Our footy writer previews matchday 19 of the 2016/17 Spanish La Liga campaign.
Gameweek 18 marked the end of a superb run of 40 games going undefeated for Real Madrid, after they suffered a 2-1 loss to Sevilla last weekend. Surprisingly, that was Zinedine Zidane’s first loss away from home as Los Blancos’ manager.
The top four remains the same, despite Real Madrid’s loss, but their lead was cut down to just a point with Sevilla hot on their heels. Barcelona remain third after they hammered Las Palmas by a 5-0 scoreline at the Camp Nou. Atletico Madrid conclude the top four after claiming their third consecutive victory, beating Real Betis 1-0 in front of their home crowd. There’s loads of action to keep us going with enticing odds on offer. Let’s get to it!
Friday 20 January
Las Palmas 1/1 | Draw 24/10 | Deportivo 11/4
Las Palmas come into this game looking to shake off their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Barcelona last time out. They conceded as early as the 14th-minute. The Yellows will be looking for a turnaround performance when they welcome Deportivo to the Estadio Gran Canaria, a ground where they have not tasted defeat in the league this season.
Depor held Villarreal to a goalless draw at home last time out, but away from home, Gaizka Garitano’s side have struggled. Deportivo are still winless on the road in nine meetings. Las Palmas are tipped at a decent price of 1/1.
Saturday 21 January
Espanyol 11/20 | Draw 29/10 | Granada 5/1
Espanyol suffered their fifth loss of the campaign when they travelled to Valencia, going down 2-1. That result leaves Quique Sanchez Flores’ side winless in three La Liga matchups. Granada failed to pick up maximum points in their bottom-of-the-table clash against Osasuna last weekend, sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Granada ended the game off with nine players in what became a very heated contest between the league’s lowest sides. Having said that, Granada will miss Ezequiel Ponce and Uche Henry Agbo for this tie. Espanyol have lost just two of their nine home games, while Granada are winless away from home. Back the home win.
Real Madrid 1/8 | Draw 8/1 | Malaga 16/1
Real Madrid will look to get back to winning ways when they host Malaga on Saturday afternoon. Zinedine Zidane’s side finally suffered defeat after a 40-game unbeaten run, setting a new Spanish record. Madrid’s lead at the top is still intact as they lead second-placed Sevilla by a point and also with a game in hand.
Malaga suffered their third successive loss in La Liga as they fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad on Monday night. To make matters worse for Malaga, they are yet to pick up an away win this season. The world champions should wipe the floor with the travelling side here. Madrid are tipped to Win By Three Or More Goals at 8/10.
Alaves 23/20 | Draw 21/10 | Leganes 26/10
Alaves suffered their first defeat in six games when they lost 1-0 away to Celta Vigo last weekend. For their opponents, Leganes, it’s now six games that they are yet to win. Both these sides have become bottom half casualties since their arrival into the top flight.
Alaves won the Segunda Division with Leganes finishing runner-up in second. Alaves have won just two of their eight home matches, but have drawn four. Leganes drew 0-0 against Alaves last season and then beat them 2-0 at home. Both games saw the Under 2.5 Goals market triggered. That said, nothing should change here. Back Under 2.5 Goals at 5/10.
Villarreal 9/10 | Draw 5/2 | Valencia 31/10
Villarreal split the spoils against Deportivo last time out, furthering themselves from the top four. They’ll be glad to return to the El Madrigal, where they have suffered just one defeat in nine games. Valencia ended a run of eight games without a victory when they grinded out a 2-1 win over Espanyol at the Mestalla Stadium.
Last season, Villarreal dominated this fixture, winning 1-0 at home and 2-0 away from home. The Yellow Submarine also boast the record for the best defence in the league this season, conceding just 12 goals. Back the home win and make sure to include in all weekend multiples.
Sunday 22 January
Osasuna 5/1 | Draw 33/10 | Sevilla 5/10
Osasuna drew their second consecutive league game as they managed a 1-1 draw away to Granada. That leaves Petar Vasiljevic’s side seeking their first win in 11 matches when they host Sevilla this weekend.
The visitors come into this game high on confidence after ending Real Madrid’s 40-match unbeaten run. That win put Jorge Sampaoli’s side within just a point off the top. Sevilla have enjoyed an upturn in form now, winning four consecutive league matches. Sampaoli is making former Sevilla boss, Unai Emery, look ordinary with the way he has improved this side. Osasuna are the only winless team at home this season and should crumble yet again. Get on the away win!
Athletic Bilbao 28/10 | Draw 9/4 | Atletico Madrid 21/20
Athletic Bilbao drew their second successive league game to remain in seventh spot, unable to close the gap on the teams above them. Atletico Madrid have made the perfect start to 2017, winning both fixtures played by keeping a clean sheet in the process. Atletico kept their fourth spot intact with a 1-0 win over Real Betis last time out.
Bilbao haven’t been admirers of this fixture, losing twice against Diego Simeone’s side last season. Despite Bilbao losing just once at home this campaign, history should repeat itself with a win for Atletico. Back the visitors at a well-priced 21/20.
Real Sociedad 1/1 | Draw 49/20 | Celta Vigo 26/10
Real Sociedad climbed one step up in the table after their impressive 2-0 win away at Malaga. Willian Jose failed to get into double figures for the season, but played a part in Juanmi’s goal which sealed off their victory. One player who is in double figures is Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas. The Spanish forward has netted 11 goals in the campaign, competing with the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and FIFA Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Celta have won back-to-back league matches, but their away form is putrid for a side in the top half, winning just one of their eight games. Take Real Sociedad to Win & Both Teams to Score at a valuable 21/10.
Real Betis 7/10 | Draw 51/20 | Sporting Gijon 4/1
Real Betis failed to make up some ground on the teams in the top half with a 1-0 loss away to title-chasing Atletico Madrid. Victor Sanchez’s side remain in 15th spot in La Liga, three points behind 10th-placed Las Palmas.
Sporting Gijon are stuck in the relegation zone and have no way of coming out this weekend, regardless of their results. Gijon suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat when they lost 3-2 at home to Eibar. Betis are undefeated in four home games in the league, winning three. At 7/10, Betis to win is certainly worth backing!
Eibar 8/1 | Draw 47/10 | Barcelona 3/10
Eibar climbed up to ninth in the standings with an emphatic 3-2 victory away to Sporting Gijon. They now welcome Barcelona to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium. Luis Enrique’s men are now on the longest unbeaten streak in Spain, after Real Madrid’s loss to Sevilla, going 11 matches without defeat, at the time of writing.
Barca put five past Las Palmas at the Camp Nou last weekend, sending a clear message to their title rivals. Barcelona are also the highest scoring team away from home this season, banging in 24 goals on the road. The Catalans are well-priced at 3/10, but for extra value, back them to win on the (-1) Handicap at 7/10.
QUAD @ 9/1
Las Palmas Win 1/1
Villarreal Win 9/10
Sevilla Win 5/10
Real Betis Win 7/10
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets