Matchday 29 features a very tempting opportunity on Saturday afternoon at 3.15pm, the second kick-off of the day featuring Valencia at home to relegation candidates Alavés at the Mestalla.
Right back in the groove and winning games again, Los Che can at least temporarily go third with a win, as Real Madrid a point above them in the table are not in action ’til Sunday evening.
By then, it’s likely they’ll have despatched the visitors and claimed all three points – Alavés did manage to beat Sevilla at home but have generally struggled against the higher ranked teams, and have instead managed to grind out points against fellow sides in the lower regions of the table.
It’s worth noting that Valencia have been leading at half-time in all of their previous four outings, so rather than backing them at restrictive odds for a plain home win, instead get on them at 21/20 with Coral or Ladbrokes to be winning at half time.
Another outfit who’ve made a habit of sweeping into an early lead and going into the dressing room at half time with an advantage to protect is table toppers Barcelona, who 24 hours later entertain Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp (Sun, 3.15pm).
Five games on the bounce they’ve had their noses in front, and with the Basque side possibly feeling the effects of a Europa League defeat to Marseille less than 72 hours previously, they can do so again.
Barcelona are a top price 8/15 to be ahead at the break.
Lastly, I can’t resist backing Atlético Madrid to come out on top when they travel to face a curiously inconsistent Villarreal (Sun 5.30pm).
Atléti haven’t had a long recovery time since Thursday night’s 5-1 Europa League canter away to Lokomotiv Moscow, but firstly Cholo Simeone was able to leave out some key names there and still cruise to victory, while secondly momentum and confidence is a great counter to fatigue.
The league may well have gone but Atléti still look sharp, hungry and focussed – enough for them to return home from El Madrigal in possession of all three points.
This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:
3.15pm Sat – Valencia v Alavés – Valencia to be winning at half time @ 21/20 (Coral or Ladbrokes)
3.15pm Sun – Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – Barcelona to be winning at half time @ 8/15 (Coral or Ladbrokes)
5.30pm Sun – Villarreal v Atlético Madrid – Away Win @ 23/20 (BetVictor)