Real Sociedad next up for freescoring Barcelona
Table-topping Barcelona are riding the crest of a wave going into Saturday afternoon’s Liga match against Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou and are fully expected to stretch their winning run to six matches with victory over the Basque club.
Barca have scored ten goals in two matches already this week, including the 4-0 demolition of bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu at the weekend and the midweek 6-1 success against Roma in the Champions League.
If that wasn’t enough for the San Sebastian club to contend with, Lionel Messi is set to rejoin Luis Suarez and Neymar in Barelona’s three-pronged attack, with the Argentine returning to action from the bench in Madrid last time out in the league.
The odds on a home win are short at 1/16 but a winning margin of more than two goals for Barcelona offers better odds of 8/15, as does the hosts leading at both half-time and full-time, with odds of 1/4 on offer.
Messi is set to return to action from the start and the Argentine will be eager to make up for lost time and add to the three goals he has scored already in the league this term before his injury. He is 11/4 to break the deadlock.
Messi scored in midweek against Roma, as did Suarez and Neymar, who more than plugged the gap for Barca’s talisman in his absence. Former Liverpool man Suarez is 2/5 to score anytime whole his Brazilian teammate offers odds of 1/2 to score during the match.
La Real have picked up somewhat since the departure of David Moyes, including an impressive 2-0 home win against Sevilla last time out, but they should be no match for Luis Enrique’s men on their home soil.
The Basque side have struggled for goals this season and for Barcelona to keep a clean sheet you can get odds of 8/13.
Madrid desperate to avoid another slip-up at Eibar
Rafa Benitez faced a barrage of criticism following his side’s 4-0 home loss against Barcelona last week but although suffering a late scare against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek his men got back to winning ways in the Champions League in midweek.
Sunday’s match against Eibar is more important and for Los Blancos nothing less than three points will do from the Basque Country as the capital club look to start making amends from last weekend’s embarrassment and keep pace with the leaders.
On paper Madrid should sweep Eibar aside but Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have been the surprise package of the league this season and sit sixth in the league going into the match.
The Basque minnows have won their last two home matches and are unbeaten in three following an encouraging 1-1 draw away at Villarreal last time out.
Eibar’s tiny Ipurua stadium will not make life easy for the ten-times European Champions, nor will the forecast rain.
Although Benitez’s men are favourites for the win at 9/4, odds of 37/10 for the draw look appealing for the outsider given Eibar’s form, home advantage, and the problems within the Madrid camp.
Given Madrid’s defensive problems of late – conceding seven goals in their last two matches – a bet on both teams to score looks attractive at 5/8.
If Eibar are to breach Keylor Navas’s goal Borja Baston is the man most likely to do it and is a 17/2 long shot to open the scoring.
Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice and scored two assists in Madrid’s midweek win in Europe and the club’s talisman is 5/2 to break the deadlock in Eibar.
The rest of La Liga
Levante and Real Betis kick this weekend’s action off in Valencia on Friday night and the hosts have managed to find some form after a bad start to their campaign.
A 3-0 victory against Sporting last weekend lifted Levante off the foot of the table and Rubi’s men will be aiming to make it three matches unbeaten when hit-and-miss Betis come to town.
Pepe Mel’s men picked up three points last time out on their travels but Levante’s confidence boost should be enough to see the sides share the spoils. Odds of 9/4 are available for the draw.
Atletico Madrid secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a comfortable home win against Galatasaray in midweek and Diego Simeone’s men are expected to cement second spot with a similarly comfortable 90 minutes against Espanyol on Saturday.
Atleti moved up to second last weekend and are enjoying a run of three straight wins, led by on-song Antoine Griezmann who scored both goals in the midweek European win.
Odds of 2/9 are available for an Atleti win at the Vicente Calderon but a 2-0 correct scoreline offers better odds of 7/2.
With that scoreline in mind, you can have odds of 1/2 for Simeone’s side to keep their Catalan visitors out.
French international Griezmann is the man most likely to grab the goals, with five to his name already in La Liga this season. The forward is 14/5 to open the scoring in the Spanish capital.
An early season basement battle takes place on the Costa del Sol on Saturday as bottom side Malaga host Granada at La Rosaleda.
Granada may have picked up an encouraging three points against Athletic Bilbao last time out but both sides have been poor this season and Malaga’s home advantage is expected to even current form out.
A draw looks good at 12/5 and given both teams have struggled for goals so far this term a correct score of 0-0 offers longer odds of 25/4. Malaga have not scored in ten of their 12 matches this season while Granada’s away form has been poor.
Las Palmas host Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday night and two teams that will be relatively pleased with their start to the season will be going head-to-head at the Estadio Gran Canaria.
The Canary Islands club have lost just one of their last four matches, that being at the Bernabeu against Madrid, while Depor saw off Galician rivals Celta Vigo last weekend to maintain their position at the right end of the table.
That victory for Depor should give them the boost they need after a winless run ahead of a trip to a stadium they enjoy playing at – the Galicians have won on their last three visits to Gran Canaria.
Victor Sanchez’s side are 11/5 for the victory but three points will not be a walk in the park. With that in mind, odds of 18/5 for a one-goal winning margin for the visitors look attractive.
Fourth-placed Celta Vigo will look to get back to winning ways when Sporting Gijon visit Balaidos after suffering three defeats in their last four matches
Celta suffered derby defeat against Deportivo last weekend but 15th-placed Sporting should prove to be less of a threat. Celta should be strong enough to seal all three points at 4/11.
Nolito’s good early season form has tailed off somewhat with the Spain international failing to find the back of the net in his last four matches. The 29-year-old is 7/2 to end their mini goal drought with the opener on Saturday night.
Villarreal need to regain some of their early-season form if they are to remain around the top-six positions come the end of the season and they may see a trip to 16th-placed Getafe as the ideal opportunity to do just that.
Marcelino’s men have won just one of their last six matches but remain in fifth position in the table and will look to capitalise on playing a side with just one point from their last possible 12.
Former Tottenham Hotspur man Roberto Soldado and Jaume Costa are missing for the visitors through suspension and the Yellow Submarines will look to four-goal man Cedric Bakambu to fire them to victory. The Frenchman is 11/2 to break the deadlock in the Spanish capital.
Villarreal are 13/10 to take the three points back to El Madrigal and should be able to get back to winning ways against an out-of-form Getafe side.
Rayo Vallecano host Athletic Bilbao at Vallecas on Sunday afternoon in what looks to be one of the most entertaining fixtures of the weekend on paper.
After a poor start Rayo have picked up in recent weeks while Athletic suffered a shock 2-0 loss at lowly Granada last weekend – a result that ended their own good run of form.
Both sides will look for three points this weekend but could cancel each other out. Odds of 12/5 for the draw look the best bet at Vallecas.
Attacking football should on show, however, and goals are likely. For both teams to score you can get odds of 8/13.
Seville host Valencia on Sunday night in what is set to be a real contest between two of Spain’s Champions League outfits.
Little love is lost between either side but with both struggling somewhat domestically both will target confidence boosting victories to kick-start their campaigns.
Both teams also have a string of injuries and both suffered tough midweek Champions League losses away from home.
Unai Emery’s Sevilla have been strong on home soil, however, seeing off both Barcelona and Real Madrid already this season. The Andalusians have showcased their strength against the big teams domestically but Los Che’s good form could even things out.
A share of the spoils would do neither side much good but looks the most likely outcome and odds of 57/20 are available.
Epect both to find the back of the net, however, and for that odds of 4/7 are available.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.