Archive for September, 2017

22 Sep
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(23 & 25 Sept)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing six of the last eight finalists in the Champions League, as well as six of the last nine winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last six editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

Having only completed the previous round of fixtures late on Thursday night with Levante’s riotous and highly entertaining despatch of Real Sociedad, we march directly into a full weekend of action, one jam packed with what might very well be extremely tricky games.

Anything could happen when goalless Alaves welcome wobbling Real Madrid – probably a heavy away win, Girona welcome their near neighbours Barcelona in a game that not that long ago would only have been plausible as a pre-season friendly, Malaga try and get their first point of the campaign in a north versus south clash with Athletic Bilbao, while on Sunday the islanders of Las Palmas try and continue their outstanding form when hosting Leganes.

My two bets on the card are elsewhere though, and it’d be remiss not to start with what is clearly the game of the round, Saturday’s early kick-off at the Wanda Metropolitano near Madrid airport, where Atleti entertain fellow heavyweights Sevilla (12.00pm).

Two outstanding sides, Atleti unbeaten in all competitions this season, afraid to lose what is just their ever second game in their shiny new premises, buoyed by the announcement of the return next year of a certain Diego Costa, up against a lightning quick Sevilla, now led by Eduardo Berizzo, fantastic in possession, also unbeaten in 2017/18, and not afraid to take the game to anyone.

Both have had the same recovery time from their midweek wins, and this is third against second in the table.

Can’t split them?

Then don’t!

Back the draw at a hefty looking 3/1 with any of bet365, Betfred, Betway or Coral, after all, at this stage of the campaign it’s probably more important not to lose than it is to win.

It’s then a gap ’til Monday night for the other bet on the card, namely a much improved this season Real Betis to do the job at home to ‘pinch yourself’ Levante (8.00pm).

Rightly so, there’s loads of goodwill towards the Valencian side who find themselves unbeaten after five, with their two wins and three draws including the aforementioned 3-0 battering of Real Sociedad, a draw in the Bernabeu against Real, plus a point in the local derby against Valencia. Good work!

Have they been fun to watch? Definitely.

Have they ridden their luck? I’d say so.

Nothing wrong with that, but Seville’s other team look sharper this time around, with Betis not just quietening the Bernabeu with a point, but getting the full hit when silencing the place with all three on Wednesday night!

They’ve also won both their home games, and with an extra day’s prep I fancy they might just have too many guns for tired Levante legs.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

12.00pm Sat – Atletico Madrid v Sevilla – Draw @ 3/1 (bet365, Betfred, Betway or Coral)

8.00pm Mon – Real Betis v Levante – Home win @ 17/20 (bet365)

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Posted 2 days, 4 hours ago

19 Sep
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(19, 20 & 21 Sept)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing six of the last eight finalists in the Champions League, as well as six of the last nine winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last six editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

After a sluggish tipping start to the season it’s onto midweek jornada five as we try and up the pace, with games spread across three nights this week, yet another example of Spain’s excellence in varying the fixture list to ensure the maximum number of eyeballs have access.

First up, in-form Barcelona are unlikely to provide too many scraps for Eibar to feed off at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, where a win to nil is very much on the cards, despite the absence of tendon injury victim Ousmane Dembélé.

Eibar will be perfectly happy with their yield of six points from four matches, but are highly unlikely to leave with anything here, with Barca conceding just one in their last five in all competitions, at a time when high profile new signings, both managerial and on the playing side, are beginning to have an impact.

Also on Tuesday night, back Valencia to make home advantage count at the Mestalla by seeing off basement boys Malaga.

Having backed them I was shocked by Malaga’s toothless display at home to Las Palmas last week, a showing that doesn’t bode well as they prepare to visit a ground where they’ve come unstuck in five of their last six visits.

They managed an entertaining 2-2 last season, but they’d take that now against a Valencia side who are showing signs of life, and who will find this significantly easier than when taking a point recently from both Atleti and Real Madrid.

One solitary goal and no points so far shows how much work Malaga have to do to kick-start their campaign.

On Wednesday night Deportivo La Coruna have a gilt-edged opportunity to get themselves going with a much-needed win, as they welcome a yet to score Alaves to the Riazor.

The Basque side are rock bottom on goal difference, just below Malaga, following morale sapping losses to Leganes, Barca, Celta Vigo and Villarreal.

They’re too good to stay in that position forever, but this tough on them going to an arena like the Riazor, to face a Depor side who, although also struggling in 17th themselves, have shown enough against the likes of Real Madrid and Real Sociedad to suggest their first three point haul won’t be long in coming. Let’s hope it’s here.

Finally, Thursday evening will, all being well, see Villarreal net a fourth consecutive win in all competitions by doing the business against Espanyol.

The visitors have just 72 hours to recover from tough game against Celta on Monday night, one they nearly threw away but eventually saw out to win 2-1.

The fresher, in-form legs of Villarreal will surely pose plenty more problems.

Good luck!

This week’s best bets in La Liga:

Tues 7.00pm – VALENCIA v Malaga – Home win @ 8/15 (Bet Victor)

Tues 9.00pm – BARCELONA v Eibar – Barca to win to nil @ 10/11 (Paddy Power)

Wed 8.00pm – DEPORTIVO v Alaves – Home win @ 10/11 (bet365)

Thur 7.00pm – VILLARREAL v Espanyol – Home win @ 3/4 (Betfred)

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Posted 5 days, 12 hours ago

08 Sep
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(9 & 11 Sept)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing six of the last eight finalists in the Champions League, as well as six of the last nine winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last six editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

First of all, hallelujah! The hated international break is done and dusted and we can get back to some proper sport, on a weekend which serves up some potentially great games, including the Barca v Espanyol derby.

Two games into an exciting season an interruption is the last thing that was required, though judging by the way Spain have performed, it’s not hard to believe there could be something special brewing, a la 2010 and 2012.

Plenty of the national side’s key talent resides in the capital, and will be on display when Real Madrid host promoted Levante in the opening game on Saturday afternoon (12.00 kick-off).

The new boys have done extremely well to take four points from their opening two games, but it’ll likely be damage limitation in this, their stiffest examination of the entire campaign.

Zinedine Zidane’s team are unlikely to be breached here, and the 4/5 with Stan James about the home side to win to nil looks the way to go.

Far more evenly contested is likely to be the game which follows, as Atletico Madrid, still yet to step out at their new home after the delays which have held up the Wanda Metropolitano, face Valencia at the Mestalla.

Both have bagged a win and a draw in the early part of the campaign, with Valencia especially impressive when refusing to be intimidated by Real Madrid, shrugging off conceding by fighting back to take a point.

Atleti were made to sweat at Girona on the opening weekend, a game that should have been played in the capital, but they swatted Las Palmas on matchday two and should by typically hard to play against as the season rolls on.

What appeals to me here is both a draw and goals, so backing the stalemate at nearly 4/1 in the ‘both teams to score’ market seems reasonable, with BetVictor going 15/4.

Lastly, one team who’ve made a very sluggish start to 2017/18 is a side I have a massive soft spot for, Malaga.

Gunned down 1-0 by a surprisingly good Girona last time out, they also managed to get their pockets picked at home by Eibar on the opening weekend, but the fixture computer has been kind, meaning they face poor travellers Las Palmas at home on Monday evening.

The islanders were thumped by Atleti last time out, and this looks a golden opportunity for Malaga to get their season up and running with three points at La Rosaleda

They’re even money for the win with any of bet365, Betway, BetVictor, Boylesports, Hills, Ladbrokes or Unibet.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

12.00 Sat – Real Madrid v Levante – Madrid to win to nil @ 4/5 (Stan James)

3.15 Sat – Valencia v Atletico Madrid – Draw & Both teams to score @ 15/4 (BetVictor)

8.00 Mon – Malaga v Las Palmas – Home win @ Evs (bet365, Betway, BetVictor, Boylesports, Hills, Ladbrokes or Unibet)

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Posted 2 weeks, 2 days ago