Spanish La Liga Preview

Gameweek 15 of the Spanish La Liga sees Atletico Madrid join Barcelona at the league's summit on 35 points, while Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at Villarreal sees them fall five points adrift. Rojiblancos will head to Malaga knowing a win will make them the sole leaders, with the Catalans missing league action to participate in the Club World Cup in Japan. Los Blancos will hope to bounce back with victory over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday at the Bernabeu with Celta Vigo just two points behind in fourth place. There are good odds on offer in the La Liga and I’m confident we can make some money together.

Saturday 19 December

6/10 Valencia | 27/10 | Getafe 42/10 (17:00)

Gary Neville was given a glimpse of the scale of the task he has on his hands at Valencia as Los Che struggled to a point at Eibar last Sunday. Valencia have 21 points and are currently 10th after 15 matches. For Neville, who is now yet to taste success in his first two games as Valencia boss, there is quite clearly a lot of work to be done. However, Los Che will return to the Mestalla Stadium where they remain unbeaten in 19 La Liga matches and Neville will be hopeful of securing his first victory against Getafe. Fran Escriba’s side played to a 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad last weekend – which sees them winless in their last three games in all competitions. Getafe are without an away victory in 11 matches – stretching back to last season – with 10 defeats. Valencia claimed the double over the Deep Blues last season by 1-0 and 3-0 scorelines. The home win is a banker bet at 6/10. 

19/20 Espanyol | 9/4 | Las Palmas 28/10 (19:15)

Espanyol went down 1-0 to Celta Vigo last weekend and will be hoping for a positive response against strugglers Las Palmas. Periquitos are unbeaten in their last three home matches. However, two of those matches have ended in stalemates including a 1-1 home draw with bottom-placed Levante. Espanyol will need to improve in front of goal if they want to pick up maximum points. Las Palmas secured a much-needed 1-0 victory at home to Real Betis thanks to a late goal from Willian Jose. Los Amarillos will be hoping to build on that result, but their away form has been horrible. The relegation-threatened club are yet to win a match on the road this season with five defeats from seven games. Espanyol won the corresponding fixture 3-1 last season and I’m tipping them to oust their opponents. 

26/10 Real Betis | 5/2 | Sevilla 19/20 (21:30)

Kevin Gameiro notched a brace to fire Sevilla to a 2-0 victory over 10-man Sporting Gijon and lift them into seventh place. Los Rojiblancos are now unbeaten in five games in all competitions with four wins including two on the bounce. Their away form in the league is a concern for coach Unai Emery. Sevilla are yet to win a match on the road this season with three defeats from seven games. Real Betis are coming off a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Las Palmas. Pepe Mel’s side are without victory in their last five home matches with four defeats. Sevilla have won the last two meetings against Real Betis and I’m tipping them to come away with maximum points.

1/1 Deportivo La Coruna | 21/10 | Eibar 11/4 (23:05)

Deportivo La Coruna earned a commendable 2-2 draw away to Barcelona last weekend. Coach Victor Sanchez would have been pleased with that performance and will take a lot of positives from the match. Deportivo are unbeaten in their last seven games in all competitions with three wins. Their opponents Eibar were unlucky not to have come away with maximum points against Valencia last weekend. The Basques missed a penalty and conceded an own goal in their 1-1 draw with Gary Neville’s side. Eibar are now without victory in their last four matches with two defeats. Deportivo are unbeaten in the last three meetings with Eibar including two wins on the bounce. The home win is tipped at even money. 

Sunday 20 December 

1/11 Real Madrid | 82/10 | Rayo Vallecano 17/1 (17:00)

Real Madrid will be hoping to return to winning ways when they host Rayo Vallecano. Los Blancos suffered a shocking 1-0 defeat against Villarreal last weekend with a goal courtesy of Roberto Soldado. Rafael Benitez’s side will return to the Santiago Bernabeu looking for the same kind of form that saw them oust Malmo 8-0 in the Champions League. Los Blancos will rely on the attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to produce their magic. Rayo Vallecano are without victory in their last four matches with three consecutive defeats. Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 16 encounters with Rayo Vallecano with 15 wins including 14 on the spin. Their last two meetings at the Santiago Bernabeu saw Los Blancos win by 5-0 and 5-1 scorelines. Take Real Madrid to Win By Three Or More Goals at 13/20. 

7/20 Athletic Bilbao | 33/10 | Levante 72/10 (19:15)

Athletic Bilbao went down 2-1 away to Atletico Madrid last weekend and coach Ernesto Valverde will be hoping for a positive response. The Lions will return to San Mames where they are unbeaten in their last four matches with three wins. Their last home clash ended in a goalless draw against Malaga and Valverde will need in-form striker Aritz Aduriz to be clinical in front of goal. The bottom-placed club are winless in their last four matches in all competitions and come off a 2-1 home defeat to Granada. Levante have won just once away from home this season with four defeats from seven matches. Take the home win at 7/20 and include it in your multiples. 

23/10 Granada | 23/10 | Celta Vigo 11/10 (19:15)

Granada recorded a much-needed 2-1 victory over bottom-placed Levante last weekend. Both goals came from 18-year-old Venezuelan Adalberto Penaranda - his first and second for the club. Jose Ramon Sandoval's side are 18th in the table with 14 points after just a third win of the season. Celta Vigo moved into the Champions League places after they secured a 1-0 victory at home against Espanyol thanks to a world-class chip from Iago Aspas. Eduardo Berizzo’s side are now unbeaten in four matches in all competitions with three wins. Granada will struggle to contain the in-form Aspas who has scored seven goals this season. I’m going for an away win at 11/10. 

15/10 Real Sociedad | 21/10 | Villarreal 7/4 (19:15)

Real Sociedad are unbeaten in their last two home ties with a 2-1 victory over Eibar, followed by a 1-1 draw with Getafe last weekend. Coach Eusebio Sacristan has done well since succeeding David Moyes with the club out of the relegation zone and currently 13th on the table. Eusebio will be wary of the threat Villarreal pose, but will be optimistic of getting a positive result. The Yellow Submarine are unbeaten in three matches in all competitions with two wins including last weekend’s superb 1-0 victory over Real Madrid. However, their away form is a major concern for Marcelino’s side. Villarreal are winless in their last four away games in the league with three defeats. These sides drew their last two meetings in the league and Copa del Rey. It should be a tight affair with the draw looking likely. 

4/1 Malaga | 23/10 | Atletico Madrid 7/10 (21:30)

Atletico Madrid will head to Malaga knowing a win will make them the sole leaders, with the Catalans playing catch-up due to their participation in the Club World Cup. Rojiblancos saw off Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon last Sunday to go joint top of La Liga with Barcelona. After Aymeric Laporte had put the visitors ahead with an early goal, Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann struck back to the delight of Diego Simeone. Overall, it was a deserved win, and apart from the fact they conceded, it was ground out in classic, gritty, Atletico style. Rojiblancos are unbeaten in their last nine games with seven wins including five on the spin. Simeone’s side are unbeaten in their last eight encounters with Malaga, winning on four occasions. Malaga’s 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano last weekend was only their first victory in seven matches. Javi Gracia’s side will struggle to deal with the skill and speed of Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco. Atletico Madrid are a top bet at 7/10. Get on.  

La Liga Picks
Valencia WIN 6/10
Espanyol WIN 19/20
Sevilla WIN 19/20
Deportivo WIN 1/1
Athletic Bilbao WIN 7/20 
Celta Vigo WIN 11/10
Real Sociedad DRAW 21/10
Atletico Madrid WIN 7/10

Written by Chadley Nagel