole league win did come at home when they beat Getafe 3-1 while they also beat Augsburg 3-1 at home in the Europa League. Valencia have the second best defensive record after Real Madrid, conceding a measly two goals so far. However, scoring goals has been their Achilles heel, netting on just three occasions. The last four meetings have ended in draws with the 1-1 scoreline trending three times and a goalless draw also featuring. This is a tough one to call and although I’m swaying more to the home win to break the draw pattern, I feel Under 2.5 Goals is the safer option at 6/10.
There’s no doubt who the favourites are here with table-toppers Villarreal looking rampant with five consecutive wins after their opening day draw. The home side are still without a win and lie in the relegation zone after a humiliating 3-0 loss away to an average-at-best Getafe. Villarreal’s recent head-to-head record against Levante is quite astonishing. The Yellow Submarines have won the last five meetings without conceding a goal. The away win is available at 9/10 but for the brave you can get Villarreal to Win + Both Teams Not To Score at 18/10.
Atletico Madrid 19/10
Real Madrid 15/10
Please see featured game.