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…
Football has an uncanny way of bringing teams together, and less than 72 hours after the Basque side Alaves sent Vitoria-Gasteiz into orbit with a 1-0 semi final second leg win over Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey, a win which sealed their first ever final appearance in the competition after 96 years of trying, in which they’ll meet Catalan giants Barcelona, they have to take a deep breath and get back into the flow of league action….against, you’ve guessed it…..Barcelona (Sat 3.15pm).
Will the Basques put down a marker for the final, or will Barca take advantage of a longer preparation time having met Atletico in the same competition on Tuesday?
It’s not an easy game to call, so rather than getting involved there let’s focus in on events in Seville, where earlier in the day Real Betis entertain a struggling Valencia at the Benito Villamarin (12.00pm).
Stormy weather on the north west coast meant Betis had a day off last weekend, denied the chance to meet Deportivo at the Riazor, meaning the last time we saw them was in their impressive 1-1 draw with Barcelona.
If they can reproduce anything like that level of form then they’ll tear Valencia to bits, with the visitors in disarray and experiencing their own footballing equivalent of stormy weather, especially when beaten 0-4 at home by Eibar last Saturday, in a game which featured a stunning strike from Dani Garcia.
That’s seven goals conceded in two games for ‘Los Che’, and Betis look well placed to take all three points – you can back them to do exactly that at 29/20 with Boylesports.
Next up, if ever a game screamed draw then it has to be Athletic Bilbao against Deportivo La Coruna at San Mames.
Bilbao were very unlucky when failing to score in the first half in the Nou Camp last weekend, but they do struggle to finish teams off, and in Depor they’re up against a side who are fresh following the aforementioned postponement last weekend, and who are also very good at getting a point!
The value here has to be the stalemate at a handy 14/5 with BetVictor.
Last but not least on Saturday, it’s hard to see Real Madrid being as charitable as Sevilla were when they steamroller into Osasuna’s El Sadar stadium for the evening kick-off (7.45pm).
Sevilla allowed the bottom team to score three times in a see-saw 4-3 win on January 22nd, but Real should have way too much for their soon to be relegated opponents, and are unlikely to be so generous as they look to turn the screw at the top of the table.
Real are 6/5 to win to nil with any of BetVictor, Ladbrokes or Paddy.
Fast forward to Monday night and the ever-developing success story which is Eibar gets another airing, this time at home to Granada at the Ipurua Municipal.
Sitting pretty in seventh position, this would be nine points from three league games for the Basque outfit, who welcome struggling southern side Granada.
Granada’s home form has given them maybe the tiniest sliver of hope, but they’re likely to left discussing another away defeat after this lengthy trip north.
Eibar are a general 4/7 for the victory.
This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:
12.00 Sat – Real Betis v Valencia – Home Win @ 29/20 (Boylesports)
5.30pm Sat – Athletic Bilbao v Deportivo La Coruna – Draw @ 14/5 (BetVictor)
7.45pm Sat – Osasuna v Real Madrid – Madrid to win to nil @ 6/5 (BetVictor, Ladbrokes or Paddy Power)
7.45pm Mon – Eibar v Granada – Home Win @ 4/7 (General)