Archive for January, 2018

26 Jan
2018

In A Liga Of Its Own…(27th & 28th Jan)

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…

The last weekend of January looks nothing less than pivotal towards the bottom of the table, especially for the islanders of Las Palmas, who shocked the top flight by clambering off the bottom rung and into 19th with an unexpected 2-1 win at home to Valencia last Saturday night.

Valencia might have shown a slight lack of respect with their starting 11, not helped by the fact they ended the game with only nine men on the pitch after having two dismissed, but even so the Gran Canaria side will have enjoyed their Sunday off following just their fourth league win of the campaign.

Will four become five this weekend?

Highly doubtful, with the fixture computer allotting them a stinker in the shape of a Sunday afternoon away trip to the capital, taking on second placed Atlético Madrid in the Wanda Metropolitano (3.15pm).

There isn’t a prayer Atléti will show the same lack of focus and discipline as Valencia, although by their standards they’ve had a tough week, crashing out of the Copa del Rey 5-2 on aggregate to Sevilla, as well as allowing Girona to escape the Wanda with a point last Saturday.

Therefore this clash becomes not only a perfect opportunity to get things back on track, but also to keep their goals against tally in single figures.

There’s no way they’ll be as charitable as Los Che against this limited opposition, and Atléti to win to nil at 9/10 with BetVictor appears a solid route to profit.

Prior to that, Villarreal look too good to miss on Saturday night (7.45pm), as they welcome Real Sociedad to the Estadio de la Cerámica.

A fixture that pits 5th against 15th, the home side are on a cracking run which has seen them win three on the spin, including that stunning away performance in the Bernabeu, as well as last Saturday’s comfortable home win against declining Levante, in which they had 18 shots and 59% of the ball.

If they could stop getting caught offside so much they’d be deadly, but at least that proves they’re going forward, something which will be handy against a Sociedad side yet to win a game or even a point in 2018.

To be fair, scoring goals isn’t the San Sebastian side’s issue, it’s keeping them out – they’ve let in a whopping 36 in 20 games to date – that’s two more than the bottom side Malaga!

Villarreal should have too much quality here, and could even find themselves up in fourth if they do the business as expected and Real Madrid fail to win earlier in the day at nearby Valencia.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

7.45 Sat – Villarreal v Real Sociedad – Home Win @ 6/5 (BetVictor)

3.15 Sun – Atlético Madrid v Las Palmas – Atléti to win to nil @ 9/10 (BetVictor)

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Posted 1 month ago

19 Jan
2018

In A Liga Of Its Own…(20th, 21st & 22nd Jan)

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…

With one exception, matchday 20 looks like a very hard to call round of fixtures.

The odd one out?

Saturday evening’s clash at the Estadio Gran Canaria (7.45pm) between bottom side Las Palmas and third placed Valencia of course.

In truth, Valencia aren’t playing very well and had a hard game with a full strength side against Alavés in midweek in the Copa Del Rey, but they are getting the job done having won four straight now – something that can’t be said for sorry looking Las Palmas, who come here in bits after a 6-0 mauling at Girona last Saturday.

Granted, the one game Valencia were held in recently was their 1-1 Copa Del Rey Round of 16 first leg draw away to Las Palmas, but that was their first game after Christmas and they’ve found their stride now, plus and on that occasion knew they had a second leg to finish the job – a game they ended up winning 4-0 incidentally.

The 17/20 available with BetVictor about an away win looks more than reasonable, with clear motivation for the visiting side to get the job done and in doing so try and retake second place from Atlético Madrid.

Elsewhere, one clash where goals seem highly likely is the third of four games on Sunday afternoon (5.30pm), in which Real Sociedad entertain Celta Vigo at the Anoeta in San Sebastián.

A game that represents 15th against 11th, but perhaps more interestingly; outside the top three these two are the joint highest scorers (alongside Betis) in La Liga, both having found the net 33 times in 19 matches – a more than reasonable yield of 1.74 per match.

The hosts have notched five in their last two home games – two of which were their early salvo against Barcelona, whereas Celta have found the net in all 10 of their away league games this campaign, including of course when winning at Levante last Sunday.

With that in mind, both teams to score looks a decent play –  Ladbrokes go 8/15.

Lastly, if that’s a bit skinny and you want something odds against then be patient and wait for embattled Malaga to try and apply the jump leads to their relegation dogfight on Monday night, travelling to face a buoyant Eibar in the Ipurua Municipal (8.00pm).

A pathetic 11 points up ’til now tells you plenty about Malaga’s nightmare season, although maybe not the entire story.

They keep losing, but only by narrow margins, rarely getting hammered, suggesting that if they can rediscover their scoring touch then they might still have time to make up ground on both Deportivo, Alavés and Levante above them.

For their part, Eibar are extremely hard to play against and sit in a cosy eighth position after some outstanding results.

They beat Malaga 0-1 at the Rosaleda back in August, and this one looks set to be tight as well.

If Malaga are to perform an escape act they need something from this – I’ve seen enough from them in a trio of 1-0 defeats recently to risk them in the ‘double chance’ market – in which either a Malaga win or a draw means we collect.

The best price in the village is 11/10 with Paddy Power.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

7.45pm Sat – Las Palmas v Valencia – Away win @ 17/20 (BetVictor)

5.30pm Sun – Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo – Both Teams To Score @ 8/15 (Ladbrokes)

8.00pm Mon – Eibar v Malaga – Malaga/Draw Double Chance @ 11/10 (Paddy Power)

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Posted 1 month, 1 week ago

10 Jan
2018

In A Liga Of Its Own…(13 Jan)

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 the Christmas break it was certainly good to be back in business last weekend, a combination consisting of Atlético Madrid and in-form Eibar making it two from two for ‘jornada’ 18.

So it’s onto matchday 19 we go, with a pair of fancies who i’m hoping can also oblige…

First up on Saturday, it’s 13th against 20th at the 13,450 capacity Estadi Montilivi (12.00pm), where just over 100km from Barcelona we get to see Girona entertain the bottom team, Las Palmas.

One of the stories of the first half of the season, it took an own goal and a penalty to overhaul Girona away to Valencia in the Mestalla last weekend after they’d snuck into an early lead, and whereas they’ve had a full week to refresh themselves and prepare for this, by contrast the Gran Canaria outfit have had no such luxury, instead suffering a 4-0 Copa del Rey hammering on Tuesday night at the hands of that very same Valencia team, of whom we’ll hear more shortly.

Short on ideas, quality and confidence, plus suffering from their never-ending managerial carousel, Las Palmas look all but certainties for the drop, and appear likely to leave the north east with nothing to show for their efforts after this encounter.

Bear in mind, Girona beat Real Madrid at the end of October, and though Eibar stuffed them four days before Christmas, they’ve got more than enough in their locker to see off Las Palmas, who it mustn’t be forgotten have the worst goal difference in the whole top flight, a sorry looking minus 26!

Switching from the north east to the north west, Saturday’s late kick-off (7.45pm) next to the beach at the Riazor is potentially well worth watching, as struggling Deportivo de La Coruña lock horns with a re-energised Valencia.

This is 17th against 3rd, but if there was one team in the top flight who seemed to be out on their feet and looking longingly at the winter break, it was a weary and stretched Valencia, who after a magic autumn contrived to lose three of their four matches in December.

Now though they look miles better, the main man Guedes restored to the side after his metatarsal problem, plus spirit, energy and fight flooding back.

At 13/10 with a whole stack of firms I like the look of them here – Depor aren’t an easy to side to play against by any means – but Valencia back on their game really ought to be winning this.

As mentioned previously, they swatted Las Palmas in midweek and with the goals flowing again they can exploit the team’s leaky defence – the 35 league goals they’ve conceded this season is topped only by…..you’ve guessed it….Las Palmas….who have already let in 40!

Away win.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets in La Liga:

12.00pm – Girona v Las Palmas – Home Win @ 4/5 (William Hill)

7.45pm – Deportivo de La Coruña v Valencia – Away Win @ 13/10 (Paddy Power)

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

05 Jan
2018

In A Liga Of Its Own…(6 Jan)

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 being deprived of Spanish top flight football for what has seemed like an eternity (two whole weeks in reality) it’s a warm welcome back to the top flight for matchday 18 of the season, one which kicks off at midday on Saturday with buoyant Atlético Madrid playing host to neighbours Getafe at the Wanda Metropolitano.

That this fixture represents second against eighth is a tribute to a rock solid start to the season for both sides, with the visitors making themselves especially hard to play against, and in doing so posting an impressive six wins and five draws up until now.

They’re certainly not to be underestimated, having made Real Madrid sweat for three points at their Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Pérez back in October, before beating an under-par Valencia 1-0 in a heated encounter at the same venue a few weeks later.

A reasonable yield of 22 goals scored is better than Sevilla in fifth (20), and the same as Eibar in seventh.

They also signed off with a 2-0 pre-Christmas canter against whipping boys Las Palmas on December 20th, but this fixture could very well turn out to be their toughest of the season to date…

Atléti eased themselves into 2018 with a 4-0 Copa del Rey stroll at Lleida on Wednesday night, a result which not only renders the second leg harmless, but also marked the return of a certain Diego Costa, who was returning to competitive action for the club after leaving in May 2014.

He scored as well, within just five and a half minutes of joining the fray, and looking ahead can add bite and much-needed goals to the defensive excellence already displayed by his team-mates.

That’s just one of a host of reasons why Atléti are to be taken very, very seriously in the second half of the campaign.

Favourites for the Europa League in which FC Copenhagen await next, Diego Simeone’s team can bolt on flair to their steely demeanour, and this home game is exactly the sort they need to be easing through.

I think they’ll win without conceding – after all, they’ve let in just eight in 17 so far.

Atléti to win to nil is evens with BetVictor.

Also on Saturday, Eibar can continue their outstanding late 2017 form by winning away to basement boys Las Palmas (5.30pm).

Four games in December yielded a seriously eye-catching three wins plus a draw, hoisting them up the table after a broader spell which also means they have won five of their last six league games.

Impressive stuff, especially as they’re coming up against a side with a goal difference of -25!

For their part, Las Palmas were better at home in midweek when holding a much changed Valencia to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their round of 16 Copa Del Rey tie, and perhaps yet another new coach, Paco Jémez this time, is having at least some sort of positive effect.

Whether it’s enough to stop them slipping to their thirteenth league defeat of the campaign is another question entirely though, and Eibar ought too have too much quality.

It’s the away win that gets my vote at a handsome 9/5 with either Hills or Betfair Sportsbook.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

12.00pm Sat – Atlético Madrid v Getafe – Atlético to win to nil @ Evens (BetVictor)

5.30pm Sat – Las Palmas v Eibar – Away win @ 9/5 (Betfair Sportsbook)

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago