Our writer previews gameweek 8 of the 2016/17 Spanish La Liga campaign.
The Spanish La Liga makes its return after a week off due to the international break. In all fairness, La Liga needed it more than any other league in the world. Champions, Barcelona, couldn’t afford any more matches without superstar Lionel Messi – who returns this weekend. Real Madrid drew three consecutive league matches and will hope to come back from a break they truly longed for.
Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, should just pick up where they left off before the break, keeping clean sheets against just about every team. That said, let’s see what we’ve waited so long for in Gameweek eight of the Spanish La Liga!
Friday 14 October
Las Palmas 11/10 | Draw 47/20 | Espanyol 49/20
La Liga action returns with a Friday night clash between free-scoring Las Palmas, up against relegation-threatened, Espanyol. At the Estadio Gran Canaria, Las Palmas are undefeated this season, beating Granada (5-1), Malaga (1-0) and holding Real Madrid (2-2). That’s a frightening record for Espanyol who have won just once this season. That said, Quique Sanchez Flores’ side have managed to score in just one of their last four matches. Betting couldn’t be easier; back Las Palmas at a valuable price of 11/10.
Saturday 15 October
Leganes 9/4 | Draw 22/10 | Sevilla 5/4
Leganes have proven to be more than just some newly-promoted pushovers. Before the break, the hosts moved up three places in La Liga, after their impressive 1-0 away win over Granada. Sevilla will play their second newly-promoted team in a row, after putting Alaves to the sword, winning the match 2-1. Leganes are yet to win a match on their turf and will find it hard against third-placed Sevilla. Jorge Sampaoli’s side have a Champions League fixture to worry about, which could give the home side the slightest of chances. Play it safe and back Both Teams To Score at 9/10.
Barcelona 1/8 | Draw 15/2 | Deportivo 18/1
After suffering their second loss of the La Liga campaign, Barcelona travel back to the Nou Camp where they host a struggling Deportivo side. Luis Enrique will gladly welcome the return of Lionel Messi, who should recover in time from a thigh injury. Deportivo have been solid on the road this season, despite failing to win a match. They’ve conceded just once in three away matches, drawing twice. However, a team of Barcelona’s calibre could see that record smashed to the ground. The Catalans have scored 22 goals in La Liga – more than any other side. Barca to Win + Over 3.5 Goals is tipped at 7/10.
Atletico Madrid 1/7 | Draw 13/2 | Granada 22/1
Rock-solid Atletico Madrid will look to pick up where they left off before the international break, climbing over arch-rivals Real Madrid to enter Gameweek 8 as log-leaders. Diego Simeone’s charges kept their seventh clean sheet of the season when they humbled Valencia by a 2-0 scoreline. Granada are placed 20th in the standings, suffering five defeats from their seven games played. A clash between top and bottom should see Atleti claim another win under their belt. If they can shut out Bayern Munich, then who could possibly see the lowest side in La Liga stand a chance? Cholo’s side are tipped to Win To Nil at 5/10.
Real Betis 6/1 | Draw 17/4 | Real Madrid 7/20
Gustavo Poyet’s Real Betis side suffered a 1-0 defeat before the international break, and face a much sterner test this week when they host a Real Madrid side raring to go after drawing blank in three consecutive matches. Zinedine Zidane’s side are still yet to taste defeat, and will look to better last season’s result at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, where they drew 1-1. Los Blancos have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four matches in all competitions, but should bounce back. Bet smart and back Real Madrid to Win + Both Teams To Score at 14/10.
Sunday 16 October
Alaves 17/10 | Draw 2/1 | Malaga 37/20
Newly-promoted, Alaves, have adjusted to the intensity of La Liga and are undefeated in their three home games. In those matches, El Glorioso have let in just one goal. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have already punched above their weight this season, drawing against Atletico and beating Barca at the Nou Camp. Juande Ramos should be concerned for his Malaga team who are winless in their three away meetings. Alaves are the only team in the bottom half who have a positive goal-difference. That said, Malaga could find the going tough in this fixture. Back the hosts on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 4/10.
Athletic Bilbao 15/20 | Draw 51/20 | Real Sociedad 15/4
Athletic Bilbao come into this game high on confidence, knowing that they’re playing at the San Mames Stadium, where the Lions have won back-to-back matches. Their loss to Malaga last time out ended a run of four consecutive victories. Real Sociedad have been blowing hot and cold this season, placed in mid-table, winning and losing three of their seven games played. Veteran striker, Aritz Aduriz, has four league goals for Bilbao and should spearhead an attack likely to break down Sociedad. Back the home win here.
Sporting Gijon 47/20 | Draw 23/10 | Valencia 23/20
Off the back of four consecutive losses, 16th-placed Sporting Gijon will be looking for a turnaround performance when they host Valencia. Since Cesare Prandelli’s appointment, Valencia have looked revitalised, winning back-to-back matches before being on the wrong end of 2-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid. Gijon have conceded 14 goals in their last four matches. Pako Ayestaran’s Valencia squad wasn’t even that bad. It’s a tough one to call, but Prandelli’s side should edge it.
Villarreal 17/20 | Draw 49/20 | Celta Vigo 33/10
Villarreal, along with the Madrid giants, are the only undefeated teams left in La Liga. At home, the Yellow Submarine have won two of their three matches, scoring five goals. They’ll face a Celta Vigo side off the back of a 4-3 victory over Barcelona. The win means that Celta are now on a run of three consecutive victories. The visitors claimed a 2-1 win in this fixture last season, which makes it all the more tougher to predict. The safest bet is to back Both Teams To Score at 9/10.
Monday 17 October
Eibar 15/20 | Draw 51/20 | Osasuna 15/4
Eibar have been off to a great start, considering their standards, having lost just one of their last six games. At the Ipurua Municipal Stadium, Eibar have been rock-solid, conceding just once in three matches. It will be even tougher for a side on Osasuna’s level. The Reds are yet to taste victory this season, losing four of their seven games played. Eibar should pull one over the newly-promoted outfit here. Get the new week off to a perfect start by backing Eibar in a Monday night La Liga clash.
TREBLE @ 9/2
Atletico Madrid Win To Nil 5/10
Las Palmas Win 11/10
Eibar Win 15/20
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets