Champions elect Barcelona travel to Real Sociedad this weekend, a venue that they have failed to find victory on the last 2 occasions. You rarely get an easy game in the Basque country. However, Barcelona have been breaking records this season with their performances and I would not like to oppose them. It is notable that out of 10 away league matches, Barcelona have only kept 2 clean sheets. One of those matches was at Levante were the home team missed a late penalty. With the title assured, one cannot blame Barcelona for not keeping full concentration for 90 minutes so I think they will continue to be vulnerable away from home to conceding. BetVictor go 5/6 (1.83) on both teams scoring and that seems a fair price all considered.
In the early kick off on Saturday (3pm UK time), relegation threatened Granada host high flying Rayo Vallecano. Rayo have the same number of points as Malaga and have won 10/19 matches. They have improved defensively and look exciting in attack. Granada have only 1 win in 9 at home and we should take them on. The home team are around 13/10 (2.30) currently and it offers no value. A straight lay of Granada on Betfair is a strong option. We can also back Rayo Vallecano draw no bet at 11/8 (2.38) with Coral. This is a good opportunity for them to make it 5 consecutive wins.
Rayo Vallecano draw no bet 11/8 (2.38) Coral
Barcelona v Real Sociedad both teams to score Yes 5/6 (1.83) BetVictor
There are some very interesting fixtures ahead in La Liga this weekend and I feel both selections are pretty strong. The champions Real Madrid visit bottom club Osasuna without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo. Osasuna have had trouble finding the net all season but defensively they have been good with only 20 goals conceded, the same as Real Madrid and only 1 more than Barcelona. It is an interesting statistic and be mindful of that if you are getting involved.
Valencia host Sevilla in what should be an enjoyable encounter. Sevilla have well documented financial problems and a number of players may be sold in this transfer window. They have lost 5 out of their last 6 away matches in the league. Bet365 go 11/10 (2.10) about a home win and it looks good value. Valencia are traditionally strong at the Mestalla stadium and have won 6/9 at home this season. They seem to be improving under new coach Ernesto Valverde and are worthy of support in this contest.
Barcelona travel to Malaga in probably the match of the weekend. Malaga are a match for most teams at La Rosaleda but they have not beaten the Catalans since their promotion in 2008/09. It is a venue that Barcelona enjoy and there are no substantial reasons to oppose them. The away win is around 4/9 (1.45) generally with Malaga as big as 7/1 (8.0) to pull off a shock. The draw is priced at 7/2 (4.50). Barcelona to score in both halves at evens (2.0) is a strong option in a match which has a history of plenty of goals.
Valencia win 11/10 (2.10) Bet365
Barcelona to score in both halves evens (2.0) William Hill
It is an appealing looking fixture list in La Liga this weekend with a number of opportunities for us to profit. Barcelona went down to their first league loss of the season away at Real Sociedad last weekend but they still have a commanding 8 point lead over nearest pursuers Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid have a mini Madrid derby at home to Getafe and they will be keen to extract revenge for their 2-1 loss earlier in the season. Real Madrid have scored in both halves in 8/9 league matches at the Bernabeu this season and it should continue at the weekend at 8/15 (1.53). Barcelona face a straight forward looking contest at home to struggling Osasuna. We should combine Real Madrid and Barcelona to score in both halves. The best price I can find is 23/20 (2.14) with Ladbrokes.
Levante have only lost to Real Madrid and Barcelona at home this season. They have managed to combine the demands of the Europa League and La Liga surprisingly well. They have won 6/9 on home soil and face Real Valladolid on Saturday. They are worth supporting at 11/10 (2.08) on Betfair .The Valencia based side are a tough, experienced team and tend to be reliable against this grade of opposition.
Double Real Madrid and Barcelona to score in both halves 23/20 (2.14) Ladbrokes
Levante win 11/10 (2.08) Betfair
La Liga is back after the Christmas break and I would advise small stakes if you are getting involved. It is a tricky looking fixture list this weekend and there are only a few matches worth getting involved in.
The most consistent feature of the top flight in Spain is the dominance of the big two especially at home. They will be very short prices at home to a majority of teams so a position on them to score in both halves offers a better return. Real Madrid host Real Sociedad and Barcelona host neighbours Espanyol. Even in the surprising 2-2 draw against Espanyol last month, Jose Mourinho’s team still managed to score in both halves. Barcelona should do the same in the derby. A double on this pays just over 11/10 (2.10) generally.
Celta Vigo are a solid and consistent team on home soil. They have only suffered two defeats at home all season and were most impressive in their recent Copa Del Rey victory over Real Madrid. Take the evens (2.0) available about them to overcome Real Valladolid. Celta Vigo may be below their guests in the table but that is largely down to their dreadful away form.
Real Madrid and Barcelona to score in both halves 11/10 (2.10)
Celta Vigo to win evens (2.0)