Round 13 didn’t bring success with only 50% of my recommendations winning, but I endured a tough break with Real Madrid failing to score at Betis, and simply got too greedy taking Rayo to win and both to score against Mallorca instead of the 90 minute Rayo win.
Round 14 brings about some interesting fixtures with Barcelona v Athletic and Real v Atletico, but the bets I wanted to place were too short priced and I’ve had to think again and find bigger prices without increased risk to the point of saying it’s not worth betting.
With little squad depth beyond the top few teams in La Liga, the midweek Copa del Rey matches make it hard to pick round 14 unless a significant number of regular starters were spared of cup duty. Nevertheless, we crack on and try to win some bets.
As always, good luck if you follow and only bet what you can afford to lose.
Osasuna v Rayo Vallecano
With their second 0-0 in a row, Osasuna rode their luck but drew away to Real Sociedad last Friday night. All in all, second bottom Osa had late chances to win the game but will be very happy to remain undefeated in their last three games.
Rayo, through late Leo and Delibasic goals, defeated Mallorca 2-0 in Madrid last weekend. Given the constant offensive pressure that Rayo applied to their opponents, it was a fair and deserved win.
In conclusion, although I only applied a half stake to last week’s Friday night game, I’m still 0 for 2 on these fixtures and, as planned, refuse to bet on this one. For my non-betting match pick, however, I’ll take a home win.
Getafe v Malaga
With on-loan Real Madrid wideman Pedro Leon opening the scoring, Michel’s Getafe won 2-0 away to crisis ridden Espanyol last Sunday. All in all, and considering that I thought Getafe would either win or draw the game with my + 0.25 Asian handicap, this result wasn’t a surprise.
Malaga, somewhat surprisingly – I expected 1 or 2-0 – easily defeated Valencia 4-0 at La Rosaleda in their last league game. Although Valencia have proved to be very poor on the road in 2012/13, Malaga played exceptionally well and won (in the league) for the first time in four games.
In a total reversal of their performance against Los Che, the Anchovies, with a significantly weakened team on show, lost 1-0 at home to lowly in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday evening. I actually watched the game live on TV and can tell you that Malaga should have lost 2 or 3-0 and exited the competition.
Anyway, I’d discount the cup game as many of the players have not been paid for a while and ensuring their progress to the next round of the Copa (which will doubtlessly be Malaga’s lowest priority) was all that they were bothered about on the night.
In conclusion, Malaga rested their ‘stars’ midweek and should therefore be fresher than their hosts – who also played Copa action – so I’d expect a narrow away win.
However, even with thee knowledge that, in league and cup, Malaga twice won here last season, I’ll take the draw no bet option at an acceptable price.
Recommendation: Malaga draw no bet (1.91)
Valencia v Real Sociedad
Che boss Pellegrino rested several of his regular starters when Valencia travelled to Malaga last weekend and paid the price when his chosen eleven lost 4-0. However, it’s fair to say that Valencia would have lost with their first team out – they really are that bad on the road!
Offensively, Real Sociedad didn’t play anywhere near as good as they had in recent weeks when hosting second bottom Osasuna last Friday night, and could only draw 0-0 with the Pamplona natives.
With regards to today’s game, Valencia – with five wins and a draw from six games – are very good at home and it’s therefore hard to oppose them.
La Real, on the road, have won one, drawn one and lost four. Not impressive reading you might say, but then the draw and win were in Real Sociedad’s last two road games, so they are improving and certainly capable of scoring against Valencia today.
In conclusion, Valencia should win, but given that 4/6 Valencia home games have gone over 2.5 and considering that 3/4 recent La Real road games have passed the same mark, I’m going for over 2.5 goals as the safest bet.
Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (1.83)
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
At one point during the match, fielding eleven players who had all come through the clubs youth setup, La Masia, Barcelona comfortably defeated Levante 4-0 in Valencia last weekend. As usual – and with Gerd Muller’s record goal haul in his sights – Messi scored a brace. Iniesta and Fabregas were the Catalans other scorers.
Basque giants Athletic, with Llorente in their starting eleven because of injury to Aduriz, could only draw 1-1 at home to crisis ridden (financially) Deportivo. Big Nando, who clearly lacks match fitness, missed a few chances and it was De Marcos who scored Athletic’s goal – with a cool finish into the corner.
Both Barcelona and Athletic played midweek matches – the former at home to Alaves in the Copa del Rey, the latter away to Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in Israel – but Villa and Llorente aside, very weak teams were fielded by each.
In conclusion, this is always a fiery affair (though more so at San Mames) and Athletic will give their all. However, I don’t forecast anything other than a Barca win and, given how short other scoring related or handicap markets are, see the best bet as Barca to win both halves.
Recommendation: Barca to win both halves (1.83)
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Though they didn’t play badly, Real Madrid were unable to score away to Real Betis and duly paid the price as Betis ran out 1-0 winners in last weekend’s clash at the Benito Villamarin.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, though helped by a red card, easily defeated Michel’s Sevilla 4-0 at the Vicente Calderon in round 13. After converting a first half penalty, Falcao –who’d endured a barren run recently – was back amongst the scorers.
In conclusion, Atletico haven’t beaten Real since 1999, and as much as Los Colchoneros have improved since then, this should still be a home win. Tough choice this time, though – nothing last forever so tread carefully.
Recommendation: Real Madrid – 1.25 Asian handicap (2.0)
Granada v Espanyol
In a fairly boring game, Granada lost 1-0 away to Valladolid last Sunday afternoon. It was their second defeat in a row, leaving the club in 18th position of the 2012/13 Liga BBVA standings.
After losing 2-0 at home to Getafe last weekend, their fourth consecutive defeat in a row, bottom club Espanyol parted company (by mutual consent, they say) with coach Pochettino.
Former Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid manager Javier Aguirre has been appointed as Pochettino’s successor and will look to immediately improve results, starting at Granada this weekend.
In conclusion, there are only two points between these clubs and, with my never oppose a new manager in his first (league) game theory in mind, I think it’s worth chancing that Espanyol avoid defeat today.
Recommendation: Espanyol + 0.25 Asian handicap (2.11)
Deportivo La Coruna v Real Betis
Although they were outplayed in the first half, Deportivo equalised in the second and held on to claim a credible point away to Athletic Bilbao at San Mames in round 13. Aquilar, who headed who home Valeron’s cross, was the scorer.
Real Betis, of course, defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in Seville last weekend. As a Betis fan I was very happy with this, but having bet on both teams to score it was a bittersweet feeling! Benat, who’s been fantastic in the Betis midfield for the past two seasons, was the scorer.
With regards to today’s game, Deportivo, with two wins, one draw and three defeats from six games so far, are inconsistent at home and Betis, who have won three, drawn one and lost two on the road, have proved that they can win away.
Therefore, I like an away win. But with Betis having defeated Real Madrid last weekend and also Granada in the Copa midweek, I fear this being one of those games in which Betis take a day off away from their home crowd and lose.
In conclusion, with both teams fielding makeshift defences it seems likely that both will score. Simples, I hope.
Recommendation: Both teams to score (1.73)
Celta de Vigo v Levante
I avoided betting on the game but had calculated that Celta to score was the only thing I trusted when they travelled to Zaragoza last Monday evening. As it happened, Celta won 1-0 and I didn’t make a penny!
Anyway, golden boy Iago Aspas scored Celta’s goal – which, after six defeats in six games prior to last Monday, gave them their first away win of the 2012/13 season. All in all, Celta rode their luck a little but it was a fair victory and they’ll hope road results continue to improve in future rounds.
Celta’s opponents today, Levante, held Barca at bay for the first half of their round 13 clash last weekend, but changed defensive tactics for the second period and quickly shipped four goals.
Most depressingly, considering I had backed and recommended both teams to score, Levante – through Bakero – missed a late penalty.
In conclusion, both teams played draining Copa del Rey matches midweek and both teams respective home and away games usually go under 2.5 goals.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 goals (1.84)
Mallorca v Real Zaragoza
Joaquin Caparros’s Mallorca, who had snapped a six game losing streak by drawing 1-1 away to Celta in round 12, went straight back to losing ways after a 2-0 round 13 defeat away to Rayo in Madrid.
Today’s visitors to San Moix, 13th placed Zaragoza, also lost their round 13 clash – a 1-0 home defeat to Celta Vigo – and will also be desperate to get back to winning ways.
In conclusion, I’d expect a 1 or 2-0 home win but don’t want to bet on the game.
Although they played most of the game with ten men after Fazio’s 20th minute dismissal, Sevilla, as expected, lost away to Atletico Madrid last weekend. The Rojiblancos eventual 4-0 defeat was heavier than expected, but it was more than enough to win my Atleti – 0.75 bet.
Valladolid, courtesy of a 63rd minute goal from Manucho, defeated Granada 1-0 at the Nuevo Jose Zorilla Stadium. It was a fair and expected victory in the end, but Granada did well in the first half.
In conclusion, Sevilla defeated crisis ridden Espanyol 3-0 at the Corenlla – El Prat in the Copa del Rey midweek and should be able to see off a Valladolid side who lost 3-0 away to Betis midweek, and have lost 4/6 league road games in 2012/13.
However, the Rojiblancos will miss Negredo, Rakitic and Fazio – all arguably key players. Enough absentees for me to say no bet, I’m afraid.