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?
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.
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)