Spanish La Liga Preview

It seems Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence in the Spanish La Liga means records are being broken on a weekly basis. Ronaldo has now scored more La Liga hat-tricks than anyone else after netting all three goals in Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo. The result means Carlo Ancelotti’s side have now recorded 18 successive wins, equalling the Spanish record set by Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona team in the 2005-06 season. Real, Barca and Atletico continued to pull away from the rest of the league last weekend with comprehensive wins. After winning runs for all three of Spain’s top three an upset looks to be on the cards this week. Who could it be? 

Almeria 13/1 draw 52/10 Real Madrid 1/5
Almeria will be dreading this fixture against a Real Madrid team who annihilated them 4-0 and 5-0 last season. Almeria went down 5-2 away to Eibar on Monday night that extended their winless run to eight matches. They have lost six times in that run and are yet to record a home victory. Real Madrid earned their 11th straight win in the league and their 17th in all competitions when they beat Celta Vigo 3-0. Cristiano Ronaldo brought the house down with another one-man show at the Santiago Bernabeu and there was even some first-half theatre as he dived for a penalty, which of course he converted. The Real Madrid striker has now scored 200 league goals in 178 games; has netted more hat-tricks, 23 in the league, than any player in La Liga history; and is on a run of scoring in his last 17 home league matches. There’s no value in the Real Madrid win so you could go with Real Madrid To Win By 3 Or More Goals at 5/4 or if you want to play it a little safer take Over 2.5 Goals at 4/10.  

Getafe 12/1 draw 11/2 Barcelona 1/5
Getafe are without a win in the league since October and will host a Barcelona team who are in red hot form. Barca came out 5-1 victors in the Barcelona derby against Espanyol last weekend. Lionel Messi matched Cristiano Ronaldo with a hat-trick of his own as Barca continued to keep the pressure on the log leaders. Getafe managed a 2-2 draw in these sides last meeting which was played at Camp Nou. It’s unlikely they could upset the giants again and Barca are tipped to be the Only Team To Score at 9/10. 

Valencia 5/10 draw 34/10 Rayo Vallecano 52/10
Out-of-form Valencia extended their winless run to four matches when they conceded an 88th minute equalizer to draw 1-1 at Granada. Rayo Vallecano lost their fourth home match from seven matches when they went down 1-0 to Sevilla. Valencia have been good at home winning five and losing one of their seven ties. It’s high time Valencia get back to winning ways against a side whose defence has been very leaky on the road. 

Cordoba 11/10 draw 9/4 Levante 26/10
At the fourteenth time of asking, Cordoba finally got their first league win of the season, and did it in style beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 away from home. They will now be searching for their first home win when they host a Levante side who lie only three points above them. Levante could only manage a draw at home to Getafe on Monday night and that performance would have given Cordoba further confidence of picking up another three points. Both sides have managed to score just 11 goals in 14 games, however, Cordoba have looked more organised in defence and have conceded seven goals less. The home win is tipped.

Malaga 11/10 draw 24/10 Celta Vigo 24/10
A Sergi Darder screamer and a fine performance from goalkeeper Carlos Kameni gave Malaga a 1-0 win away to Deportivo. Malaga have done well at home but face a tough test against a Celta Vigo side who have dropped down the table to eighth after losing three games in a row. Celta Vigo made Real Madrid fight for their three points but eventually let the scoreline run away from them losing 3-0. Celta Vigo won this clash 5-0 last season but the draw looks the safer bet considering their current form. 

Espanyol 15/20 draw 26/10 Granada 4/1
After two wins in a row, Espanyol were thumped 5-1 by neighbours Barcelona. Messi proved the difference as he tore Espanyol to shreds after the visitors surprisingly took the lead. Granada did well to save a point at home to Valencia, scoring in the 88th minute to draw 1-1. The last four meetings between the sides has ended in three 1-0 wins (two for Espanyol) and one 0-0 draw. Backing Under 2.5 Goals at 11/20 looks a safe bet. 

Sevilla 4/10 draw 7/2 Eibar 67/10
Sevilla travelled to Rayo Vallecano last weekend after thrashing Granada and Sabadell 5-1. They came out 1-0 victors and are now fourth on the table, four points clear of fifth place Valencia. Their opponents Eibar thrashed visitors Almeria 5-2 on Monday night to continue their impressive first season in the topflight. Sevilla have looked strong at home going unbeaten with five wins from seven games. Eibar have been inconsistent on the road and Sevilla should pick up the three points.   

Atletico Madrid 13/20 draw 28/10 Villarreal 9/2
Atletico Madrid recorded their sixth victory from seven games to stay within touching distance of Barcelona and only four points off Real Madrid. Villarreal did excellently to smash Real Sociedad 4-0 at home. Villarreal have now won three league matches in a row and have lost just one game on the road all season. Atletico Madrid could be halted here and the value is in the draw. 

Real Sociedad 14/10 draw 23/10 Athletic Bilbao 19/10
David Moyes suffered his first defeat as Real Sociedad manager as his team failed to score for a second successive game in a 4-0 defeat by Villarreal. Athletic Bilbao’s inconsistent form continued as they handed Cordoba their first victory of the season going down 1-0 at home. However, their away form has looked promising of late having gone unbeaten in their last four travels in all competitions, which includes good wins at Getafe and Shakhtar Donetsk. Sociedad managed just two shots on target against Villarreal last weekend and that toothless attack gives me the confidence to tip the capable Bilbao to pick up an away win at a valuable 19/10. 

Deportivo 11/10 draw 23/10 Elche 24/10
Deportivo moved rock bottom of the pile after suffering a 1-0 home defeat to Malaga. They will host fellow relegation threatened Elche who were also losers at home, going down 2-0 to Atletico Madrid. Both sides struggle to score goals and have let in far too many. However, Deportivo have improved defensively in recent matches and Elche have failed to score in their last three games. Home advantage should give Deportivo the edge they need for the three points.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Real Madrid OVER 2.5 GOALS 4/10
Barcelona ONLY TEAM TO SCORE 9/10
Valencia WIN 5/10
Cordoba WIN 11/10
Malaga DRAW 24/10
Espanyol UNDER 2.5 GOALS 11/20
Sevilla WIN 4/10
Atletico DRAW 28/10
Bilbao WIN 19/10
Deportivo WIN 11/10