Ronaldo will be looking to get back on the scoresheet for Madrid
La Liga is back in full swing this weekend after the international break and Real Madrid will be eager to get back to action and collect maximum points after taking just two from their last six.
A 1-1 draw at neighbours Atletico Madrid last time out was marginally better than a goalless stalemate at home against Malaga the week before but nothing less than a victory will do against a side Los Blancos’ fans will expect their side to walk over in Levante.
Madrid are 1/10 to secure a much-needed home win but the longer odds are with a wider margin of victory and 5/8 is being offered for Rafa Benitez’s men to make up for recent poor performances and excite the tough-to-place Bernabeu crowd with a victory with a winning margin of more than two goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in just one La Liga match all season, albeit with a five-goal haul at Espanyol, and he will be keen to prove he can win another European Golden Shoe for this season after collecting last season’s award in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.
The Portuguese star is 19/10 to open the goalscoring while Gareth Bale, who helped Wales to an historic place at Euro 2016 earlier this week, is 4/6 to return from injury and score anytime.
Levante may have picked up a surprising and well-earned victory over Villarreal last time out but the Valencia club suffered a 4-1 defeat at Barcelona earlier in the season and it would be a surprise to see Lucas Alcaraz’s men come away with anything other than a heavy defeat.
With that in mind, and due to Benitez’s men conceding only twice so far this season, odds of 8/13 look good for a home clean sheet to make it four from four on home soil in the league.
Barcelona host annual whipping boys Rayo Vallecano
Barcelona have enjoyed facing Rayo Vallecano in recent seasons, scoring 22 goals against the Madrid club in their last five meetings at the Camp Nou, and more of the same is expected on Saturday afternoon.
Rayo boss Paco Jemez does not change his team’s style for any opponent, something that helped the Catalans to a 6-1 win in the same fixture last term, and Luis Suarez and company will be licking their lips ahead of the Vallecas club’s latest visit.
Rayo have also fallen to defeat in their last two matches and that, along with Barca’s desire to return to winning ways following their slip-up at Sevilla last time out, makes Luis Enrique’s men hot favourites for three points at 1/6.
The champions have hit six goals against Jemez’s side in their last two home matches against them and are 43/2 for another 6-0 victory this time out.
Barca have also been winning at half-time and full-time in their last eight fixtures against the capital club and are 2/5 for the same on Saturday.
Former Liverpool man Suarez has plugged the gap left by the injured Lionel Messi nicely and is 11/4 to score first.
The rest of La Liga
Sevilla visit Eibar on Saturday boosted by a 2-1 victory over Barcelona on home soil last time out.
The win could be just the result Unai Emery’s side need to kick-start their domestic season and although a tricky test awaits against an Eibar side undefeated in their last three outings, the Andalusians look a good bet to secure back-to-back wins at 6/5.
Former Juventus man Fernando Llorente is a doubt ahead of his return to the Basque Country and that means Kevin Gameiro could be in-line for a start. The Frenchman should pose Sevilla’s biggest threat and is 5/1 to break the deadlock.
Hit-and-miss Valencia host Malaga on Saturday night looking to hit back from their 3-1 defeat at Athletic Club before the international break.
The visitors will be without suspended pair Nordin Amrabat is absent through injury.
Los Che may have had an indifferent start to their season but are unbeaten in their last 15 home league matches, while Malaga have failed to score in their last three matches on their travels. That makes odds of 5/8 for a home win attractive, while a clean sheet for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side also looks good at 1/1.
Former Manchester City man Alvaro Negredo has scored just once in the league this term but has been a regular starter for the Mestalla club this season. Paco Alcacer scored twice for Spain during the international break, however, and is 7/2 to score first this weekend.
Real Betis have made a scintillating return to the top flight and will look to keep their good form going when they welcome Espanyol on Saturday.
Pepe Mel’s men have won their last two matches on their travels and look good to make it three wins in a spin against the Catalan side at 21/20.
The Andalusians scored twice in each of those wins while Espanyol have been leaking goals on their travels. A 2-0 home win offers attractive odds of 7/1.
The experienced Ruben Castro has been the man finding the goals for Betis so far this season and the 34-year-old is 4/1 to break the deadlock and build on the four goals he’s scored already this term.
Nobody expected Villarreal and Celta Vigo to be the top two going into this weekend but that’s the way things stand going into the clash at El Madrigal on Sunday afternoon.
The Yellow Submarines suffered their first loss last time out but still remain at La Liga’s summit, a point ahead of the Galicians, who also suffered a disappointing 0-0 stalemate at home against Getafe.
Villarreal are unbeaten on home soil this season but Celta have not lost in 12 league matches, making odds of 13/5 for the draw look attractive.
Both have been in the goals, however, and have enjoyed their fair share of 1-1 scorelines. The same again offers 19/4.
News outlets in Spain suggest former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes is not too far away from the sack at Real Sociedad and things get no easier for his men against Atletico Madrid this weekend.
Moyes’ men sit fourth from bottom in the table following a 3-1 defeat to Malaga last time out while Diego Simeone’s side are three points adrift of the league leaders.
The Basque club saw off Atleti last term but have struggled for any kind of form so far this season, making Atletico favourites for the win at 21/20.
Antoine Griezmann has been the star man for Simeone’s men this season, with three goals to his name in the league, and with Koke back supplying the ammunition he looks a good bet to score first at 9/2.
If La Real are to get on the scoresheet Imanol Agirretxe is the man most likely with five goals to his name already. He is 14/5 to score anytime.
Getafe and Las Palmas have both slumped out of the blocks at the start of this season and both will be desperate to three points when they meet at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sunday.
With home advantage and just one loss from their last four meetings, Fran Escriba’s side look a good bet for a crucial win at 23/20. Las Palmas have won just once since their return to the top flight.
Deportivo La Coruna are another surprise package from the opening weeks of the season. The Galicians host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday having swapped a relegation dogfight last term for a place at the right end of La Liga.
Depor have lost just once so far this season but face an Athletic side who go into the game on the back of a confidence-boosting 3-1 victory against Valencia.
That could balance things out at the Riazor and a draw offers good odds of 43/20.
Rock-bottom Granada visit Asturias to take on Sporting Gijon for Monday night’s match.
Sporting started the season slowly but go into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory at Espanyol last time out.
Abelardo’s men are 21/10 to collect the three points but don’t expect the margin to be a comfortable one, despite Granada’s early-season struggles. One goal-winning margin for the hosts looks good at 12/5.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.