Saturday, March 17th
Getafe v Real Sociedad (5.00pm)
Home win: 19/20 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 3/1
Key stat: Getafe are five without a win at home – scoring just two.
Betting tip: These two should be safe from relegation but another couple of wins are needed from both to completely dispel the threat. Getafe’s win at Villarreal last weekend was their first maximum in five outings and they’re also without a win at home in five goes. Sociedad have rotated between losing and winning their last eleven games and if that sequence continues, they’ll lose again – but I reckon the 9/4 draw is the best shout.
Granada v Sporting Gijon (5.00pm)
Home win: 19/20 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 3/1
Key stat: Granada have won five out of eight at home.
Betting tip: Granada have just about managed to keep their heads above the water all season, mainly due to an impressive home record against sides in and around them at the bottom. They’ve won five of their last eight at Los Carmenes and coupled with Gijon losing five from six away, El Grana can pick up another vital three points here. Granada with under 2.5 goals is 3/1.
Real Zaragoza v Osasuna (5.00pm)
Home win: 3/2 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 7/4
Key stat: Osasuna have won five of the last six meetings between the two – drawing the other.
Betting tip: Zaragoza are as good as gone from La Liga and they have neither the time, talent or inclination to do otherwise. Their recent run of two wins in five is their best of the season but that’s the silver lining on a very sizeable cloud. Osasuna still have designs on a top-four finish and although they’ve only won once away this season, Zaragoza are so poor that Los Rojillos can double their tally. Osasuna with under 3.5 goals is 12/5.
Sevilla v Barcelona (7.00pm)
Home win: 27/4 Draw: 4/1 Away win: 7/20
Key stat: The last two games between these two have been draws.
Betting tip: Sevilla are the only team to take anything from Camp Nou this season but plenty of sides have earned points when Barcelona have come to visit. Their ten-point deficit to Real Madrid is largely down to the champions’ troubles on the road but six wins on the spin, including three on their travels, suggests Barca will be as formidable as ever at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Sevilla have won only one of five at home in the league so expect the Catalans to keep up the futile pursuit of Jose Mourinho’s men for another week at least. Lionel Messi is in ridiculous form and he’s 7/4 to finish off the scoring.
Rayo Vallecano v Real Betis (9.00pm)
Home win: 5/4 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 23/10
Key stat: Vallecano haven’t drawn in 17 games.
Betting tip: Seven wins from 11 puts Rayo third in the form table behind the usual suspects. However, their inconsistency is shown up by the fact they’ve also lost four of their last eight. It’s more of the same with Betis, who have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five, so if you bet with common sense then give this one a miss. Only Granada and Zaragoza have lost away more times than Betis and if Rayo blow hot they can claim the spoils here. Rayo with over 2.5 goals is 13/5.
Sunday, March 18th
Levante v Villarreal (11.00am)
Home win: 29/20 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 37/20
Key stat: Villarreal have picked up six points from a possible 39 from away games.
Betting tip: Villarreal’s resurgence under Jose Molina has come crashing down to pull them right into the relegation bother. The Yellow Submarines have collected one point from their last 12 but of greater concern will be that those fixtures came against Getafe, Zaragoza, Athletic Club and Mallorca. It’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen in the average Levante game but there’s always plenty of goals. Treble your money with Levante to win with over 2.5 goals in the game.
Mallorca v Atletico Madrid (3.00pm)
Home win: 21/10 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 13/10
Key stat: Atletico have lost only one of 14 games under Diego Simeone.
Betting tip: Atletico have become very difficult to beat under Diego Simeone but they aren’t really turning that many of their solid performances into wins. They’ve won four and drawn five of their ten La Liga ties under the Argentine coach. They’ve also drawn four and won two of six away but have only scored three in their last four games on the road. Mallorca are always difficult to beat at home – as illustrated by seven points taken from the last nine available on the island – so back the draw here. A 1-1 scoreline is well-priced at 5/1.
Athletic Club v Valencia (5.00pm)
Home win: 6/5 Draw: 23/10 Away win: 11/5
Key stat: Athletic have won just three of nine games following Europa League action.
Betting tip: Athletic delivered a two-legged performance worthy of the Champions League in knocking Manchester United out of Europe this week, so they now must set their sights on qualifying for the competition proper. Perennial top-four occupants Valencia will provide a good test of Athletic’s credentials and to many observers, Bilbao are the better team of the two anyhow. Los Che have only won one of their last seven away from home and with Athletic winning ten of their last eleven at the San Mames, they are justifiably favourites for this. After midweek exertions, it may take the hosts a bit of time to find their stride, which is why the half-time draw/Athletic win at 9/2 looks very tempting.
Real Madrid v Malaga (8.30pm)
Home win: 1/5 Draw: 11/2 Away win: 11/1
Key stat: Madrid have scored 82 goals in 21 games at home this season.
Betting tip: Other than against Barcelona, Real have scored at least three against everyone at home so far this season so that doesn’t bode well for a side with one of the worst away records in the league. Malaga are only in fourth place courtesy of strong home form and coupled with Real’s leaky defence at the Bernabeu, there could be plenty of goals in this one. Madrid with over 3.5 goals is 19/20.
Monday, March 19th
Espanyol v Racing Santander (8.00pm)
Home win: 31/50 Draw: 13/5 Away win: 19/4
Key stat: Espanyol have won seven of ten at home.
Betting tip: Espanyol are one of a congregation of sides fighting for a couple of European spots and even despite picking up one win in six, they should have more than enough to see off a Santander side without a win in eight. Espanyol are strong on their own patch and the multiple correct score of 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 is 17/10.
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