Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 1 Preview

Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 1 Preview

Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez

With the Spanish La Liga season starting this Friday, it’s difficult to see anyone challenging Atletico Madrid after they almost ran away with the title last season. There are big problems at Barcelona and star player Lionel Messi has announced that he will be leaving the club after “financial and structural obstacles” made it impossible to renew his contract. Real Madrid haven’t made any major signings as well and the departure of captain Sergio Ramos and Zinedine Zidane will hit them hard.

I think everything favours the defending champions and this is a perfect opportunity for them to successfully defend their crown for the first time since 1951.

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Friday 13 August

Valencia 29/20
Draw 21/10
Getafe 2/1

Getafe didn’t have the best of seasons it has to be said. The visitors finished 15th in the previous campaign, winning just nine from 38. However, there were signs that they are ready to turn things around this term as they had a good pre-season where they won eight and drew one from the nine matches played, conceding just once. Valencia were just as bad as their opponents last season, finishing 13th with just 10 wins. There are financial problems at Valencia and that means they will be struggling again this season as they haven’t made any major signings. Back Getafe to start the season on a winning note.

Saturday 14 August

Osasuna 12/10
Draw 23/10
Espanyol 47/20

Look who’s back! Espanyol have been welcomed back with a stern test against Osasuna at El Sadar Stadium. The last time the Catalans were in La Liga, they were trounced 4-2 and 1-0 by Osasuna. The hosts were decent last season, finishing in the top half and beating some good teams in the process. Osasuna seem to have a fully fit squad to start off the new campaign, while the likes of Ante Budimir and Jonas Ramalho could make their first competitive appearance for the club. Back the hosts at 12/10.

Cadiz 7/4
Draw 9/4
Levante 31/20

After a great push from Cadiz last season, not only did they keep their top-flight status, but they surpassed all expectations and finished 12th. The hosts were undoubtedly the surprise package of 2020/21 and if they maintain consistency, they will be a very tough nut to crack this season. Levante were there or there about, fighting to finish in the top half of the log where they narrowly missed out. These two sides were impressive in the previous campaign and they should be confident heading to this season. Back these sides to cancel each other out.

Mallorca 23/10
Draw 23/10
Real Betis 12/10

Known for strong starts to the season, Real Betis get their campaign underway at Son Moix against one of my relegation candidates for the season, Mallorca. Betis were impressive in their friendly match against Jose Mourinho’s Roma. It was a heated match which saw five red cards, including send offs for the ‘Special One’ and three Roma players. Betis thrashed Roma 5-2 and that was a statement of intent from Manuel Pellegrini's men. For me, Betis will be the dark horse this season and I will keep an eye on them. Back Real Betis and include them in all multiples.

Alaves 58/10
Draw 38/10
Real Madrid 4/10

There’ll be high hopes for Real Madrid this season with Carlo Ancelotti returning to the club and given a fresh start from the beginning of the campaign. Los Blancos signed David Alaba while Gareth Bale, Takefuso Kubo, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard returned from loan. To be honest, I don’t see Real Madrid winning the league, especially after losing Ramos and not making any big signings. However, Madrid still have enough quality to beat teams like Alaves. Back Ancelotti to start off the campaign with a winning note.

Sunday 15 August

Celta Vigo 33/10
Draw 24/10
Atletico Madrid 17/20

La Liga champions Atletico Madrid begin their title defence against the giants killers of last season, Celta Vigo. Diego Simeone’s men should be overwhelming favourites to win the league but surprisingly they are 3/1 despite the problems at Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atleti kept all their key players from last season, so I expect continuity from them. Back the champions to win here – another one for the multiples.

Barcelona 15/20
Draw 29/10
Real Sociedad 33/10

Barcelona begin life without their best player of all time, Messi. The 34-year-old announced he will be leaving Barcelona because of contractual disputes. Barca were already in trouble last season and they will be in even bigger trouble without their talisman. New signing Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of action for 10 weeks, the club said on Monday. Real Sociedad started last season on a high note but crumbled towards the end. On their day, they are a very difficult opponent to play against. Back Real Sociedad to cause an upset.

Sevilla 9/20
Draw 34/10
Rayo Vallecano 58/10

With all the troubles mentioned at Real Madrid and Barcelona, Sevilla will fancy their chances of challenging for the La Liga title this season. From the less fancied teams, I think they’re the only side who can realistically cause an upset. They were in the mix last season until it was three matches to go. This group of players have won the Europa League before and this is their third season together, so they should be taken seriously. Back Sevilla to win here.

Monday 16 August

Villarreal 5/10
Draw 33/10
Granada 5/1

Villarreal finished the season with a major trophy, winning the Europa League for the first time in their history and Unai Emery will target the La Liga trophy this season. Teams are aware that this is a perfect opportunity for them to win the league. The Yellow Submarine made some interesting signings and they will be expected to be challenges. Back the Yellow Submarine to win convincingly.

Elche 26/10
Draw 47/20
Athletic Bilbao 21/20

Monday night’s showdown ends at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero with Elche and Athletic Bilbao looking to improve on their disappointing displays last season, where the pair finished 17th and 10th respectively. Consistency will be the name of the game for both these sides if they are to improve from last season. Back these sides to close round one with a draw.

TREBLE @ 5/1
Real Betis Win 12/10
Sevilla Win 9/20
Atletico Madrid Win 17/20

Written by Banele Pikwa