Spanish La Liga Preview

Gameweek 2 in La Liga saw a familiar pattern with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all picking up wins. However, one surprising fact is that neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo have managed to score a goal. This weekend sees the 2014/15 La Liga winners Atletico Madrid host the defending champions at the Vicente Calderon with an early top spot available for the winners of the encounter.

Friday 11th September

Levante 36/10 | Draw 26/10 | Sevilla 15/20

The Friday night fixture sees Sevilla go in search of their first win after gaining just a point from their first two matches. They weren’t the easiest of games but the Europa League champions would have been hoping for at least one victory thus far. They started their campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Malaga before getting hammered 3-0 at home by Atletico Madrid. Their opponents have had a somewhat worse start, losing at home to Celta Vigo in their league opener and following that up with a goalless draw at newly promoted Las Palmas. Sevilla are yet to score a goal and with the quality in their team they are a banker bet to get on the scoresheet. Los Rojiblancos won this fixture 2-1 last season and should claim their first victory of the season here.

Saturday 12th September

Espanyol 8/1 | Draw 9/2 | Real Madrid 3/10

After a scoreless draw away to Sporting Gijon, Real Madrid came out all guns blazing in their second match and ran away 5-0 winners at home to Real Betis. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez scored a brace each, while Karim Benzema scored his team’s other goal. This weekend they travel to their least favourite city Barcelona, but to face Espanyol. Real have dominated this fixture in recent times winning the last six encounters and thrashing Espanyol 4-1 and 3-0 last season. Espanyol started with a 1-0 home win over Getafe before falling to a 3-1 loss at Villarreal. Real are unbeaten against Espanyol in the last 17 meetings, winning on 14 occasions. The away win is a banker bet.

Sporting Gijon 21/10 | Draw 22/10 | Valencia 27/20

Both these sides have started the season with two draws. However, for Sporting Gijon it has been a great start but the same can’t be said for last season’s fourth place finishers. The newly promoted side started their first match back in La Liga by gaining a point at home to giants Real Madrid. They then went on to earn another point, this time on the road against Real Sociedad. Valencia started the season with a goalless draw at Rayo Vallecano and followed it up with a goalless home draw against one of last season’s worst teams, Deportivo. It’s unlikely that Gijon will not score for a third consecutive game, so I’m backing Both Teams to Score available at 9/10.

Atletico Madrid 23/10 | Draw 23/10 | Barcelona 12/10

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Betis 14/10 | Draw 22/10 | Real Sociedad 2/1

Betis were on the wrong side of a 5-0 scoreline against a rampant Real Madrid team last time out. However, last season’s Segunda champions did manage a decent result in their first game by holding Villarreal to a goalless draw. Real Sociedad have not scored or conceded a goal, playing out two stalemates away to Deportivo and at home to Sporting Gijon. David Moyes’ side struggled on their travels last season, winning just twice, while Betis won the second tier with a good home record, winning 14 of their 21 matches in front of their home support. Betis are tipped for the win.

Sunday 13th September

Granada 23/10 | Draw 22/10 | Villarreal 5/4

After embarrassingly losing 3-1 at home to Eibar in their league opener, Granada managed an impressive 2-1 win away to Getafe last time out. Villarreal kicked off gameweek two in the traditional Friday night fixture beating Espanyol 3-1 at home. The Yellow Submarines signed Roberto Soldado after his two forgettable seasons at Tottenham Hotspur, but the striker is enjoying his return to La Liga and it was reflected in his performance when he scored for a consecutive match to put Villarreal 1-0 up against Espanyol. By the final whistle, Soldado had added two assists to cap off a five star performance. These sides drew goalless here last season but Villarreal are tipped to redeem their first away performance at Betis, where they drew 1-1, by claiming maximum points this time. 

Athletic Bilbao 6/10 | Draw 28/10 | Getafe 52/10

Athletic Bilbao will be looking to move off the foot of the table when they host Getafe. The term “daily bread” is appropriate when looking at recent head-to-heads between these sides. Bilbao have beaten Getafe in all of the last four meetings, conceding just once. Theses sides occupy the bottom of the log after losing both their matches. However, one of Bilbao’s losses – against Barcelona – can be forgiven. The home win is a banker bet.

Celta Vigo 11/20 | Draw 31/10 | Las Palmas 52/10

Celta Vigo have made a dream start in their quest to challenge for a top four spot. They are one of only four clubs that have managed to win both their league games thus far, and continuing that 100% record looks very likely when they host newly promoted minnows Las Palmas on Sunday night. Celta Vigo earned a valuable 2-1 away win at Levante in their opener and followed it up with a comfortable 3-0 victory at home against a 10-man Rayo Vallecano side. Their opponents have had a tough time trying to cope in the big leagues failing to score a goal but do have a point after drawing with Levante at home last time out. I don’t see anything but a home win here.  

Malaga 17/20 | Draw 24/10 | Eibar 36/10

Malaga will be eyeing their first victory when they host an Eibar team that they have beaten in all of the four times they have hosted the minnows. Eibar recorded a first ever league victory over Athletic Bilbao to go joint top of the table. No one could have predicted that the team who were saved from relegation due to another club being kicked out the league would start the season so strong. They saw off Granada with a 3-1 away win in their first match and will be looking to extend their dream start. Eibar’s run has to come to an end soon and Malaga should inflict that first loss here.  

Monday 14th September

Rayo Vallecano 11/10 | Draw 24/10 | Deportivo 5/2

As per normal the Monday night La Liga fixture won’t grab the attention of football lovers, but does offer a good punt. Rayo Vallecano started their season with a point earned at home to Valencia but lost second time out after going down to 10 men early in their 3-0 loss at Celta Vigo. Last season’s mid-table finishers will expect to return to winning ways when they host a Deportivo side who flirted with relegation throughout last season. Deportivo won just two away games last campaign, scoring a mere 13 goals in 19 travels. The home win is tipped confidently. 

La Liga Picks
Sevilla WIN 15/20
Real Madrid WIN 3/10
Sp. Gijon BTTS 9/10
Atletico DRAW 23/10
Betis WIN 14/10
Villarreal WIN 5/4
Ath. Bilbao WIN 6/10
Celta Vigo WIN 11/20
Malaga WIN 17/20
Vallecano WIN 11/10

Written by Wayde Dorkin for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!