Our footy writer previews this upcoming weekend's set of Spanish La Liga matchups.
We enter Gameweek 10 of the Spanish La Liga with a new-look top four. Atletico Madrid suffered their first loss of the campaign against Sevilla, which saw Diego Simeone’s side drop out of the top four and into fifth position. Villarreal now find themselves in a UEFA Champions League spot after coming from behind to beat Las Palmas 2-1 at home.
Barcelona survived a scare from Valencia and found the winner late in the game through a Lionel Messi penalty. Real Madrid, reclaimed top spot with Alvaro Morata netting the winner to give Los Blancos a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. All that said, there’s just two teams left that are yet to taste defeat this season in Villarreal and Real Madrid.
Friday 28 October
Leganes 7/4 | Draw 43/20 | Real Sociedad 33/20
Leganes were humiliated last time out against Malaga as they fell to a 4-0 loss. That was their fifth defeat in nine games, which saw Asier Garitano’s side drop to 14th in the league standings.
As I mentioned last week, Real Sociedad blow hot and cold. They lose, then win the following week. Last weekend, they claimed an emphatic 3-0 win over Alaves and if the record is to continue, then they could be in trouble. Friday games haven’t done me any good in recent weeks, so I’ll play it safe and back Both Teams To Score at 19/20.
Saturday 29 October
Sporting Gijon 28/10 | Draw 51/20 | Sevilla 19/20
Sporting Gijon ended their run of five consecutive defeats with a goalless draw at bottom-placed Granada. Gijon have been dreadful and are getting smashed by just about everybody. Next in their way is a Sevilla side buzzing with confidence.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side inflicted Atletico Madrid’s first defeat of the season last weekend, winning 1-0. That win leaves Sevilla in 2nd spot, just a point behind leaders, Real Madrid. Sampaoli’s side is far from the Sevilla squad that failed to win an away game last year. My money will be placed firmly on Sevilla to pick up their second away victory of the campaign.
Alaves 10/1 | Draw 52/10 | Real Madrid 2/9
Alaves are suffering a poor run of form, failing to win in their last three matches. Mauricio Pellegrino’s side have, however, upset some of the big teams, beating Barcelona away (2-1) and also drawing away to Atletico Madrid (1-1).
Real Madrid are the only side from the big three that they are yet to play. Zinedine Zidane’s side claimed top spot in La Liga after a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. Madrid are still undefeated, but have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven matches. Both Teams To Score is priced up at 19/20 and looks well worth a punt.
Atletico Madrid 1/4 | Draw 9/2 | Malaga 25/2
Atletico Madrid fell to their first defeat of the campaign, losing to Sevilla 1-0 after going a man down. Koke was the player to be shown red and will miss this clash. Malaga are slowly finding form in the league and are now three games undefeated.
In the last five meetings between the two sides, there’s been four red cards, proving that this is going to be a tight and cagey affair. Atleti won this fixture 1-0 last season and should do enough to win again. Atletico to Win + Under 3.5 Goals is tipped at 9/20.
Barcelona 1/25 | Draw 25/2 | Granada 35/1
Barcelona couldn’t have asked for an easier fixture this weekend. Luis Enrique’s side come up against a side destined for the drop in Granada. The Nazaries are the only winless side in La Liga and are likely to suffer yet another loss.
However, Enrique has given Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Lucas Digne, Sergi Roberto & Samuel Umtiti time off until Thursday. That means that Barca are likely to rest a number of their players for their UEFA Champions League match against Manchester City. With the above-mentioned players having time off, Granada can certainly trouble the Barca defence. Over 2.5 Goals looks like the most sensible bet, but offers very little at 1/8.
Sunday 30 October
Eibar 2/1 | Draw 21/10 | Villarreal 29/20
Eibar dropped three places in La Liga despite claiming a 3-3 draw at the weekend. Don’t be fooled by the scoreline, though. Eibar had the victory in the bag, taking a 3-0 lead into the break. They were to be outdone as Espanyol found their rhythm in the second half and made a miraculous 3-3 comeback.
Villarreal are yet to taste defeat in La Liga and jumped into the top four with their 2-1 win over Las Palmas last weekend. Nicola Sansone netted his fifth of the season from the spot, proving to be a stellar signing for the Yellow Submarine. Eibar are winless in three matches, while Villarreal are oozing with confidence. Get on the away win at 29/20.
Athletic Bilbao 4/10 | Draw 37/10 | Osasuna 7/1
Athletic Bilbao come into this game off a hard-fought 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid. It was never going to be easy coming up against one of the in-form teams in La Liga for Ernesto Valverde and his men. They’ll be back at the San Mames Stadium, where they have won three consecutive matches.
Osasuna lie second from the bottom, winning just one of their nine games played, suffering five defeats. Newly-promoted Osasuna will have a heavy task on their hands here and I can only see one winner. Bilbao is tipped at 4/10.
Real Betis 12/10 | Draw 22/10 | Espanyol 24/10
Real Betis picked up their third victory of the season, beating Osasuna 2-1 away from home last Friday. Gustavo Poyet’s side move up four places in the league and are now placed in 12th position. They host an Espanyol side who have been draw-specialists of late, sharing the spoils in their last three encounters.
Espanyol did, however, perform a phenomenal comeback to draw 3-3 against Eibar, after going down 3-0 at half-time. This is a tricky one to call, with Both Teams To Score tipped at 17/20.
Las Palmas 27/20 | Draw 23/10 | Celta Vigo 2/1
After a superb start to their campaign, Las Palmas find themselves winless in five games, dropping down to ninth place. They suffered their third loss of the season at Villarreal last weekend, thanks to a stoppage time winner from Cedric Bakambu. Celta Vigo, on the other hand, have been slightly better.
Eduardo Berizzo’s side come off the back of an emphatic 4-1 victory over Deportivo La Coruna and have now won four of their last five games. Las Palmas are still undefeated at home and could be a tough nut to crack. Once again, Both Teams To Score seems the safest bet at 13/20.
Monday 31 October
Deportivo 18/10 | Draw 9/4 | Valencia 15/10
Deportivo slipped down to 16th spot after going down 4-1 at the hands of a rampant Celta Vigo. Gaizka Garitano’s side have now lost four of their last five games, and show no signs of improving anytime soon. In their last two games, they’ve conceded four goals in each, netting just once.
Valencia were thwarted last time out by a Lionel Messi penalty in injury time to suffer a 3-2 defeat at home. However, I’m a big fan of this new-look Valencia. Italian managers seem to be the way forward in world football now, and Cesare Prandelli has changed a lot since his appointment. The Bats have looked impressive, despite going down to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in recent weeks. Valencia to pick up the away win is tipped at 15/10.
QUAD @ 10/1
Alaves vs Real Madrid BTTS 19/20
Villarreal Win 29/20
Athletic Bilbao Win 4/10
Las Palmas vs Celta Vigo BTTS 13/20
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets