LA LIGA expert Callum Read (@CallumRead) highlights the value from the weekend’s coupon Spain.
Sevilla v Alaves | Saturday 15:15
I’m really starting to warm to Alaves with three of their players catching my eye.
Theo Hernandez has been superb at left-back for Basque Country side; at just 18-years of age the Atletico Madrid loanee has shown great maturity in defence. Elsewhere, Marcos Llorente has been the metronome in the heart of the midfield, whilst Deyverson has put in a few notable performances up front.
But as much as I love Mauricio Pellegrino’s side, I’m backing Sevilla this weekend.
Since scoring six in their first league game this season, Sevilla have only scored six goals in the seven following games, keeping four clean sheets including shutouts against Juventus, Real Betis and Lyon.
This season Alaves have W1-D1-L1 away, scoring four times and conceding the same number. The Sanchez Pizjuan is really where Sevilla shine – they won 14 out of 19 at home last season scoring 38 goals and this season have a 100% record in front of their own fans.
Jorge Sampaoli’s hosts are undefeated in 18 of their last 20 home matches and have won their last three home games against Alaves in all competitions, keeping two consecutive clean sheets.
Despite drawing away to Atleti and beating Barcelona on their travels, I really do believe Sevilla will keep their clean sheet run at the Pizjuan going in beating Alaves ‘to nil’ – it’s best priced 7/5 with BetStars.
Osasuna v Las Palmas | Saturday 17:30
Confidence will be flowing through Quique Setien’s side after their 85th-minute equaliser against Real Madrid resulting in a 2-2 draw against Los Blancos.
The Canary Islanders have been a breath of fresh air this season playing without fear, scoring plenty of goals and conceding their fare share too.
It’s been a different story for Osasuna, who are still without a win after six games – they’ve conceded 13 goals and sit bottom of the league.
Las Palmas have won one and lost two away from home with the win coming against Valencia in a 4-2 victory, whilst at home Osasuna have conceded four goals and scored just one.
The away side are a much, much better side than Osasuna and will be expected to win this fixture with ease. Las Palmas have scored at least two goals in their last three away matches against Osasuna in all competitions.
There have also been Over 2.5 Goals scored in Las Palmas’ last five away and five of Osasuna’s last six against the Yellows in all competitions.
Over 2.5 Goals is best priced at 9/8 with Marathon, a bet that has landed in five out of the six Las Palmas games this season.
Malaga v Athletic Bilbao | Sunday 17:30 | Sky Sports 5
Athletic Bilbao have had a dramatic turnaround in form. Having lost their opening two games many feared for their European hopes but after four consecutive league wins, the Basque side sit in fifth, just two points off the top.
Aymeric Laporte and Xabier Etxeita have been solid in the heart of defence, whilst in midfield Mikel San Jose and Benat Etxebarria have produced a string of impressive performances. In the attacking third, Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia have been on form and the ageless Aritz Aduriz is still playing like a 19-year-old.
Meanwhile, Malaga are in 17th and personally, I think the sooner Juande Ramos gets out of the club, the more chance the Anchovies have of producing a top-10 finish. He’s quite frankly a shocking manager and comes nowhere close to Javi Gracia’s level.
With Keko out injured, Malaga may be forced to continue with their 4-4-2 system forcing one of their better players, Juanpi – out to the right wing. There will be worries from the home fans over Charles and Sandro who have failed to score in three of their last four La Liga games.
Ernesto Valverde’s visitors are undefeated in their last five games against Malaga in all competitions and have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven matches against the Albicelestes.
Ramos’ side are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and La Rosaleda has hardly been the fortress it was last season. I envisage more doom and gloom for him and his team this weekend with Athletic getting the win at 23/10 with Bet365.
Celta Vigo v Barcelona | Sunday 19:45 | Sky Sports 5
I’ll try not to spend much time talking about Barcelona but I think it’s important to mention that I still believe they are not massively weaker without the services of Lionel Messi.
We saw last season that Luis Suarez and Neymar rose to the occasion when the little magician was out injured and they’ll be expected to do the same during his injury this campaign.
Celta Vigo have started to click in recent weeks and Danish summer signing Pione Sisto is starting to excite the fans like many expected him too. I think this game promises goals; both sides are quite attacking and have the ability in their side to score goals from each position.
The Over 2.5 Goals market is incredibly skinny and just isn’t worth investing in, but Over 3.5 Goals provides an odds-against bet for this encounter.
In this fixture last season, Celta ran out 4-1 winners with Iago Aspas stealing the show. In the reserve though Barcelona were at their best, and at times were playing like it was a training game – I’m sure we all remember that Messi to Suarez penalty? That was in this fixture, ending in a 6-1 win to Barca.
Since 2000, the home fixture has seen Over 3.5 Goals land five times from 12 fixtures and has already come in three times for Barcelona in the league this season. The champions have scored at least two goals in 12 of their last 14 away with Over 2.5 Goals landing in 18 of their last 22 games.
With us just needing one more goal to collect, I’m happy to take the 6/4 offered by William Hill.
Sevilla v Alaves – Sevilla to win ‘to nil’ (7/5 BetStars)
Osasuna v Las Palmas – Over 2.5 Goals (9/8 Marathon)
Malaga v Athletic Bilbao – Athletic Bilbao to win (23/10 Bet365)
Celta Vigo v Barcelona – Over 3.5 Goals (6/4 William Hill)