Saturday, April 7th
Espanyol v Real Sociedad (5.00pm)
Home win: 17/20 Draw: 12/5 Away win: 13/4
Key stat: Sociedad haven’t drawn in 14 league games.
Betting tip: Espanyol probably won’t qualify for Europe and Sociedad are probably safe from the drop, but either way those assertions aren’t concrete so this is far from a dead rubber. Sociedad have lost their last five away games while Espanyol have won three and lost three of their last six on home turf. Sociedad are without a win on this ground in five attempts and a victory here seems unlikely, so Espanyol to edge it with under 3.5 goals is the best bet at 31/20.
Getafe v Sporting Gijon (5.00pm)
Home win: 13/20 Draw: 13/5 Away win: 17/4
Key stat: Gijon are without an away win in eight.
Betting tip: Gijon’s fight for La Liga survival is looking increasingly futile as one point from 12 leaves them rock bottom. They are without an away win in eight and that will be welcome news to a Getafe side who have won their last two at the Alfonso Perez – including a comprehensive 3-1 rout of Valencia. Gijon have scored in each of their last eight games in all competitions so if Getafe are to win they’ll have to score twice. 2-1 Getafe is 29/4.
Rayo Vallecano v Osasuna (5.00pm)
Home win: 21/20 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 29/10
Key stat: Rayo have won seven and lost eight of their last 15 home games.
Betting tip: Osasuna were thumped by Real Madrid last weekend but aside from that they’ve been as resolute as ever. It was six without defeat before that and even though they’ve only won two away games all season, they have only lost one of the last six on the road. You never know what to get from Rayo anywhere – especially at home – and although they’ve only drawn one at the Vallecas, I can see Osasuna pinching at least one point, if not all three. The draw at 21/10 makes sense.
Real Zaragoza v Barcelona (7.00pm)
Home win: 14/1 Draw: 7/1 Away win: 7/50
Key stat: Barcelona have won the last seven meetings between these two.
Betting tip: A month ago, Zaragoza were dead and buried but three wins and a draw from their last four games has given them an outside chance of La Liga survival. Unfortunately though, they need to beat the defending Spanish, European and world champions to keep that run going. Barcelona have had their own difficulties away from home this season but they have won their last four outside of the Camp Nou. Like so many games involving the top two, it needs them to drop their standards and the opposition to raise theirs dramatically for a shock to occur. This should be another Barca win as they try to keep pace with Real Madrid and with 7/50 for the win and little value elsewhere, Lionel Messi needs two goals to make it 60 for the season and he’s 13/10 to do it at La Romareda.
Real Betis v Villarreal (9.00pm)
Home win: Evens Draw: 12/5 Away win: 13/5
Key stat: Betis are the division’s most indecisive side at home, winning five, drawing five and losing five of 15
Betting tip: Betis are 15th in La Liga, seven points above the relegation places, which is two spots and three points higher than Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine are awful away from home and their nine points on the road is the joint worst equal tally in the top flight. However, under new manager Miguel Angel Lotina, Villarreal are unbeaten in three, which includes a home draw with Real Madrid and an impressive away win last time out at Rayo Vallecano. Betis, meanwhile, have drawn three of their last four home games with the other being a narrow 3-2 loss to Madrid. Given the circumstances, both sides would take a point and neither are in good enough form to definitively make a difference so take the 12/5 draw.
Sunday, April 8th
Levante v Atletico Madrid (11.00am)
Home win: 2/1 Draw: 23/10 Away win: 13/10
Key stat: Atletico haven’t won in five La Liga away games
Betting tip: Atletico Madrid made it through to the semi-finals of the Europa league on Thursday night after an impressive win in Hannover to add to victories at Celtic, Lazio and Besiktas, but they cannot replicate that away form domestically. They’ve only won twice on the road in the league all season and have scored just 13 goals in 15 games away from the Vicente Calderon. Levante are still bubbling around the top four but again they’ve only won two of their last eight at home. Atletico are the better side but generally midweek European duties take their toll and combined with their poor away form, I can’t see them picking up all three points here. A score draw seems most likely and the 1-1 is well priced at 5/1.
Mallorca v Granada (3.00pm)
Home win: 83/100 Draw: 23/10 Away win: 7/2
Key stat: Granada haven’t drawn in 18 games
Betting tip: Granada’s survival battle will go down to the wire but they will remain the right side of the drop zone so long as they can keep picking up priceless victories. They’ve won ten games this season, which is a handful more than their relegation rivals, although when and where these victories come is anybody’s guess. However, I do have to guess and I’m guessing the next one won’t be at Mallorca on Sunday. Barring a loss to Barcelona, the islanders have won three and drawn one of their last five at the Iberostar Stadium. When Granada lose they generally ship plenty of goals – 25 in their last eight away defeats – so I fancy Mallorca. Boost your takings with over 2.5 goals in the game at 19/10.
Athletic Club v Sevilla (5.00pm)
Home win: 6/5 Draw: 23/10 Away win: 11/5
Key stat: Athletic have picked up one point from a possible 15.
Betting tip: Athletic’s glorious run to the semi-finals of the Europa League has not been without its downside. From challenging for a top-four spot, the Basque boys have tumbled into the lower half of the league after winning just two of eight games since continental competition resumed in mid-February. They’ve lost their last three games after midweek exertions so now is perhaps not the best time to face a Sevilla side recovering from a mid-season slump. Los Nervionenses have lost just two of eight and one of them was to Barcelona. They’ve won three in a row, including two away triumphs, and Sevilla are also one of the most profitable sides during the first 45 minutes of games. Sevilla to be winning at half-time and full-time is 17/4.
Real Madrid v Valencia (8.30pm)
Home win: 1/5 Draw: 11/2 Away win: 11/1
Key stat: Madrid have scored 93 goals in 24 home games this season.
Betting tip: Goals, goals and more goals. Expect goals. Real are ridiculous at home, averaging almost four per game this season and they’ve also conceded plenty there – as illustrated by APOEL scoring twice on Wednesday. The last 12 meetings between these two have resulted in 52 strikes and with Valencia limping along, expect more of the same on Sunday. Real will win but there isn’t much money on them with over 3.5 in the game. Assuming Valencia do find the net, the multiple correct score of a 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 Real win is outstanding value at 11/4.
Monday, April 9th
Malaga v Racing Santander (8.00pm)
Home win: 19/50 Draw: 7/2 Away win: 29/4
Key stat: Espanyol have won seven of ten at home.
Betting tip: I put the hex on Malaga last week and after singing their praises they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Betis. Lightning shouldn’t strike twice and especially so when hopeless Santander are in town. Los Verdiblancos are without a win in 12 – drawing five of them – and have sunk well into the bottom three. Betis was a blip for Malaga and their otherwise strong home form will be too much for a side destined to wave bye-bye to the league shortly. Salomon Rondon has scored in four of his last five games at La Rosaleda and he’s 6/1 to open the scoring.
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