Spanish La Liga: Week Two Preview

Soccer player prepares to shoot

We preview week two of the 2018/19 La Liga season which gets underway on Friday 24 August. 

The Spanish La Liga kicked off last weekend and Lionel Messi grabbed all the headlines after the Argentine maestro scored a superb free-kick, which was Barcelona’s historical 6000th league goal. Elsewhere, Gareth Bale was on target for Real Madrid in a 2-0 win over Getafe.

There were disappointing results for Real Betis, Villarreal, Eibar and Celta Vigo as they all dropped points at home.

Friday 24 August 

Getafe 11/10
Draw 43/20 
Eibar 26/10 
Getafe were superb in the last campaign, finishing the 2017/18 season in eighth position, three points away from the Europa League qualifying spot. The Azulones were outstanding at home, winning nine of their 19 games – collecting a total of 31 points. Jose Bordalas’ men started the season with a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and I’m expecting big improvements coming into this game.

Eibar, on the other hand, started the season with a disappointing home loss against the league’s first-timers Huesca. Although Eibar finished ninth last term, four points behind Getafe, they had a terrible second round and their pre-season wasn’t good enough either. Back Getafe to win their first home game at 11/10.

Leganes 2/1 
Draw 21/10 
Real Sociedad 29/20
Leganes welcome their former head coach Asier Garitano who joined Real Sociedad at the start of the season after being in charge of Leganes since 2013. The hosts started the season under new coach, Mauricio Pellegrino, with a late Monday night defeat against Athletic Bilbao.

Real Sociedad got off to a winning start when they overturned a one goal deficit to beat Villarreal 2-1 away. I don’t see the visitors losing here so back Real Sociedad on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 7/20.

Saturday 25 August

Deportivo Alaves 31/20
Draw 22/10 
Real Betis 18/10
Alaves kicked off their campaign with a 3-0 defeat away to the defending champions Barcelona. The scoreline may not be the true reflection of the game as Alaves defended well until a piece of magic from Lionel Messi in the 64th minute and they conceded two late goals in the last six minutes.

Real Betis, who secured a sixth-place finish last year and managed to qualify for the UEFA Europa League group stage for the first time in a while, were thrashed 3-0 at home by Levante in their opening game of the season. However, Los Beticos do have a great record against the hosts, winning three of their last four meetings, including back-to-back wins last season. With that said, back Real Betis to continue their dominance against Alaves. 

Atletico Madrid 1/5
Draw 52/10 
Rayo Vallecano 14/1
Atletico Madrid made some excellent additions to the squad this season, bringing in players like Thomas Lemar from Monaco, Santiago Arias and Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic. Diego Simeone’s men crushed Real Madrid 4-2 in the UEFA Super Cup final last week and drew 1-1 against Valencia at the Mestalla.

Second division winners Rayo Vallecano were thrashed 4-1 by Sevilla on their return to the top flight. Back Atletico Madrid on the (-1) Handicap at 11/20. 

Real Valladolid 13/1
Draw 6/1 
Barcelona 2/11 
Real Valladolid, who needed promotional play-offs to make their La Liga return for the first time in four years, showed signs that they have what it takes to stay competitive in the top flight. Sergio Gonzalez’s men earned a point at Girona, which was a tough place to visit in La Liga last season.

They face yet another Catalan club, Barcelona, the defending champions. The Blaugrana have won back-to-back games so far this season, including the 2-1 win over Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup. Take Barcelona on the (-1) Handicap at 9/20. 

Sunday 26 August

Espanyol 2/1 
Draw 23/10 
Valencia 14/10 
Espanyol’s new manager, Rubi, will be in charge for the first time in front of their home fans. Periquitos did well in pre-season, winning all six matches played and that good form continued last week when Mario Hermoso scored their opening goal of the season away to Celta Vigo, but the Blue and Whites failed to hold onto the lead as David Lopez scored an own goal which saw the sides share the spoils.

Valencia will play in the UEFA Champions League this season, and they have been busy in the market bringing in players like Denis Cheryshev, Kevin Gameiro, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Mouctar Diakhaby and Michy Batshuayi. Head coach Marcelino saw his team play to a 1-1 draw against one of the league's top contenders, Atletico Madrid, on Monday night. This is a tricky game so back Over 2.5 Goals at 19/20.

Sevilla 13/20
Draw 29/10 
Villarreal 39/10
Sevilla started their season earlier than other teams due to Europa League qualification and they also played in the Spanish Super Cup, which they lost 2-1 against Barcelona. That advantage saw Los Rojiblancos thrash new boys Rayo Vallecano 4-1 away from home, courtesy of a Franco Vazquez opener and a hat-trick from new signing Andre Silva.

Villarreal started the new season with a new pair of strikers, Karl Toko-Ekambi and Gerard Moreno, who both enjoyed scintillating form for their respective sides Angers and Espanyol last season. Moreno opened his Villarreal scoring account in the 16th minute but his side gave the lead away and lost the match 2-1 against Real Sociedad. Back Sevilla to make it back-to-back wins at 13/20.

Girona 7/1 
Draw 17/4 
Real Madrid 7/20 
Girona were held to a goalless drew by newcomers Valladolid in the league’s opening game last Friday. New coach Eusebio Sacristan will see that game as two points dropped as many pundits expected them to win after their superb home record last season.

Real Madrid were one of the teams who walked away with nothing at the Estadi Montilivi (Girona’s home ground) last season. Julen Lopetegui’s competitive debut as Real Madrid head coach didn’t go well with the team losing 4-2 to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. However, Los Blancos started their La Liga campaign with a positive result as they kept a clean sheet and their star-man Gareth Bale was on target in the 2-0 win over Getafe. Real Madrid should be too good for Girona this time around at 7/20.

Monday 27 August

Levante 7/4 
Draw 21/10 
Celta Vigo 33/20 
Levante managed to survive relegation last season thanks to miraculous performances towards the end of the campaign. The Frogs continued the amazing spell of form under Paco Lopez, winning their opening game 3-0 away to Real Betis last Friday.

Celta Vigo, who failed to win any of their pre-season games, were lucky to get a point at home to Espanyol thanks to a David Lopez own goal in the second half. In-form Levante at 7/4 is my value bet of round two, get on.

Athletic Bilbao 5/10 
Draw 3/1 
SD Huesca 11/2 
We finish round two like how we finished the opening round, with a late Monday night fixture at the San Mames Stadium. Athletic Bilbao, who look to put behind a disappointing campaign they had last season, started off brightly with a home win to Leganes. New coach Eduardo Berizzo will be targeting back-to-back wins against new boys Huesca, who make their first ever La Liga visit to the San Mames.

Debutants Huesca surprised everyone in the first round when they stunned Eibar 2-1 in their own backyard. It was a historical moment for coach Leo Franco and his men, but I’m backing Athletic Bilbao to end Huesca’s fairytale start at 5/10.

Treble tipped at 6/1
Sevilla Win 13/20
Levante Win 7/4
Atletico Madrid (-1) Handicap 11/20

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Written by Banele Pikwa for Hollywoodbets and Soccer Betting News

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