LA LIGA expert Callum Read (@CallumRead) highlights the value from the weekend's coupon Spain.
Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna | Saturday 15:15
Whenever Barcelona or Real Madrid play at home, it’s very hard to find a solid odds-against bet that I feel comfortable tipping to the WeLoveBetting readers.
However, for Deportivo’s trip to the Nou Camp, I’ve found a 23/2 (Marathon) shot that might just be worth a few quid this weekend.
With Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto out injured, Barcelona will have Lucas Digne and Aleix Vidal occupying their wing-back positions. I’m by no means saying this is a bad thing, in fact I’ve been incredibly impressed with Digne since his summer move; adding two fresh names into the defensive line could mean they don’t settle.
Sergio Busquets will keep his place anchoring the midfield but is that the best idea considering his form this season? He looks tired and drained and isn’t anywhere close to the player we know he can be.
Busquets’ mistake against Celta Vigo resulted in a goal and it’s been a bit of a common theme this season that the defensive midfielder hasn’t quite been up to scratch.
There are also still doubts over the fitness of Lionel Messi going into the weekend.
It’s incredible that Barcelona have already lost two games this season and this weekend’s game against Depor could provide another shock.
My 23/2 fancy is the draw. You see, there is absolutely no chance this bet should land, right? Barcelona will walk it 3-0 or 4-0 and have 70% possession, but isn’t that what we’ve thought the last few times these two sides have met in Barcelona?
Luis Enrique’s side have one just won of the last four meetings against Deportivo with three of those results ending all-square, including the last two meetings at the Nou Camp.
For me, it’s worth the flutter and could return a favourable amount of cash even with a small stake.
Real Betis v Real Madrid | Saturday 19:45 | Sky Sports 5
Zinedine Zidane is going through his first real blip at Real Madrid – they’ve drawn their last three games and haven’t been playing the football we expect to see from a team that are Champions League holders.
Meanwhile, Gus Poyet’s, young and exciting Real Betis team haven’t been all that impressive either; they sit in 15th place and have won just twice this season.
Zidane seems to get the best out of his side when he has an extended period of time to prepare, look into the tactics of the other team and really make a plan for the game.
Despite having the ever-impressive Casemiro out injured, along with Luka Modric, Los Blancos should have enough to see off Betis.
When your front three consist of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo those exclusions aren’t the worst thing in the world, and will too much for a Betis defence to deal with.
Ronaldo found the net five times on international duty and will be keen to get some club form going with the Ballon D’or not to far away, whilst Bale is back to 100% and Benzema hasn’t played since the draw to Eibar meaning he is fresh.
Despite having a fixture in the Champions League in midweek, Zidane’s focus will be on putting Poyet’s side to the sword.
With the -1 handicap landing 60% of the time in the last five games between the two sides, I’m confident it will land again, best priced at evens with Betfair.
Alaves v Malaga | Sunday 11:00 | Sky Sports 1
The early game on Sunday doesn’t really promise to be a thriller.
Malaga are plagued with absentees with the likes of Weligton, Charles and Recio out injured, Kone serving a suspension and Keko and Kuzmanovic doubtful, leaving the visitors a lot weaker.
For Alaves, Ibai Gomez is a doubt and Alex Ruano is carrying a niggly calf injury.
Looking at the teams’ form this season, it’s clear this game doesn’t promise goals. Alaves have only scored three at home whilst conceding once, whilst on their travels Malaga have netted two and shipped four.
Juande Ramos’ guests have failed to win their last six away have failed to score in five of those fixtures. The Anchovies have also kept a clean sheet against Alaves in eight of their last nine games.
All signs point towards a low-scoring game, and in particular a draw – this can be backed at 24/11 (Marathon).
With Alaves drawing three times this season and Malaga twice, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the two sides share the points at Mendizorrotza.
Sporting Gijon v Valencia | Sunday 17:30 | Sky Sports 3
It’s been a rough 12 months if you’re a Valencia fan and after a promising summer many thought Pako Ayestaran and his side would kick-on and start the season with a run of wins.
Except it was quite the opposite and Pako was relieved of his duties.
Peter Lim and his team picked out Cesare Prandelli as his replacement and will be hoping the veteran Italian can improve the current state of Valencia side.
Sporting Gijon started the season impressively and looked a dangerous side, however, they’ve lost their last four games and sit in 18th having conceded 16 goals – the most in the league.
Gijon have also attempted the fewest shots in the league and it looks as if they are in for a long tough season.
For Valencia, despite their poor start, under a new manager things will improve starting this weekend with a win over Sporting.
Los Che have kept a clean sheet in their last three away games against Sporting and have won each of them games, I can’t see that changing this weekend, especially with the horrible run of form the hosts are in.
I’m more than happy to take Valencia to win, best priced 6/5 with William Hill.
Barcelona v Deportivo – Draw (23/2 Marathon)
Real Betis v Real Madrid – Real Madrid -1 handicap (1/1 Betfair)
Alaves v Malaga – Draw (24/11 Marathon)
Sporting Gijon v Valencia – Valencia to win (6/5 William Hill)