Spanish La Liga Preview

Valencia and Atletico Madrid, who were above Barcelona in La Liga before gameweek 11, slipped up to allow Barca to leapfrog them into second place after Luis Suarez inspired a comeback win away to Almeria. Real Madrid continued their impressive form and knocked Rayo Vallecano 5-1 at the Bernabeu to move two points clear at the top of the table. 

Athletic Bilbao 15/20 draw 5/2 Espanyol 39/10
Athletic Bilbao will host Espanyol in the first match of gameweek 12 on Friday night. Bilbao have finally built up a promising run of results after collecting just four points from their first seven games. They are unbeaten in four matches, winning twice and drawing twice. Their opponents are winless in their last four league encounters and have also failed to win a match on the road. They have scored just three goals in five travels and their three match winning streak against Bilbao looks to come to a halt on Friday. Back the home win at a worthy 8/10.

Atletico Madrid 9/20 draw 33/10 Malaga 66/10
Atletico failed to record a fourth straight league victory when they suffered a shocking 2-1 loss at Real Sociedad last time out. The result was not that shocking however, as the champions were reduced to 10 men before Sociedad scored two late goals to come back from a goal down. Atletico return to the Vicente Calderon, where they have been superb thus far, to host a Malaga team who will be looking to leapfrog them on the table with a win here. Malaga lie just two points off Atletico after winning five consecutive matches. However, it is at home where Malaga have impressed and they could fall short if they go to Atletico looking for a win. Atletico are unbeaten against Malaga in the last six meetings, winning three times and should manage a fourth win out of seven on Saturday.

Eibar 13/1 draw 56/10 Real Madrid 2/11
Minnows Eibar will host world powerhouses Real Madrid and at their humble 5000 seater stadium. Eibar have proved tough to beat at home, losing just one match from five and drawing three. Real Madrid are coming off their eighth consecutive La Liga win, beating Rayo Vallecano 5-1 at home. Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the 10th straight league game and Gareth Bale found the net on his return from injury as Real Madrid crushed Vallecano to restore their two-point league lead. Madrid are in red hot scoring form and have accumulated 21 away goals while their opponents have scored just six goals in their five home matches this season. Real Madrid can be taken on the halftime/fulltime double for a little more value at 11/20.

Barcelona 2/9 draw 54/10 Sevilla 10/1
With Barcelona facing a third straight league loss, Luis Suarez came on at half-time and orchestrated a 2-1 fightback victory. The Uruguay forward used a burst of speed to shed his marker before crossing for fellow substitute Neymar to equalise in the 73rd minute. He then picked out Jordi Alba to grab the winner in the 82nd. Sevilla dropped points at home to Levante by letting in a second half equalizer and then failing to put away one of the many late chances that they created. Barcelona have won the last five meetings over Sevilla and are unbeaten against them since 2007. The home win doesn’t offer much value so go with 2nd half to be the Highest Scoring Half at 9/10. 

Deportivo 21/10 draw 9/4 Real Sociedad 13/10
Deportivo did well to hold Cordoba to a draw away from home after being reduced to 10 men in the 29th minute. They will host a Sociedad side who are coming off a good win against Atletico Madrid and who will also be under new management. A run of eight games without a win, including five defeats, led to Sociedad dismissing their coach before the Atletico clash, with former Manchester United boss David Moyes replacing him. Sociedad have just two wins this season, but those wins have come up against Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The Sociedad players will be keen to impress their new coach and they could claim the away win. 

Rayo Vallecano 16/10 draw 23/10 Celta Vigo 16/10
Vallecano slumped to their third consecutive loss after a 5-1 whipping at Real Madrid. They will host a Celta Vigo side who are unbeaten in four matches, which includes a 1-0 win over Barcelona. However, they failed to score at home against Granada in their last match drawing 0-0. Vallecano have beaten Celta Vigo in the last four meetings but their form coupled with Celta Vigo’s solidity warrants a draw this time.  

Levante 42/10 draw 11/4 Valencia 13/20
Levante are doing well in an effort to move away from the relegation zone. They struck late to earn a 1-1 draw at Sevilla last time out and beat Almeria 2-1 at home the weekend prior. Valencia surrendered their 100 per cent record at Mestalla and slipped to third in the table after being held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao. However, Valencia have been by far the superior side and have scored 23 goals, more than three times Levante’s measly seven. Levante have lost four of their five home matches and the away win is tipped. 

Elche 19/20 draw 23/10 Cordoba 31/20
After beating Espanyol at home, Elche travelled to Getafe looking for their third win of the season and although they showed their intentions of winning from the get-go they weren’t good enough to create enough goal scoring opportunities. Cordoba squandered a great chance to finally end a 42-year wait for their first win in Spain's top tier when they were held to a goalless draw at home by 10-man Deportivo two weeks back. Cordoba have returned to the topflight for the first time since 1972 and lie in last place and remain the only winless team in La Liga after 11 matches. Home advantage should give Elche the edge to earn the victory. 

Villarreal 9/20 draw 7/2 Getafe 64/10
Villarreal conceded a stoppage time equalizer to draw 1-1 at Espanyol last time out. The Yellow Submarine had looked set to put successive defeats to Sevilla, Valencia and FC Zurich behind them with a victory against the Barcelona based club. However, it was not to be and they will again be hoping to turn their form around when they host Getafe. Getafe have been picking up the odd win but haven’t looked good on the road where they have scored five goals and conceded nine in five matches. Back the home win.

Granada 1/1 draw 23/10 Almeria 28/10
Both these sides will be seeking their first wins after going winless for seven and five games respectively. Granada managed to hold Celta Vigo to a home draw. However, their goal scoring this season has been putrid having managed only six goals in 11 matches. Almeria have lost four consecutive matches but are coming off a promising showing against Barcelona where they lead the match only to concede two late goals to lose 2-1. Almeria have also struggled with goals and the draw looks a likely result.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
Follow him on Twitter here!

Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Bilbao WIN 15/20
Atletico WIN 9/20
Real Madrid HT/FT WIN 11/20
Barcelona 2ND HALF MOST GOALS 9/10
Sociedad WIN 13/10
Vallecano DRAW 23/10
Valencia WIN 13/20
Elche WIN 19/20
Villarreal WIN 9/20
Granada DRAW 23/10