Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing seven of the last 10 finalists in the Champions League, as well as seven of the last 10 winners.
What’s more, Atlético Madrid’s win after extra time in Estonia means nine of the last 10 European Super Cups have gone to a Spanish side, in a period where a stunning 21 of the 30 available European trophies, Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup, have headed in the same direction.
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…
Jornada 11 arrives minus Julen Lopetegui, the ex-Real Madrid boss having bitten the bust after last weekend’s El Clásico hammering.
His former team have an ideal but not cast iron chance to hit the reset button on Saturday afternoon (3.15pm), welcoming promoted Valladolid, who thus far have been a serious surprise package and sit in a high and mighty sixth, meaning Real kick-off against them looking enviously upwards from three positions below!
To put it another way, in May Real were winning the Champions League yet again, while their opponents here were preparing to clamber out of the Segunda with a two-legged play-off victory over Numancia (4-1 on aggregate).
You can imagine the wry smile that might well appear on the ex-national team coach’s face if Madrid do burst back into life less than a week than he walked, indeed it’s borderline inevitable, but not to the degree of being able to recommend a bet.
For that we have to wait a little longer and the 5.30pm Mestalla clash between Valencia and Girona, which is 14th versus 11th.
For such a talented group of players Valencia are massively underperforming, drawing eight in 10 in La Liga up ’til now, finding the net on just seven occasions.
They scraped through against Ebro on Tuesday night in the Copa del Rey, a game that did nothing to quicken the pulse, and now come up against a team who are also seemingly treading water compared to last season’s high octane output.
Girona are solid enough, but not unlike Valencia have drawn four of their last seven in all competitions.
Taking that into account, Valencia look poor value favourites at 1/2, and the draw at 3/1 is a far more appealing wager in a three horse race.
Moving on to Sunday, a game that’s very much of interest is the 5.30pm fixture at El Alcoraz in Aragon, where another of the promoted outfits Huesca will entertain another Madrid side in the shape of Getafe.
Unlike Valladolid it hasn’t been such a smooth transition for Francisco’s Huesca, sitting as they do rock-bottom on five points.
It hasn’t been for want of trying, but it looks like more frustration on the way as they welcome fit and in-form Getafe squad, one which lies eighth having lost only three of their 10 outings so far, in doing so letting in just eight goals.
Getafe came through a tricky looking Copa del Rey assignment in midweek, winning 2-1 away to Segunda side Córdoba, and prior to that they won back-to-back La Liga outings.
They look the value to grab another three points here, with most firms offering prices in the region of 6/5 for the way win.
This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:
Sat 5.30pm – Valencia v Girona – Draw @ 3/1
Sun 5.30pm – Huesca v Getafe – Away Win @ 6/5