THE best league in the world? Probably. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) is on the hunt from the Spanish top tier.
Eibar v Real Madrid | Saturday 17.00 | Sky Sports 5
Eight successive wins have seen Real Madrid rise to the top of the La Liga table and they show no sign of slowing up. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have notched 37 goals in those eight victories and lead the chasing pack by two points.
What’s even more impressive is the manner of Los Blancos’ clinical performances – winning all nine of their league games by a margin of two goals or more with six of their nine victories coming by three goals or more. They've even kept three successive clean sheets away and won four on the spin on their travels with an aggregate score of 19-2!
That spells trouble for Eibar this weekend. The tiny team playing in the Spanish top tier for the first time in their history have equipped themselves well so far this season, sitting 10th.
Gaizka Garitano’s team will be bubbling with anticipation at the prospect of Real’s superstars visiting their Ipurua ground but there’s unlikely to be any fairy tales on Saturday afternoon. The Basques scored just 25 goals at home when winning promotion from the Segunda last season – Real have already fired in 21 goals on the road in La Liga this season!
With Madrid -2 available to back at 8/9 with BetVictor in the Asian Handicap market, it’s hard to oppose the European champions. With this selection we’ll get our money back should Real only run out winners by a two-goal margin but we’ll be in profit with a three-goal victory or more.
And if you're after more stats? You might like to know that Madrid have attempted the most shots in Spain this season (perhaps unsurprisingly). Meanwhile, Eibar have conceded the most shots. Gulp.
Barcelona v Sevilla | Saturday 19.00 | Sky Sports 5
Having taken 22 points from their first 24 available, Barcelona started the season on fire. The Catalans began with eight successive clean sheets too. And then the castle came crumbling down in the Clasico. But those eight clean sheets didn’t tell the whole story.
Luis Enrique’s side never looked fully comfortable defensively and Villarreal, Malaga, Levante and Rayo all came very close to netting. It’s now no shutouts in three La Liga matches but at least Barca got back to winning ways at Almeria last time out. They should return another three points from Sevilla’s visit to the Camp Nou on Saturday too.
The visitors have a rotten record away to their hosts, taking a solitary point from their last 10 trips and have already been beaten twice on the road despite their impressive start under Unai Emery.
Barcelona have won 20/24 home fixtures since 2013/14 whilst Sevilla have suffered defeats in 14/33 road games under Emery – you’ve got to assume the Catalans will extend both streaks. But throw Both Teams To Score into the mix and we’ve got a nice 29/20 price from Coral.
At the Camp Nou, Barca league matches have seen BTTS be a winner in 11/24 (46%) outings – a far higher figure than you may assume from a dominating team chasing the title.
Sevilla have scored in five of their six trips to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico under Emery’s charge – losing all six. So back a repeat on Saturday at an attractive 29/20 with Coral.
Rayo Vallecano v Celta Vigo | Sunday 11.00
Sunday’s early game sees Rayo Vallecano take on Celta Vigo and we could be in for a high-scoring encounter. Since Paco Jemez took over in charge at Rayo, a whopping 29/43 (67%) of league games at Vallecas have featured three goals or more.
It’s a trend that also marries nicely with Celta’s record on the road since the start of last season. During that timeframe, 13/24 (54%) of Vigo’s road matches also produced Over 2.5 Goals, meaning the Over 2.5 Goals price of 3/4 (Ladbrokes) holds plenty of appeal.
Rayo have lost three on the spin and averaged four goals against across those defeats but only Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have visited their Vallecas stadium in Madrid and stopped the capital club from scoring.
Neither team tends to have too many problems in the attacking stakes – the home team only failing to net in three of their 11 outings with Celta grabbing a goal in all bar one of their 11 fixtures. And visitors from Vigo have only failed to net in 7/24 road games since the start of last season.
So we should be expecting a goal-laden game and the 3/4 from Ladbrokes looks worth a play.