Spanish La Liga Preview

La Liga leaders Barcelona became the first team to go seven games without conceding at the start of a season when Lionel Messi and Neymar struck in a 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecano in gameweek six. Champions Atletico Madrid had earlier been beaten 3-1 at a resurgent Valencia, who strengthened their grip on second with 17 points, two points behind Barca. Cristiano Ronaldo maintained his scintillating form with yet another hat-trick as Real Madrid thrashed Athletic Bilbao 5-0 to climb above Atletico into fourth. It was the Portuguese World Player of the Year's third hat-trick of the season and took his tally in La Liga to a phenomenal 13 goals in six appearances. Real have 15 points, one behind third-placed Sevilla, who thrashed promoted Deportivo La Coruna 4-1.

Granada 11/10 draw 9/4 Rayo Vallecano 5/2
Granada and Rayo Vallecano kick-off this week’s La Liga fixtures on Friday night. Granada are struggling having lost their last three matches. Their home form has been bad where they have scored just two goals in three matches. Vallecano went down 2-0 to Barcelona in their last match but prior to that were in good form, beating Athletic Bilbao at home and Levante on the road. Vallecano won this fixture 3-0 last season. They have managed to score double the amount of Granada’s measly five goals in seven matches and the away win looks a profitable bet at 5/2.  

Levante 13/1 draw 53/10 Real Madrid 1/6
Real Madrid will travel to 17th place Levante on Saturday looking to pick up their fifth consecutive win as they climb the table. Real Madrid are by far the top scorers in the league thus far with 25 goals while Levante have scored the lowest amount with just four. Real Madrid are a sure bet and the halftime-fulltime double looks a guarantee at 11/20. 

Athletic Bilbao 9/10 draw 5/2 Celta Vigo 28/10
Athletic Bilbao are enduring a dreadful stat to the season  as they lie in the relegation zone ater winning just once from seven matches and losing 5 times. Celta Vigo have performed admirable thus far but are coming off their first loss of the season at home to Villarreal. Bilbao finished fourth last season, 21 points ahead of Celta Vigo. They have beaten Celta Vigo at home in the last three meetings and should be backed to claim the home win. 

Barcelona 1/10 draw 76/10 Eibar 21/1
It’s a David vs Goliath match giants Barcelona host newly promoted minnows Eibar. Barca are sitting pretty at the top of the table and have managed to not concede a single goal in their seven matches this season. Eibar will be pleased to be lying 11th on the table. They are unbeaten in their last four matches, with three draws and a win. However, even a point looks out of their reach here. Having not conceded a goal yet, few would back Eibar to break that. Back Barca to be the only team to score at 6/10. 

Cordoba 21/10 draw 2/1 Malaga 13/10
Cordoba are the only side in the league yet to record a victory and they don’t look likely to change that here. Malaga have lost two of their seven matches and are the only side to have held Barcelona to a draw thus far. Malaga have struggled on the road and Codoba have drawn four of their seven matches. The draw is on the cards. 

Atletico Madrid 7/20 draw 34/10 Espanyol 9/1
Atletico Madrid host Espanyol in Sunday’s first fixture, hoping to gain some ground on their title rivals. They are coming off a humiliating 3-1 loss at Valencia and should bounce back at home to Espanyol whom they have beaten at home in the last six home meetings. Espanyol are coming into this match in good form having picked up eight points (two wins and two draws) from four games. However, they are winless on the road and managed only a point (0-0) at Cordoba in their last away fixture. The home win is a banker bet. 

Deportivo 32/10 draw 5/2 Valencia 8/10 
Newly promoted Deportivo are struggling in the top tier lying bottom of the table. They have lost their last 4 matches and are coming off a 4-1 thrashing at Sevilla. Valencia are flying high in second place, just two points off league leaders Barcelona. They are unbeaten this season with five wins and two losses. They annihilated the champions Atletico 3-1 last time out and have scored 17 goals while conceding just four. Deportivo are yet to win at home and Valencia should come away with maximum points here. 

Elche 27/10 draw 23/10 Sevilla 1/1
Elche host Sevilla still searching for their first home win of the season. Sevilla are putting in good performances as they seek a Champions League spot that they missed last season, finishing fifth. However, they slipped up in their last away match three weeks back losing 4-1 at Atletico Madrid. These sides drew 1-1 in this fixture last season and the draw looks a good bet again. 

Villarreal 7/20 draw 36/10 Almeria 7/1
Villarreal are coming off an excellent 3-1 win away to Celta Vigo last time out and will be confident here hosting an Almeria side that they did the double over last season. Villarreal have won only one home match but their two home losses came against giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Yellow Submarines should get back to winning ways here. 

Real Sociedad 11/20 draw 28/10 Getafe 46/10
Real Sociedad have managed to only win one match this season and that astonishingly came against Real Madrid. Getafe have managed to scrape only four goals while conceding 11. Their away form is the worst in the league having lost all three travels, scoring one goal and conceding seven. Sociedad won this fixture 2-0 last season.  Their last home match was against in-form Valencia and they drew that match 1-1. Sociedad are better than their record suggests and they are firm favourites for the win.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Vallecano WIN 5/2
R. Madrid HT-FT WIN 11/20
Bilbao WIN 9/10
Barcelona ONLY TO SCORE 6/10
Cordoba DRAW 2/1
Atletico WIN 7/20
Valencia WIN 8/10
Elche DRAW 23/10
Villarreal WIN 7/20
Sociedad WIN 11/20