Forza Futbol

A Better Lens at Spanish Football





Real Betis v Osasuna


Pepe Mel’s Betis, after a long drought in front of goal, have scored six goals in their last two games – three in each. Osasuna, put simply, do not concede or score many goals –losing 1-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao last weekend.

However, it must be said that Osasuna netted in each of their last few away games, winning at Levante a couple of weeks ago – and Betis are prone to occasional shock 2-1 home losses to inferior teams.

An Osasuna win in Seville is not in line with recent head to head clashes, though, but this is a Friday night game and surprising loss has often been followed by surprising win in many recent La Liga games.

All in all, I think that Betis to win is the best choice. But, as usual, decline to bet on the game myself – preferring to just watch and hope that my team wins.


Recommendation: Betis (1.91)



Rayo Vallecano v Espanyol


With Rayo generally strong at home this season, you’d think home win on first glance. However, considering that the Madrid based side have often been priced around 2.25 against lesser threats than Espanyol – who have beaten Rayo in their last three meetings – I’m ignoring the 2.02 on offer going for a shock upset and separate goals bet instead.

Rayo, after all, lost at home to both Zaragoza and Valladolid in 2012/13 Liga BBVA, so tasting defeat for the fourth time in a row against Espanyol is a fair punt for my money.


Recommendations: Over 2.5 goals (2.0), Espanyol (4.28)



Valladolid v Malaga


Can’t say I’m sure about this one. Valladolid are a decent home team but were exposed in a 3-0 home defeat to Atleti recently, and Malaga- with players like Isco, Joaquin and Saviola – have the offensive firepower to do the same.

However, with the Anchovies due to play Porto in the UEFA Champions League next week, Pellegrini may opt to rest players, thus making Valladolid – 0.25 more attractive.

All in all, though I don’t think that Valladolid – 0.25 is worth the risk at 2.02 and wouldn’t rule out a 0-0 draw. Therefore, it’s a no bet game for my money.



Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna


It’s no secret that Barca have lost their last three games and look totally out of sync. Key to the Catalans game is their movement and speed of passing – both of which they’ve been sluggishly ineffective at recently.

However, and while Depor actually managed a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw at home to Rayo last weekend, Barca are hosting a team that is bottom of the table and this, in theory, is surely the perfect scenario to recover a little confidence in before Messi and co try and overturn a two goal deficit against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League next week.

Of course, given the importance of the AC Milan game Barca may field a weakened team tonight, but after losing twice in a row against Real Madrid I’m gambling on the Catalans making a fast start in front of a home crowd that might just start waving white hankies if we don’t all get what we want.

Lastly, Barca can obviously be frustrated by well organised teams and I even considered a Depor + 2.25 handicap after recalling a 0-0 a few years ago, but I’ve chosen my angle and expect to win.


Recommendation: Over 1.5 first half goal line (1.875)



Mallorca v Sevilla


Both teams won last week, with Sevilla crushing Celta 4-1 in Seville and Mallorca gaining three points in a match for the first time in 2013 when winning 2-1 at Granada.

Mallorca are not quite as bad now as they were when this happened, but last time they faced Sevilla on the Island it ended 0-5! Now, this was a cup game and Mallorca did win the second leg 2-1, but it was effectively a dead rubber and, overall, Sevilla have a very good recent record against the Islanders.

I like Sevilla to win today, but am mindful that they haven’t won a league road game in 2013 and prefer to bet on over 2.5 goals – a winning bet in two out the last three Mallorca home games, two out of the last three Sevilla away and five of the last six head to head clashes between the two.


Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals (2.1)



Athletic Bilbao v Valencia


Athletic unexpectedly lost at home to Basque rivals Real Sociedad a couple of weeks ago, before unexpectedly winning away at Osasuna the week after. As such, are we to expect the unexpected today?!

What I can tell you is that Valencia – through a Soldado hat-trick – won 3-0 at San Mames last season – their third victory in a row at San Mames. Indeed, Valencia have not lost to Athletic since 2009, so the expected – in my opinion at least – is an away win.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that Valencia played PSG in Paris midweek – and their extra tiredness makes it hard to back what I want to in Valencia – 0.25.

Instead, bearing in mind that BTTS is too short at 1.6 and compensating for the noon Sunday timeslot, I’m taking a chance on over 2.5 goals – a winner in the last four Athletic home games and last five head to head clashes between the two.


Recommendation: Over 2.5 goal line (1.8)



Levante v Getafe


Generally very good at home, Levante nevertheless lost to Osasuna in their last game at the Ciudad de Valencia. Notably, they also host Rubin Kazan in the Europa League days before this game.

Given the above, the good recent form of Getafe and the fact that they won here last season, I’m not prepared to bet on a home win. Indeed, although Geta will miss the suspended Pedro Leon, Colunga is in such great goalscoring form that I’m tempted to back an away win.

Both teams to score seems like a fair bet under the circumstances, but Bakero is out and Obafemi Martins mental state and relationship with his teammates is less than ideal after the (still unresolved) Seattle transfer saga.

In conclusion, with Getafe to score a goal too short at 1.5, I like the Azulones + 0.25 at 2.02 but prefer to wait and see if Levante suffer any injuries in their Europa game first to potentially strengthen the case for this bet.



Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid


Albeit under a different manager, Celta beat Real 2-1 in the Copa del Rey last time they met Real in Vigo. Los Blancos, of course, won the return leg, but have dropped a lot of points in recent La Liga away games and are coming off a midweek UEFA Champions League game in Manchester.

I’m taking a big risk here, but can’t bet on first half goals with the extra tiredness factor for Jose’s boys and everything I’ve just mentioned.


Worth a small punt: Double result of Draw/Real Madrid (4.75)



Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad


Well, we keep looking for angles in Atleti home games but, bar the straight home win, the only consistent bet that wins is the double result of Atleti HT/FT.

However, La Real are in good from – scoring and conceding goals in the process – and I’m going to have one final seasonal crack at opposing the trend of under 2.5 goals at the Vicente Calderon!

If this fails then, apart from when they host Real and Barca, I’ll just bet on Atleti HT/FT until the end of the season!


Worth a punt: Over 2.5 goals (1.8)



Real Zaragoza v Granada


Another no bet game for my money. I’d give Zara the edge with home advantage, particularly after holding Valencia to a 2-2 draw in their last match at La Romareda, but I can’t see anything trustworthy to punt on and see no point in betting for the sake of it.



JCLaLiga On March - 7 - 2013

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