La Liga Soccer Picks for Sunday's Barcelona vs. Levante

Lee Phelps

Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:35 PM GMT

William Hill's Lee Phelps is looking at Barcelona versus Levante with plenty of goals expected for Messi, Neymar and Co. He has checked the odds and has some interesting free picks from the betting.

If Barcelona versus Levante was a boxing match you would be lumping on a first round knockout – this really does look a mismatch as second takes on 18th in the division. In fact you can get 51.0 (50/1) on an away win!

Luckily it’s football and shocks do happen, admittedly this would be a huge one, but then so was Celta Vigo’s win against Barca this season. It’s fair to say this incarnation of Messi and friends is much better than the troubled one that lost back at the start of November and they are just a point behind Real Madrid now.


Barcelona
Since that loss, Barca have won all 10 at home in La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the Champions League scoring 41 and conceding eight. That run has included a 3-1 win over PSG, two wins against Atletico Madrid and a 5-1 win over Sevilla.

In fact they have won all but two games, home or away since that defeat. Of those 41 home goals, 14 have gone to Lionel Messi while he has bagged 23 in all 22 league appearances. His strike partner Neymar has 16 in 19 and is really hotting up, with Suarez starting to add a goal or two too.

Last week in my Big Three Sunday article I picked a Barca game and said this: “Neymar and Messi link up so well, and although Suarez isn’t at his best, he is still going very close throughout matches.

I am happy to look at Barca to win and both team to score at 15/8.  Another goals based bet is for the second half to be Barcelona’s highest scoring half. The stats are compelling with eight of 11 goals home goals conceded in the second 45 minutes and 14 of Barca’s 22 away goals coming after the break too.”

Both bets landed with goals in the 62nd, 64th and 86th minutes completing a 5-2 win. So that adds three more to the tally, making the stat 17 of 27 away goals coming in the second half for future bets.

 

Levante
The relegation candidates have only won four games all season, with the victory at current bottom club Granada the only one away from home. They have the second worst attack and the third worst defence in the division too.

When you drill down a bit further you see they have only scored seven goals in their 11 away games, but aren’t too bad in defence, having conceded 17 in 11.

The head-to-head stats don’t give me much hope for Levante either. They have only won one of their 19 previous league meetings with Barcelona, 5-1 at home in October 1964, drawing four and losing 14. Barcelona have scored at least once in all previous 19 league meetings with Levante, scoring 58 overall at an average of just over three per game. Barca have won all nine previous home league clashes with Levante, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last three.

 

Soccer picks
Finding value in soccer odds for Barcelona home game against a poor team is tricky. If you like a bigger priced risky soccer pick then I would look at doubling up a goal scorer with a Barca win. Gerard Pique has a couple of goals in big wins and it’s 7.0 (6/1) for him in that double.

I’m happy going back in on that second half goals bet though. At home they have scored more in the second 45 minutes in seven of their 10 home matches, with two ties and only one first half having more goals.

 

Free soccer pick: Barcelona second half highest scoring 2.0 (Evens)

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