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 only place to start this week has to be at the Mestalla, the towering and brilliantly done-up home (for now at least) of high-flyers Valencia, who sit second on 24 points after a scrappy but nonetheless effective three points at rock-bottom Alaves last week.
No European football means they’ve had all week to rest and recover from that trip, welcoming a highly impressive Leganes at midday on Saturday.
Parsimonious in defence, but also low scoring in attack, Leganes are a highly effective unit who don’t sit seventh by mistake, though with respect to their recent assignments this is way tougher.
Los Che are generally a 1/2 shot to make it win number eight on the bounce in all competitions, but that can be turned into a far more attractive odds against 23/20 (Coral) by backing them to be winning at half time.
They will blast off in front of their own fans and should have too much firepower, having already scored 27 in 10 in the league.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Alaves remained rooted to the foot of the table and will probably remain there after Espanyol have paid as visit to the Mendizorrotza (5.30pm).
Four goals in ten games just isn’t good enough, and though Espanyol aren’t world beaters they do know how to get the job done, arriving here off the back of a 1-0 victory against Betis, as well losing just one of their last eight in all.
The Catalan side can help prolong the Basque outfit’s misery, and look attractively priced at 8/5 with Paddy Power.
Lastly, another team who struggle to hit the target this season are Eibar, and it’s hard to envisage them getting too much change out of their 5.30pm Sunday visit to face Real Sociedad in the Anoeta.
On -17 Eibar have the joint worst goal difference in the top flight (alongside Las Palmas), and come up against a side who badly need to ignite their campaign after some indifferent results.
Available at 4/6 with SportingBet, La Real should do just that.
This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:
12.00 Sat – VALENCIA v Leganes – Valencia to be ahead at half time @ 23/20 (Coral)
5.30 Sat – Alaves v ESPANYOL – Away win @ 8/5 (Paddy Power)
5.30 Sun – REAL SOCIEDAD v Eibar – Home win @ 6/10 (Betfair)