MARK O’Haire’s (@MarkOHaire) been the man intelligent La Liga tips this season. Can his next three best bets continue his excellent recent record?
Granada v Cordoba | Saturday 15.00
Saturday afternoon sees already relegated Cordoba travel to basement battlers Granada, desperate not to follow their visitors down the relegation trapdoor. José Ramón Sandoval became El Grana’s third permanent coach this season and immediately oversaw a 2-1 win over Getafe to give the strugglers a new lease of life in their fight against the drop.
Although a second successive win should be demanded, prices are prohibitive and so it’s the low-scoring approach that could see us pocket the biggest pay-out. Granada have recorded fewer than three goals in 10 of their last 12 at Los Cármenes, scoring more than one goal just once in 17 outings in front of their home supporters.
Bar their 8-0 humbling to Barcelona last weekend, Cordoba have kept games relatively competitive throughout the season. In fact, that defeat was only the second fixture in nine to break the two-goal barrier with a huge eight of their last 11 away matches also producing Under 2.5 Goals, failing to score in their last five.
Backing Under 2.5 Goals at 19/20 gives us a value bet with BetVictor. Granada will be feeling the pressure and Cordoba have frustrated many opponents in recent weeks despite losing 14 of their previous 16. Take a low-scoring game at Los Cármenes on Saturday afternoon.
Levante v Atletico Madrid | Sunday 11.00 | Sky Sports 3
Atletico Madrid are now unbeaten in 12 La Liga games (W7-D5-L0) and should be good enough to extend that record on Sunday when they make the journey to Levante. Diego Simeone’s side have W3-D3-L0 in their past six road trips and even managed to shut out their opposition in seven of their last nine outings.
The Matters Makers most recent record makes excellent reading with six victories in eight with five coming ‘to nil’. Moreover, they’ve won all six visits to current bottom-eight dwellers and also bagged five three-pointers in eight to similar opposition last season – seven of those combined 11 victories came by more than a one-goal margin.
BetVictor have made Atletico -1 on the Asian Handicap line a 19/20 shot which holds the most appeal. Should the capital club win by two goals or more, we’ll get paid out but if they only manage a victory by one goal, we’ll get our cash back.
Levante are almost safe, sitting five points clear of the relegation zone. But the hosts hold a dreadful record against the current top-nine, losing their last eight. Furthermore, they’ve been beaten in five of their last six when hosting top-seven clubs with four of those losses by more than one goal and five ‘to nil’.
The Frogs must also do without their holding midfielder Simão Mate and in the 26 matches he’s missed since the start of last season, Levante have conceded 44% more goals-per-game than with him. And whilst the hosts have kept clean sheets in 10 of the 24 home games he’s played they’ve not managed one in their last 10 home matches without him.
Almeria v Malaga | Sunday 18.00
The threat of a points deduction continues to hang over Almeria and so the club will be desperate to keep their upturn in form going under boss Sergi Barjuan. The former Barcelona full-back has guided the Rojiblancos to W2-D1-L3 with two of those defeats against the Big Two.
With seven points accrued from a possible nine in Sergi’s three fixtures at the Juegos Mediterráneos, Almeria will be bullishly confident of collecting maximum points from the visit of out-of-sorts Malaga despite key defensive cog Mauro Dos Santos missing out.
Javi Gracia’s travellers have picked up only three points from their previous eight La Liga outings and now look like missing out on European qualification. The Anchovies young squad looks to have run out of steam at a crucial time in the season and their recent road record of W1-D1-L7 will certainly not give away supporters hope ahead of Sunday’s tie.
Ignacio Camacho return will certainly bolster the visitors midfield but with Almeria suffering just one defeat in their last eight contests on home soil, it looks a tall order for Gracia’s Malaga to turn their ailing form around.
BetVictor have chalked up Almeria 0 as a 10/11 play and that should be the smartest selection. Exactly the same as a bet on the Draw No Bet market, the only way in which we’ll lose our stake is if Malaga produce an unlikely victory.
Celta Vigo v Sevilla | Sunday 20.00 | Sky Sports 5
Celta are stricken with selection problems this weekend thanks to a raft of suspensions and injuries. The Vigo-based club have already lost three of their last five as hosts and with a record of W1-D1-L4 against top-seven teams in 2014/15, they could be in for a tough Sunday night against in-form Sevilla.
Unai Emery’s men dismantled Fiorentina in their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night but are still focussing on attempting to break the top-four in La Liga and so should be hell bent on adding to their excellent return of four wins in their previous five on the road. Real Madrid last weekend are the only side to defeat the Andalusians in their last 11 league fixtures.
Both Nolito and Larrivey are absent for the hosts and whilst Celta have won 42% of their 53 games since the start of last season when Nolito has played, that figure falls to just 20% without him as they’ve scored 30% fewer goals-per-game in his absence. Without Larrivey, the Sky Blues and have scored just nine goals in 11 games this season and when both have been unavailable, Celta have D1-L3 with all three defeats finishing 1-0.
Sevilla are scoring freely and should be able to take advantage of a makeshift defence. BetVictor have made Sevilla 0 as a 5/6 and as above, it’s exactly the same as a bet on the Draw No Bet market; the only way in which we’ll lose our stake is if Celta come out on top on Sunday night.
Granada v Cordoba – Under 2.5 Goals (19/20 BetVictor)
Levante v Atletico Madrid – Atletico Madrid -1 Asian Handicap (19/20 BetVictor)
Almeria v Malaga – Almeria 0 Asian Handicap (10/11 BetVictor)
Celta Vigo v Sevilla – Sevilla 0 Asian Handicap (5/6 BetVictor)
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