Archive for the ‘ football ’ Category

24 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(25 & 26 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, the Sportsman’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 crazy, helter-skelter weekend, one capped off by a stunning, stoppage-time Messi winner in the Clasico, you might be tempted to go and lie down in a darkened room for a week or two, and understandably so!

There’s no time for anything of the sort though, as all 20 teams have got to dust themselves down and go again, with the 34th wave of games all being played midweek.

On Tuesday night there are southern bragging rights up for grabs in Andalusia, with Tony Adams still looking for a first goal from his Granada side under his management, having lost his opening two games 0-3 and 0-2 respectively.

Here they welcome neighbours Malaga to Los Carmenes (7.30pm), who unfortunately for Adams have lifted themselves from the doldrums with three wins at just the right stage of the campaign, taking nine points from a possible 12, including wins to nil against both Barcelona and a much-improved Valencia.

Malaga really ought to extend their good run of form here, and are 5/4 with William Hill to take all three points.

On the same night, Diego Simeone’s hard-as-nails Atletico Madrid are back in action, entertaining Villarreal (8.30pm) in their third last league game at the Vicente Calderon.

Their rapidly approaching stadium move isn’t flavour of the month with all of their fans, who understandably adore their current scruffy but atmospheric, tight-knit home out by the river and the gas works.

With that in mind, they not only want to maintain their impressive form but also win all remaining games at the famous old stadium.

Watching them win away to Espanyol on Saturday night was a bit like watching one of those wildlife programmes where a despairing animal is cornered by a python, who slowly but surely squeezes the life out of it.

They barely had a chance during the 90 minutes, but when one arrived the finish supplied by Antoine Griezmann perfectly demonstrated why Europe’s elite will be moving heaven and earth to try and sign him this summer.

Boylesports are 6/5 about Atletico doing what Atletico do, namely win to nil.

Lastly, Real Madrid have a defensive headache for the lengthy trip to the north west to face Celta Vigo on Wednesday night (8.30pm), with just one senior centre back available.

It’s likely Casemiro might fill in against a team who threw everything at them when the the two sides met in the capital in December, Real eventually winning a breathless encounter, 3-2.

After Sunday night Zinedine Zidane’s team have zero margin for error – indeed Barca are top on goal difference and have a superior head-to-head record – though Madridistas will rightly point out their game in hand.

Celta, Europa League opponents for Manchester United next week at the semi final stage, are not to be underestimated.

I fancy them to score but Madrid to do enough to take all three points in another entertaining game.

Paddy Power go 17/10 about Madrid to win and both teams to score.

Good luck!

This week’s best bets in La Liga:

7.30pm Tues – Granada v MALAGA – Away win @ 5/4 (Hills)

8.30pm Tues – ATLETICO MADRID v Villarreal – Atleti to win to nil @ 6/5 (Boyles)

8.30pm Wed – Celta Vigo v REAL MADRID – Real to win & both teams to score @ 17/10 (Paddy)

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Posted 4 hours, 25 minutes ago

20 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(21-23 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

It’s worth noting, as we head into match day 33, that once again Spain leads the way in Europe’s premier competition, with both Real and Atleti yet again comfortably through to the Champions League semis after their midweek exploits.

For both it’s a return to their excellent recent league form this weekend, with the Clasico towering above the weekend calendar as Real entertain Barca on Sunday night, while Atleti head the other way, going to Catalonia to face Espanyol in the Saturday evening slot.

At the other end of the table, Tony Adams’ stint in charge of soon-to-be-relegated Granada started in calamitous fashion at home to Celta Vigo (0-3) last Sunday, prompting headlines such as ‘The Adams Family’ from Marca, while Mundo Deportivo were less humorous, simply going with: “Disastrous debut”.

Are things about to get much better?

Doubtful, as the first match of the jornada sees the former Arsenal and England stalwart take his team west, making the short hop across Andalusia to face Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan (Fri 7.45pm).

So far 2017 has been a disappointment for Sevilla, because although they reached their second best points tally prior to the last few games of the campaign, they also slipped out of the title race and were bombed out of the Champions League by Leicester City, prompting Jorge Sampaoli to say: “What went well for us before is damaging us now”.

That said, Sunday’s 0-0 draw away to Valencia, as well as the previous weekend’s 4-2 victory against Deportivo La Coruna were more like it, and they come up against ideal opposition to keep the ball rolling here.

Granada are preparing for life in the Segunda, and are unlikely to get much joy here – back Sevilla to win to nil, a 5/4 chance with Paddy Power.

Two places above them, Leganes in 17th look like they’ve done just enough to ensure survival, though a late rally from 18th-placed Sporting Gijon (who incidentally go to bottom team Osasuna) would have them sweating, especially as Leganes are unlikely to get any change out of Villarreal this weekend (Sat 3.15 pm).

The Yellow Submarines have been in and out in recent weeks, winning four and losing three of their last seven, but they’ll be delighted to be playing at home, having won nine league games in total at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Europa League football is theirs in 2017/18 if they keep steering in the right direction, and the home side should oblige at 4/6 with any of Boyles, Hills or Skybet.

As I mentioned earlier, the Madrid teams still have much to look forward to, and Atleti are favourites to get three points on the road as they head to Barcelona to take on Espanyol (Sat 7.45pm).

It might pay to be cautious where they’re concerned though; Diego Simeone’s team have been in some gruelling battles of late, including the two legs against Leicester as well as a drawn Madrid derby, and the Argentine could make changes.

What’s more, they’ve finished all square in eight of their last 21 in all competitions, and it’s also worth recalling Atleti and Espanyol played out a 0-0 at the Vicente Calderon back in December.

With not much to be gained for either in terms of league position another stalemate looks to be the value – back the draw at 13/5 with any of bet365, Betfred, BetVictor, Betway or Paddy Power.

Finally, the game you simply must watch on Sunday night is the Clasico (7.45pm), in which Real can effectively end the title race by going six points clear (with a game in hand) of their bitter rivals with victory in the match which counts for so, so much.

The two sides drew 1-1 at the Nou Camp back in December, but since then Barca’s season has fizzled out whereas the Madridistas find themselves with something of a Midas touch, boosted by the return of Gareth Bale to training on Thursday, the emergence of Marco Asensio, plus a sixth Champions League hat-trick for ‘Viva’ Ronaldo in midweek.

You’d imagine they’ll be eager to get out there and make a statement on Sunday, but don’t underestimate a Barca side who are likely to be boiling with frustration after being shutout by Juventus on Wednesday.

They can find the net here, but the vote goes to Madrid.

Back the home team to win and both teams to score at 11/5 with any of 365, Fred, Victor or Hills.

Good luck!

This weeekend’s best bets in La Liga:

7.45pm Fri – SEVILLA v Granada – Sevilla to win to nil @ 5/4 (Paddy Power)

3.15pm Sat – VILLARREAL v Leganes – Home win @ 4/6 (Skybet)

7.45pm Sat – Espanyol v Atletico Madrid – DRAW @ 13/5 (bet365)

7.45pm Sun – REAL MADRID v Barcelona – Home win & Both teams to score @ 21/10 (bet365)

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Posted 4 days, 3 hours ago

14 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(15 & 16 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

It’s back to the grind of league football for Spanish football’s aristocrats this weekend, following a midweek calendar in which holders Real Madrid produced a stunning Champions League display in Munich, brittle Barcelona once again went to pieces when getting walloped by Juve, and Atletico did what Atletico do, namely squeeze the life out of a game and win 1-0, taming the Foxes of Leicester.

In fact, if you translate that idea to Atleti’s league campaign, one which was a bit of a mess pre-Christmas, you’d find that they’d won without conceding in 13 of their 31 games to date, which in turn provides a solid plan of attack for Saturday’s game against rock bottom Osasuna (5.30pm).

Osasuna have shown signs of a belated fight by winning their last two, but it’s too little too late, and a trip to the Vicente Calderon to face a now in-form Atleti isn’t what they’d have wanted, far from it.

Unfortunately for Diego Simeone and his team, games are running out as they try and make ground on Barca in second, but this is a banker three points, one which can be achieved with a clean sheet at the other end.

As the first leg of a multiple, Atleti to win to nil gets the vote at 4/6 with either BetVictor or Betway.

Moving on to Sunday, the astonishing success story which is Eibar’s campaign gets its latest airing, this time with an away trip to Seville to play Real Betis (5.30pm).

That Eibar are even in La Liga is miraculous, but for them to be flying high in seventh, largely owing to a squad fuelled by low wages and loan signings, is incredible.

Momentum and confidence, something largely absent for a Betis side who’ve lost their last three, are strange creatures though, and could yet propel Eibar to Europa League football in 2017/18.

Quite what they’d do when they got there is anyone’s guess, but for now they can dream, and they’ll continue to do so if they can snatch another three points down south.

Don’t forget, they’ve won their last three on the spin, scoring eight in the process, and look generously priced at 7/4 to continue that sequence.

Finally, just when you thought every conceivable headline had been written this week, up pops Tony Adams of all people to take over as interim manager at soon to be relegated Granada.

The ex-Arsenal and England skipper had already been working in a an advisory role at the club, but now takes the reins with a side who are good to watch, but lack quality.

Sunday’s opponents, Celta Vigo, are likely to make changes with little to play for in the league, and less than 72 hours recovery time since Thursday evening’s Europa League win against Gent.

Adams, who was unveiled to the press wearing an offcut from a discount carpet warehouse closing down sale, might very well get something from this, and the way to go looks to the stalemate, with the draw available at a tempting 5/2 with any of Fred, Skybet or Victor.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

5.30 Sat – ATLETICO MADRID v Osasuna – Atletico to win to nil @ 4/6 (BetVictor or Betway)

5.30 Sun – Real Betis v EIBAR – Away win @ 7/4 (bet365 or Betfred)

7.45 Sun – Granada v Celta Vigo – DRAW @ 5/2 (Betfred, BetVictor or Skybet)

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Posted 1 week, 3 days ago

04 Apr
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(5 Apr)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

It’s a short turnaround time for midweek ‘jornada’ 30, with some teams returning from lengthy away days having had just 72 hours (or less if you’re Las Palmas) to recover after their weekend exploits.

Chief among my interest is a trio of teams battling either the direct threat of relegation, or the possibility of being sucked into the dogfight if things don’t pick up rapidly, the latter remark applying to Malaga, who could well be sweating if things don’t go their way in Gijon, where they make the extremely long journey (off the back of a sapping home defeat against Atletico) to face Sporting at El Molinon (Wed 7.30pm).

A win and two draws from their last three have been way more like it from Sporting, who are now well and truly in the drive position as they try and redeem themselves from what had looked a bleak position.

They’re still adrift in 18th, but something positive from this is vital against a Malaga team who look shot to bits, losing five of their last six and drawing the other 0-0, while scoring just two in the process.

By contrast, win this and they Gijon can haul themselves up to within two points of the visitors, an eventuality which looks overpriced at 9/5 with any of bet365, Betfred or BetVictor.

Those wanting to play it safe may prefer the 19/20 ‘draw no bet’ available with Coral.

Elsewhere, there’s no doubt one team who are heading straight through the trapdoor are Osasuna, who remain rock bottom and are unlikely to see that position improving after their journey to face Copa Del Rey finalists, Alaves (Wed 7.30pm).

Alaves have won two and drawn one of their last three at the Mendizorrotza, a trend which should be boosted with minimum fuss.

Alaves like ideal fodder to boost multiple bets at the 9/20 available with BetVictor.

Sticking with the relegation theme, one team who would be sweating if Sporting can deliver against Malaga are Leganes, who sit in 17th after doing this column a favour by drawing away to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Things are about to get even tougher for them here, with the visit of league leaders and local rivals, Real Madrid, to the Municipal de Butarque (Wed 8.30pm).

It’s hard to believe Real will show any leniency to their neighbours as they close in on the title, but what is clearly noticeable is the league leader’s open style of play – conceding in seven of their last eight games in all competitions.

For that reason, back Madrid to win and both teams to score, a 2/1 chance with any of Betway, Boylesports, Coral or Hills.

Lastly, spare a thought for Canary Islanders Las Palmas, who haven’t exactly been well looked after by the fixture list.

Monday night saw them schlep all the way to the far north west for a 3-1 hiding at the hands of Celta Vigo, and just under 72 hours later they’ll be racking up the frequent flyer points once again, heading to the Basque Country to lock horns with Eibar.

The home team will have had more than 53 hours extra recovery time after their 3-2 win away to Villarreal in the early kick-off on Saturday, and can make that advantage count at the tiny Ipurua Municipal.

Eibar are 17/20 with any of bet365, Betfred or Hills.

Good luck!

Week 30’s best bets in La Liga:

Wed 7.30pm – SPORTING v Malaga – Home Win @ 9/5 (bet365)

Wed 7.30pm – ALAVES v Osasuna – Home Win @ 9/20 (BetVictor)

Wed 8.30pm – Leganes – REAL MADRID – Away Win & Both Teams To Score @ 2/1 (Hills)

Thur 6.30pm – EIBAR v Las Palmas – Home Win @ 17/20 (bet365)

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Posted 2 weeks, 6 days ago

31 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(1 April)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

We resume, not before time it has to be said, with a much anticipated 29th week of the season, one which comes after the widely unpopular international break, a seemingly unnecessary pause in the action which frustrates fans and disrupts momentum.

No-one that I know cares about Honduras playing Finland in some meaningless kickabout, whereas just about anyone who enjoys sport can surely appreciate the pressure and intensity of the business end of the Spanish season, one which sees both Real Madrid and Barcelona facing nine games apiece in the month of April!

Back to them later though, as in the hunt for some attractive prices and a winnner to two, it’s to the far north and Osasuna we’ll head, with bottom the team welcoming Bilbao giants, Athletic Club, to El Sadar (Sat, 3.15pm).

Based in Pamplona, the home team are running rapidly backs towards the Segunda, having amassed just 11 points so far, with a goal difference of minus 39.

To be fair to them, they have been having a right go in recent weeks, trying to mask their chronic lack of quality with a string of spirited displays, and in doing so finding the net in four of their last seven – including against the league leaders, Real!

Yet another defeat looks likely, but they might well score during the 90 minutes, so rather than take the miserly 4/7 about the away side, why not have a bash at Bilbao to win and both teams to score?

It’s a far more appetising 12/5 with either Hills or bet365, and could very well come to fruition.

Next up, the game that follows on Saturday afternoon sees Real Sociedad play improving Leganes in San Sebastián (5.30pm).

The survival instinct has well and truly kicked in for the side who are used to being overshadowed by their near neighbours Real and Atleti – Leganes come from a Madrid satellite town situated just 11km from the city centre of the capital – with a win against Granada topped up by battling draws against Sevilla and Malaga in recent weeks.

Those confidence restoring points have come at a valuable time, earning them a five point cushion above 18th placed Sporting Gijon.

Furthermore, they may well be meeting Sociedad at a good time; the hosts have lost their last two and were also held 2-2 at home by Eibar at the end of February.

I fancy Leganes to scrap their way to another point here, with the stalemate available at 5/2 with any of Betfred, BetVictor, Coral, Hills or Paddy.

Finally, back to (near) the top of the table on Sunday night, where Barcelona could very well be chasing a five point gap as they travel to strugglers Granada (7.45pm), with Madrid at home to Alaves earlier in the day.

Defeat is out of the question against the seemingly doomed southerners, and Barca to win to nil at 7/5 with Paddy Power looks the way to go.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15 Sat – Osasuna v ATHLETIC BILBAO – Away Win & Both Teams To Score @ 12/5 (bet365 or Hills)

5.30 Sat – Real Sociedad v LEganes – DRAW @ 5/2 (BetVictor or Paddy)

7.45 Sun – Granada v BARCELONA – Barca to win to nil @ 7/5 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 3 weeks, 3 days ago

17 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(Sun 19 Mar)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

Undoubtedly the game of the weekend is Sporting Gijon at home to Granada, two teams rooted deep in relegation mire, desperately trying to find a spark from somewhere.

It’s 19th against 18th, with both looking in an increasingly hopeless position, the gap between Granada (who’ve been showing plenty of fight in recent weeks but precious little quality) and 17th placed Leganes, a yawning six points.

It’s too tough to call, though clearly a draw is no good for either, unlike the team they’re pursuing, with Leganes looking good for at least a point at home to Malaga on Sunday morning.

Their home game is 17th against 16th, both sides struggling to find any fluency, but even if Granada win, Leganes can maintain a four point advantage by sharing the spoils.

Malaga have been poor in recent times, but often score, so a share of the spoils (at 9/4 with the Betfair Sportsbook) looks to be the way to go.

Later in the day, a rejuvenated Deportivo La Coruna look the nap bet to take all the points against Celta Vigo at the Riazor (5.30pm).

The departure of former boss Giazka Garitano has had an immediate impact, with his replacement, ex-West Brom and Real Betis man, Pepe Mel, installing a new found belief and momentum.

A yield of eight points from a possible 12 is much more like it, especially as three of them came in last weekend’s shock win against Barcelona!

The Riazor has always been a very tough place to visit, but that’s especially true if you’re fellow north west team Celta, on the back of their gruelling Europa League trip for Thursday night’s game against Krasnodar.

Progress in Europe and an element of fatigue may turn out be a distraction for Celta, leaving Mel and his re-energised players to secure another valuable win.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

Sun 11.00am – Leganes v Malaga – DRAW @ 9/4 (Betfair Sportsbook)

Sun 5.30pm – DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA v Celta Vigo – Home Win @ 6/5 (bet365, Betfred, Betway, Boylesports, Stan James or Unibet)

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Posted 1 month, 1 week ago

11 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own (11th & 12th March)

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

If Friday night’s seesaw seven goal thriller between Espanyol and Las Palmas is anything to go by, week 27 on the Spanish top flight calendar could be a highly enjoyable one.

Sandwiched inbetween Champions League and Europa League commitments for the select few, there’s also the small matter of Sunday morning’s Basque derby at the Anoeta, as Real Sociedad welcome Athletic Bilbao, both of whom will be disappointed if they’re not playing European football of some kind in 2017/18.

It’s there where we’ll kick-off, with fifth against seventh as well as local bragging rights at stake, as the local Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia go head-to-head.

Athletic overcame their great rivals 3-2 at San Mames back in October, and it’s highly likely there’ll be goals again.

The hosts have taken seven points from the last nine available, while the visitors have netted six in the same period.

In a match of the magnitude, with local pride at stake, it’s often seen as more important not to lose than to gain all three points, which suggests the ‘Draw and both teams to score’ option sounds tempting, especially at the 15/4 available with BetVictor.

Later on, Sunday evening’s game sees Real Madrid entertain Seville side Real Betis in a must win encounter at the Bernabeu.

Although they’ve got a game in hand Real could be four points adrift of Barca if Luis Enrique’s team win earlier on that afternoon away to Deportivo La Coruna, meaning there’s no room for slip ups from Zinedine Zidan’s men.

It’s unlikely there’ll be any to be fair, with Madrid on a high after their Champions League victory in Naples in midweek.

Betis had a tough game in getting a point in La Coruna 24 hours later, and could very well struggle here.

They’re a hard team too call, Betis, taking a point off Barcelona in January and battling ferociously two weeks ago in the Derbi Sevillano, but it’s unlikely they’ve got the quality to keep Madrid at bay.

I was present for the corresponding fixture in Madrid in late summer 2015, when Madrid ran amok in a 5-0 canter, and it may be another stroll for the home side.

Madrid to win to nil at 10/11 with Paddy Power gets my vote.

Lastly, soon to be relegated Osasuna have conceded 21 goals in their last six games, losing all of them in the process.

That sequence is unlikely to end happily when they entertain the miracle team of La Liga, Eibar, on Monday night.

Eibar, the shoestring minnows, are now so used to punching above their weight, they’re beginning to look like they fit in here in the top flight, and a trip to El Sadar holds absolutely no fears for them.

Expect them to hammer another nail into Osasuna’s coffin with a win on the road – 11/10 are the odds of reward with any of bet365, Fred, Hills or Stan James.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets:

11.00am Sunday – Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao – DRAW & BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 15/4 (BetVictor)

7.45pm Sunday – Real Madrid v Real Betis – MADRID TO WIN TO NIL @ 10/11 (Paddy Power)

7.45pm Monday – Osasuna v Eibar – AWAY WIN @ 11/10 (bet365, Betfred, Hills or Stan James)

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Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

04 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own (5th & 6th March)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight 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 five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

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

Aches, pains and the odd complaint of fatigue might not be uncommon in dressing rooms around Spain this weekend, follow a period in which many teams have shoehorned in game after game after game, especially the likes of high-flying Sevilla, who played on Thursday night and are also halfway through their round of 16 Champions League tie against Leicester .

Preparations are already underway at rock-bottom Osasuna for life in the Segunda next season, and they haven’t got much time to lick their wounds after Wednesday night’s 4-1 mauling by Villarreal, heading to the Canary Islands on Sunday afternoon to take on Las Palmas (5.30pm).

Sitting in 12th position, the islanders will be delighted to see the back of February, a month in which they battled hard but lost four straight in the league.

That form appeared to be left well behind on Wednesday night though, as they came within a whisker of a famous victory against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu.

Playing against 10 men and 3-1 up with four minutes to play, they eventually had to settle for a point after the award of a very harsh penalty for handball, conceding twice to Cristiano Ronaldo, once from the spot and once from his forehead.

This’ll be much easier though, and at 8/13 with any of Betway, Boylesports or Hills they look solid.

My suggestion is to back them in a double with Sevilla, for whom the door is ajar to a possible La Liga/Champions League double.

With Madrid and Barca doing their very best to gift them a way back to the top of the table, they can’t afford to slip up away to Copa Del Rey finalists Alaves on Monday night (7.45pm).

Sitting in 11th, you can forgive Alaves for being a little distracted by their forthcoming big day, one minute losing 0-6 to Barca, the next outing together consecutive league victories against Deportivo and Valencia.

They struggled down south against Granada on Wednesday night though, and I expect Sevilla to take care of them with a bit to spare.

Jorge Sampaoli’s team play bold, pacy, aggressive, attacking football, and should have enough up their sleeve to nail the three points here and keep their title bid rolling.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

Sun 5.30pm – LAS PALMAS v Osasuna – Home Win @ 8/13 (Betway)

Mon 7.45pm – Alaves v SEVILLA (Away Win) @ Evens (William Hill)

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Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago

21 Feb
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(25th & 26th Feb)

This week’s La Liga tips are delivered from the forecourt of an instantly recognisable Spanish stadium, a world famous venue where the locals have got plenty to celebrate at present.

Watch Tom give his thoughts on where to place your cash on this weekend’s top flight action in this short video blog…

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15pm Sat – Real Betis v SEVILLA – Away win @ Evens (Betfred, BetVictor or Skybet)

7.45pm Sat – EIBAR v Malaga – Home win @ 21/20 (Hills)

7.45pm Sun – Villarreal v REAL MADRID – Away win @ 7/10 (BetVictor or Ladbrokes)

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Posted 2 months ago

18 Feb
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(18th & 19th Feb)

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

You’ll have to go a long way to see a better football spectacle than the midweek delicacy served up at the Bernabeu between Real Madrid and Napoli, a game which featured stunning strikes from both Lorenzo Insigne and Casemiro.

Real now return to domestic action with the Saturday afternoon visit of Espanyol, bidding to complete a league double over the side they beat 0-2 away from home at the start of the season.

This really should be a comfortable home win for the league leaders, but Espanyol have confounded the doubters with some impressive recent performances, and it should be remembered they’ve scored at least one goal in all six of their fixtures in 2017.

For that reason, plus the beautiful way in which Madrid like to give teams a chance before coming roaring back to beat them, back the home side to win in a game where both teams find the net.

In one easy swoop you transform a 1/5 shot (Madrid to win) into nearly a 7/4 chance, simply by hoping Espanyol can register.

Next up on Saturday, the draw looks the safe investment at the Riazor, as Deportivo entertain yo-yo side Alaves.

One minute they’re clinching a place in the Copa Del Rey final, the next they’re being humiliated by Barcelona, so Alaves would surely take a bit of stability and a point on their travels at an intimidating ground.

For their part, Depor were massively unlucky not to get yet another draw last weekend, undone by a last minute winner for Athletic Bilbao.

That was no disgrace, and they can get back to drawing ways here at 23/10 with either BetVictor or Paddy Power.

Lastly, don’t forget that 10th placed Celta Vigo have had less than 72 hours to recover from Thursday night’s Europa League defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, when they take the field against bottom team Osasuna on Sunday afternoon (5.30pm).

It’s almost certainly way too little too late for Peter Vasiljevic’s team, but to be fair they’ve not given up, far from it, daring to score against Real Madrid last week, and before that drawing with Malaga and scoring three against Sevilla.

They could well nick a point here, a 3/1 shot with Coral or Hills.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

Sat 3.15pm – Real Madrid v Espanyol – Madrid to win & both teams to score @ 17/10 (Betfair Sportsbook, Betway or Coral)

Sat 5.30pm – Deportivo La Coruna v Alaves – Draw @ 23/10 (BetVictor or Paddy Power)

Sun 5.30pm – Celta Vigo v Osasuna – Draw @ 3/1 (Coral or Hills)

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Posted 2 months ago

Betting Tips Archive

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Today's NAPS from leading Racing Journalists

1:50 Warwick View Result
Midnight MerlotMelissa Jones (Gloucestershire Echo)
2:20 Warwick View Result
Atlantic StormGarry Owen (Daily Record)
2:30 Pontefract View Result
AbushamahMoorestyle (Daily Star Sunday)
Red TeaChris Wright (Liverpool Echo)
2:50 Warwick View Result
Robin Of LocksleyChris Goulding (Scottish Express)
The Tourard ManRob Wright (The Times)
Thumb Stone BluesWise Owl (Belfast Newsletter)
3:05 Pontefract View Result
Another Wise KidPaul Kealy (Weekender)
Edward LewisNewsboy (Daily Mirror)
Rockavon (Sunday Mail)
The Duke (Yorkshire Post)
JudicialEbor (The Press, York)
Line Of ReasonMarlborough (Daily Telegraph)
Robin Goodfellow (Daily Mail)
Northgate LadGlendale (The Scotsman)
3:25 Warwick View Result
Contre Tous- (Racing and Football Outlook)
3:55 Warwick View Result
Big Casino- (The Guardian)
Morney WingRory Delargy (The Irish Field)
4:10 Pontefract View Result
Star CatchJeffrey Ross (Glasgow Evening Times)
Lee Sobot (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Patrick Weaver (The Star)
Mercury (Daily Post)
4:50 Kempton View Result
Captain PeacockThe Scout (Daily Express)
5:00 Warwick View Result
Gortroe JoeFortunatus (Sheffield Star)
5:30 Warwick View Result
Mr MercurialFarringdon (Morning Star)
5:35 Lingfield View Result
Frank CoolSteve Simpson (Blackpool Gazette)
5:40 Pontefract View Result
Miss SheridanJason Heavey (Sunday Express)
5:45 Windsor View Result
Next ChallengeKarl Hedley (Irish Post)
SwiftsureWest Tip (Western Morning News)
6:05 Lingfield View Result
MossgoTemplegate (The Sun)
6:15 Windsor View Result
EnglishmanKeith McHugh (Oldham Evening Chronicle)
6:35 Lingfield View Result
ShargiahWhistler (Sunday Telegraph)

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