Spanish La Liga Preview

Real Madrid set a new club record by picking up their 16th consecutive win in a 2-1 victory at Malaga last weekend. Meanwhile Barcelona stayed within touching distance of Madrid by scoring a late winner at Valencia. The Spanish giants will both be looking to maintain their winning form as Atletico Madrid continue to fight in their title defence. 

Elche 11/2 draw 27/10 Atletico Madrid 11/20
Elche suffered a 3-0 loss to Real Sociedad last Friday that banished them to the relegation zone. They have now won just two of their 13 matches, losing seven. Champions Atletico Madrid kept their place behind Real Madrid and Barcelona after defeating Deportivo 2-0 at home. Their away form hasn’t been as good as their home form but they will be confident of continuing on their excellent run of six wins from eight matches. Atletico managed two 2-0 victories over Elche last season and they are well worth their price here. 

Athletic Bilbao 4/10 draw 34/10 Cordoba 72/10
Athletic Bilbao stretched their unbeaten league run to six matches with a 2-1 win at Getafe. The victory capped off a stellar week for Bilbao, who won their previous league game at home to Espanyol and then defeated Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine in their Uefa Champions League tie. Their excellent run looks to continue this weekend as they host bottom of the log and winless Cordoba. Cordoba suffered their sixth loss when they lost 2-0 at home to Villarreal. Bilbao are tipped to pick up their fifth league win from seven games. 

Real Madrid 1/8 draw 92/10 Celta Vigo 15/1
Carlo Ancelotti has now gone where no Real Madrid manager has ever gone before – winning his 16th straight match. Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Malaga took the team’s winning streak to a new record, surpassing Jose Mourinho’s 15 match streak. Real beat Malaga with goals from Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale to stay two points ahead of rivals Barcelona. Celta Vigo will be looking to bring another giant down after beating Barcelona 1-0 last month. However, their form indicates otherwise. They fell to eighth place with a second consecutive loss at home to Eibar. The weekend prior they were beaten at Rayo Vallecano and their chances here look dim. With no value on the home win, take Both Teams Not To Score available at 11/10 as Celta have failed to score in their last three matches.  

Deportivo 24/10 draw 21/10 Malaga 5/4
Malaga’s five match winning streak has been halted over the last two weekends after losing to both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. They will be keen to get back to winning ways when they host a Deportivo side who have struggled to make the jump from Segunda to la Liga. Deportivo sit second from bottom and have won just one home match from six thus far. The away win is tipped.

Rayo Vallecano 24/10 draw 24/10 Sevilla 11/10
After receiving a 5-1 thumping from Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano have bounced back well earning two 1-0 victories over Celta Vigo at home and Almeria away. They face a tough test this weekend as they host a Sevilla side who bounced back from a 5-1 loss to Barcelona by thrashing Granada 5-1 last weekend. Sevilla’s away form has been inconsistent, winning three games and losing three times. Sevilla won this fixture 1-0 last season but Vallecano’s form warrants a draw.  

Barcelona 1/12 draw 10/1 Espanyol 24/1
Sergio Busquets broke Valencia hearts with a goal deep into stoppage time to steal a 1-0 win for Barcelona on Sunday. Luis Enrique's team appeared set to lose further ground on La Liga leaders Real Madrid, but Busquets smashed home to rescue a largely laboured performance after Diego Alves blocked Neymar's header from Lionel Messi's chipped cross. The game ended on an unsavoury note as Messi was struck by a bottle thrown by a Valencia fan however, the little maestro suffered no injuries. This weekend they will host Espanyol at Camp Nou to contest the Barcelona derby. Espanyol’s last league win over Barcelona came in 2009 and have since only managed two draws with Barcelona winning eight of the last 11 derbies. Espanyol are winless away with two draws and four losses. Barcelona to be winning Halftime and Fulltime should be taken at 7/20. 

Villarreal 7/10 draw 27/10 Real Sociedad 4/1
Villarreal earned a second victory in a row to move into sixth place in La Liga with Luciano Vietto and Nigerian striker Ike Uche providing the goals. David Moyes started his home reign with Real Sociedad with a 3-0 win over Elche. Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela made sure David Moyes’ first match at Anoeta started in style scoring a hat-trick. Moyes will be looking to improve on his team’s away record at Villarreal as they are yet to secure a win on the road, losing three and drawing three. However, Villarreal won this fixture 5-1 last season and David Moyes’ run of four points from two games looks too good to be true. Take the home win. 

Granada 26/10 draw 24/10 Valencia 21/20
Granada’s poor form continued as they were thrashed 5-1 at Sevilla last weekend. Their winless run looks set to continue as they gear up to host a Valencia side who occupy fifth spot. However, Granada will be hoping to do well against their opponents as Valencia have struggled on the road, winning twice, drawing twice and losing twice. Valencia have beaten Granada in all six previous meetings between the sides and the best Granada look to do is claim a draw. 

Eibar 1/1 draw 23/10 Almeria 29/10
Minnows Eibar seem to be the only promoted team who are capable of mixing it up with the big Spanish clubs. After being whipped by Real Madrid they returned to winning ways by earning a great 1-0 victory away to Celta Vigo last weekend. Almeria’s winless run continued on Monday night as they lost for the fifth time in six games. With home advantage over a side like Almeria, Eibar should be backed to claim the three points. 

Levante 15/10 draw 21/10 Getafe 19/10
Levante’s three match winning streak came to an end last weekend as they fell to a 2-1 loss at Espanyol. It was their best form of the season and with Getafe arriving in the city of Valencia, Levante will be confident of picking up another three points. For the past three seasons Levante have failed to win at home to Getafe, drawing twice and losing once. That record is bound to change as Getafe have never been a strong team on the road. The home win is tipped.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Atletico WIN 11/20
Bilbao WIN 4/10
Real Madrid BTTS NO 11/10
Malaga WIN 5/4
Vallecano DRAW 24/10
Barcelona HT/FT WIN 7/20
Villarreal WIN 7/10
Granada DRAW 24/10
Eibar WIN 1/1
Levante WIN 15/10