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.
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)