Our football expert previews the Spanish La Liga Week Nine action which kicks off on Friday 19 October 2018.
Real Madrid appear to be struggling without Cristiano Ronaldo as they haven’t scored a goal in over six hours. Diego Simeone’s side will travel to the Yellow Submarine on Saturday. Is it time for Real Madrid fans to press the panic buttons on Julen Lopetegui?
Friday 19 October
Celta Vigo 17/20
Deportivo Alaves 32/10
Celta Vigo have shown some defensive woes this season, with the Celtics managing to keep one clean sheet in eight matches and they will be under pressure to improve on that terrible record when they welcome a team like Alves who have only lost twice this season, with four wins and two draws.
The last time these sides met, it was Alaves who came out victorious. The visitors come into this game with their heads high after beating Real Madrid before the international breeak. Celta Vigo haven’t been convincing this season, back Alaves to upset at 32/10.
Saturday 20 October
Real Madrid 2/13
Real Madrid extended the crisis by failing to find the back of the net for the fourth time in a row when they lost 1-0 to Alaves. Los Blancos are clearly struggling to accommodate to life without Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane who both left the club before the start of the season.
Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho, has been strongly linked with a return to the Bernabeu if the situation doesn’t change. Levante who were the only team to beat Barcelona in the previous campaign, will fancy another upset when they take on struggling Real Madrid. The Frogs are on a two game winning streak, and they walked away with a point in this fixture last season. At this stage it’s hard to back Real Madrid on anything, so I suggest betting Half Time Draw at 24/10.
Valencia have been the stalemate kings this season, with Los Che drawing six of their eight matches played. Almost all their games has seen Under 2.5 Goals scored, including both their UEFA Champions League matches.
Marcelino and his boys know a victory here is important as it can be a confidence boost ahead of their Champions League match against Young Boys. Leganes were one of the favourites to go down at the end of the season, and indeed they have lost five of their eight matches played. Back Valencia to register their second win of the season.
Atletico Madrid 23/20
Villarreal’s form has been hot and cold this season, the Yellow Submarine have been inconsistent and very costly to follow. They have been better away, winning two from three, but they are dreadful at home, losing three of their four home games. Improving that terrible home record will be extremely difficult for the boys in yellow as they host a well organised Atletico Madrid team that is unbeaten in seven matches in all competition, winning five of those.
The hosts will fancy themselves also as they are unbeaten against Diego Simeone’s men in their last six league encounters. In this game, I’ll back against the stats and side with Atletico Madrid to end their bad record.
We end the super Saturday fixtures with a blockbuster as defending champions Barcelona welcome in-form Sevilla who were top of the table before the start of gameweek 9. Just like Real Madrid, the Blaugrana are winless in four league matches and their coach, Ernesto Valverde, is rumoured to have had a fall out with some of the first team players.
There is obviously a problem in the Barca dressing room and it needs to be addressed before it’s too late, this is one fixture they cannot afford to lose. Sevilla have picked up their hands to be the title contenders. The strike force of Wissam Ben Yedder and Andre Silva has been very difficult to deal with this season, with the duo scoring 12 goals between them so far. Back Both Teams to Score at 9/20.
Sunday 21 October
Rayo Vallecano 19/10
We kick off the Sunday fixtures with a low key affair between Vallecano and Getafe. Both these sides are struggling badly in the league heading to this clash, with the hosts siting second to last from the bottom of the league ladder with just five points from seven games, while Getafe are at 13th on the standings with just two wins on their name. It’s Hard to separate these so back a stalemate at 43/20.
Athletic Bilbao 17/10
Match two on Sunday, is another league strugglers clash between Eibar and Bilbao who are set to lock horns at Ipurua Municipal Stadium. Neither of the sides will come into the game high on confidence following their most recent results. The hosts started the season poorly, but they grew in confidence and managed to get 10 points from the eight matches.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about their opponents as they have won only one game this season, that poor run of form sees the Lions sit at 17th place on the log, two points above the red zone. The visitors are also winless in their last five league matches and they are desperate for points. Back Eibar to triumph on a valuable 7/4.
SD Huesca 51/20
As expected, the league first timers Huesca are finding it hard to cope with top flight football and they are rooted at the foot of the table with only one win and five defeats. The hosts enjoyed a fairy-tale start to the debut season winning four points from two opening games against Eibar and Athletic Bilbao. However, they have failed dismally to capitalise on that dream start, after they went on to lose five of their matches.
Talking about a dream start, Espanyol are on the rise this season and they find themselves fifth on the table two points behind log leaders. It is their incredible home form that has put them in this good position, having won all their four games in front of their faithful. Away from home, Espanyol are a different team, as they are yet to win on the road. Back Espanyol to finnaly win on the road at 11/10.
Real Betis 11/20
Real Valladolid 5/1
This is a clash of two teams who share an identical record in terms of form. Both these sides are on 12 points, with three wins, three draws and two defeats to their name. It is Valladolid who come into this game as the most improved team as they are on a three match winning streak.
Real Betis tasted their second defeat of the season when they travelled to Atletico Madrid last time out. Both sides have conceded just six goals so far and they also haven’t scored many goals. As the form suggests back Under 2.5 Goals at 15/20.
Monday 22 October
Real Sociedad 13/20
Real Sociedad take on Girona in the final round of gameweek 9 of La Liga 2018 on Monday night. The hosts are searching for their fourth win of the season, while the away side is looking to continue their positive run on the road. The hosts need to start winning games at home for them to compete for a spot in Europe and this is a perfect match for them to register their first home win.
Sociedad were impressive in their last match, winning 3-1 away at Bilbao. The home fans will be hoping for a repeat of last season results which so them score their biggest win of the campaign after they thrashed Girona 5-0. This time it will not be so easy, but I’m expecting the hosts to claim maximum points here.
Treble @ 17/2
Real Sociedad Win 13/20
Espanyol Win 11/10
Eibar Win 7/4
Written by Banele Pikwa