MARK O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has run the rule over the best bets from La Liga this weekend. Can he pick us some winners?
Real Sociedad v Eibar | Saturday 21.00
Real Sociedad suffered a surprising setback last weekend, going down 1-0 at home to Rayo Vallecano. It was La Real’s first league defeat since the 1st November and leaves David Moyes’ men sitting just three points above the relegation zone.
Next up is a visit from Eibar in a Basque derby at Anoeta. Eibar have been the story of the season in La Liga, making an astonishing step-up to Spain’s top tier and currently residing in the top-half of the table. Coming into this meeting, the minnows are ranked as the Basque Country’s best!
Armeros beat Sociedad on their La Liga debut back in August and have only suffered six losses in their 19 games. Peculiarly, five of Eibar’s six defeats have come against teams above them in the league table. Looking at results against teams in ninth and below, the minnows have W7-D4-L1.
The visitors arrive at Anoeta without centre-back Raul Navas and striker Federico Piovaccari and there’s no doubt the pair will be missed. But with just one reverse in seven and just one defeat in five on their travels, they look terrific value at the peculiar price of 11/12 with a +0.75 Asian Handicap start.
With this selection, we’ll have a winner should the visitors avoid defeat at Sociedad and only lose half our stake should they lose by a one-goal margin at Anoeta.
La Real have only won four games this season, three of which have come at home to the Big-Three. Failure to record victories against six of their 10 visitors already this season shows their fierce record in San Sebastian has faded this season and under Moyes’ charge they’ve managed just two wins in 10, one of which came against third tier Oviedo.
Valencia v Sevilla | Sunday 20.00
The race for fourth in La Liga has thrown up a fascinating clash for Sunday night as Valencia take on Sevilla. Having tempted to back a home win, I’ve chosen to go down the goals route on the back of Nicolas Otamendi’s absence for the hosts.
Valencia raise their game for the big guns, especially at home. Their W8-D1-L1 record at Mestalla includes wins over Atletico and Real Madrid and with 14 points from their last 18 on offer, are in solid form under Nuno Espirito Santo.
But Unai Emery’s Sevilla arrive on the back of a run that’s seen them collect 16 points from a possible 18 and cement their place behind the Big-Three. They’ve leaked just one goal in those six outings.
However, Sevilla’s results against La Liga’s best are far from solid. Including home and away results against the top-eight, Sevilla have W2-D2-L2 and been beaten in both trips to top-eight sides they’ve faced this season.
Valencia have scored at least three goals in seven of their eight home victories but they’ve also conceded in six of their 10 games at Mestalla this season. Throw in Otamendi’s injury and Sevilla will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet.
The visitors have scored in seven of their last nine trips to last season’s top-10, in three of the four in the current top-half and all-in-all, they’ve only failed to net in three of their 19 La Liga matches this term.