Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 9 Preview



The Spanish La Liga returns after the second international break of the season and already things are now getting serious and heated at the top of the standings. Atletico Madrid, who had won their first three games, were tipped to be runaway leaders after a slow start from their rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atleti, however, have been disappointing lately, winning just once in their last five matches which saw them drop to third below their two rivals. 


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore


Friday 18 October

Granada 27/20 
Draw 39/20 
Osasuna 24/10 
(21:00)

Granada and Osasuna are set to battle each other and kick-off the ninth round of the La Liga on Friday night at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes. The clash has prospects of producing a high-scoring thriller as both sides thrive on attacking football. The hosts who are fourth on the standings have scored 15 goals and conceded 10, while their opponents have let in seven goals whilst scoring the same amount. Both teams have been hard to beat this season and these sides are undoubtedly the surprise packages so far. Granada have lost once in their last seven games, beating teams like Barcelona, Celta Vigo and Espanyol in the process. Back Granada to Win and Both Teams to Score at 5/1. 

Saturday 19 October 

Eibar 47/20 
Draw 36/10 
Barcelona 5/10 
(13:00)

Barcelona make the trip to the Municipal de Ipurua this Saturday, fully aware of their opponents’ four-game unbeaten run, and the flashbacks of last season’s 2-2 draw at this venue. In all honesty, Barcelona haven’t been convincing this season, despite signing big-name players like Antoine Griezmann. Despite being second on the log, the Catalans have already lost twice this season and they have registered just one victory on the road. For a safer punt, back Both Teams to score at 13/20.

Atletico Madrid 7/10 
Draw 26/10 
Valencia 4/1 
(16:00)

Diego Simeone is yet to see his team taste a defeat at home this season and will be looking to exploit Valencia’s run on the road and hand them their first defeat away from home. Valencia surprised everyone when they sacked Marcelino Garcia who guided them to Copa del Rey success and helped them qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Not only was that a big surprise, but the Bats collected maximum points at Chelsea (UCL) and Bilbao, but drop points easily at home to teams like Ajax (UCL), Leganes and Getafe. The visitors tend to win when we least expect them to, but I don’t see any upsets here and Simeone is aware of his team’s poor form so he can’t afford to drop anymore points. Back the hosts to return to winning ways. 

Getafe 9/10 
Draw 2/1 
Leganes 39/10 
(18:30)

Getafe narrowly missed out on top four last season and were expected to be the team to watch this season. But Pepe Bordalas’ boys have been let down by draws in matches they could’ve easily won. Their quality showed in their last two matches, beating Krasnodar on the road and coming from a goal down to beat Real Sociedad in their backyard. Leganes are undoubtedly the worst team this season as they are yet to win a match and have only found the back of the net on four occasions. Get on Getafe and include in all multiples.
  
Mallorca 52/10 
Draw 7/2 
Real Madrid 9/20 
(21:00)

No team in La Liga has managed to put a dent in Real Madrid’s stellar start to the season, yet everyone has criticised Zinedine Zidane and his team for being poor this season. Mallorca should be intimidated by the fact that Eden Hazard has opened his goalscoring account and Karim Benzema is continuing from where he left off last season. The heavy criticism on Real Madrid have really been unfair. Yes, they haven’t been convincing at times, but Los Blancos has managed to grind out results and it’s important to note that most players haven’t hit their usual form which is inevitable that they will. Real Madrid should win this game and the Benzema and Hazard combination will once again be the talking point. Back Real Madrid to Score in Both Halves at 23/20.

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Sunday 20 October 

Alaves 39/20 
Draw 2/1 
Celta De Vigo 16/10 
(12:00) 

Alaves and Celta Vigo will kick off the Sunday matches at Estadio Mendizorroza. This bottom of the table encounter has prospects of producing a low-scoring match with both teams scoring just five goals each this season. Only one goal was scored in their last two meetings and seven of their last eight have seen under 2.5 goals scored in each. Back Under 2.5 Goals at 5/10.

Real Sociedad 15/20 
Draw 28/10 
Real Betis 33/10  
(14:00)

Real Sociedad were left disappointed in their last encounter against Getafe. After taking an early lead and also having a goal disallowed by VAR in the first half, Diego Llorente was sent off early in the second half and that allowed Getafe to have the advantage which they grabbed with both hands scoring two goals to win the match. Real Betis have fallen out of their groove and have been alternating between draws and losses in their last five games. The visiting team was handed a 5-1 defeat at Villarreal in their previous trip on the road, while their last home clash in the league saw them hold Eibar to a 1-1 draw. Real Sociedad are well worth a punt on the (-1) Handicap at 18/10. 

Espanyol 19/10 
Draw 23/10 
Villarreal 29/20 
(16:00)

Espanyol are experiencing the same challenges Villarreal faced last season where they did well in the Europa League but continue dropping points in the league. The Catalans are left with no choice but to choose what’s more important between the two competitions as they don’t have much depth. The hosts have been losing to minnows such as Mallorca, Real Valladolid, and Granada. The poor series of results saw them sack their head coach David Gallego, replacing him with former Sevilla and Girona manager Pablo Machin. On the other hand, Villarreal have been blowing hot and cold this season, winning just once on the road whilst losing three. It’s difficult to trust any of the teams on current form, so I suggest backing Both Teams to Score at 15/20.

Athletic Bilbao 13/20 
Draw  49/20 
Valladolid 5/1 
(18:30) 

Athletic Bilbao started the season like a house on fire when they were unbeaten in the first four matches, including beating Barcelona and Real Sociedad. However, their form has dipped after Bilbao managed only one victory in their last four matches. Just like last season, Valladolid are doing their business early, collecting points where they can. That is how they managed to survive relegation as they were completely dreadful in the second half of the campaign. Back a draw at a valuable 48/20.

Sevilla 4/10 
Draw 39/10 
Levante 6/1 
(21:00)

Sevilla were brought down to earth in their last encounter after they were thrashed 4-0 at Barcelona. Prior to that, the Sevillistas had lost to Real Madrid and Eibar, throwing away all the hard work they had done in the first games where they were top of the table. Julen Lopetegui was thrashed 5-0 by Barcelona last season when he was at Real Madrid and was shown the exit door straight after that defeat. Some of Sevilla’s fans are already saying they have seen enough from the former national team coach. This is a match for the hosts to redeem themselves and should they drop points again, ‘the Lopetegui out’ voices will get louder. Get on Sevilla to win this one.

DOUBLE @ 15/1
Real Sociedad (-1) Handicap @ 18/10
Granada Win & BTTS (Yes) @ 5/1

Written by Banele Pikwa

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