Saturday, January 28th
Espanyol v Mallorca
Home Win: 19/20 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 29/10
Betting Tip: In-form Espanyol fell to a surprise Copa del Rey defeat to third-tier Mirandes in midweek but apart from that it’s been onwards and upwards. Los Periquitos have sloped up to fifth in the league and barring that cup reverse, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have only fallen to one defeat in their past ten matches. They’ve won five of their last six at home, including a slick 3-0 defeat of Granada last weekend, so they will fancy their chances of racking up another three points against a Mallorca team who are a mixed bag with little rhyme or reason to their results. Espanyol are notoriously slow starters so get on the half-time draw with an Espanyol win at 4/1.
Rayo Vallecano v Athletic Bilbao
Home Win: 19/10 Draw: 9/4 Away Win: 7/5
Betting Tip: Bilbao went down at the Bernabeu last weekend but apart from that they’ve been nigh-on invincible of late. Domestically, they’ve only lost one of their last 21 matches – ignoring the Real loss – and if Marcelo Bielsa’s boys could turn a few draws into wins they’d have a Champions League place for the taking. Vallecano’s mini-resurgance of three wins in a row was cut short by Mallorca last weekend and Bilbao can do likewise at 7/5.
Real Madrid v Real Zaragoza
Home Win: 1/20 Draw: 21/2 Away Win: 33/1
Betting Tip: There are precious few sides in Spain that have much chance of getting anything at the Bernabeu and Zaragoza are not one of them. Madrid are averaging over four goals per game at home while Zaragoza haven’t won in 15 games and are counting down the matches until they get relegated. Bwin’s odds of 1/20 for a Los Galacticos victory just about sum it up. If Mourinho’s men click then this could get messy and a multiple of 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0 is well priced at 21/10.
Villarreal v Barcelona
Home Win: 11/1 Draw: 19/4 Away Win: 23/100
Betting Tip: Barcelona may be the best side in the world and Villarreal might only be out of the bottom three on goal difference but this game is unlikely to be as cut and dried as that. Barca’s patchy away form has been well documented with four draws and a defeat largely responsible for the five-point deficit on Madrid and Villarreal’s record at home has averted an absolute disaster of a campaign. They’ve only lost once at El Madrigal so this will be a stern test of the champions’ credentials on the road. A pair of wins at the Bernabeu suggest Barca’s woes are largely self-inflicted and unable to shed more points, they should claim all three here. A multiple of 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 Barca is 29/10.
Sunday, January 29th
Real Betis v Granada
Home Win: 31/50 Draw: 13/5 Away Win: 19/4
Betting Tip: After an appalling autumn, Betis have sorted themselves out with a series of wins either side of the winter break in a run that was only halted at the Camp Nou. They will have been disappointed with a draw against Sevilla last weekend but the winless, scoreless streak of the dark days is well over. In contrast, the doom could just be starting for Granada. After pulling themselves up to 13th at the end of last year, El Grana have lost all three since the restart and are now submerged in the drop zone. Granada are the worst side in the league during the first 45 minutes so get on Betis to be ahead at half-time at 23/20.
Levante v Getafe
Home Win: 29/20 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 9/5
Betting Tip: Levante have won nine games in the league this season and seven of them came on the bounce. Aside from that miraculous run it’s been an indifferent return to the top flight yet Juan Ignacio’s men are still in fourth. They’ve lost three of the last four and drawn with crisis club Zaragoza so in no way could they be described as on form. Getafe are neither here nor there and equally split their results betweens wins, losses and draws but they are unbeaten in five and the visitors will have enough to extend that run with the 23/10 draw.
Real Sociedad v Sporting Gijon
Home Win: 19/20 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 29/10
Betting Tip: Sociedad’s seven-game unbeaten run was abruptly ended by Atletico last weekend but Gijon are sadly lacking the attacking threats of Los Rojiblancos. In fact, they’re lacking the threat of most sides, having scored just three goals in their last five games, losing four of them. Second-bottom Gijon have lost six of their nine away ties and even though Sociedad are struggling, they’re the most likely to pick up all three. Interestingly, these two are the second and third-worst sides during the first period so the half-time draw is unsurprisingly short at 11/10. Of more value is the half-time draw/Sociedad win at 4/1.
Racing Santander v Valencia
Home Win: 12/5 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 11/10
Betting Tip: Valencia find themselves in a curious predicament whereby they need to plod along to secure third place. They’re well adrift of the big two but superior to the rest and despite just one league win in five, Los Che are still four points clear of faltering Levante in fourth. Unai Emery’s men recorded a decent win midweek in the Copa del Rey against local rivals Levante and that should boost them ahead of a trip to El Sardinero. Santander are jack average and a decent win in Osasuna two weeks ago was nullified by a defeat at home to Getafe last weekend. Valencia to win 2-1 is a very tasty 31/4.
Malaga v Sevilla
Home Win: 23/20 Draw: 11/5 Away Win: 12/5
Betting Tip: Malaga’s ascent to somewhere near the top of Spanish football was never going to be a smooth ride but things have really gone into reverse of late. Los Boquerones are seven without a win and have dropped off the European places and into the midtable mire. Sevilla aren’t fairing much better and are without a league win in five, with just one win away from the Sanchez Pizjuan in nine attempts. A Malaga win in a match with over 2.5 goals is 12/5.
Monday, January 30th
Osasuna v Atletico Madrid
Home Win: 2/1 Draw: 23/10 Away Win: 13/10
Betting Tip: Atletico have been booted into action by Diego Simeone’s arrival and with two wins, seven goals and none conceded in the Argentinian’s opening three games, Los Rojiblancos are in grave danger of fulfilling their potential. Under Gregorio Manzano they were shocking away from the Vicente Calderon but a strong goalless draw at Malaga and a slick 4-0 hammering of Sociedad under Simeone seems to have corrected that. Osasuna remain strong at home, losing just once at the Reyno de Navarra all season, but their form of late has been slack with one win in five and the revitalised Atletico can take full advantage. Atletico to win a match with under 3.5 goals is 39/20.
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