Spanish La Liga Preview




Diego Simeone's men gained supremacy over Real Madrid for the second time in less than a month. Atletico's working class heroes carried forward the philosophy of grit and determination installed by their master, Simeone. The 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu, gives the La Liga champions a much needed boost in this early part of the season.

Elche 12/10 draw 19/10 Eibar 5/2
Elche are coming off an excellent 3-2 away win at Rayo Vallecano and will come into this match against a newly promoted side confident of earning maximum points. Eibar enjoyed a dream start to life in the Spanish top flight with a 1-0 success at home to Real Sociedad but, after losing 2-1 at champions Atletico Madrid, there were no further home comforts for the minnows on Monday as Deportivo beat them 1-0 at home. Elche lost just five home games from 19 last season and are good value at 12/10 for the win.

Deportivo 73/10 draw 44/10 Real Madrid 3/10
UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid find themselves in a dismal 13th place in La Liga, with just one win and two losses. This weekend they face a Deportivo side who were promoted after finishing second in the Segunda Division last season. Deportivo are coming off their first win, snatching a 1-0 win at Eibar on Monday night. However, After two losses Real Madrid will be out to redeem themselves and should have too much quality for the newly promoted side.

Athletic Bilbao 4/10 draw 34/10 Granada 62/10
Athletic Bilbao might be sitting in 11th position on the table but have shown their talent this season. Bilbao started the campaign with a tough away game against Malaga going down 1-0 but redeemed themselves the following week with a 3-0 home win over Levante. They had to travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona last weekend and went down 2-0. They recently showed their worth by ousting Napoli 4-2 on aggregate over two legs to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage. Their opponents have so far improved on their bad 2013/14 season and are unbeaten after three matches. Granada are coming off a goalless draw at home to Villarreal but will need to improve even more if they are to come away with any points at Bilbao. Bilbao were impressive at home last season and won this fixture 4-0. The home win is tipped once again. 

Atletico Madrid 9/20 draw 31/10 Celta Vigo 57/10
Atletico Madrid took all Real Madrid had to throw at them and responded with better as they won 2-1 at the Bernabeu. Last season's surprise champions weathered a first-half storm after Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty cancelled out Tiago's opener, and their resolve was worth it as they won it in the 76th minute. Substitute Arda Turan got their winner, but all their players were heroes as budgets were again made a mockery of as Diego Simeone's men won across the city for the second time in two seasons. Celta Vigo have done well to claim five points so far and are coming off a good showing in which they dominated Real Sociedad but conceded a late goal to draw the match 2-2. Atletico have a tough fixture in Greece against Olympiakos midweek and Celta could take advantage of what would have been a tiring week for Atletico. The draw is on the cards. 

Espanyol 21/20 draw 22/10 Malaga 26/10
Espanyol find themselves second from bottom after two losses and a draw. Their only home match thus far ended in a 2-1 loss to Sevilla. Malaga have earned their four points at home and lost their away match against Valencia 3-0. They have drawn this fixture 0-0 for the past two seasons and that pattern should follow again with the draw on offer at 22/10. 

Real Sociedad 9/20 draw 31/10 Almeria 6/1
Real Sociedad pulled off another extraordinary comeback as they fought from two goals down to salvage a late point at Celta Vigo. Sociedad return to the Anoeta  Stadium where they stunned Real Madrid by scoring four goals to earn a 4-2 victory. Almeria are still without a win after drawing 1-1 at home to Cordoba last weekend. Sociedad comprehensively beat Almeria 3-0 in this match last season and look a sure bet again. 

Villarreal 5/10 draw 3/1 Rayo Vallecano 53/10
Villarreal are looking strong having racked up four points from their two away matches and narrowly losing 1-0 to giants Barcelona. They will host a Vallecano team who are yet to win and are coming off a disappointing 3-2 home loss to Elche. The Yellow Submarines are unbeaten against Vallecano in the last nine meetings, winning seven times. Villarreal earned a 4-0 win in this match last season and should be backed to claim all three points again. The home win is tipped. 

Cordoba 31/10 draw 9/4 Sevilla 9/10
Third place Sevilla travel to newly promoted Cordoba on Sunday looking to extend their good record in the league thus far and stay in the title race. After drawing their league opener at home to Valencia, Sevilla went on to win away at Espanyol and at home against Getafe. After losing 2-0 at Real Madrid Cordoba went on to earn two draws against Celta Vigo and Almeria. Sevilla have beaten Cordoba in all five of their previous encounters and should prove superior once more.

Levante 13/1 draw 54/10 Barcelona 1/6
The draw kings stayed true to their title last weekend earning an away point in a goalless draw against Malaga. This weekend they host league leaders Barcelona whom they managed a 1-1 draw with in this fixture last season. Lionel Messi needed just two goals to reach a career total of 400, but instead he provided two brilliant assists, with Neymar the beneficiary both times as Barcelona’s South American duo put Athletic Bilbao to the sword. Barcelona look favourites for the title this season under new mentor Luis Enrique.  It’s three wins from three matches for Barca thus far, who have scored six goals with not a single one conceded. Barca are tipped to keep their 100% win record with a win tipped on the handicap (-1) at 5/10. 

Getafe 27/10 draw 9/4 Valencia 1/1
Getafe have lost both their away games but will be slightly more buoyant at home where they beat Almeria in their second league match. Valencia eased past Espanyol 3-1 at home last Sunday to remain unbeaten in the league with two home wins and an away draw under new coach Nuno Espirito Santo. These sides last met in May where Getafe managed a 3-1 away win in the league. Home advantage could get Getafe another win and its well worth the punt at 27/10.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Elche WIN 12/10
Real Madrid WIN 3/10
Bilbao WIN 4/10
Atletico DRAW 31/10
Espanyol DRAW 22/10
Sociedad WIN 9/20
Villarreal WIN 5/10
Sevilla WIN 9/10
Barcelona HANDICAP(-1) 5/10
Getafe WIN 27/10