Spanish La Liga Preview

The Spanish La Liga returns with Real Madrid, Celta Vigo and Barcelona all level on 18 points with Los Blancos at the summit due to their superior goal difference. The Catalans will be expected to wipe the floor with Eibar this weekend, while Real Madrid face a daunting fixture against Celta Vigo with striker Nolito in devilish form. Elsewhere, Atletico will play host to Valencia in a cracking encounter at the Vicente Calderon. Last week turned out successful as I had a 70% strike rate and I’m confident we can continue where we left off. Let’s get to it. 

Friday 23 October

12/10 Rayo Vallecano | Draw 24/10 | Espanyol 9/4 (20:30)

The La Liga kicks off on Friday night as Rayo Vallecano play host to Espanyol. Los Vallecanos were on the receiving end of a Neymar masterclass, as the Brazilian put four past Paco Jemez’s side to help Barcelona to a 5-2 victory. That defeat was Los Vallecanos’ third straight loss and pressure will start to mount on Jemez’s side. Espanyol returned to winning ways last weekend as they recorded an emphatic 3-1 victory over Real Betis. Sergio Gonzalez’s men will be looking to build on that victory and will be confident of doing so due to their impressive record over Los Vallecanos. Espanyol have won five of their last eight encounters with two draws and just one defeat. Espanyol are tipped on the Win/Draw Double at 6/10. 

Saturday 24 October

3/1 Celta Vigo | 3/1 | Real Madrid 15/20 (16:00)

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27/20 Granada | 22/10 | Real Betis 2/1 (18:15)

Granada blew the chance to get off the foot of the table as they conceded two goals in the last eight minutes against Sporting Gijon to draw 3-3 in El Molinon. If Granada had won, they would have leaped up five places on the league table but with the point, they stay rooted to the bottom of the table with five points from eight matches. Up next for the Nazaries is a home tie against a Real Betis side who have been impressive on the road. Betis are unbeaten in their last three travels with two wins on the trot against Sporting Gijon and Rayo Vallecano. Pepe Mel’s side are coming off a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Espanyol and Los Verdiblancos will be looking to bounce back strongly. These sides played in a friendly match just before the league kicked off and Betis won 2-1. Take Betis on the Win/Draw Double at 11/20. 

9/20 Sevilla | 33/10 | Getafe 11/2 (20:30)

Sevilla will be eager to return to winning ways after drawing 1-1 with Eibar last time out. The Europa League champions are unbeaten in their last three league games with two wins against Rayo Vallecano and La Liga champions Barcelona. Manager Unai Emery will be hoping the likes of Yevhen Konoplyanka, Jose Antonio Reyes and Fernando Llorente all return to form as they face a tricky fixture against a free-scoring Getafe side. El Geta are coming off a resounding 4-0 victory over Las Palmas and will look to build on that performance. However, Fran Escriba’s side are yet to win a match on the road this season with three losses and a draw. This should be a tight affair, but Sevilla are tipped to make home advantage count at 9/20. 

12/10 Malaga | 22/10 | Deportivo 23/10 (22:05)

Malaga’s miserable season continued as they went down 3-0 to Valencia last weekend. The Anchovies have won just once from their eight games played with three draws and four defeats. They host a Deportivo side unbeaten in their last four games with two wins against Real Betis and Espanyol. Malaga will be eager to put last weekend’s defeat to Valencia behind them and will look to their superb recent record against Deportivo as motivation. The Anchovies are unbeaten in their last five meetings with three wins and two draws. Back the home win at 12/10. 

Sunday 25 October

31/20 Levante | 2/1 | Real Sociedad 19/10 (13:00)

Levante will host Real Sociedad in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. Les Granotes were hammered 3-0 by Real Madrid last time out, while Atletico Madrid ousted Real Sociedad 2-0 with the Anoeta shouting "Moyes go home". Both sides are struggling in La Liga with an identical pattern of form having won just once from eight games played with three draws and four defeats. These teams have drawn four of their last five meetings. The best bet here is Both Teams Not To Score at 7/10.  

5/2 Las Palmas | 9/4 | Villarreal 11/10 (17:00)

Villarreal will be desperate to return to form after losing their last two league encounters against Levante and Celta Vigo. The Yellow Submarine started the season in fine form with four wins from their opening five matches, but have struggled to maintain that form. Marcelino’s men will be confident of victory as they face a Las Palmas team in the relegation zone after just one win so far. Villarreal have won five of their eight meetings against Las Palmas with two draws and just one defeat. Back the away win at 11/10.  

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1/10 Barcelona | 82/10 | Eibar 20/1 (19:15)

Neymar was in immaculate form last weekend as he netted four goals to steer Barcelona to a 5-2 win over Rayo Vallecano. Luis Enrique will be hoping for another marvellous performance from Brazilian superstar Neymar, who is now the top scorer in La Liga with eight goals. Neymar, along with Luis Suarez will be expected to step up to the plate, especially in the absence of Lionel Messi. The Catalans will return to Camp Nou in superb form having won all four of their games, scoring 12 goals and conceding four times. With Real Madrid facing Celta Vigo, Barcelona will be looking to secure maximum points in a bid to go on top of the table. Barcelona have won both their meetings against Eibar by 2-0 and 3-0 scorelines. Take Barcelona to win with a clean sheet at 15/20.

6/10 Atletico Madrid | 27/10 | Valencia 47/10 (21:30)

Atletico Madrid will go head to head with Valencia in a cracking contest at the Vicente Calderon. Atleti overcame Real Sociedad 2-0 last weekend thanks to goals from Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco. Griezmann showed why he can be one of the top five players in the world come the end of the season. His goal against former club Sociedad was fantastic. He had a lot of pace and power to beat the defenders, but to finish it off with a lob showed quality. Diego Simeone will be hoping the likes of Griezmann, Koke and Fernando Torres are all at their best this weekend as they come up against a talented Valencia side. Valencia ousted Malaga 3-0 last time out and Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be confident of causing an upset this weekend. Los Che have plenty of firepower in attack with the lethal quartet of Pablo Piatti, Dani Parejo, Alvaro Negredo and Paco Alcacer, who is reportedly attracting interest from Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Atletico look good for the win, but Both Teams To Score is a safer option plus offers more value at 12/10. 

Monday 26 October

11/20 Athletic Bilbao | 28/10 | Sporting Gijon 11/2 (21:30)

Athletic Bilbao had to settle for a just a point as they blew away a two goal lead to draw 2-2 at Deportivo last time out. The Lions will now return to their home stadium hoping to find the same kind of form that saw them beat Valencia 3-1, and coach Ernesto Valverde will be happy to recall Iker Muniain back in the side after six months out with cruciate ligament damage in his left knee. Aritz Aduriz is Bilbao’s most potent player in front of goal, and is renowned for his ability to sneak past defenders and create space for himself. His mobile play and diagonal movement is a nightmare for defenders which makes it literally impossible to man mark him. Aduriz has scored five goals from seven starts and he’ll be looking to add to his tally. Gijon were fortunate to come away with a point against Granada, but only looked good when the Nazaries were down to nine men. Gijon have only beaten Bilbao once in 18 league attempts with Bilbao winning on 10 occasions. With Aduriz in the form of his life and Markel Susaeta at his peak, along with the return of Muniain, Bilbao should prove too strong for Gijon. Back the home win at 11/20. 

La Liga Picks
Espanyol WIN/DRAW 6/10
Real Madrid WIN 15/20
Betis WIN/DRAW 11/20
Sevilla WIN 9/20 
Malaga WIN 12/10 
Levante BTTS (No) 7/10
Barcelona HOME TEAM TO NIL 15/20
Atletico BTTS 12/10
Bilbao WIN 11/20

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!