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Spanish La Liga Preview

The Spanish La Liga returns with some cracking fixtures lined up this weekend. Log-leaders Barcelona will be expected to continue their superb home run when they host Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday. Real Madrid will face a stern test away to Villarreal with under-fire manager Rafael Benitez desperate to keep pace with the La Liga champions. Atletico Madrid will settle scores with Athletic Bilbao in what is undoubtedly the biggest match of the weekend. And new Valencia manager Gary Neville will begin his reign in La Liga with a tricky fixture away to Eibar.

Friday 11 December

29/20 Getafe | Draw 2/1 | Real Sociedad 19/10 (21:30)

Getafe were on the receiving end of a 4-1 thrashing by a rampant Real Madrid side last weekend. Coach Fran Escriba will be hoping for a positive response from his team. Getafe are languishing in 15th place on the table, but have looked more promising at home. Getafe have won four of their last six home games with just one defeat against La Liga champions Barcelona. Their opponents Real Sociedad come off a 2-1 victory over Eibar thanks to a brace from Imanol Agirretxe. La Real will be hoping to build on that victory, but haven’t managed successive wins this season. They have lost four of their seven matches on the road this season. It should be a tight affair, but Getafe are tipped to capitalize on home advantage.

Saturday 12 December

1/25 Barcelona | 10/1 | Deportivo La Coruna 32/1 (17:00)

La Liga champions Barcelona had to settle for just a point against Valencia last weekend. Luis Suarez's goal looked to have given them victory until an 85th-minute equaliser from 19-year-old Santi Mina. Coach Luis Enrique will be hoping his team return to winning ways against Deportivo La Coruna this weekend. Barca will be happy to be back at the Camp Nou where they’ve won all seven of their matches, scoring 22 goals and conceding just five times. The Catalans are unbeaten in their last 10 encounters against Deportivo with seven wins. With the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar, Barca should prove too strong. Barcelona are short at 1/25 so I’m backing them to Score In Both Halves at 3/10. 

5/10 Celta Vigo | 31/10 | Espanyol 47/10 (19:15)

Fourth-place Celta Vigo were held to a 1-1 draw away to Real Betis last time out and coach Eduardo Berizzo will be hoping his team return to winning ways. The Celts are now unbeaten in their last three games in all competitions with two wins. Their opponents Espanyol are winless in their last three matches and have lost their last three games on the road. Celta Vigo will be hoping to secure maximum points in their quest to fight for top four. They won the corresponding fixture 3-2 last season and I’m tipping them to oust their opponents here. Back the home win at 5/10.

1/1 Levante | 2/1 | Granada 29/10 (19:15)

Levante missed out on a chance to climb out of the Primera Division's bottom three after their early lead was cancelled out in a 1-1 draw away to Espanyol. Les Granotes have won just once in their last seven games with four defeats. The relegation-threatened club are without a win in their last three home matches with two defeats. Granada are above them in 18th place but level on 11 points. The Nazaries are without an away win in their last six matches with three losses. Levante have won their last three encounters with Granada and I’m backing them to extend their record. Take the home win at even money. 

7/20 Sevilla | 39/10 | Sporting Gijon 62/10 (21:30)

Vicente Iborra salvaged a point for Sevilla in a 1-1 draw at Deportivo last weekend. The midfielder had only been on the field for five minutes when he cancelled out Lucas' opener. Los Rojiblancos return to their home stadium where they’ve won five on the spin with notable victories against Barcelona and Real Madrid. Their opponents Sporting Gijon secured a 3-1 win over Las Palmas thanks to a hat-trick from Antonio Sanabria. A graduate of Barcelona's youth academy who is on loan at Gijon from Serie A side AS Roma, Sanabria struck once in the first half at the Molinon stadium and twice after the break to lift the Asturian club away from the relegation places. Coach Abelardo Fernandez will be relying on Sanabria to inspire the newly-promoted side to victory. However, they’ve lost their last three away matches and are tipped to go down here. I’m going for a home win at 7/20, but if you’re looking for more value then take Sevilla to Win + Both Teams To Score at 15/10. 

21/20 Las Palmas | 22/10 | Real Betis 26/10 (23:05)

Las Palmas went down 3-1 to Sporting Gijon last weekend – their eighth defeat of the season for the relegation-threatened club. Los Amarillos are now without a win in their last three games with two straight losses. Their last home tie ended in a 2-0 defeat against Deportivo and coach Quique Setien will be desperate for a positive result. However, it won’t be easy as their opponents Real Betis are unbeaten in their last six away matches with four wins including two on the bounce. To make matters worse, Betis have never lost to Las Palmas in their 10 meetings having won five times. Betis are tipped on the Win/Draw Double at 7/10. 

Sunday 13 December 

5/4 Rayo Vallecano | 22/10 | Malaga 2/1 (13:00)

Rayo Vallecano’s 2-1 defeat at Villarreal was their eighth of the season.  Los Franjirrojos are now without a victory in their last three games with consecutive defeats. Paco Jemez’s side have been inconsistent on their turf with three wins and three losses from seven games. Their opponents Malaga are just three points behind them, but are winless in their last five matches. Javi Gracia’s men are yet to win a match on the road this season with five defeats from seven games. Rayo Vallecano won the corresponding fixture 1-0 last season and I’m tipping them to repeat that feat at 5/4. 

16/10 Eibar | 2/1 | Valencia 31/20 (17:00)

Gary Neville will take charge of his first league game as Valencia boss when his side travel to Eibar on Sunday. Valencia earned a commendable 1-1 draw against Barcelona last time out and Neville will want to build on that performance by picking up three points. Eibar went down 2-1 to Real Sociedad last weekend which sees them winless in their last three games with consecutive losses. Eibar have won three of their seven home games with two defeats against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Valencia have lost four of their last five away matches which does not bode well for their chances. However, there were a lot of positives to take from their result against Barca. There was unity in the team. The space was closed between Los Che’s defence and midfield, leaving Barcelona with little room to play. A tight affair is expected, but I’m tipping Valencia to earn a point at 2/1. 

13/20 Atletico Madrid | 26/10 | Athletic Bilbao 42/10 (19:15)

Second-place Atletico Madrid are in a rich vein of form – unbeaten in their last eight games with six wins including four on the spin. Since their 2-1 home defeat against Barcelona, Diego Simeone’s men are yet to lose at the Vicente Calderon with four wins in their last five games. The backline of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Filipe Luis and Juanfran have been rock solid with Atleti keeping four clean sheets on the trot. In attack, Antoine Griezmann and Fernando Torres are proven net-rattlers who provide a constant threat going forward. Athletic Bilbao failed to find the net at home to struggling Malaga in their goalless draw last weekend. The Lions will be hoping for an improved performance against Atleti and coach Ernesto Valverde will need in-form striker Aritz Aduriz to be at his best to trouble the best defence in La Liga. Rojiblancos are unbeaten against Athletic Bilbao in their last six matches with five wins. The home win is a top bet at 13/20. 

32/10 Villarreal | 3/1 | Real Madrid 7/10 (21:30) 

Real Madrid secured a comfortable 4-1 victory over Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu last weekend. Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored, with the Frenchman bagging a brace. The three points was sorely needed for a side that were expelled from the Copa del Rey after fielding an ineligible player in their midweek cup contest at Cadiz. Coach Rafael Benitez will target maximum points against Villarreal this weekend and will be hoping for another commanding performance from his stars. With the attacking threat of BBC, Villarreal will need to be rock solid to prevent them from running havoc. The Yellow Submarine recorded a 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano, courtesy of a brace from Cedric Bakambu. Prior to the match, Villarreal were winless in their last three games with two defeats against Barcelona and Getafe. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings against Villarreal with seven wins. Back the away win at 7/10 and include it in all multiples. 

La Liga Picks
Getafe WIN 29/20
Celta Vigo WIN 5/10
Levante WIN 1/1
Sevilla WIN 7/20
Real Betis WIN/DRAW 7/10
Rayo Vallecano WIN 5/4
Eibar DRAW 2/1
Atletico Madrid WIN 13/20
Real Madrid WIN 7/10

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