Our footy writer previews this upcoming weekend's set of Spanish La Liga matchups.
After a rather mind-numbing international break, the Spanish La Liga resumes with another cracking line-up of fixtures in store for you. The game of the week will see a repeat of last season’s UEFA Champions League final take place, with Atletico Madrid hosting Real Madrid in the capital of Spain. Elsewhere, second-placed Barcelona will look to capitalize on the Madrid Derby when they host Malaga at the Nou Camp.
Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas scooped the Player of the Month award for October and will need to continue his form when his side travel to Eibar. The Manager of the Month was none other than Sevilla boss, Jorge Sampaoli, with the Argentine tactician facing a tough test at Deportivo. It promises to be a mouth-watering week in Spain, with the quest for value starting with a Friday night clash between Real Betis and Las Palmas.
Friday 18 November
Real Betis 27/20 | Draw 23/10 | Las Palmas 2/1
Real Betis dropped to 13th spot before the international break, suffering a 2-0 defeat at Villarreal. That loss saw Gustavo Poyet sacked as Betis manager after less than four months in charge. Something has to change with Victor Sanchez being appointed, looking to turn the club’s disastrous form around.
Las Palmas have been enjoying life in the top half of the table, but their form is slowly dropping. The Yellows did, however, end their six-game winless run with a victory over Eibar before the international break. Sanchez will be looking to impress in his first game in charge of Betis, however, I’m tipping Las Palmas to earn a point at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Saturday 19 November
Deportivo 23/10 | Draw 47/20 | Sevilla 23/20
Deportivo will be lucky to find themselves out of the relegation zone heading into the new week. Gaizka Garitano’s side are just a point above the drop zone and are winless in four matches with two defeats. Sevilla will be eager to brush off their 2-1 home defeat to Barcelona last time out. My concern for Jorge Sampaoli’s men is their away record this season.
The Sevillistas have won just one of their five away games, drawing three times. They also have a UEFA Champions League clash against Juventus to worry about. Despite Deportivo’s poor form of late, I’m going with another draw here.
Barcelona 1/8 | Draw 15/2 | Malaga 18/1
Barcelona will hope that the international break didn’t ruin their momentum, with Luis Enrique’s side riding a four-game winning streak. They face a Malaga side who have punched above their weight at times this season.
Juande Ramos’ side are now in the top half of the table and will need to be at their very best if they are to pull off any sort of upset. Barca have been dealt with major injuries all over the park with Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique both likely to miss out. With a makeshift backline, Malaga could find themselves a goal, despite the fact that they’ll probably concede five. Both Teams to Score is tipped at even money.
Eibar 13/10 | Draw 23/10 | Celta Vigo 21/10
Eibar dropped to the bottom half of the table after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Las Palmas before the break. At home, though, Eibar have done much better, winning three of their five games, losing just once. This could be a tricky test for the hosts with Celta Vigo in fine form recently.
Celta’s top scorer with six goals and October Player of the Month, Iago Aspas, has been superb this campaign. However, Celta Vigo haven’t been their usual selves on their travels, winning just one of their five away matches. Nevertheless, against an off-form Eibar side who have won just once in their last five games, Celta should come out on top.
Atletico Madrid 27/20 | Draw 23/10 | Real Madrid 2/1
The standout clash in gameweek 12 of the Spanish La Liga will see Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid do battle at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Saturday.
Los Blancos are top of the table on 27 points while Atleti are in fifth place on 21 points. Atletico are unbeaten in nine domestic games against their local rivals, winning five times. However, Real have defeated them in two Champions League finals.
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Sunday 20 November
15/10 Alaves | Draw 21/10 | Espanyol 2/1
Alaves ended their four-game winless streak with a much-needed 1-0 victory over Osasuna before the break to move up three places in La Liga to 12th position. Mauricio Pellegrino will be looking for back-to-back victories, but could find it hard against Espanyol, who are undefeated in five games with four draws.
Quique Sanchez Flores’s men have been rock-solid in recent weeks, keeping four clean sheets in those five matches. Alaves have won just once at home, drawing three of their five encounters. For this game, Both Teams to Score: No is tipped at 15/20.
Valencia 7/20 | Draw 17/4 | Granada 15/2
Valencia come into this game in terrible form. They’re winless in three matches and have won just once in five attempts at the Mestalla Stadium. Luckily for Cesare Prandelli, they face the league’s worst team.
Granada are the only side yet to claim a victory under their belt, losing seven of their 11 games in total. Away from home, Granada have been dreadful, conceding 18 goals in five matchups. The home win is the only way to go here and should be included in all multiple bets.
Sporting Gijon 47/20 | Draw 9/4 | Real Sociedad 12/10
It takes somebody with a long memory to think of the last time Sporting Gijon won a match in La Liga. Abelardo Fernandez and his charges are winless in eight games, losing six of those. They face an in-form Real Sociedad side who are on a three-game winning streak.
The Royals moved up to sixth spot in La Liga after their impressive 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid, which was their third clean sheet in a row. Willian Jose and Carlos Vela have been in superb goalscoring form for Sociedad, bagging 10 goals between them. All that said, I can’t see anything but an away victory here.
Athletic Bilbao 11/10 | Draw 22/10 | Villarreal 26/10
Sunday’s La Liga action ends with a cracking contest between Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal. Bilbao are winless in three games, while Villarreal have lost just once in 11 matchups this season. One thing these sides do have in common is that they have goals in them.
Bilbao striker, Aritz Aduriz, who became the oldest person to ever score for the Spanish national team, will be looking to add to his five goal tally. Third-placed Villarreal also have a five-goal striker in their ranks, with Nicola Sansone proving his worth since his move from Sassuolo. At even money, Both Teams to Score looks too good to pass up.
Monday 21 November
Leganes 17/20 | Draw 24/10 | Osasuna 33/10
Leganes is the division’s most off-form side at the moment, losing four consecutive matches, failing to score in their last three. Osasuna have also been poor, winning just once all season, sitting down in 19th position.
Leganes haven’t won a home game, scoring just four goals, conceding 12. If their form remains the same, we could see both teams fighting relegation come end of the season. Neither team have been a joy to watch, with my tip being Under 2.5 Goals here at 6/10.
QUAD @ 11/1
Barcelona vs Malaga BTTS 1/1
Valencia Win 7/20
Real Sociedad Win 12/10
Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal BTTS 1/1
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets