Archive for December, 2017

20 Dec
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(20 & 22 Dec)

Strung as it is across five pre-Christmas days and nights, jornada 17 has a rather ungainly and yet highly entertaining theme to it, meaning it’s heaven for couch potatoes, who get to feast on a range of fixtures such as the basement battle between Alaves and Malaga, the Valencian community derby between Valencia and Villarreal, plus of course the ticking time-bomb which is the Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Saturday at midday.

More than enough to get the juices flowing, but where punters are concerned we might have to delve a bit deeper…

One side that are simply screaming out to be supported are impossible to play against Getafe, who despite modest resources rarely get beat by more than one or two, frequently upset the odds by beating higher ranked sides – just ask recent victims Valencia and Villarreal, and also are capable of roughing up the league’s aristocracy when required.

Their positive goal difference is testament to that, and at 4/5 tonight they look simply too good to miss at home to rock-bottom Las Palmas, comfortably the worst team in La Liga, and plummeting rapidly.

The islanders may well have salvaged a draw on Sunday against Espanyol, but they were a shambles for 70 minutes, and won’t find such leniency in the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez this evening.

Their goal difference of -23 highlights their defensive headaches, and up against a spiny team like Getafe it’s unlikely they’ll be returning home from Madrid with much more than another hangover.

In a set of fixtures that look very tough to call, I’m then going to wait until Friday night for selection number two, with Atletico Madrid the call to return home from Barcelona with their tails up, having beaten Espanyol away, meaning of a fashion it’s Madrid v Barcelona twice in less than 24 hours.

This might not be a vintage Atleti we are witnessing, still understandably taking time to bed in at the Wanda Metropolitano, and with rumours continuing to fly about Antoine Griezmann, plus Diego Costa still unable to feature, they’ve been grinding rather than entertaining, though this has left them second and undefeated with 10 wins and six draws for 36 points.

I think this’ll be 11 wins and 39 points, as they travel to face an underwhelming Espanyol, one who sit 16th and very much within reach of the jaws of the relegation places in the new year.

Absurdities like letting a two goal lead slip at Las Palmas might yet come to cost them dear, and Atleti have more than enough quality to put them away here.

Effective rather than beautiful, Atleti it is for the away win as we head into the winter break.

Good luck and Feliz Navidad!

This week’s best bets in La Liga:

6.30pm (Wed) – Getafe v Las Palmas – Home Win @ 4/5 (BetVictor)

8.30pm (Fri) – Espanyol v Atletico Madrid – Away Win @ 4/5 (Betfred)

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Posted 6 months, 3 weeks ago

15 Dec
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(16 & 18 Dec)

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, 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…

Still digesting the fact we’ve got Barcelona versus Chelsea and Sevilla against Manchester United to look forward to when the Champions League stirs again in mid-February, as well as the small matter of Real Madrid meeting Paris St Germain, it’s into matchday 16 we head.

Mindful of the fact squad depths will be tested before the winter break, with this weekend’s games wedged in alongside a pre-Christmas midweek round of fixtures that begin next Tuesday, there are hopefully a couple of sides that can oblige for us on home turf.

Kicking-off on Saturday afternoon (3.15pm), the all-Basque clash at the San Mamés between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad looks one to be interested in, given that La Real are on a miserable run that has seen them lose four straight in all competitions.

They were toothless when losing to struggling Malaga last weekend, outplayed and outfought by a side suddenly getting their act together and fighting like crazy for every loose ball.

More of the south coast outfit later, but Real Sociedad don’t look like a team to be trusted at present. Down to 10th in the league, no clean sheets in five and dumped out of the Copa Del Rey by Lleida.

By contrast, Athletic are four places below them in the league but starting to have a real go now, embarking on a four game unbeaten run in La Liga which included holding Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw, as well as winning away to Levante on Sunday.

You’d readily anticipate this one being scrappy, but the home side are buoyant whereas the visitors look one to avoid right now.

Athletic Bilbao are the pick and are 6/5 for the home win with bet365.

They are joined under the lights on Monday night (8.00pm) by Malaga, who can prise three points from visitors Real Betis at La Rosaleda.

Malaga are off the foot of the table and might very soon be out of the bottom three the way they’ve suddenly picked up, winning three and drawing one of their last six league games, with even the defeats defeats looking good in this context as they made Barcelona (2-0) and Real Madrid (3-2) work extremely hard for the victories in both cases.

By contrast, it seems a very, very long time since the warm month of September when Betis were winning in the Bernabeu and scoring four without return against Levante at the Benito Villamarin.

Here and now they are without a league win in six games, including losing three of their last four, including a pathetic effort when going down to nil at Las Palmas earlier this month, a team who are normally just unable to defend. 

Then there was their two-legged embarrassment against local side Cadiz in the Copa del Rey.

Things don’t look too rosy for Betis right now, and if they turn up in a similarly vulnerable frame of mind then there’s no doubt the momentum is with Malaga, who are 23/20 with any of Betfred, Betway or Hills to grab the three points and continue their excellent recent work.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15pm Sat – Athletic Bilbao v Real Sociedad – HOME WIN @ 6/5 (bet365)

8.00pm Mon – Malaga v Real Betis – HOME WIN @ 23/20 (Betfred)

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Posted 7 months ago

08 Dec
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(10 Dec)

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, 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…

Unusually, Matchday 15 doesn’t exactly appear to be heaving with betting opportunities, Valencia becoming temporarily at least no longer a good thing without metatarsal victim Guedes available for selection, Barcelona suddenly drawing games, plus the vital Friday night basement clash between 19th placed Alaves and one above them Las Palmas much too tight to call.

There are a couple of angles it could pay to examine though, both of which arrive on Sunday.

The early kick-off is the 11.00am start in the Anoeta, rock-bottom Malaga making the 975km journey to the far north and San Sebastian, to lock horns with a slightly flimsy looking Real Sociedad who are currently sitting in ninth.

At 1/2 for the home win it would be tempting to idly dismiss this as a routine canter for La Real, but they’re losing games they should draw, and drawing games they should win – namely their late capsize after leading inside the half hour away to Atletico last week.

It also wasn’t a great advert that they slipped out of the Copa Del Rey on away goals over two legs to Lleida, while their ridiculous draw against Las Palmas two weeks should have finished about 7-2.

In short, there’s something more than a bit unconvincing about them, and while they seemingly won’t have too many better opportunities to get back in the winning groove, they’re meeting Malaga at a time when the visitors are finally starting to feel some momentum and winning mentality return to their ranks.

Indeed, the basement boys have made both Barca and Real Madrid sweat for three points in recent weeks, while their hard fought and rapturously celebrated wins against Deportivo and Celta Vigo have proved they’re not down yet.

What we might actually be seeing is the start of a rally, one which means the ‘double chance’ market, the one which gives us both Malaga and the draw, could be the right card to play.

A draw or a Malaga win is 13/8 with either bet365 or Unibet.

Later on Sunday we’ll head to the other end of the country, with Seville the host city for Real Betis against Atletico Madrid in the 60,000 capacity Benito Villamarin.

Betis, who charged through the autumn firing on all cylinders have come down to earth with more than a bit of a bump, suddenly finding themselves in 11th after a run which has yielded four defeats and two draws in all competitions.

Losing to Las Palmas wasn’t clever, and nor was getting bombed out of the Copa Del Rey by local side Cadiz.

Right now, they look shorn of confidence.

Meanwhile, without playing anything like as well as they can, visitors Atleti suddenly find themselves within six points of the league summit, undefeated domestically and with Diego Costa to come in the new year.

Dropping down into the Europa League isn’t ideal, plus there’s a risk of fatigue after their midweek exertions when drawing 1-1 with Chelsea in the Champions League, but even so the carrot of another slip from one or both of Barca and Valencia, plus the fun they’re having being above Real Madrid in the table, means they’re not to be missed this weekend in a game they have more than enough quality to put to bed.

They’ll do for me at the 4/6 available with any of bet365, Hills, Paddy or Skybet.
Good luck!
This Sunday’s best bets in La Liga:

11.00 – Real Sociedad v Malaga – DOUBLE CHANCE MALAGA & THE DRAW @ 13/8 (bet365 or Unibet)

3.15 – Real Betis v Atletico Madrid – AWAY WIN @ 4/6 (bet365, William Hill, Paddy Power or Skybet)

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Posted 7 months, 1 week ago

01 Dec
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(2 & 3 Dec)

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…

We charge into December with Barcelona still four points clear after Sunday’s fantastic 1-1 draw between them and the great entertainers of Valencia at the Mestalla, on a weekend where I’m expecting three of La Liga’s big guns to deliver for us.

First up, it’s to the capital we’ll go on Saturday afternoon for Atletico Madrid against Real Sociedad at the Wanda Metropolitano (3.15pm), a match I fully expect Diego Simeone’s team to take by the scruff of the neck.

Cheekily ahead of Real Madrid on goal difference, they breathed fire away to Levante last Saturday, hammering in five without return, including braces for both Kevin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann.

In other news, that’s 10 goals for and none against in the three matches they’ve contested in all competitions since drawing 0-0 with Real a fortnight ago.

In short, much more like it.

As for the visitors, Sociedad sit in seventh with a respectable 19 points, but there’s something more than a bit fragile looking about Eusebio Sacristan’s team, who draw too many games and seemingly find a way not to get the job done.

They’ve ended up with a point in both of their last two league games, including a match they really should have won convincingly against Las Palmas last weekend, while their midweek capsize against Lleida in the Round of 32 in the Copa Del Rey won’t have helped.

Back Atleti to do the job.

Another big gun who can win at home on Saturday are Sevilla (5.30pm), who really seem to have channeled their energy and focus after news broke of Head Coach Eduardo Berizzo’s battle with prostate cancer.

Fingers crossed he’s soon feeling better in every possible way, with his team certainly doing their bit by coming storming back to draw with Liverpool in the Champions League last week, before digging seriously deep to come from 2-0 down to win away to high-flying Villarreal last weekend, and then walloping FC Cartagena in the cup in midweek.

In that mood they’re not a million miles off unstoppable, and they should keep their improved run going by sending Deportivo La Coruna back up to the north west empty-handed.

Depor have shown signs of life in recent weeks, but if Sevilla turn up then they’re unlikely to have the tools to deal with them.

This has to be another home win to go in the shopping basket alongside Atleti.

Lastly, the bet of the weekend has to be Valencia to keep the temperature turned right up by triumphing away to 12th-placed Getafe on Sunday afternoon (3.15pm).

Prior to the draw with Barcelona they’d won eight on the bounce in the league, and can get back to winning ways against their solid but beatable hosts.

SkyBet are a standout 7/5 for the away victory.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15 Sat – Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad – HOME WIN @ 8/15 (Ladbrokes)

5.30 Sat – Sevilla v Deportivo La Coruna – HOME WIN @ 9/20 (BetVictor)

3.15 Sun – Getafe v Valencia – AWAY WIN @ 7/5 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Betting Tips Archive

December 2017
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Today's NAPS from leading Racing Journalists


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