Spanish La Liga Preview




8/10 tipped in gameweek 2 won!

Gameweek 2 proved profitable for me as eight of my 10 La Liga predictions won. Barcelona lead the title race as the only team to win both their matches so far this season. They will look to move further away from their rivals as Real Madrid play host to Atletico Madrid in the highlight of this week’s La Liga fixtures – with at least one team set to drop more points.

Almeria 17/20 draw 23/10 Cordoba 33/10 
Two of the league’s smaller teams open gameweek 3 in La Liga on Friday night. Almeria and Cordoba are yet to win a match from their two fixtures with both gaining a point in their home games and losing their away ones. Cordoba were lucky to make the Segunda promotion playoffs last season by virtue of Barcelona B being illegible to join their A side in La Liga. Almeria were unfortunate to concede a late equalising goal in their league opener at home to Espanyol and should be backed to take maximum points this time. 

Barcelona 3/10 draw 9/2 Athletic Bilbao 15/2
Barcelona can’t win anything without kids at the moment. After 18-year-old Munir inspired their opening day win over Elche, they made it two wins in two thanks to 19-year-old forward Sandro. Luis Enrique’s team dominated Villarreal but despite superb displays from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, they owed their 1-0 win to their young Canary Island striker who scored the only goal of the game eight minutes from time. This week Barca host last season’s fouth place finishers Athletic Bilbao. Athletic Bilbao whipped Levante 3-0 in their first home match of the season, making up for their opening day loss at Malaga. Bilbao's victory at San Mames Stadium capped a week that included them reaching the Champions League group phase for the first time in 16 years by knocking Napoli out of the playoffs. Barca won this fixture last season and if Bilbao couldn’t win at Malaga then their chances of gaining even a point here look unlikely. 

Malaga 11/20 draw 26/10 Levante 52/10
Malaga host Levante with both sides looking to bounce back from 3-0 losses. Malaga opened their season in fine style with a 1-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao before falling at Valencia last time out. Levante sit bottom of the log as the only team to have lost both their games this season. However, they have faced two difficult opponents in Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao. Levante finished a place above Malaga last season in 10th and are tipped to come away with a draw here. 

Real Madrid 13/20 draw 27/10 Atletico Madrid 39/10
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Celta de Vigo 12/10 draw 22/10 Real Sociedad 22/10
Two exciting teams line-up Saturday’s final fixture. Celta Vigo are unbeaten so far with a 3-1 home win over Getafe and a 1-1 draw away to Cordoba last time out. Real Sociedad came from two goals behind to defeat visiting Real Madrid 4-2 in a thrilling comeback victory. Madrid led through early strikes by Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale and seemed to be cruising to their second victory in as many matches to start the league season. Instead, Sociedad stormed back with four unanswered goals. Sociedad’s away form has been poor having lost on opening day to Eibar and in their UEFA Europa League encounter two weeks back. However, Sociedad are unbeaten against Celta Vigo in the last eight encounters and are great value to build on their superb victory at 22/10.

Rayo Vallecano 15/20 draw 5/2 Elche 7/2
Vallecano and Elche get things started on Sunday. Vallecano finished in a decent 12th position last season and have started this season off in similar style. They have two draws from  two matches but they were both good results as they hosted Atletico Madrid on the opening match day and nearly got the better of the league champions. They earned a 2-2 draw away to Deportivo in their second fixture and will be confident heading into this match against Elche whom they beat 3-0 at home last season. Elche lost 3-0 away to Barcelona and only managed a draw at home to Granada last time out. The home win is tipped. 

Valencia 6/10 draw 5/2 Espanyol 44/10
Valencia are sitting pretty in second spot after thrashing Malaga 3-0 at the Mestalla and earning a point at Sevilla in gameweek 1. Espanyol are coming off a 2-1 home defeat to Sevilla and will need to put that behind them if they are to improve on their weak away record from last season where they lost 11 of their 18 travels, drawing four. Valencia have won 10 of the last 13 home matches against Espanyol, losing on only one occasion. Confidence will be high after their last win and Valencia should record another home victory here.  

Sevilla 9/20 draw 31/10 Getafe 61/10
After drawing at home to Valencia, Sevilla went on to redeem themselves with a 2-1 away win at Espanyol. They will host a Getafe side who went down 3-1 to Celta Vigo in their only away fixture. Sevilla won 11 of their 18 home fixtures last season while Getafe lost 11 of their away matches. Sevilla won this match 3-0 last season and have won this fixture at home for the past three seasons.

Granada 28/10 draw 22/10 Villarreal 19/20
Granada have so far put their horrid 2013/14 season behind them when they narrowly escaped relegation by two points. They sit on four points from two matches but will be wary when they host a Villarreal side who bravely went down 1-0 at home to giants Barcelona. The Yellow-Submarines started their campaign with a great result, ousting Levante 2-0 away from home. Villarreal also impressed with a 7-0 aggregate win over Kazakhstan’s Astana in the UEFA Europa League play-offs. Granada won this fixture 2-0 last season with Villarreal winning their home fixture also. The draw is tipped this time.

Eibar 1/1 draw 22/10 Deportivo 28/10
Monday night football brings us last season’s Segunda champions Eibar hosting their runners-up Deportivo. The club from the tiny city play in front of a crowd packed into a stadium that cannot even fill 6000 people into and still they managed a dream start in front of their home fans when they defeated Real Sociedad 1-0. They were dealt another tough fixture in their second match as they travelled to champions Atletico and fought bravely to a 2-1 loss. Deportivo haven’t experienced a similar start but did manage to get off the mark in their last match with a draw at home to Vallecano. Eibar won this fixture last season and their superior defensive qualities should shine through and earn them another victory. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Almeria WIN 17/20
Barcelona WIN 3/10
Malaga DRAW 26/10
Real Madrid WIN 13/20
Sociedad WIN 22/10
Vallecano WIN 15/20
Valencia WIN 6/10
Sevilla WIN 9/20
Granada DRAW 22/10
Eibar WIN 1/1