Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 2 Preview

Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 2 Preview

The Spanish La Liga kicked off last weekend and Barcelona grabbed all the headlines. This time, it was for the wrong reasons as the Catalan giants suffered a 1-0 defeat on the opening day. It was business as usual for Real Madrid, who are now top of the table, after thrashing Celta Vigo while their neighbours Atletico Madrid managed to hold on for a 1-0 win at home to Getafe. The first round was very exciting and it was everything we could have asked for, unless you are a Barcelona supporter, of course. As usual in La Liga, there’s plenty of value to look forward to, so let’s get straight into it.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Friday 23 August 

Granada 26/10 
Draw 5/2 
Sevilla 1/1 
(20:00)

Granada made their La Liga return last week after securing second spot in Segunda Division. Their strong defence was key in their success as they let in 28 goals in 42 matches. However, they were involved in the highest-scoring game of the opening round and Diego Martinez will not be pleased with the fact they conceded four goals in one match.

Sevilla were expected to crumble this season after losing two of their top scorers Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder. New signing Luuk De Jong was expected to fill the void but it was the former Real Madrid left-back, Sergio Reguilon, who produced a Man of the Match performance on matchday one as he scored the first goal and assisted Nolito for the second goal. The Sevillistas play their second away game of the season and getting maximum points would be a great start for Julen Lopetegui. Back Sevilla to make it back-to-back wins at even money.

Levante 7/4 
Draw 24/10 
Villarreal 15/10 
(22:00)

After playing one game each, these teams have a defeat and a draw, on the charts. Levante suffered a 1-0 loss against Deportivo Alaves in their first match while Villarreal conceded four goals at home playing to a 4-4 draw against Granada. 

Both these teams are on the same page in terms of avoiding last season’s situation where they were involved in the relegation battle throughout the campaign. The Yellow Submarine have a good record against Levante as they haven’t lost to them since August 2017. It’s hard to separate these two sides so back a draw in this encounter.

Saturday 24 August

Osasuna 16/10 
Draw 43/20 
Eibar 18/10 
(17:00)

Osasuna really gave satisfaction to their fans last season. They had finished top of the table in the Segunda Division and gained automatic promotion to Spanish top flight. Jagoba Arrasate’s men really must have learned from their outstanding experience. 

Despite them being pitted against Leganes for their opener, a top-tier squad last time around in the competition, the group managed to deliver a 1-0 win. And to sweeten the pot, the victory came on the road. Eibar were also victims of losing to newcomers on the opening round as they were defeated 2-1 by Mallorca. Get on Osasuna to continue with their dream start of back-to-back wins.

Real Madrid 2/9 
Draw 57/10 
Real Valladolid 10/1 
(19:00)

Despite turning quite a few heads with Zinedine Zidane not happy with some signings from the transfer window and Eden Hazard missing out, Los Blancos managed to cruise past Celta Vigo with a 3-1 win in their opening clash. Zidane was left with no choice but to start Gareth Bale which was a surprise inclusion after all the drama between them in recent weeks. Luka Modric is suspended for this game after the Ballon d’Or winner was sent off in the 56th minute. Madrid starts the round as log leaders and they will want to keep it that way despite losing some key players due to suspension and injury. Get on Real Madrid to win on (-1) Handicap at 6/10.

Getafe 17/10 
Draw 39/20 
Athletic Bilbao 37/20 
(21:00)

Getafe were unfortunate to miss out on top four in the previous season and their start to the new campaign was obviously going to be difficult as they started with a trip to Atletico Madrid where they lost 1-0 in what was a very close game. Athletic Bilbao have been one of the better teams in La Liga in the past few seasons, although they traditionally have spells where they lose their form and that keeps letting them down in the long run.

They have, however, got off to a superb start in this campaign after they hosted champions Barcelona on the first day of the season and beat them 1-0, it was a stunning result and it has put them in a great position, not just in the league, but also confidence-wise as they travel to an ever-consistent side Getafe. Back these sides to cancel each other out.

Celta Vigo 2/1 
Draw 47/20 
Valencia 13/10 
(21:00)

Celta Vigo are in danger of losing back-to-back home games and that would be a very bad start for the Celtics. Last Saturday, they hosted Real Madrid and it wasn’t an ideal performance from Fran Escriba’s men conceding three easy goals. Valencia got off to a slow start last weekend on the opening day of the season with a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad at the Mestalla. Their first away game will be against Celta Vigo who struggled to impress against Real Madrid and the same can be expected in this encounter. Get on Valencia to win their first game of the season.

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Sunday 25 August

Alaves 16/10 
Draw 2/1 
Espanyol 37/20 
(17:00)

Alaves will take on Espanyol in their second home game of the season after a 1-0 win against Levante in the opening round. That was a positive result for the Babazorros considering Levante had 65% of ball possession and created more chances, but just could not nick an equalizer. 

Espanyol were hoping to produce their magic at the RCDE Stadium last week but it wasn’t to be as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sevilla. Alaves are in dreamland at the moment and avoiding a defeat in this match would be a good step in terms of being out of the relegation battle. Get on Alaves to register another narrow win at a valuable 16/10.

Mallorca 2/1 
Draw 9/4 
Real Sociedad 14/10 
(17:00)

Mallorca seems to have learnt their lessons from the previously relegated teams who lost a lot of points in the early stages of the competition. The newcomers were one of the winners on matchday one after pipping a 2-1 win over Eibar. Real Sociedad escaped defeat at Valencia as Mikel Oyarzabal slotted home a last-minute penalty to salvage a draw for his side. Avoiding defeat on the road is always a good result, especially against a top-four team. Back Real Sociedad to upset the newcomers.

Leganes 9/2 
Draw 24/10 
Atletico Madrid 7/10 
(19:00)

Leganes ended the season in very poor form winning one from their last 10, although we forgave them for that horrendous run because it came at a time where they had nothing to play for as they were safe from relegation and couldn’t get any of the European spots. That run, however, continued to the new season after the hosts lost at home to newcomers Osasuna. Atletico Madrid lost a number of key players during the transfer window but it was the new boys who grabbed the headlines, with Kieran Trippier and Joao Felix being the most talked about after their world-class displays. Back Diego Simeone’s men to claim maximum points.

Barcelona 2/9 
Draw 57/10 
Real Betis 10/1 
(21:00)

Barcelona is going through a tough period after ending the season with a defeat to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final and before that, they surrendered a 3-0 lead against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final. Talks of Ernesto Valverde out began, they got louder when former coach Luis Enrique resigned from the national team and talks are getting even louder after losing to Athletic Bilbao on the opening game of the season. 

Failing to sign a centre back means it will be another long season for the Catalans especially when playing away from home. Yes, they signed Antoine Griezmann, which for me, was buying what’s available more rather than getting what you need as they have plenty of options up front but literally nothing at the back. Real Betis came here last season and scored four goals beating Barca 4-3 and back-to-back wins at this famous ground is not farfetched. It’s hard to trust Barcelona these days so back Both Teams to Score at 15/20.

TREBLE @ 9/1
Atletico Madrid Win 7/10
Alaves Win 16/10
Valencia Win 13/10

Written by Banele Pikwa

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