After the Champions League mid-week action, La Liga is the only competition in Spanish eyes this weekend. Here’s the pick of the picks. Where do we believe that the best value lies this weekend, and how do we plan on placing our picks?
After only four points from their opening
four La Liga games, It looks like Real Madrid have turned a corner, and coach
Jose Mourinho reckons the "honour" of his team had returned after
they snatched a dramatic late victory against Manchester City in the Champions
Real Madrid were 2-1 behind with three
minutes remaining before Karim Benzema and then Cristiano Ronaldo turned the
tie on its head. “In my brains were a few computers - delete everything that
was ready to be written and write again,” said Jose Mourinho. But he added,
"We should have won the match much before the last minute." Real Madrid are still second favourites to win
the Champions League at 4/1, behind their La Liga rivals Barcelona who are 5/2.
They are however ahead of third place Manchester United who are 9/1 to retake
the Champions League.
Don’t fail me Jose
But Mourinho's side have been lacklustre at
times this season, and headed into their first Champions League group match on
the back of a 1-0 league defeat away to Sevilla. Real Madrid get back into La
Liga action on Sunday when they face Rayo Vallecano, it’s no surprise that Real
Madrid are 1/3 favourites in this game. I think that on the back of the great
result against Man City Madrid will waltz past the opposition. I’m backing them
to win both halves at 7/10, It’s a slight return but I feel Real owe me (and
Mrs Richardson) so I’m betting heavy on this one.
Madrid lead Barcelona 32-21 in La Liga
titles, at the minute Barcelona have the best seat at the table.
As it stands in La Liga table, are the only
side with a 100% winning record. They sit proudly on top of the table with 12 points,
two ahead of second place Málaga and eight points ahead of Real Madrid.
Barcelona have scored 12 goals, and average
of three per game and let in just three (an average of less than one per game).
In their last match Lionel Messi rose from the bench to score twice while his
fellow substitute David Villa was also on the mark with a 4-1 victory over
Getafe. Barcelona are pretty much a BFH bet at 1/33 to beat (third from bottom)
Granada, while a draw is listed at soccer odds of 16/1 and a Granada win is at 40/1.
Nothing good last forever
Second place Málaga, who maintained their
unbeaten league campaign with a contented 3-1 win over Levante thanks to
strikes from Javier Saviola, Joaquin and Francisco Portillo. Málaga are now 5th favourite to win La Liga
2012-13, a Frisbee bet (a bet where you throw your money away) at 200/1, but
are worth a punt at 5/2 to finish top four. Málaga face a pretty tough test in
their next match as they are 11/5 to beat Athletic Bilbao. I’m backing Bilbao
in this one, as I feel that Málaga’s undefeated run is due to come to an end
If you want sheer excitement or you wish to
test your bottle, look to Atlético Madrid, the “other” Madrid (currently at 4/6
for a top four finish). The side sitting 5th in the table at present almost
threw away a four-goal lead against Rayo Vallecano but held on to win 4-3. Next
up is a team four places, but just one point behind them in the league,
Valladolid. The tea leaves tell me that Madrid will come out on top (a 4/11
bet) and next door’s black and white cat tells me the
score will be 2-1 at 15/2.
Wins for both Madrids, Barcelona
(‘natch) and Bilbao.