Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 1 Preview

Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 1 Preview and betting tips

The Spanish La Liga returns to action this Friday after Spain’s top three teams were all successful last season with each team winning a major trophy. Barcelona won the league, Atletico won the UEFA Europa League and Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League for the third successive time.

There will be no Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi debate this season after Ronaldo left to join Italian champions Juventus. The big questions are who will win the league and who will challenge Messi for the Pichichi award? Let’s see what the opening round has instore for us.

R100 FICA

Friday 17 August

Girona 8/10 
Draw 5/2 
Valladolid 36/10 
(20:15)

Girona were the surprise package last season. Coming up from the Segunda Division, they made it difficult for every opponent they faced and claimed a memorable victory over Real Madrid. Their good run of form saw them finish 10th in their maiden season and they could be much even better this season after keeping their players, including their top scorer Cristhian Stuani, who was part of Uruguay’s World Cup squad. The Catalans were brilliant at home last season, winning eight games which are four games less than what Real Madrid achieved last season. Valladolid needed play-offs to make their La Liga return after a four season absence since being relegated in the 2013/14 season. Back Girona to start on a winning note at 8/10.

Real Betis 15/20 
Draw 26/10 
Levante 36/10 
(22:15)

Real Betis finished the 2017/18 season like a house on fire and that good run towards the end helped them secure an unbelievable sixth place and finish above bitter rivals Sevilla in seventh – meaning Los Beticos will play Europa League football this season. Betis come into this game off a good pre-season after winning five of their last six friendlies, including wins against Premier League outfits Cardiff and Bournemouth. Levante also finished the season on a high, winning five of their last six matches – including the famous win against league champions Barcelona. They also come into this game with good pre-season form though they played mostly against Segunda teams. This is a tricky game so back Both Teams to Score at 17/20.

Saturday 18 August

Celta Vigo 9/10 
Draw 47/20 
Espanyol 32/10 
(18:15)

Celta Vigo couldn’t wait for the season to end as they only won two of their last 11 league games last term. Celta come into this game in horrendous form after failing to win in their five pre-season friendlies. Espanyol finished the previous campaign with three straight wins, including a victory at Atletico Madrid. That good form continued as they won all six of their pre-season matches, including wins against Burnley and Monchengladbach. Celta Vigo cannot be trusted on current form so back Espanyol on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 17/20.

Villarreal 19/20 
Draw 49/20 
Real Sociedad 28/10 
(20:15)

Villarreal were outstanding at home last season, winning 11 of their 19 games. That incredible home form placed the Yellow Submarine right back into the Europa League group stage qualification zone. Coach Javi Calleja will be without Rodri after losing him to Atletico Madrid, although he will welcome the return of Santi Cazorla and striker Gerard Moreno. Real Sociedad sacked head coach Eusebio Sacristan towards the end of the season and Imanol Alguacil was appointed as caretaker coach. The latter won five of the seven league matches in charge which surprisingly was not enough to get him the job as former Leganes manager Asier Garitano was appointed. Villarreal are a banker at 19/20. 

Barcelona 1/10 
Draw 8/1 
Alaves 22/1 
(22:15)

Barcelona came agonisingly close to winning the league unbeaten last season. Ernesto Valverde won two trophies in his first season and he will be hungry for more success this season, especially the Champions League which he has made clear is his priority. Barca came from a goal down to beat Sevilla 2-1 in the first leg of the Super Cup final last Sunday, with goals from Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele. The Catalans have a good record against Alaves, winning their last five meetings. With no value on the straight win, take Barcelona to win at Half-Time at 4/10.

Bet Now on Soccer





Sunday 19 August

Eibar 7/10  
Draw 28/10 
Huesca 39/10 
(18:15) 

Eibar welcome newcomers Huesca for their first home game of the 2018-19 La Liga season. Jose Mendilibar and his men started last season well and looked like they will finish the campaign in the Europa League spot, but they had a disappointing second half which saw them finish ninth. Huesca gained promotion to La Liga for the first time in the club's 58-year history after finishing second in the Segunda Division last season. Back Eibar to upset the newcomers at 7/10. 

Vallecano 23/10  
Draw 51/20 
Sevilla 11/10 
(20:15)

Two years after tumbling out of Spain's top flight, Rayo Vallecano were promoted back, having secured promotion as La Liga 123 champions. They have a tough first game against Sevilla, who have already played official matches this season, playing in the Europa League qualifiers. The new head coach Pablo Machin saw his team demolish Hungarian outfit Ujpest 7-0 on aggregate, but lose 2-1 against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup last Sunday which was disappointing as they missed a last-minute penalty. Sevilla should be too good for the newly-promoted side at 11/10.

Real Madrid 2/9 
Draw 52/10 
Getafe 11/1 
(22:15)

Real Madrid will begin the new season without their best ever player Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane. Former goalkeeper and Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui was appointed as Zidane’s replacement. After conceding 44 league goals last season, Los Blancos signed Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea, while allowing Mateo Kovacic to join the Blues on loan. Getafe have lost their last four league games against Real Madrid and there’s no evidence showing that they can end that disastrous record in this game. Take Real Madrid on the (-1) Handicap at 6/10.

Monday 20 August

Valencia 37/20  
Draw 21/10 
Atletico Madrid 16/10 
(20:00)

Marcelino did an amazing job last season, leading the team to a top-four finish after the Bats ended up consecutive domestic campaigns as low as 12th. Los Che will play in the UEFA Champions League this season, thanks to the magnificent form in the first half of the season when they held second place for quite some time. Atletico Madrid finished the 2017/18 season on a high after they thrashed Olympique Marseille 3-0 in the final to win the Europa League Cup. Their players showed their class in the World Cup with the likes of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Antoine Griezmann all performing well. Back the visitors on the Away/Draw and Under 3.5 Goals at 7/10.

Athletic Bilbao 15/20 
Draw 47/20 
Leganes 4/1 
(22:00)

After losing coach Ernesto Valverde to Barcelona at the beginning of last season, Athletic Bilbao struggled without him last season. They finished the season at a disappointing 16th place and they haven’t made any big signings to indicate they want to change that horrendous run from last season. Head coach Eduardo Berizzo, will be without star goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after he was sold to Chelsea, new signing Alex Remiro is expected to take his place. Leganes lost head coach Asier Garitano, who left after being in charge of the club since 2013. Mauricio Pellegrino was appointed as his replacement after being unsuccessful with Southampton in the Premier League. Athletic Bilbao won this fixture 2-0 in March when these sides last met. Back the hosts to make it two wins in a row against the visitors.

TREBLE @ 5/1
Girona Win 8/10 
Villarreal Win 19/20
Eibar Win 7/10

Written by Banele Pikwa

Register now and start betting with Hollywoodbets today!