A bumper weekend of
goal action in Spain came to a close last night in Sevilla, with the home side
beating Granada 3-0 to make it 34 goals in Week 21 of La Liga. The victory
lifted Sevilla up to 11th in the table, while their opponents remained one
place above the drop zone. Lionel Messi scored four of Barcelona's five goals
in the 5-1 mauling of Osasuna, who's cause was hardly helped by the 27th minute
sending off of Alejandro Arribas for two handball yellow cards in a matter of
minutes! Real Madrid continued their own rich vein of form to win 4-0 at the
Bernabeu as both sides warmed up nicely for their Copa del Rey semi-final 1st
leg clash this Wednesday night in Madrid.
Elsewhere, performance of the weekend has to go to Athletic Bilbao who romped to a convincing 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid to further add credence to the idea that a mini revival is underway for the Basque side under coach Marcelo Bielsa. It was also poor preparation for Atleti's Thursday night Copa del Rey semi-final 1st leg at home to Sevilla and their free scoring attack which has banged in eight goals their last three games! How Atleti missed the injured Falcao and his goals as they start to look over their shoulder at City rivals Real,
who sit just four points adrift of them now in third.
The only goalless game of the weekend came at Real Zaragoza who hosted Espanyol in their stalemate though with four of the bottom five below them losing both sides, along with Celta Vigo who drew 1-1 with Real Sociedad, actually improved their position slightly in the bottom eight, headed by the afore mentioned (and praised) Bilbao. Malaga leap-frogged Real Betis into fourth with their win in Malaga and Real Vallecano went sixth by beating Betis as they, Valencia and Levante all won to close up the chasing pack in Spain. The only other draw of the weekend was the 1-1 Celta Vigo played out with Real Sociedad.
And so to this weekend’s La Liga Tips and Predictions as I give you my betting odds overview and help you to see where the best value lies in Week 22 in Spain's La Liga with my free picks from SBRForum.com.
Friday 1st February 2013
Real Valladolid vs. Athletic Bilbao
Three places and three points separate these two going into this weekend’s Friday night fixture. Bilbao have shown signs of revival of late with a draw in Betis and the magnificent 3-0 beating of Atletico last weekend. Valladolid have been solid at home, winning their last two and only losing to Barca and Madrid since September 17th. The weekend before that saw them lose the reverse of this fixture 2-0 in Bilbao. I am leaning towards as buoyant and revived Bilbao in this one though as coach Marcelo Bielsa continues to pull them away from the danger zone with his own particular brand of footballing philosophy.
Away win for me at 21/10 and a 2-1 correct score prediction at 10/1 with bet365.
Saturday 2nd February 2013
Osasuna vs. Celta Vigo
Osasuna sit third from bottom in the relegation places with Celta Vigo two points and two places ahead of them in this true six-pointer and so the importance of a result for either side is quite plainly crucial. The hosts have won just once since November 30th and lost seven of their nine games since then but can point to their 0-0 draw at home to Real Madrid and the following 2-1 win against bottom club Deportivo in the last three weeks as some kind of run of results. Celta Vigo are not faring much better themselves but have draw their last two 1-1 and have also won this year, beating Real Valladolid 3-1 on the 6th January and a win here would certainly ease their relegation worries a little. I am leaning towards the score draw in
this one as Celta will I am sure, be happy to settle for another point if needs be and as these two have won just one away game each all season long.
Score draw for me at 11/5 and a 1-1 correct score prediction at 6/1 with William Hill.
Getafe vs. Deportivo la Coruna
Getafe will look at this as their best chance to get back to winning ways, something they have not done since beating Malaga 1-0 December 1st, as they host bottom club Deportivo this weekend. Three draws and three defeats their last six outings is barely form at all, but should still be enough to get a result against the worst club in La Liga who have yet to win away this season. Deportivo did win 1-0 at home to Malaga the same weekend Getafe last won and have draw two more of their last six but I can see nothing other than a home win here and another nail in the coffin for the basement side who face Barca the following week and so face staying on the same points for at least two more weeks as time runs out for them.
Home win for me at 19/20 with William Hill and bet365.
Espanyol vs. Levante
Espanyol drew a tight game of few chances 0-0 at Real Zaragoza last time out whilst Levante got back to winning ways after three consecutive 2-0 defeats, beating Real Valladolid 2-1.
The host are 11 points and seven places adrift of their opponents coming into this game though Levante have slipped of late with two wins and four defeats their last six to sit eighth in La Liga. Espanyol are in much the better form of the two having won three of their last six losing just once, to Barcelona, and drawing with Real Madrid. They are undefeated in three but are still just four points above the drop zone but I am leaning towards them improving their position with a win here. Levante need a win to revive their hopes of a Europa League place for next season, a competition they are still in this term with a tough second round tie with Olympiakos of Greece coming up in a couple of weeks.
Home win for me at EVENS and a 2-0 correct scoreline prediction at 15/2 with bet365.
Granada vs. Real Madrid
The late game Saturday night features fourth from bottom Granada hosting the very in form Real Madrid and the very in form Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored five of the nine goals Real have notched up in their last two games in La Liga. Granada have something of a symmetrical sequence going on as their last nine games have been L W D L W D L D W so it stands to reason they will lose this one anyway and doubly so with Madrid coming to town. This is an away banker for me even if Real Madrid do have the little issue of a Copa del Rey semi-final 1st leg at home to Barcelona tomorrow night to contend with first, as however that turns out will alter little the outcome of this one sided affair. The only glimmer of hope for Granada is that when Madrid do drop points it seems to be at the bottom sides, but not this time and not with Ronaldo on fire right now!
Away win for me at 1/3 and Ronaldo to score first and/or last at 7/4 with William Hill
Sunday February 3rd 2013
Malaga vs. Real Zaragoza
Malaga sit fourth in La Liga after their win in Mallorca and will be confident of cementing that spot with a win against visitors Zaragoza in the lunchtime game Sunday. Rayo sit just five points above the drop zone and are far from out of trouble, especially when this game goes as I predict it will. They have lost four of their last six in the league and were also thumped 4-0 in the Copa del Rey before earning a point last time out in a nervy affair with Espanyol. They have failed to score in five games now. Malaga gave Barca a scare in the Copa del Rey eventually going out 6-4 over two legs having drawn 2-2 at Camp Nou and also lost to them 3-1 in the league with Barca being their opponents for three of their last five games! Outside of playing Barca they beat Real Madrid 3-2 and have won four of seven, losing twice.
Home win for me at 8/15 and a 2-0 correct score prediction at 6/1 with bet365.
Sevilla vs. Rayo Vallecano
Copa del Rey semi-finalists Sevilla host Vallecano Sunday afternoon with both teams coming off of convincing 3-0 wins in Week 21. Sevilla have to negotiate the little matter of Atletico Madrid in the afore mention semi-final Thursday night and so fatigue could be a factor coming into this game as Vallecano look to use that fact to their advantage. They have won five of their last six in La Liga to better even Barca's recent form, whilst Sevilla have let their cup exploits affect their league form, losing three of six, winning two. The sides are separated by eight points and five places with Vallecano occupying sixth and a Europa League spot right now, a place they will fight hard to keep and I am leaning towards them doing so as Sevilla struggle with two games on two days rest though a win against Atletico Thursday may make those tired legs go away.
Away win for me at 6/1 with bet365.
Valencia vs. Barcelona
A full preview of this game and explanation of my picks and prediction can be found at SBR's Soccer page with all our other La Liga, Serie A and EPL Free Picks and Odds articles. Just go to our Soccer Page for all the latest News, Views and Free Score Predictions from our expert staff.
Away win for me at 4/9 and a correct score prediction of 3-1 at 10/1 and Lionel Messi to score first and/or last at 7/4 all with William Hill.
Atletico Madrid vs. Real Betis
Second in La Liga plays fifth in this one, though a massive 12 points separates these two coming into this fixture. Much like the Sevilla game above, Betis will look to capitalise on weary legs with Atletico having their semi-final with Sevilla to get through on Thursday night first. Atletico beat their visitors 2-0 just 14 days ago in the same cup competition and drew the away leg to go through 3-1 on aggregate and even without the injured Falcao I think they will get back to winning ways in this one. Real also lost 3-0 last weekend to mirror the defeat Atleti suffered in Bilbao but have won three of their last six in the league. Home advantage at the Vicente Calderon stadium, where Madrid have not lost in any competition all season long will be enough to see them through in this one.
Home win for me at 4/9 and a correct score prediction of 2-0 at 6/1 with bet365
Real Sociedad vs. Mallorca
Ninth place hosts second from bottom club Mallorca as the team that finally ended Barcelona's unbeaten 20 game start to the season try to put themselves into European football contention. Mallorca lost to Malaga 3-2 last weekend and that makes three in a row and five defeats in six in La Liga, drawing the other game in what has been a dreadful season thus far. Sociedad have lost just once in six games winning two and drawing three but I was a little surprised they did not build on that amazing comeback win against Barca as they drew 1-1 with relegation threatened Celta Viga last weekend. Still, this should not be too much trouble against a team with no confidence and on such a bad run of losses who have conceded three in every one of their last three matches and last managed a clean sheet in November.
Home win for me at 3/4 and a correct score prediction of 3-1 with William Hill