Madrid derby in Calderon to present first big challenge for Real
It’s derby day in the Spanish capital this weekend as Atletico Madrid host bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday night.
Diego Simeone’s side held the upper hand over Los Blancos last season with four victories and just one defeat from eight matches in all competitions, including a stunning 4-0 victory over their more illustrious neighbours on home soil in La Liga in February.
Eight months on and Madrid will be eager to make amends for that derby drubbing but with former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale, captain Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez all facing a race against time to be fit, the going will not be easy away from home.
Atleti go into the game on the back of consecutive defeats but Simeone will not accept three losses on the spin and enjoys getting his men up for derby clashes. The match looks evenly poised and odds of 23/10 for the draw look attractive.
Both sides have impressive defensive records so far this term but a local derby should ensure neither settle for a stalemate. Odds of 22/5 are available for a 1-1 draw.
Summer recruit Jackson Martinez has slumped out of the traps with Atleti since his arrival from Porto and he will be extra keen to get his new fans onside with a goal in the derby match. The Colombian is 6/1 to score first while and to do so with the game finishing 1-1 offers 67/2.
Atletico’s leading scorer Antoine Griezmann is 5/1 to break the deadlock while former Chelsea and Liverpool man Fernando Torres enjoyed himself against Madrid last season and the Spaniard is 9/4 to score anytime.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the club’s all-time leading scorer in midweek thanks to his brace in Madrid’s 2-0 win at Malmo in the Champions League. He has scored five times already in La Liga this season but they all came in the same game. He is 21/20 to find the back of the net at the Calderon.
Messi-less Barcelona face tricky trip to Sevilla
Barcelona will face their first La Liga match since Lionel Messi suffered a torn medial ligament this weekend when they visit Sevilla on Saturday afternoon.
The Argentine failed to finish his side’s 2-1 victory over Las Palmas last weekend and is set to be sidelined for around two months.
Former Liverpool star Luis Suarez has stepped up in his absence, with both goals in the victory over the Gran Canaria club and a stunning winner against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in midweek.
The Uruguayan looks a good bet to open the scoring in Andalusia this weekend at 7/2.
Munir El Haddadi could be called-up to replace Adriano in the Camp Nou club’s three-pronged attack and is 21/10 to score anytime.
Sevilla’s Champions League efforts have seemingly had a negative impact on their league form with just one win from their opening six matches, although they did push their Catalan opponents all the way in the UEFA Super Cup earlier.
Goals are expected, with Barca leaking their own fair share, and odds of 8/15 are available for both teams to find the back of the net.
Sevilla have yet to show any signs of hitting the heights of last season and that, along with a long injury list of their own and a tough midweek defeat at Juventus, should see Luis Enrique’s side come out on top at 10/11. Odds of 22/5 for a two-goal winning margin look good.
The rest of La Liga
Celta Vigo are one of the early surprises of the season as one of only three teams yet to suffer defeat so far this season. The Galicians host Getafe on Friday night and the expectation is that their unbeaten start will continue.
Eduardo Berizzo’s men are 1/2 to take all three points and with good reason against a Getafe side that have lost all of their away matches so far this season.
Celta thrashed Barcelona 4-1 last time out on home soil and are expected to have few problems against the capital club. A winning margin of more than two goals offers 3/1. Iago Aspas scored twice in that victory over the champions and is 7/2 to break the deadlock on Friday night.
Getafe have scored just once on their travels so far this season and a Celta clean sheet offers 21/10.
Villarreal are the early Liga leaders and Marcelino’s men are expected to maintain top spot when they visit struggling Levante on Sunday afternoon.
The Yellow Submarines are riding the crest of a wave with five wins and a draw from their opening six matches, including a confidence-boosting home win against Atletico Madrid last weekend and are 10/11 to take another three points from their local rivals.
Villarreal did have to come through a Europa League tie against Viktoria Plzen on Thursday night but tired legs should not a problem at this stage of the season.
The club from El Madrigal have won their last three matches 1-0 and are 23/5 for the same scoreline in Valencia.
Leo Baptistao scored the winner last weekend, as well in Europe, and is 9/2 to do the same against a Levante side that sit second from bottom going into the match.
Deportivo La Coruna seem to have made big strides forward this season and will be confident of continuing their impressive start to the campaign at bottom club Granada.
Depor are undefeated in nine of their last ten league matches stretching back to last season and are 2/1 for all three points against a Granada side who have lost five of their opening six matches.
The Galicians have found their scoring touch this term while Jose Ramon Sandoval’s side are leaking goals, making a two-goal winning margin for Depor look good at 33/4.
Lucas Perez has scored four goals already this term and is 6/1 to open the scoring at the Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Sporting Gijon have endured a tough start to life back in the top flight and face a hit-and-miss Espanyol side on Saturday night.
Both will look to bounce back from defeats last time out but Sergio Gonzalez’s side should have enough on home soil to see off the club from Asturias. The Catalans are 19/20 for the win.
A high scoring contest is not anticipated but a 2-1 home win looks a good option at 29/4.
Eibar have continued to keep the points ticking over after a jet-heeled start with back-to-back draws and another point looks likely at Las Palmas on Saturday.
The Gran Canaria club managed their first win since their return to the top flight in their last home match with an encouraging 2-0 victory over Sevilla and will be buoyed by that result.
Their Basque visitors are no pushovers, however, having suffered just one defeat all season so far.
Odds of 9/4 are available for the draw and with Las Palmas far from freescoring, odds of 59/10 for a goalless draw look attractive.
Malaga are one of just two clubs without a win to their name so far this season going into their Saturday night clash with David Moyes’ Real Sociedad.
Both sides have drawn three matches each so far this season and another sharing of the spoils looks likely in the Costa del Sol. Odds of 11/5 are available for the draw.
Goals have also been a problem for the pair and another goalless draw looks possible at 23/4.
Rayo Vallecano host Real Betis at Vallecas on Sunday in a game that looks likely to bring goals.
Both play attacking football and neither defences have shone so far this season. For both teams to score in the Spanish capital odds of 8/15 are offered.
Former Tottenham Hotspur man Rafael van der Vaart through injury while returning hero Joaquin is a doubt. Pepe Mel’s men have lost just one of their last four matches though and are well-equipped to edge to three points at the weekend with odds of 9/4.
Ruben Castro is top scorer for Betis with three goals to his name so far this season and is 7/4 to score anytime.
Athletic Club and Valencia are two clubs playing below-par so far this season and the pair meet at San Mames on Sunday looking to kick-start their league campaign.
Both featured in Europe in midweek with Valencia coming away with a morale-boosting win at Lyon, while Athletic Club suffered a 2-1 Europa League loss against AZ Alkmaar.
That should give Los Che an edge going into this weekend but the Basque club’s magnificent home ground is somewhat of a fortress and a draw looks a good bet at 11/5.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.