A clean sweep from Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) with last weekend’s La Liga tips. He’s got three more best bets from Spain to keep us entertained.
Granada v Elche | Saturday 19.00
Right, I’m taking a bit of a punt here. We’re going to put our faith in Granada pocketing the points at even-money with Betfred. Yes, I know they’re bottom of the league but please, give me two minutes to explain my reasons why?
Firstly, El Grana are now under new management. Following a routine defeat to Atletico Madrid a fortnight ago, the club moved quickly to sack Joaquin Caparros and bring in familiar face Abel Resino to in an attempt to turn their dismal fortunes around.
Resino previously coached Granada in the second half of the 2011-12 season and helped save them from relegation after taking over in January 2012. His first game back as boss saw El Grana take a creditable 2-2 draw away to fellow strugglers Deportivo. The signs are positive and a first La Liga win since September can’t be far away.
Despite propping up the Primera table, Granada’s squad and personnel suggest they should be riding higher. They’ve drawn their last four home games at Los Cármenes and are actually facing fewer shots-on-target in front of their fans than the likes of Real Madrid, Villarreal, Valencia and Malaga. So I’m willing to take a punt on them on Saturday night.
Why? Well Elche are the visitors. Seven points from 12 have lifted Los Franjiverdes off the foot of the ladder and into 17th. All sounds good for Fran Escriba’a side, right? Yes.
Well, no. Having been hammered 6-0 by Barcelona on home soil last weekend, Elche make the journey to Andalusia without a few key personnel. Top-scorer Jonathas is suspended and he’s participated in a huge 13 of their 18 La Liga goals this season (scoring eight). He’ll also be joined on the sidelines by defender Domingo Cisma, midfielder Faycal Fajr and Pedro Mosquera; those four players have made 63 appearances between them and will be badly missed.
There’s little to chose between the bottom cluster of teams in Spain’s top-flight so with four regulars missing, I think Elche are going to find things tough. I was tempted to take Granada -0.25 in the Asian Handicap market but I’m happy to go for the outright win at even-money.
Celta Vigo v Cordoba | Saturday 21.00
This match features my European NAP this weekend. I’ve copy/pasted the words below to save you a click. Aren’t I nice?
Those of you that follow me on Twitter probably won’t be too surprised that I’ve selected Celta Vigo’s game with Cordoba for my European NAP but before I get into the nitty gritty, here’s a quick summary of the state of play for both teams…
European champions Real Madrid survived a scare at Cordoba last weekend. Los Blancos were given a real run for their money but came away with a 2-1 win despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off. It was just another example of how far this Cordoba side have come.
Following an unlikely promotion, Los Califas had to wait until December to taste their first top-tier win of the season. Going into that game away to Athletic Bilbao, Cordoba had D7-L6 of their first 13 matches and whilst wins were elusive, they remained a tough nut to crack. Performances were good, goals were hard to come by but you felt they were close to finding their feet.
Miroslav Đukić replaced Albert Ferrer as boss in late October and his appointment has sparked belief and confidence in the camp. His nine games in charge have resulted in a W3-D3-L3 record with the three losses coming against Villarreal, Barcelona and as mentioned, Real Madrid. Not bad, eh?
So this weekend they travel to Celta Vigo and the visitors are rated huge 15/2 outsiders. That looks unfair, to me. So I’m happy to get behind Cordoba +1 in the Asian Handicap at 11/10 with BetVictor. Backing this selection means, we’ll have a winner on our hands should Đukić’s charges avoid defeat and even get our cash back should Los Califas lose by a one-goal margin.
Celta haven’t recorded a victory since their astonishing win at Barcelona on the 1st November. Eduardo Berizzo’s men have picked up just two points from a possible 30, scoring just two goals.
Yes, Vigo are rated highly in the shots and shots-on-target tables which so often have a big bearing on ratings and bookmakers odds but at 1/2 they’re a shocking price and I’d urge you to take it seriously opposing Berizzo’s Sky Blues on Saturday night.
Almeria v Getafe | Sunday 16.00
Almeria take on Getafe in a game that’s unlikely to get punters too excited. But the 21/20 (BetVictor) on offer for Both Teams To Score should pique your interest.
Ten defeats in 13 have seen Almeria tumble down the La Liga table but they’ve a great chance to grab three points against a Getafe side that are so wishy-washy we all wish they’d be swallowed up and leave La Liga for good.
Anyway, without a win on home soil, the Rojiblancos have seen BTTS bank in five of their nine games at Juegos Mediterráneos this season, including games against Barcelona and Real Madrid. So they’ll be confident of notching against a Getafe side that’s kept just four clean sheets all season.
The Deep Blues win on Monday night against Celta was the 11th occasion this term that the capital club have been involved in a fixture featuring both teams scoring but seven of those 11 games have come on the road. A repeat looks much more likely than the 21/20 odds on offer for Sunday’s showdown.