MAKING his WLB debut to preview Friday night's La Liga matches is Callum Read (@callumread). What's he backing?
Real Betis v Deportivo La Coruna | Friday 19:45 | Sky Sports 2
Both sides had mixed fortunes on the opening weekend, Real Betis were unlucky enough to face a rampant Barcelona side and were defeated 6-2, whilst Deportivo beat Eibar 2-1.
New Depor boss Gaizka Garitano recruited well in the summer bringing in the likes of Bruno Gama, Carles Gil, Emre Colak and Faycal Fajr who was impressive during his loan spell at the Riazor last season. They also managed the hold onto the likes of German Lux, Sidnei, Pedro Mosquera and for the time being Lucas Perez.
For Real Betis, they’ve also gone under a change at the hot-seat with Gus Poyet coming in as manager and notable departures include central defender Heiko Westermann, and powerhouse midfielder Alfred N’Diaye. Although they look an exciting team on paper, I think Poyet is still putting his mark on this team.
The Estadio Benito Villamarin has been a happy hunting group for Deportivo, since 1999 they’ve only lost one of their 12 encounters at Betis’ home, winning seven of them.
Furthermore, Real Betis had the third worse home form in La Liga last season (W6-D6-L7) scoring 17 goals and conceding 23. Deportivo, meanwhile had the eighth best away form (W4-D10-L5) – as you can see they were draw specialists on the road.
For me, Depor's away form leads me to believe the value lies with the visitors in this encounter, particularly the +0.5 Asian Handicap that comes in at 7/10 with 188BET.
I’ve also been eyeing up the Half Time/Full Time market for this fixture with Draw/Deportivo at 13/2 with Skybet tickling my fancy as an outside punt for this encounter.
Espanyol v Malaga | Friday 21:00 | Sky Sports Interactive
Having been involved in an opening day 6-4 thriller with Sevilla, Espanyol play host to Malaga in Friday’s late La Liga kick-off.
Despite Quique Sanches Flores’ side only enjoying 27% possession at the Sanchez Pizjuan, Espanyol managed to find themselves on the scoresheet four times, registering seven shots-on-target.
Meanwhile, Malaga, now managed by Juande Ramos, could only muster a draw against newly promoted Osasuna. The Albicelestes really struggled in front of goal tallying just four shots-on-target from 14 efforts.
Malaga didn’t enjoy the best of times on the road last season winning just four of their away games and scoring 12 goals away from La Rosaleda, meanwhile the Catalonian based side enjoyed nine wins at home and suffered just five defeats as hosts.
I really do fancy Espanyol in this fixture; they’ve avoided defeat in 70% of their last 20 home games, whilst Malaga have lost 50% of their last 20 away fixtures. I can’t help but be tempted by Espanyol or Draw, meaning if the home side don’t lose we’re onto a winner, but at odds of just 7/20 I don’t see much value.
Although their first fixture contained 10 goals, I can envisage Flores making his defence watertight against Malaga, after all his 4-4- 2 system is infamous for being hard to break down and he won’t want to lose that reputation.
In 19 of Malaga’s away games last season 73.68% of them were under 2.5 goals games, they’ve also failed to score in their last three La Liga away games and nine of their last 11 games have been under 2.5 goals.
These trends make the Espanyol and Under 2.5 Goals at 33/10 (188BET) very appealing to me.
Real Betis v Deportivo – Deportivo +0.5 (7/10 188BET)
Real Betis v Deportivo – Draw/Deportivo (13/2 Skybet)
Espanyol v Malaga – Espanyol and Under 2.5 Goals (33/10 188BET)