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08-Mar 2019 Friday 7:17 PM (272 days ago)               #1
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La Liga: This Could Be Messi For Rayo!

Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano

After a stunning week in the Champions League it’s back to domestic football this weekend, and we’re off to Catalonia for La Liga, Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano.

There will be plenty of cheeky smiles at the Camp Nou as the Barca fans discuss Real Madrid’s dramatic exit from the Champions League, but now’s the time to hammer home their advantage in La Liga. Ernesto Valverde’s side won’t be worried about Los Blancos, more so Atletico who sit in second place and seven points behind the champions.

And there will be no let up when Rayo Vallecano arrives at the Camp Nou, the visitors are in a relegation scrap and on a desperate run of form. The Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano betting odds point to a long 90 minutes for Michel’s strugglers, and when they see Lionel Messi in the tunnel they might just want to turn round and go home!

Talking Points

Is this Leo’s favourite fixture?

It can’t be far away. Lionel Messi just loves playing against Rayo Vallecano and, ominously for the visitors he has been in scintillating form recently. He tops the la Liga scoring charts with 25 goals, nine more than his strike partner Luis Suarez, and to add to that he has an impressive 11 assists. But his record against Saturday’s opponents is enough to send a shiver down the hardiest of Rayo Vallecano fans.

In nine meetings between the two sides Messi has scored 16 goals and made nine assists. In fact he has scored in all but one of those nine matches, a 0-4 away win. He didn’t score in last week’s El Clasico though, so maybe the visitors can hope he’s about to run into a dry spell.

But if he does, then Rayo has plenty more to worry about in Barca’s attacking line-up. Suarez and Messi might be joined by eight goal Ousmane Dembele and the improving Philippe Coutinho, and behind them the midfield artistry and cutting edge of Ivan Rakitic.

It’s time for Rayo to fight

After winning the Segunda Division last year Rayo has found it hard going on its return to the top flight. Defeat to Girona last week was the fifth on the bounce and that leaves Michel’s team deep in the relegation mire, though only two points from the safety mark. A win at home last week would have lifted them to 17th and they need to turn their form round quickly.

So who are the players Michel will be looking to for a lift, if not this weekend then next?

Relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano will be hoping to get a point vs La Liga leaders Barca
Rayo Vallecano's Jordi Amat in action with Atletico Madrid's Antoines Griezmann

Real Madrid striker Raul de Tomas Gomez has ten goals from 22 games this season, following on from his successful season on loan at Rayo last year where he was Segunda Division second top scorer. He only has one less than Los Blancos’ top scorer Karim Benzema, having played fewer minutes, and is doing his chances of a return to the Bernabeu no harm at all.

In the meantime Rayo fans will hope he can carry on hitting the net for them. A 15 goal striker is normally enough to keep a side up, and as second top scorer in Rayo’s promotion season he knows where the net is, and has shown he can cut it at the top level.

Supply to Raul de Tomas might come from Alex Moreno who is equally comfortable on the left wing or at left back, but if Rayo is to have any chance of escaping the Camp Nou with anything, then the defenders need to play out of their skins.

Jordi Amat has been a first pick in Michel’s defence and doesn’t mess about, having collected seven yellow cards this season. But he’ll need to keep his discipline on Saturday as he’ll be without his central defensive partner, Abdoulaye Ba, who received a straight red card in defeat to Girona last week.

History

Valverde’s team comes into this game in great form, having just won back-to-back El Clasicos, and they now sit a full 12 points ahead of Los Blancos.

But with five consecutive defeats the head to head Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano results will be little, if any, comfort to the Rayo fans. In the 25 games played since 1993, Barca has won 18 to Rayo’s three and there have been five draws. And there hasn’t been much joy for Rayo in recent years. The last six have all been wins for Barca, scoring 27 goals and conceding six.

It’s 13 games since a Rayo win in this fixture and it’s 21 games since Barca failed to score in a competitive game.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano Barcelona, Asian Handicap -2.25 @ 1.94
March 10, 01:30(GMT+8)

With Barcelona at pre-match odds of 1.17 to win, SBOBET Asian Handicap sports betting is the only way to play this game. The draw is 6.60 and Rayo Vallecano is at a huge price of 16.00.

And I really can’t see anything other than a convincing Barca win. The visitors have some good players, but are in a wretched run of form and the Camp Nou is hardly the most likely place to turn that around.

Oh…and Messi will score.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 08-Mar-2019 at 7:17 PM


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12-Mar 2019 Tuesday 5:07 PM (268 days ago)            #2
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La Liga: Brave Rayo Can’t Stop Barca

Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano

Barcelona took another step towards retaining their La Liga title with a win over relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou.

Michel’s team stayed in the game for 80 minutes and were level at half-time after Gerard Pique had equalised Raul de Tomas’ early strike. But a Lionel Messi penalty ensured that Rayo’s hopes of bagging one of the biggest La Liga 2019 results of the season were about to end. The gig was up for the visitors when Luis Suarez popped up to make it 3-1 late in the game, and the 75,000 crowd at the Camp Nou could relax.

At SBOBET pre-match odds of 1.17 for Barcelona to win this game, this was as near a sure-fire bet as you could get, but all credit to Rayo for hanging on for so long and to their keeper Stole Dimitrievski for a man-of-the-match performance.

Highlights of the game

Few fans and pundits gave Rayo Vallecano any chance going into this game, but they made a bright start with skipper Jordi Amat getting on the end of a Bebe corner and directing his header just wide.

Dimitrievski was in fine form in the visitors’ goal in the first half as Barca began to take hold of the game, making a smart save from Luis Suarez after Philippe Coutinho had put the striker in. And he made two fine saves on 23 minutes, one from a Messi header aimed for the bottom corner and then from a Coutinho snap shot.

The keeper was rewarded a minute later when his side silenced the Camp Nou by going ahead. Rayo’s top scorer Raul de Tomas could be the man to keep them up with his goals, and he bagged his 11th of the season to give Michel’s strugglers a shock lead.

Gerard Pique steps up for Barcelona and scored their first goal against Rayo Vallecano in La Liga
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique scores against Rayo Vallecano in their recent La Liga clash at Camp Nou

But it didn’t last too long. Gerard Pique came very close with a header from a Messi cross, and the same combination drew the scores level on 38 minutes. When Amat fouled Arturo Vidal on the right wing, Messi delivered again. This time, Pique planted his header beyond Dimitrievski and into the net to level the scores at the break.

Rayo’s valiant effort in the first half gave the underdogs some hope, but it began to disappear early in the second half when Nelson Semedo was felled in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. The Rayo players must have feared the worst as Leo Messi has an incredible scoring record against them. And sure enough, when the Barca skipper stepped up, the ball nestled in the bottom right corner of the net.

Just on the hour Messi almost made it 3-1, drawing another fine save from Dimitrievski as his shot arrowed towards the bottom corner. But Rayo didn’t give up while Barca pressed to close out the game, winning successive corners on 75 minutes.

Ernesto Valverde brought Ivan Rakitic on with ten minutes to go, and he made an immediate impact by putting Luis Suarez in to fire home the third.

Key statistics

Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 home win over Leganes had reduced Barca’s lead at the top of the table to four points, though that had little or no impact on the La Liga 2019 betting odds. And no wonder as Barca eventually ran out comfortable winners tonight.

Messi carried on his incredible run of scoring against Rayo: he now has 17 goals and ten assists in ten matches with Michel’s team.

Credit to Raul de Tomas for bagging his 11th goal in 23 league games, but it didn’t stop Barcelona making it seven wins on the bounce against Rayo and the 22nd consecutive game in which the Catalans have scored.

 
 
 
 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

UEFA - Champions League





 

What’s next?

Barca moved seven points clear with a win over Real Madrid last week that leaves Atletico as the only real rival, still seven behind. Valverde’s men have an away game to Real Betis next weekend, but before that they have a tricky Champions League Round of 16 second-leg tie with Lyon to contend with, having drawn 0-0 in France.

Rayo’s struggle for survival continues with a six-pointer away to Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine has unexpectedly found itself right in the thick of the relegation battle, and Michel’s men have a chance if they play with the spirit they showed at the Camp Nou.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 12-Mar-2019 at 5:07 PM


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19-Mar 2019 Tuesday 1:17 PM (262 days ago)            #3
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La Liga: Big Test for Barcelona

Real Betis vs Barcelona

It’s been another fine week for Barcelona, but there’s no time for the champions to take a breather as the fixtures come thick and fast.

And this weekend Ernesto Valverde takes his league leaders to the Benito Villamarin in Seville for another crucial La Liga clash against Quique Setien’s Real Betis. The hosts have plenty to play for, currently sitting in eighth and just a single point out of the European places.

As the final game of the weekend the 28th round of La Liga 2019 results will already be in and both sides will know exactly what they need to do. The Stadium will be rocking as a wave of green and white ebbs and flows with the action. Barca is sweeping all before it at the moment, but an away match against a Europe chasing side is always going to be a big test.

Talking Points

 


 

 

Copa del Rey

Barcelona fighting on two fronts

Valverde’s team was one of the few favourites to get through the Champions League Round of 16 with an emphatic win over Lyon. And they now have a big chance to go all the way in Europe’s top competition, particularly with PSG, Real Madrid and FC Bayern all out of the running.

Lionel Messi was mesmeric again in midweek, scoring twice and terrorizing the Lyon defence with a combination of direct and mazy runs. But Barca has such an array of attacking talent that if, and it’s a big ‘if’, Messi has an off day, then one of Luis Suarez or Ousmane Dembele can easily step up to dazzle opposition defences.

Such is the Blaugrana’s form that Asian Handicap SBOBET betting is the way to go, the best side in Spain can win with or without a handicap.

Real Betis’ 12th Man

The home side in this contest will certainly give it a good go, in front of a passionate crowd and on a decent run of form. Los Verdiblancos’ supporters are among the most loyal and vociferous in Europe, with their chant of ‘Viva el Betis aunque pierda! (Long live Betis even when they lose!)’ That tells you all you need to know, the Benito Villamarin crowd will keep on fighting for their heroes right to the final whistle.

They’ve had plenty to cheer over the last couple of years. In his second season as head coach Quique Setien wants to at least match last season’s sixth place finish. And with plenty of talent in their ranks Los Verdiblancos have every chance.

Real Betis aim to beat Barca believing they can catch Getafe in La Liga's fourth position
Real Betis players pose for a team group

They are strong in midfield, with Portugal’s World Cup star William Carvalho a dominant figure, and Skipper Joaquin has four goals from the centre. He was on target the last time Real Betis was at home, but that was a 1-2 setback against Europe rivals Getafe.

The hosts lack a big goal scorer; Sergio Canales is top scoring with six, but he also has three assists and isn’t afraid to ruffle the feathers of opposing defences, picking up seven yellow cards this season. Giovanni Lo Celso is a lively presence up front and has five goals to his name. Betis left it late to pick up three points away to Celta Vigo last week, Jese scoring the only goal of the game on 80 minutes, but that made it two wins in three.

But the Andalusians look set to be without their full back pairing of Antonio Barragan and Junior Firpo, both injured, and keeper Pau Lopez knows very well he’s in for a busy time.

History

The hosts have a rich history, winning the league title in 1935 and the Copa del Rey in 1977 and 2005. But their head to heads with Barcelona have been difficult, losing 27 while winning and drawing nine in all the games since 1994.

It took Barca 80 minutes to see off relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano last week but that made it 12 games unbeaten for the Catalans. Their away form is impressive, with three consecutive wins, and nine wins from 13, including an unbeaten run of ten.

Los Verdiblancos have won two, drawn two and lost tow of their last six home league games.

Betting Tip

??

Real Betis vs Barcelona 2-3 goals @ 2.22
March 18, 03:45(GMT+8)

The Real Betis vs Barcelona betting odds point to another away triumph for the league leaders; with the latest odds of 1.47 on an away win; while Real Betis is at 6.40 and the draw is at 4.30.

Barca didn’t have it all their own way against Rayo last week and a well supported Betis side backed by a passionate crowd could push them all the way.

There will be goals in this game but I don’t see an avalanche and a 1-2 result is most likely at odds of 7.20.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 19-Mar-2019 at 1:17 PM


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19-Mar 2019 Tuesday 1:19 PM (262 days ago)            #4
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La Liga : Just How Much Magic Does Messi Have?

Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona

Barcelona went ten points clear at the top of La Liga on Sunday night with a Messi-inspired victory over Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin in Seville.

Quique Setien’s Betis are chasing a European place and put the Barca defence under some pressure, but the Catalans held firm. Lionel Messi weaved his magic at the business end, scoring twice in the first half; Luis Suarez added a third in the second. Loren Moron pulled one back for the hosts before Messi completed his hat-trick.

The big La Liga 2019 news of the weekend was Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 defeat away to Athletic Bilbao, and that made the La Liga 2019 betting odds against Barca retaining the title virtually disappear. And this dominant display, against a side as competitive as Setien’s, confirms just how good Ernesto Valverde’s champions are.

Highlights of the game

Los Verdiblancos started the game brightly with Cristian Tello testing Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a well-aimed drive heading for the corner. Andres Guardado crossed into a dangerous area, but Jese’s effort from close range flew just wide.

But bright starts against a team like Barcelona mean very little unless they result in something, and the visitors were ahead in the blink of an eye. Leo Messi has been in mesmerising form, inspiring the Blaugrana to a 5-1 Champions League win over Lyon in midweek. So you don’t want to give the little genius a chance with a free-kick within shooting distance. Betis did, and Messi fired a left-footed shot into the top left corner. Easy as that!

Betis keeper Pau Lopez kept the deficit down to one with a smart save from Messi as the Argentine fired one towards the bottom corner; Los Verdiblancos then hit back with a series of attacks. Tello, Sergio Canales, Guardado and Sidnei all had efforts blocked as Barca’s defence dug in, and Jese came very close with another shot after Tello had put him in.

Barcelona weathered the storm and came out on the attack, Messi feeding Luis Suarez who shot straight at Lopez. And then, in the second minute of added time, Barca delivered a hammer blow when Suarez found Messi with a through ball, and the inevitable conclusion was the ball settling in the bottom corner of the net.

Giovani Lo Celso has spearheaded Real Betis in trying to seal a victory over La Liga leaders Barcelona
Real Betis' Giovani Lo Celso in action against Barcelona's Gerard Pique in recent La Liga match at Estadio Benito Villamarín

Suarez was in on the action early in the second half, firing a shot just wide. But Betis kept plugging away, Giovani Lo Celso and Canales both having shots blocked. The game swung from end to end, Suarez coming close after latching on to a Messi through ball and then Lo Celso brought another good save from Ter Stegen.

But it was game over, on 63 minutes, when Suarez took a pass from Gerard Pique and fired the ball low into the corner to make it three.

Los Verdiblancos pulled one back with just eight minutes remaining when Loren Moron took a pass from Diego Lainez and fired into the top-right corner, giving Ter Stegen no chance.

That was a well-deserved consolation, but the hosts had to take another hit when Ivan Rakitic passed to Messi, and he fired into the top corner to claim yet another hat-trick.

And the Barca skipper still had time to hit the post with his final effort of the night!

Key statistics

Here at SBOBET, we anticipated a stern test for Barcelona. But while the Real Betis forward players gave Barca’s defence a good workout, the Champions’ attack, spearheaded by Messi, was clinical enough to make it a comfortable evening. The odds of 1.47 on an away win looked about right as the visitors took an early lead and never looked back.

So Barcelona have gone 13 games unbeaten and have four consecutive away wins. And this was Barca’s 28th victory over Real Betis in the last 25 years.

What’s next?

It’s the Catalan derby next for Barcelona as city rivals Espanyol visit the Camp Nou. You have to fancy the champions to win that one against the 13th-placed side.

 
 
 
 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

International Friendly







Looking further ahead, Ernesto Valverde’s side has a Champions League quarter-final tie against Manchester United to look forward to. The Blaugrana won’t be taking that one lightly after the Red Devils overturned a two-goal deficit to beat highly fancied PSG.

Betis have two away games to contend with in their hunt for European football: first at Rayo Vallecano, deep in relegation trouble, and then away to Real Sociedad, another team with Europa League aspirations. If they attack as they did tonight, they have every chance of picking up points in both, as they won’t be facing Lionel Messi!

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 19-Mar-2019 at 1:19 PM


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02-Apr 2019 Tuesday 2:41 PM (248 days ago)            #5
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La Liga: Beware Barca at Season End!

Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol

According to this observer, they may not quite have the style of the vintage of four years ago.

And they are certainly some way off the finest club side I have ever seen play in my lifetime.

But would any SBOBET fans reading this really expect the class of 2019 to end the season without at least one trophy?

As La Liga returns this weekend, the La Liga 2019 betting odds tell us the title race is almost run, while there are reasons to be optimistic in both the Copa del Rey and Champions League.

Talking Points

Barcelona team are confident to snatch a win in the upcoming La Liga match against Espanyol
Barcelona celebrate their victory during La Liga match against Real Betis

First though, a Catalan derby and a return to a ground where they have produced La Liga 2019 highlights galore so far.

In the week in which the club remembered the third anniversary of the passing of their most famous son - explaining and recalling the importance of Johann Cruyff to the club’s junior players – many of the club’s current stars are back in training.

Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Jeison Murillo, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto all took part in recent days but it was the return of the number 10 Lionel Messi that will have pleased coach Ernesto Valverde – one of Cruyff’s successors – the most.

With Ousmane Dembele out for the Blaugrana and Luis Suarez a doubt, Valverde will want his star man available and be able to pick up from where he left off nearly a fortnight ago.

Remember, this is a team just 10 points away from another La Liga title, a side which will contest the Copa del Rey final against Valencia and face Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final next month.

Moreover, Messi (39) and Suarez (21) have contributed 60 goals in all competitions so far this term, supported by harmonious and solid football, which have allowed them to dominate all competitions.

Valverde also has the best trident in Europe with Messi, Suarez and Dembele, who have 55 goals between them in the league alone.

Espanyol are not expected to return from the Nou Camp with anything and have only pride to play for as they sit comfortably in mid table, safe from the relegation battle but too far adrift to make a concerted push for a European spot.

 


 

 

La Liga

They are owned by Chinese billionaire Chen Yansheng and since the arrival of Wu Lei in January - dubbed the "Chinese Maradona" by one of his former coaches - the Catalan club have seen a massive spike in interest.

Their home reverse to Sevilla a fortnight ago was their first defeat in seven, so there will be no pushovers and local bragging rights will be a real incentive.

However, with closest challengers Atletico Madrid not meeting Alaves until later on Saturday, Barcelona know they could temporarily move 13 points clear with only nine games remaining season with victory in the latest edition of the Derbi barceloní.

Would you bet against them?

History

Messi notched a brace for Barca in their previous meeting this season - a thumping 4-0 triumph for the visitors at RCDE Stadium in early December.

Last season, however, Espanyol held their opponents to a 1-1 draw at home, although went down 5-0 in the Nou Camp.

Espanyol moved to the RCDE in 2009 but it was not until their 10thmeeting with their neighbours at their new arena that they were able to win a derby fixture (three draws, six defeats), winning 1–0 in last season’s Copa quarter-final first leg tie.

However, Valverde’s men overturned it 2–0 the following week to go through in the tie.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol Total goal 2-3 @ 2.48
March 30, 23:15 (GMT+8)

It would take a daring punter to even opt for the draw in this one, given the 1X2 odds of draw are available @ 6.80 and RCD Espanyol @ 13.00.

Barcelona @ 1.18 are in stark contrast.

Even Asian Handicap odds back the Catalan hosts to win with something to spare. You can get odds of -2.00 Barcelona @ 1.83 and -2.25 @ 2.06. In contrast, Espanyol +2.00 @ 2.11 tells its own story.

First Half Asian Handicap Barcelona -1.00 @ 2.09 is about as attractive as it gets in that regard.

Goals are most definitely expected and I can’t remember the last time I saw odds of over 3.75 goals @ 1.99.

A repeat of Barca’s 4-0 success earlier in the season is available with correct score @ 11.00.

I fully expect Barcelona to prevail yet my betting tip for the Catalonia derby may surprise you.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2019 at 2:41 PM


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02-Apr 2019 Tuesday 2:56 PM (248 days ago)            #6
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La Liga: ‘Best of the Rest’ Meet with Champions League in Sight

Sevilla vs Valencia

I consider them the ‘best of the rest’.

The leading protagonists in La Liga after the established big three of Barcelona, Real Madrid and, under Diego Simeone, the rise to prominence of Atletico Madrid.

Any SBOBET fan who looked at the table right now may argue otherwise as the sides lie in sixth and seventh positions respectively.

Yet both Sevilla and Valencia remain two of Spanish football’s biggest names and still harbour hopes of securing fourth spot, which brings a place in next season’s Champions League.

Certainly, perish the thought should they miss out on qualification for Europe altogether.

Talking Points

Both sides are also still capable of producing La Liga highlights.

Sevilla have had a disappointing March in truth. They initially responded well to an embarrassing defeat to bottom club Huesca a month ago.

Then came a Europa League exit at the hands of underdogs Slavia Prague – a sequence of results which ultimately led to the club sacking boss Pablo Machin.

Since Unai Emery left the club in June 2016, for Paris St-Germain before his move to Arsenal in 2018, Sevilla have had four managers.

Sevilla set their eyes for top 4 when they clash against Valencia in La Liga
Sevilla’s new coach Joaquin Caparros observing from touchline

A familiar figure in director of football Joaquin Caparros is currently in charge of the team, having also managed the side for a month last season when Vincenzo Montella was sacked.

Top of Form

Yet it must not be forgotten Sevilla are only three points off the Champions League places and will know this game represents a key fixture in their bid to return to Europe’s top table.

They have also been boosted by the news that playmaker Franco 'Mudo' Vazquez has made clear his intention to stay at the club.

They have lifted their showings for the big meetings at home this term.

Only a late show saw champions Barca emerge from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium with maximum points.

And earlier in the season, they produced a masterclass to emphatically see off then reigning European champions Real Madrid so Sevilla know they can live with the big boys on their day.

That makes the visit of Valencia even more important, especially as they are unbeaten in nine league games (15 overall) since a 2-1 defeat to Alaves in early January and making progress up the table (they were 12th at that time).

 


 

 

Premier League

They are three points behind the Andalusians so really need to get something from this fixture.

Valencia do at least have two potential paths into next season’s Champions League. They will be favourites to win their Europa League Quarter-Final against rivals Villarreal next month but there is some fierce competition that could lie ahead so the league may still be their best option.

The Sevillistas have proven themselves a tough nut to crack at home but still have much to prove themselves and have been conceding goals on a regular basis – they have been breached 36 times in La Liga so far, the joint worst record in the top half of the table.

It all amounts to a game of attacking from both.

The winner of this will receive a big boost, while the loser could fall out of the race.

History

Sevilla haven’t beaten Valencia in four head-to-head clashes since November 2016.

Valencia snatched a 2-0 win on their last trip to this ground last season thanks to a Rodrigo double. It was their only win there in 15 years.

The sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Mestalla earlier this term, as Mouctar Diakhaby found the last-minute equaliser for Los Che after Pablo Sarabia had opened the scoring.

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Valencia Sevilla Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 2.51
March 31, 22:15 (GMT+8)

Sevilla have an edge with the La Liga betting odds.

You can back them 1X2 @ 2.13 with Valencia offered @ 3.40. The draw is a tempting bet @ 3.25.

Another extremely attractive bet is with the Asian Handicap odds in favour of the hosts. It’s definitely worth taking a closer look at Sevilla -0.75 @ 2.49, or Valencia +0.25 @ 2.08 if you are fancy the form team to prevail.

Over 2.75 goals @ 2.11 and total goal 4-6 @ 3.20 are also ones to look at, while a repeat of the meeting from earlier in the campaign – correct score 1-1 – will payout @ 6.20.

For me, this has draw written all over it yet I’m nudging towards the home side as they aim to rescue a disappointing season by qualifying for Europe's premier club competition for the first time in two years.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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02-Apr 2019 Tuesday 2:58 PM (248 days ago)            #7
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La Liga: Messi Magic Lifts Barcelona in Catalan Derby

Barcelona 2-0 RCD Espanyol

The Catalan Derby is usually a fiery affair, but the build-up to this latest meeting seemed pretty tame. Barca defender Gerard Pique praised Espanyol's academy and defender Mario Hermoso on Monday night as relations seemed very cordial between the giants and their much smaller neighbours.

However, everything changed when the Barcelona centre-back opted to poke fun at Los Periquitos by stating he has more money than Espanyol’s entire budget for the 2018/19 campaign.

Whether his comments were intentionally designed to stir up trouble or were misinterpreted, that brought an end to the state of tranquillity that had emerged in the lead-up to the La Liga match and ensured it was eclipsed by one statement.

Gerard Pique has shrugged off comments of Espanyol as Barcelona sealed a 2-0 domination in their recent La Liga match
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique warms up ahead of their La Liga match against Espanyol

But when you need someone to take the focus from the contentious and to the classy, Lionel Messi is your man. And the little genius delivered once again in the derby.

Highlights of the game

Team news suggested Barca wanted to move one step closer to retaining the title in good time.

Coach Ernesto Valverde named a strong line-up with Messi and Luis Suarez both starting, despite the fact they were doubtful earlier in the week.

In contrast, Espanyol were looking to win away from home for just the second time this season and had the La Liga 2019 betting odds stacked high against them.

Not only were Los Periquitos taking on an in-form Barcelona with just one league defeat at the Camp Nou this campaign, but they themselves had the joint-worst away record in the league with just nine points.

Indeed, Espanyol’s record at the Camp Nou in the past decade has not been good at all as they have lost each of their last 11 visits -- nine in the league and two in the Copa del Rey -- since their 2-1 victory in 2009. No wonder this was such a daunting clash for many Espanyol fans.

Yet to their credit, they gave it a good go, even with the surprise of Wu Lei being left on the bench after he returned from international duty fatigued after suffering a bout of laryngitis.

With a rearguard action led by Naldo, Roberto Rosales and former Real Madrid stopper Diego Lopez, they did well to remain level for 70 minutes. But Messi eventually broke through with two goals in the final 20 minutes.

First, he effortlessly lofted a curling left-footed free-kick into the net after being fouled unceremoniously by Victor Sanchez, who was unable to prevent the goal despite getting a head on it.

Then, with Rubi's men pressing for an equaliser, Messi made the outcome safe with a fine finish on the counter-attack.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen started the break by hurling a pass forward to Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who then found the advancing Malcom. He waited patiently for Messi to make his run and star man did the rest, slotting home expertly past Lopez.



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La Liga


Another game for Messi, another pair of La Liga 2019 highlights for fans and SBOBET followers to enjoy. The magical Argentinean has now scored six direct free kicks against Espanyol in all competitions, more than against any other team in his career.

It took the diminutive number 10's goal tally for the season to 31. Although, he was fortunate to escape punishment in the closing stages when he kicked out at Esteban Granero while on the floor after a coming together, for which he immediately apologised.

As Barcelona move 13 points clear atop La Liga, the question remains how much magic does this man have? A Barcelona without him would be a very unpalatable scenario for Barca fans to contemplate.

Of course, one day it will happen but for now, here is a player to be cherished the world over. Not even the contentious Pique could disagree with that!

Key statistics

Messi has now scored six direct free kicks after 49 attempts this season in all competitions.

Messi has also tied former Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas for the most La Liga wins ever with 334.

Messi has scored 22 goals in his last 15 La Liga games, while he has also surpassed 40 goals in a season for the 10th successive time.

What’s next?

This match kicked off a busy spell for Barca. They meet Villarreal on Tuesday in La Liga and then host Atletico Madrid next weekend where a win could all but seal the title.

That is followed by a mouth-watering trip to Manchester United in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Espanyol host surprise package Getafe in three days’ time before going on a trip to Girona next week.

 

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02-Apr 2019 Tuesday 3:02 PM (248 days ago)            #8
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La Liga: Barcelona Set Sights on the Yellow Submarine

Villarreal vs Barcelona

Unless Barcelona suffer an epic collapse in their last nine league matches, the La Liga title will once again be headed to the Camp Nou for the fourth time in five years.

Barca have been in phenomenal form of late. They've won their last seven matches in a row in all competitions and have a commanding 10-point lead on second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona are coming off a big win over Espanyol in the Catalan Derby during the weekend as Lionel Messi once again provided the magic touch.

They will now look to extend their lead in midweek against Villarreal, who are still stuck in a relegation scrap after picking up another defeat on Saturday.

It would go down as one of the La Liga 2019 results of the season if Villarreal were to take down Barca. But are they really capable of causing a massive upset against the champions?

Talking Points

Unstoppable Messi

Messi had a pretty torrid time on his return to the Argentinean national team over the international break as he suffered a humiliating 3-1 loss to Venezuela. But that disastrous outing didn't seem to have any impact on his club form as he picked up right where he left off for the Blaugrana.

Messi scored both of Barca's goals in their 2-0 win over Espanyol, pushing him past 40 goals on the season. Incredibly, Messi has now topped the 40-goal plateau for 10-straight seasons, which is an unbelievable feat.

To put Messi's recent brilliance more into focus, he has scored 10 goals in Barca's last six league matches and has assisted in two others. He also had two goals and two assists in Barcelona's 5-1 second-leg win over Lyon in the Champions League.

At this point, it's almost expected that Messi will deliver the goods and lead Barcelona to all three points in every match he plays. Even when the team isn't necessarily playing at its best, Messi can seemingly do his magic and bail them out at the snap of a finger.

And in the off-chance that Messi isn't at the top of his game, Barca still have legitimate game-changers in Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho who can step up if necessary. It's almost unfair how good this team is.

Villarreal still in danger of the drop

La Liga: Carlos Bacca and the rest of Villarreal are set to face Barcelona at home
Villarreal forward Carlos Bacca celebrates with a teammate after scoring their second goal against Zenit in the Europa League

Villarreal missed out on a golden opportunity to put some much-needed distance between themselves and the relegation zone over the weekend. The Yellow Submarine squandered a 2-0 lead away from home against relegation rivals Celta Vigo, who stormed all the way back to grab the 3-2 win.

That defeat means that Villarreal are now just one point ahead of Celta, who are in 18th, with nine games left to play.

The loss also snapped Villarreal's two-game winning run, their longest win streak in what has been quite an inconsistent La Liga season. Prior to those two wins, they lost to Atletico Madrid and to Alaves at home. They beat Villarreal 3-0 but also drew to fellow strugglers Espanyol and Valladolid.

On the bright side, though, Karl Toko Ekambi is in fine form at the moment. The 26-year-old Cameroonian is the team's leading scorer this season with seven goals, three of which have come in the last two games.

Villarreal don't possess a ton of attacking talent, so if they're to take any points against the league leaders, Ekambi will likely need to play a pivotal role.

History

Villarreal's list of results against Barcelona makes for some pretty rough reading. That's because the Yellow Submarine has gone 19 matches without a win against Barcelona in the league, with its last win coming all the way back in 2008. Barca have won 14 of those games, with five ending in draws.

Barcelona have come out on top in each of the last four contests and have won by a total score of 13-2. That includes their first meeting this season at the Camp Nou, when Barca won 2-0 in a rare game that Messi failed to score in. Although, he did set up Carles Alena's second goal, which sealed the win for Barca.

Betting Tip

??

Villarreal vs Barcelona Correct Score 1-1 @ 8.00
April 03, 03:30 (GMT+8)

It doesn't take an expert to know that the Villarreal vs Barcelona betting odds don't favour the Yellow Submarine. Villarreal are currently priced at 4.60 to beat Barca with 1X2 betting.

However, it might not be completely out of the realm of possibility that Villarreal can slow Barca down enough to grab a draw. In the Asian handicap SBOBET has Villarreal +1.25 priced at 1.68.

Obviously, Villarreal are still stuck in a relegation scrap and will be fighting tooth and nail to get a positive result at home.

Meanwhile, Barca are just coming off an emotional win at home in the derby and could also be looking ahead to their big top-of-the-table clash against Atletico Madrid this upcoming weekend. The looming showdown with Atletico might just cause Barca's focus to waver and allow Villarreal to capitalize.

If you think this may actually come to fruition, the draw is priced at 4.20, with the correct score of 1-1 an intriguing 8.25.

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08-Apr 2019 Monday 6:01 PM (241 days ago)            #9
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La Liga: Real Madrid Threaten To Snap Valencia’s Unbeaten Run

Valencia vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid don't have much left to play for in the final nine matches of the season. They are already out of both the Champions League after their shock defeat to Ajax, as well as the Copa del Rey. They also aren't going to catch Barcelona, who are 12 points ahead of Real in the La Liga table.

On the other hand, Valencia are still fighting on several fronts. Not only are they still in the Europa League and the Copa del Rey final, but they are also eyeing Champions League qualification.

Thanks to their impressive run of La Liga 2019 results, Los Che are now just three points back of Getafe for the fourth and final Champions League spot.

Victory over Real at home would be another huge step for Valencia's qualification hopes. But despite Los Che's fine form of late, beating Real will remain a tough task.

 


 

 

La Liga

Talking Points

Valencia's impressive form continues

Valencia's strong late-season push for that fourth-place finish continued with a massive 1-0 win in their huge showdown against fourth-placed rivals Sevilla at the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

After getting only draws for much of the season, Valencia are finally claiming all three points more regularly of late. They have now won three of their last four matches, the first time they've done so all season.

They have also extended their unbeaten run in La Liga to 11 matches (five wins, six draws) and 16 in all competitions (nine wins, seven draws).

Valencia's defence, which has conceded the second-fewest goals behind Atletico Madrid this season, has been quite impressive during their recent stretch. Over their last seven games, they've given just four goals. They have also kept five consecutive clean sheets at home.

But of course, Real's attacking quality will be so much more superior to the opponents Valencia have kept silent. It will take something special to prevent Real from finding the back of the net; only Barcelona have been able to keep Real from scoring in their last 15 matches in all competitions.

As for Valencia's attack, it remains pretty hit or miss. Dani Parejo and Rodrigo Moreno have combined for 13 of the team's 31 La Liga goals this season, and they will once again need to provide some much-needed quality against Real.

Real on a roll with Zidane

The start of Zinedine Zidane's second spell at the Bernabeu has begun well enough, with two home wins out of two. But after handily taking care of Celta 2-0, they laboured against Huesca over the weekend and needed a late Karim Benzema winner to grab the 3-2 win.

Real Madrid are back on track since the return of Zinedine Zidane in La Liga
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane looking focused in the touchline

Zidane made headlines in that match by starting his son, Luca, in goal over Keylor Navas with Thibaut Courtois still sideline with a quad injury.

Although Real technically have nothing of note left to play for this season, the final few games will still be valuable for players to make a good impression on Zidane for next season. Zidane has notably started both Isco and Marcelo in his first two games in charge after the two lost their regular places in the first XI under Santiago Solari.

 Real, who are set to play their first away match with Zidane back, have done pretty well of late on their travels. They've won each of their last five La Liga away fixtures, which includes a 3-1 win over Atletico in the Madrid Derby.

Curiously, there have been five red cards in those five matches, including dismissals for Real. But that hasn't prevented Real from picking up those points.

History

Valencia's track record against Real in recent years hasn't been particularly impressive. Madrid have won four out of the last six meetings between the two. That includes their 2-0 win at the Bernabeu back in December.

Moreover, Real have often left their visits to Valencia pretty happy. Over the past 10 years, Real have claimed six wins at the Mestalla, with three defeats and one draw.

Those three home wins have been the only victories Valencia have had over Real in their last 20 La Liga meetings. That stat obviously isn't too encouraging for anyone interested in Valencia chances of victory, whatever the La Liga 2019 betting odds say.

Betting Tip

??

Valencia vs Real Madrid Draw 1X2 @ 3.30
April 04, 03:30 (GMT+8)

The SBOBET odds currently have a Valencia win and a draw similarly priced at 3.30 in the 1X2 market. But while Valencia have been playing well of late, a draw might be the more realistic outcome than a rare victory over Real.

The fact that Real aren't exactly the most motivated bunch at this stage of the season should only help the hosts' cause. Meanwhile, the Valencia defence has shown it can be resolute enough to at least slow Real down and grab another valuable point.

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La Liga: Late Barcelona Rally Robs Villarreal of Victory

Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona

The El Madrigal played host to one of the wildest matches of this year's La Liga season as Villarreal and Barcelona played out a pulsating 4-4 draw.

Barca looked on course for another comfortable win after two early goals, but a furious Villarreal comeback saw the hosts 4-2 up with just minutes remaining.

However, Lionel Messi was on hand to spoil the Yellow Submarine's party. Messi came on as a second-half substitute and sparked a remarkable rally in the final minutes as Barca were able to rescue a point.

Our SBOBET tips sort of hinted at the possibility of Villarreal forcing a Barca slip-up in this match. But you'd be hard-pressed to find any La Liga 2019 betting tips for that match that predicted an eight-goal thriller.

Highlights of the game

Villarreal hosted Barcelona in what has been one of the wildest matches of this year's La Liga season
Karl Toko Ekambi celebrates with teammates after scoring Villarreal's second goal against Barcelona

With big matches against Atletico Madrid and Manchester United coming up, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde elected to start with both Messi and Gerard Pique on the bench against Villarreal. But even without their talisman, Barca got off to a terrific start.

They got their opening goal in the 12th minute after Sergi Roberto released Malcom on the right wing. The Brazilian, who was getting the rare start in place of Messi, calmly squared the ball to compatriot Philippe Coutinho, who poked the ball into the net.

Just a couple minutes later, it was Malcom's turn to score as he expertly headed an Arturo Vidal cross from the edge of the box across Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo's goal.

Coutinho should have added another goal in the 19th minute after a well-worked Barca counter-attack. But his attempt to chip Asenjo went just wide.

That miss proved costly as Villarreal pulled a goal back through Samuel Chukwueze. The teenager's initial shot came off the post, but he was able to grab the rebound and slot it past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Villarreal then equalized five minutes after half-time through Karl Toko Ekambi. With ter Stegen expecting the Villarreal striker to cross, he was completely caught out as Toko Ekambi suddenly sent the ball sailing past his near post and into the net.

Messi finally came on just after the hour mark, and he was greeted by another Villarreal goal as Vicente Iborra put the hosts ahead.

The Yellow Submarine struck again in the 80th minute. Santi Cazorla sent Carlos Bacca sent clear through on goal, and the Colombian striker calmly rounded ter Stegen to double Villarreal's lead.

However, Villarreal's ability to hang onto their advantage in the final few minutes took a huge blow after defender Alvaro was sent off for a second yellow card. And so it proved that the hosts were unable to weather the inevitable storm after going one man down.

Just like in the Catalan Derby, Messi scored another outstanding free-kick at the edge of the penalty area. And in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Luis Suarez sank Yellow Submarine hearts as he drilled a shot into the corner to score the dramatic equalizer.

Without a doubt, this match will go down as one of the most memorable La Liga 2019 results of the season given how it all played out.

Key statistics

With their draw at Villarreal, Barcelona's seven-match winning streak finally came to an end. However, they are still 15 matches unbeaten in all competitions. They also extended their unbeaten streak in La Liga to 18 matches, with their last loss coming against Betis in November.

As for Messi, his brilliance continues. He's now scored 12 goals in his last eight matches for Barcelona in all competitions, as well as in 14 of the last 16 La Liga matches, which is remarkable.



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Premier League



Pope Francis recently came out and said Messi "is not God," which is true. But he's just so good sometimes that you still kind of wonder if he actually is.

On the other side, this game was the first time that Villarreal had scored four goals in a La Liga match all season. They had scored three goals on three previous occasions.

What's next?

Barcelona's next league assignment will be at home against second-placed Atletico Madrid this weekend. Atleti kept their faint title hopes alive by beating Girona 2-0, which reduced Barcelona's lead atop the table to eight points with eight matches remaining. They will need to beat Barca at the Camp Nou if they stand any chance of overtaking the champions.

Meanwhile, Villarreal next face Real Betis as they look to secure their La Liga status for next season. Their draw against Barca put them two points clear of Celta Vigo, who still have a game in hand.

 

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La Liga: Sevilla Seek Big Win Over Champions League Rivals

Sevilla vs Alaves

The race for the fourth and final Champions League spot in La Liga is getting heated. Together with Valencia, Sevilla and Alaves are part of the three-team group hot on the heels of the current fourth-placed side, Getafe.

Sevilla missed a big opportunity to gain ground on fourth after losing to Valencia at home last weekend. And with the games in the season quickly running out, they can't afford another slip-up, especially against one of their main rivals.

But Valencia do have a tough assignment against Real coming up midweek, which means Sevilla can make a big jump up the table if they beat Alaves and Valencia drop points.

Alaves were recently dealt one of their heaviest defeats of the season with a 4-0 thrashing at home to Atletico Madrid. And with some questionable La Liga 2019 results away from home this season, they will need to put together a much better performance at Sevilla to hold onto their spot on the table.

 


 

 

Bundesliga

 

Talking Points

Sevilla injury concerns

It seemed as if Sevilla had finally turned the corner after an extremely run of poor form. After losing a hat-trick of games in La Liga, they picked up some much-needed wins over Real Sociedad and Espanyol.

However, they were just edged out by fellow Champions League rivals Valencia over the weekend. That defeat was their seventh in La Liga since the New Year, which has seen them drop down the table.

Sevilla could be without some key players for their match against Alaves. The likes of Pablo Sarabia, Gabriel Mercado, Sergio Escudero, Andre Silva, and Munir El Haddadi are all doubtful, while key midfielder Ever Banega is suspended.

Luckily for Sevilla, though, Wissam Ben Yedder is available and is in banging form at the moment. The French striker has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games in all competitions. That includes five in his last three appearances in La Liga. Ben Yedder got the equalizer for Sevilla in their 1-1 draw with Alaves back in December.

Alaves have proven to be quite a dogged defensive side all season long. But Ben Yedder is capable of providing that added bit of quality that can unlock that Alaves backline.

Sevilla also normally score goals at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Their loss to Valencia -- who have the second-stingiest defence in La Liga -- was the first time they'd failed to score at home in the league this season since their opening home game against Villarreal.

In their four prior home games, they banged in a total of 14 goals, including five goals apiece in wins over Levante and Real Sociedad.

Fading Alaves resistance?

Alaves have lost just one of their last seven La Liga games
Alaves coach Abelardo Fernandez reacts during a football match

Alaves' recent unbeaten run came to close in emphatic fashion as they were demolished by Atletico Madrid on their home turf.

Prior to that defeat, Abelardo's side had won three and drawn three, which includes away wins at Villarreal and at bottom-club Huesca.

Despite getting the results, Alaves' defence has been showing signs of slippage of late. They've failed a clean sheet in four of their last five games.

That's a somewhat worrying trend for a team that's scored just 31 goals in 29 games and has a -4 goal differential.

This Alaves side just doesn't have that many goals in it. Although, it was promising to see top scorer Jonathan Calleri get his first goals since December when he scored twice against Huesca.

 Unsurprisingly, Alaves have been markedly worse away from home this season. Seven of their nine league defeats have come outside of the Mendizorrotza Stadium.

With that sort of shaky away form, it's highly unlikely that there will be many La Liga 2019 predictions that have Alaves to win.

History

Sevilla and Alaves haven't exactly seen a lot of each other as Alaves have only been back in La Liga for three years after a decade-long absence.

They've met five times since Alaves' return, and the results have been pretty even. Sevilla have won twice -- both coming at the Sanchez Pizjuan -- with two draws and an Alaves win.

You'd have to go all the way back to the 1954/55 season for Alaves' last win against Sevilla away from home.

Curiously, there have not been too many goals in these teams' recent meetings. There have been a total of just six goals in their last four matchups.

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Alaves Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.17
April 5, 01:30(GMT+8)

Based on their recent history, it's probably safe to say that the Sevilla-Alaves matchup won't feature quite as many goals as the wild 4-4 shootout between Barcelona and Villarreal.

While Sevilla can be deadly in front of goal, the loss of Banega, as well as the potential absences of Sarabia and Silva, will have a significant impact on their attack. Meanwhile, Alaves will likely keep it tighter than usual at the back after getting rocked by Atletico.

With all these factors in play, SBOBET tips this match to be a low-scoring affair with a maximum of two goals going in.

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La Liga: Only Atleti Can Stop Barca Title March!

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone takes his Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou on Saturday night, and it has to be Los Rojiblancos’ last chance to win something this season. The game of the weekend, La Liga Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid, could virtually seal the title for Ernesto Valverde’s reigning champions, eight points clear of their visitors with eight games left. If that gap becomes 11 with seven games left I’d say that’s probably job done for Barcelona. Real Madrid’s defeat at Valencia, Zinedine Zidane’s first as returning head coach, has put Los Blancos out of the running, 13 points behind the Catalans. So it’s all down to Atleti, who boast the best defence in Europe but they need to find a way of scoring goals at the Camp Nou.

Talking Points

Barca players take a (short) rest The Catalans have dominated SBOBET La Liga 2019 playing the best football, winning the most games and scoring by far the most goals, 79, which is 26 more than Real Madrid, and 34 more than their weekend opponents. To say La Liga was billed as potentially a three horse race at the start of the season, Barca looks to be romping home like the thoroughbred it is. Only Atleti can come up on the rails now. [caption id="attachment_161239" align="aligncenter" width="750"]Barcelona can take a big step in sealing their La Liga title as they face top two Atletico Madrid
Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring from free-kick during their match against Villareal


Lionel Messi has been imperious as ever, and he was one of the big names, alongside centre back Gerard Pique and midfield maestro Ivan Rakitic, to be rested in the away game to relegation threatened Villarreal. It turned out to be a belter of a game, and more trouble than Valverde expected. After Barca let a 0-2 lead slip to a 4-2 deficit with time running out, Messi climbed off the bench to curl in a free-kick and save the game with his 32nd goal of the season. Luis Suarez scored the other late goal, his 19th of the campaign, to earn Barcelona a 4-4 draw. Messi is sure to start against Los Rojiblancos, as is Pique, though Rakitic may start on the bench with Philippe Coutinho likely to get the nod. Having beaten Lyon in the last round of the Champions League, Valverde’s men have a quarter final clash against Manchester United next week, and they may have one eye on that game, and that is Atleti’s best hope. Atletico must go for it Diego Simeone’s side only has a slim chance of pulling off a remarkable winning campaign and that will all but disappear unless they get a win at the Camp Nou. The Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid news in the run up to the big match hasn’t all been good for the visitors though. Simeone will have to go into this top of the table clash without one of his key strikers. Alavaro Morata limped off in the win over Genoa on Tuesday night, and is out for two weeks with a hamstring injury. With Diego Costa also doubtful, there could be a place in the side for Nikola Kalinic as a strike partner for Antoine Griezmann. Atleti have nothing to lose in this match and Simeone need to abandon his defensive instincts and go for the win. The visitors are already out of the Champions League having lost to Juventus after leading 2-0 after the first leg, and they went out to Girona in the Copa del Rey. They kept their league hopes alive with two late goals against Genoa, one from Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann’s 13th of the season.

 


 

 

Premier League

History

Barcelona has had the better of the meetings between these two sides, winning almost half of the 59 games since 1993, 29 to Atleti’s 15 and there have been 15 draws. The last six meetings have been very tight, producing three 1-1 draws and three marginal wins for Barca, two at 2-1 and one at 1-0. Both teams come into the game in a rich vein of form with five wins in six, Barca drawing that classic against the Yellow Submarine, while Atleti lost to Athletic Bilbao. The last meeting resulted in a 1-1, but there isn’t much more encouragement for the visiting fans. The Catalans have won 11, drawn three and lost one at home this season, and haven’t lost to Los Rojiblancos at the Camp Nou on the last 18 occasions. And they are unbeaten in 15.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid 2-3 goals @ 1.90
April 7, 02:45 (GMT+8)
So even though this is first versus second, the Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid betting odds points quite clearly to a home win, with Barca at 1.79, the draw at 3.50 and Atleti at 4.40. But Simeone’s men simply have to go for it. They have a defence which is hard to break down, but can they do the business at the other end? I can see it ending in a narrow win for Barca or maybe another draw. If you fancy yet another 1-1 then that is available at 6.60!

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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08-Apr 2019 Monday 6:22 PM (241 days ago)            #13
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La Liga: Sevilla Back in the Champions League Hunt

Sevilla 2-0 Alaves

Sevilla kept their top four hopes very much alive with a 2-0 win over rivals Alaves thanks to a goal in each half, courtesy of Roque Mesa and Pablo Sarabia.

Some 33,000 fans were at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for this crucial game at the top end of La Liga, knowing that the winner could close in on fourth place, which is currently held by Getafe.

Joaquin Caparros has taken over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Pablo Machin after Sevilla exited the Europa League. So the new bosses’ attention is on qualifying for Europe again, and this was a big result.

But while the hosts climbed up to fifth and to within a point of Getafe, it was a blow to Abelardo’s Alaves, who drop to seventh.

For SBOBET La Liga fans, the race for fourth place is as exciting as anything, and it looks like going down to the wire.

Highlights of the game

With midfield general Ever Banega suspended and a number of other first-team players sidelined, Sevilla had to rely on the depth of their squad, and they certainly started in a positive mood.

Wissam Ben Yedder -- a hot property in European football -- is in the top four scorers in the league this season with 16 goals, and he’s also added six assists. He was lively in the early exchanges, finding Franco Vazquez in space in the centre of the penalty area, but the Argentine’s shot was too high.

Pablo Sarabia was industrious too as the hosts pushed forward. He teed up two chances for Munir El Haddadi, who had his first shot charged down. He then came very close with a header on 22 minutes as it flew inches over the bar.

Sarabia then laid a chance on for Daniel Carrico, but his shot was too close to Alaves keeper Fernando Pachecho, who saved comfortably.

The visitors finally came out on the attack as the half wore on with Jonathan Calleri, their most threatening striker. The Sevilla keeper Juan Soriano was brought into action as he pushed a close-range Calleri effort away for a corner.

Pablo Sarabia played an exceptional game to give Sevilla a much-needed La Liga win
Pablo Sarabia celebrates after he scores Sevilla's second goal to seal their La Liga win

But Sevilla struck first with a goal before half-time. Sarabia was again the supplier as he fed midfielder Roque Mesa, who made no mistake with his finish.

While Pachecho hadn’t been overly busy in the Alaves goal, Sevilla went in with a half-time lead they deserved. And the referee became busier, handing out three late yellow cards as things became tetchy.

And there were two early cards in the second half, including for goal scorer Mesa, as Sevilla fought to hold on to their lead without either team really threatening to add to the score.

The visitors have been more prolific on the road than at home for much of the season, but there was little sign of them making their mark on this game.

The hosts had one or two speculative efforts without forcing Pachecho into action, and as the match reached 70 minutes it looked like we were heading for a 1-0. Abelardo changed things up, bringing on John Guidetti to replace Calleri.

But it was Sevilla who finally struck again and it was their two most influential players combining on a fast break. Ben Yedder passed to Sarabia on the right side of the penalty area, and the Spaniard slotted home, low into the corner.

Key statistics

Sevilla had much the better of the first 45 minutes, though Alaves began to show more intent as the half wore on. The hosts enjoyed 65 per cent possession and had nine shots to Alaves’ two, with three to one on target.

The pre-match odds of a home win at 1.41 looked about right as Sevilla had the better of a subdued Alaves side all night. They ended up with eighteen shots with five on target, while Alaves managed just four and one.

What’s next?

 


 

 

Bundesliga

We consider Sevilla as a contender for ‘best of the rest’ and a top-four place is still within their grasp; the La Liga 2019 betting odds back that up. On tonight’s showing, though not spectacular, they’ll be there or thereabouts.

Next up, Sevilla have an away trip to relegation-threatened Valladolid and then a home game against Real Betis, a team still in the hunt for European places.

Then there is a crunch match over Easter away to fourth-placed Getafe. That should be a great game and we’ll be right on the spot with the latest La Liga 2019 updates.

Alaves have a tricky away game to Leganes up next, and are at home to Valladolid. Those games present a decent chance to get more points on the board and back in contention.

 

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08-Apr 2019 Monday 6:25 PM (241 days ago)            #14
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La Liga: Who’s Going to Stop Barca Now?

Barcelona 2-0 Atletico Madrid

Two late goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi beat Atletico Madrid tonight, and that must surely mean the La Liga title is heading back to Catalonia.

Over 92,000 fans packed into the Camp Nou to see Barca’s huge win, but they had to wait for 85 minutes to see their players break down a resolute Atleti defence and a brave goalkeeper.

This was a must win game for Atletico but they lost their heads in a dramatic first half and went down to ten men, before picking themselves up and almost holding out. The Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid highlights are well worth catching up on. It was a game which had everything and one which took Barca 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Highlights of the game

Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa is sent off during their recent La Liga match
Atletico Madrid players complain to Jesus Gil Manzano after Diego Costa was given a straight red card by the referee

Leo Messi was rested for the midweek game against Villarreal but had to climb off the bench to rescue a point. So it was a sure fire bet that he’d be starting tonight; and he got to work straight away, splitting the Atleti defence to find Jordi Alba, who lifted the ball over Jan Oblak but it bounced back off the post and into the keeper’s welcoming hands.

Simeone’s team knew they had to attack and Antoine Griezmann worked his way into the Barca area but shot straight at Ter Stegen. But then the pressure seemed to get to the visitors and a moment of madness made Los Rojiblancos’ difficult task infinitely harder when Diego Costa got himself sent off. The Enfant Terrible was lucky to escape a card early in the game when he caught Clement Lenglet with a stray elbow, but he received a straight red for something he said to the ref.

As chaos ensued Jose Maria Gimenez was booked for more moaning in the ref’s ear and a minute later his defensive partner and captain Diego Godin joined him in the book.

Atleti got themselves together to go in level at half time, Godin making a brilliant interception to deny Messi, but their fans must have feared the worst for the second half.

Messi continued to pull the strings, laying the ball off for Sergio Busquets but he blazed his shot over the bar. And then Messi brought a save from Oblak after leaving Koke in his wake. Minutes later he drove into the Atletico half before passing to Suarez who just had Oblak to beat, but the big Slovenian keeper made a superb save.

Messi was in scintillating form, skipping past defenders at ease, and these were top defenders, it seemed a matter of time before the Catalans broke through. Atleti was still in the game though, and when Griezmann had a chance from a free-kick he forced Ter Stegen into a save.

Oblak made an outstanding double stop to deny Messi and then Malcom with his follow up. Then at the other end Atleti had a glorious chance to score when Rodri met a Griezmann cross, but missed with his header when he should have scored.

And then finally, the goal came on 85 minutes, and it was a beautiful finish from Luis Suarez, bending the ball into the corner to send the Camp Nou fans wild.

After waiting so long for one goal, the Barca fans had only two minutes to wait for a second and it was that man Messi who got his 33rd league goal of the season. Ivan Rakitic released the genius and he beat Oblak with a clever finish. Cue Bedlam.

I’d day that’s la Liga won.

Key statistics

Our pre-match Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid betting tips took a close look at the last six games which were all close affairs. And so was this, but in the end Barca’s numerical advantage, and Messi, made the difference.

The Catalans haven’t lost to Los Rojiblancos at the Camp Nou in 19 games now; they are unbeaten in 16 and have lost just three times in 76 league games.

Diego Costa was the ninth Atletico Madrid player to pick up a red card against Barcelona since Diego Simeone became manager. Do you get the impression he doesn’t like the Catalans?!



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Europa League


What’s next?

Next for Barcelona it’s the Champions League and a trip to Old Trafford for Ernesto Valverde’s team. Manchester United dumped PSG out of the competition and their head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at the Camp Nou to run the rule over his opponents.

Keep your eyes open for our SBOBET tips on that game. On this showing I’d be leaning towards Barca, but OGS will have his team ready to cause another upset.

Los Rojiblancos are out of Europe’s premier competition and they must content themselves with a home league game against Celta Vigo. Their visitors are deep in relegation trouble and will be fighting for their lives.

 

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15-Apr 2019 Monday 1:54 PM (235 days ago)            #15
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La Liga: Barca Brace For Top-vs-Bottom Clash

Huesca vs Barcelona

Barcelona are closing in on yet another La Liga title. After their victory over second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend, they are now 11 points clear at the top with just seven matches left.

Barca can now take another big step toward the Spanish crown when they face Huesca, who look destined for the drop. However, they will likely have to do so without Lionel Messi in tow.

But even without their talisman, Barca's La Liga 2019 betting odds to win this match against the league's bottom club should be quite substantial.

Talking Points

Huesca still fighting

Barring any unexpected miracle, Huesca's stay in La Liga looks set to come to an end after just one season. Huesca, who gained promotion to the Spanish top flight for the first time in their history, currently sit at the bottom of the table with 24 points, six points from safety with just seven matches remaining.

Their recent form remains pretty abject. They've picked up just one win over their last eight outings, with four defeats and three draws. No wonder they're going back down.

Although, they have been putting up a fight in recent weeks, albeit against fellow bottom-dwelling clubs. Their last two results have seen them battle to high-scoring draws against Celta Vigo (3-3) and Levante (2-2).

And in the match before that, they nearly took a point from Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. It was all tied up until the 89th minute when Karim Benzema came up with a goal to give Madrid the 3-2 win.

Huesca's top scorer, Ezequiel Avila, has found his touch in front of goal late in the season. The Argentine midfielder has scored seven of his eight goals over the last 10 games.

Huesca will be hoping that a significantly altered Barca backline will allow some big opportunities. But it will still be on the hosts to capitalise on those chances if/when they come.

Changes coming for Barca

Barcelona just continue to rack up the victories. Their 1-0 win in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Manchester United was their ninth in their last 10 games in all competitions.

Their lone stumble during that time was their 4-4 draw against Villarreal, which was one of the more remarkable La Liga 2019 results of the season. Lionel Messi didn't start that match, but he came on as a second-half substitute to help Barca make an incredible comeback.

Barca will once again have to make do without Messi in the starting XI against Huesca, though. He is reportedly set to sit out after he suffered a bloodied face at the hands of Manchester United's Chris Smalling.

The injury doesn't sound too serious, though. Sitting him out appears to be more of a precaution by manager Ernesto Valverde in order to get Messi as ready as possible ahead of the second leg against United.

With Messi likely out, Malcom may once again get the start in the Argentine's place. The young Brazilian had a goal and an assist in his last start against Villarreal.

Some of Barca's other key veteran players -- namely defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Sergio Busquets -- will likely get the weekend off as well with the Champions League in mind.

But even with all those likely absentees, there's still just too much depth and quality in the Barca squad -- more than enough to take care of business against the bottom club in the league.

Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona are set to face Huesca away from home
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde during their Champions League clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford

History

Since this is Huesca's very first season in the top flight, they have not had to face Barca too often. Prior to their first meeting this season back in September, they met in the Copa del Rey back in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, Barca won all three matches in quite emphatic fashion. Their trip to the Estadio El Alcoraz in 2014 resulted in a 4-0 win. And in the return leg at the Camp Nou, Barca romped to an 8-1 demolition.

And as fate would have it, Barca fired another eight goals past Huesca this season as they strolled to an 8-2 win. Messi and Luis Suarez both bagged a brace to lead the Catalans to the dominant victory.

Betting Tip

??

Huesca vs Barcelona Half Time Full Time Away-Away @ 2.46
April 13, 22:15 (GMT+8)

Despite Messi's absence, Barca should once again ease to a comfortable victory against Huesca. In the Asian handicap market, Barcelona -1 is priced at 2.16, which seems like a very good bet.

But perhaps the more appealing bet is for Barcelona to be leading at half-time and full-time; SBOBET odds have that bet priced at 2.41.

With the likes of Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, and Malcom around, Barca should have more than enough firepower to make that bet payout.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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15-Apr 2019 Monday 1:59 PM (235 days ago)            #16
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La Liga: What Lies Ahead?

There are just six rounds to go in another fascinating La Liga season, and while we mostly agree who is going to win the league, there are plenty of matters to be settled and we’ll the there right to the end with our SBOBET tips and updates.

Barcelona took a stranglehold on the title with a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid last week and the pre-season La Liga 2019 predictions of the title staying with Barca are looking good as Lionel Messi and Co have built up a nine-point lead.

It would be a shock of epic proportions if Ernesto Valverde’s side was to let that advantage slip.

Kings of Madrid

Outside Catalonia, the biggest La Liga 2019 news is the battle for second place between the two Madrid giants. Both are out of the Champions League, rather earlier than expected so ceding the second spot to the other will represent a disappointing season to the side which finishes third.

Zinedine Zidane has been helicoptered back into the Bernabeu to see out a rocky ride of a season, in which the fans have turned against Gareth Bale as a scapegoat for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, from which Los Blancos don’t seem to have recovered. ZZ promises an overhaul in the summer.

It hasn’t all gone smoothly down at the Wanda Metropolitano either. Atleti will have to complete their season without the services of striker Diego Costa after he copped for an eight-match ban when he said something a little too offensive to the referee during the defeat to Barca. But, unlike Real, Diego Simeone’s team has plenty of firepower in the shape of Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata, who were both on target in a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday. And, of course, they have the meanest defence in Europe, led by the granite-hard Diego Godin.

Prediction: Atleti will hold off Los Blancos and take the Madrid crown.

La Liga: Can Atletico Madrid bounce back without their key player Diego Costa?
Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa walks off the pitch after receiving a red card during their match against Barcelona

Champions League Race

Sevilla is well in the hunt for that invaluable fourth spot and a hard-fought 3-2 win over Real Betis showcased their attacking options alongside main man Wissam Ben Yedder. Pablo Sarabia, Franco Vazquez and El Haddadi Munir were all on target and Sevilla’s strength in depth will come into play in the final run in.

On paper, Valencia is the strongest team to challenge Sevilla but has two tough games coming up, away to Real Betis and Atletico Madrid. And it has been surprising package Getafe making the running at the moment. Jose Bordalas has his team well organised and the strike partnership of Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata has been fruitful for the Madrid side.

Getafe plays Sevilla next week and that is a huge game.

Deportivo Alaves has fallen away recently after taking just one point from 12 and is one of the teams likely to miss out, and will have to aim for the consolation of a Europa League place, guaranteed for those in fifth and sixth… and there may be a place for seventh. Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis are both in that hunt.

Prediction: Sevilla’s superior squad will grab fourth place.

Relegation Battle

There is a fierce fight raging to stay in the division, with seven teams at risk of landing one of the three unwanted relegation places. Huesca occupies bottom spot but is putting in a spirited effort to stay at the top table, holding Barca, minus Messi, to a goalless draw this weekend. But it will be a big ask for them to survive. The other two places are unclear, with big names Villarreal and Celta Vigo in danger, along with Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid and Levante. And moneybags Girona could get sucked into the fight having lost three on the bounce.

Prediction: The Yellow Submarine will rise just in time and Huesca and Rayo Vallecano will be joined by Levante in the drop zone.

Pichichi Trophy

Well, there are no prizes for this one. Lionel Messi’s going to win the Pichichi Trophy for the sixth time and the third in a row and he’s the all-time top scorer in La Liga. Barca’s genius has scored 33 league goals already, 13 ahead of his team-mate Luis Suarez.

And there has to be an honourable mention for Girona’s Cristhian Stuani, who has scored 18 goals despite his side getting pulled into a relegation scrap.

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La Liga: Is Barca the Best in Europe?

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad

It’s certainly starting to look that way. Barcelona is on the march to another La Liga title as they head into the weekend nine points clear of Atletico Madrid.

This time, it’s Real Sociedad's turn to try to stop the Catalans’ inevitable march to another league triumph. With Real Madrid never once threatening to make an assault on the top of the table this season, when Barca beat Atleti recently the race was almost over.

And while the biggest teams in Europe have been dropping out of the Champions League like flies, Ernesto Valverde’s men are still in that competition as it reaches its climax. Win that trophy and there will be no argument. Barca will be confirmed as the best in Europe.

So step up Sociedad and do your worst! This is bound to be another great game for SBOBET La Liga fans to enjoy, and with a near guarantee of goals.

Talking Points

Barca’s Treble bid

All the talk in the UK has been around Manchester City’s quadruple hopes, but former Barca boss Pep Guardiola can only watch his former club in Europe after the Sky Blues exited the Champions League in defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. And the English champions have followed FC Bayern, Juventus and PSG to a European disappointment, so Barca is the last big man standing, with apologies to Liverpool, Ajax and Spurs!

By far the most prolific strike partnership in Spanish football, Leo Messi and Luis Suarez has been in frightening form all season and with their Champions League semi-final place safely in the bag, I don’t expect Valverde to rest too many players.

 


 

After being held 0-0 away to bottom club Huesca, the Blaugrana put on a brilliant performance against Manchester United to advance in the Champions League. Messi called the shots again with two goals in the first 20 minutes on Tuesday night at the Camp Nou, before Philippe Coutinho added a third in a 4-0 aggregate win, while goalkeeper Ter Stegen had a nice quiet evening.

Barca is also through to the May Copa del Rey final against Valencia, after dumping Los Blancos in spectacular fashion in the semi-finals.

At the moment they look unstoppable.

Sociedad can beat the best

But I hope Real Sociedad will have a real go. Head coach Imanol Alguacil has the players to take on the top sides in the league on their day, beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu earlier in the season. And, comfortably in tenth placed and with little to worry about, the visitors can play with freedom and enjoy their day out at the Camp Nou.

Sociedad has just one win in the last six but is scoring pretty regularly and has an outside chance of reaching the seventh place, but there are a lot of teams grouped together and Alguacil’s team needs to turn draws into wins if they are to progress. They have drawn three of the last five.

Juanmi was on target in the first minute of a 1-1 stalemate with Eibar last week, and

21-year old striker Mikel Oyarzabal has impressed for Sociedad this season, scoring 12 goals, while Willian Jose has 10. They will hope to give Ter Stegen a busier time than he had against Manchester United.

Mikel Oyarzabal has now 12 goals in La Liga
Spanish forward Mikel Oyarzabal in action for Real Sociedad

History

The head to head Barca vs Real Sociedad results don’t give the visitors much encouragement though. Barca has won 31 of the meetings while Sociedad has managed just eight victories and there have been ten draws in the last 49 clashes. And Real Sociedad hasn’t won any of the last six games against the Blaugrana.

But the Barca players didn’t have it all their own way in a narrow 1-2 win away to Sociedad early in the season and will be wary of their opponents’ cutting edge. Real Sociedad hasn’t won in any of their last seven away fixtures though, and Barcelona hasn’t lost in 20, in all competitions.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Real Sociedad Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.75 @ 1.83
April 21, 02:45 (GMT+8)

It’s no surprise then that the latest Barca vs Real Sociedad betting odds point to a convincing home win. With Luis Suarez and Leo Messi in such devastating form, I wouldn’t bet against both of them getting on the score sheet against Sociedad.

The visitors are at odds of 2.13 to win with that -1.75 handicap, and I think for that bet to be winnable, they might well need to score a goal, so Oyarzabal is the man to watch there.

But if you fancy this could be a stroll in the park against mid-table opposition who might just be heading for the beach, then a 3-0 home win at 8.25 might catch your eye!

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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La Liga: Can Atletico Be Kings of Madrid?

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia

Atletico Madrid could be kings in their city.

They are closing in on second place in La Liga and to finish ahead of Real Madrid, their major rivals who are on a different playing field financially, would be the latest coup of boss Diego Simeone.

Yes they managed it last season but that paled into insignificance by their neighbours clinching a third successive Champions League crown.

This game will go a long way to determining whether they achieve that.

It won’t be straightforward of course.

SBOBET followers of the Spanish top flight know Valencia are chasing a top six finish themselves and, of course, are in the Europa League semi-finals where they will meet Arsenal.

Talking Points

Valencia can compete with the best on their day, as they have already proven this season.

They have proven matchwinners on their day and have often revelled in taking on the heavyweights.

Of course, similarly to Valencia in the early part of this decade, Atletico have also relished being in that role in recent seasons and enjoyed even greater success, reaching two Champions League finals and winning the domestic crown themselves.

 


 

 

Now they chase a runners-up spot which will go some way to easing the pain of their last 16 exit from Europe last month.

Antoine Griezmann should return for this one after he missed the Easter weekend’s 1-0 victory at Eibar through a one match suspension.

In contrast, Jose Maria Gimenez played for more than 45 minutes against Eibar with a fractured toe and seems set to miss out.

The Uruguayan defender suffered a bone fracture associated with the dislocation of a toe, according to the club’s medical staff.

It is a painful injury that puts his participation in the next couple of matches under serious doubt.

On the positive side for Los Rojiblancos, Stefan Savic has stepped up his recovery and managed to train with the rest of the group on Easter Day.

This means the Montenegro international could be ready to fill in for Gimenez against Valencia alongside Diego Godin.

Another Diego continues to make the news for all the wrong reasons.

Costa reportedly refused to train last week, supposedly hurt by the lack of protection he received from Los Colchoneros following his red card against Barcelona and subsequent eight match ban which means he is not eligible to play again this season.

Goncalo Guedes is expected to upset SBOBET tips and win in Madrid
Goncalo Guedes celebrating his goal in Valencia's win against Villarreal

Valencia have their own star qualities with Goncalo Guedes in fine form in recent weeks and setting up both goals in last week’s Europa League second leg victory over Villarreal before netting a fine double at the weekend.

Los Che centre-back Mouctar Diakhaby has also produced some notable performances.

A tight yet entertaining prospect is on the cards in the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

History

If goals are your thing, then perhaps this is not the game for you. The last three meetings have produced just three goals and has resulted in two draws. Earlier this season, on the opening day in fact,the sides played out a 1-1 draw with Angel Correa and Rodrigo on target. Rodrigo will miss this fixture after being sent off during their 2-1 success at Real Betis on Easter Day.

Last season Atletico won this corresponding fixture thanks to a solitary Correa goal.The other match ended goalless.

La Liga news statistics show that in the most recent eight meetings, Atletico have won five with the other three clashes ending all square.

Valencia last defeated Atletico 3-1 in October 2014. It remains their only success against them in the last 12 clashes.

Atletico and Valencia have met 43 times in total with Madrid triumphing on 16 occasions and Valencia 13. Fourteen encounters have ended all square.

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 1.95
April 25 01:30 (GMT+8)

SBOBET La Liga betting odds are in favour of a home win.

Atletico are priced 1X2 @ 1.94 with Valencia @ 3.60.

The draw is available @ 3.25.

Asian Handicap betting odds are similar with Atletico – 0.50 @ 1.94 and Valencia +0.50 @ 1.96.

Over 2.25 goals @ 2.08 and under 2.25 goals @ 1.82 both suggest a fairly low scoring game.

Total goal 0-1 @ 2.56 and total goal 2-3 @ 1.92 contrasts with total goal 4-6 @ 4.90 – again expectation that few goals are expected.

Double Chance Valencia or Draw @ 1.76 is the best Double Chance offer, while a repeat of the opening weekend encounter – correct score 1-1 - @ 6.00 is tempting.

A repeat of this fixture last season – correct score 1-0 – offers odds @ 5.40.

I can see Atletico leading at the break and there are attractive offers of First Half 1X2 Atletico @ 2.67 and First Half Asian Handicap Atletico -0.25 @ 2.14.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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25-Apr 2019 Thursday 4:18 PM (225 days ago)            #19
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La Liga: Real Out to Dent Neighbours’ Champions League Dreams

Getafe vs Real Madrid

As things currently stand in La Liga, not one, not two, but three Madrid clubs will be headed to the Champions League next season. That's because surprise package Getafe are still up in fourth place, right behind their more illustrious neighbours, Atletico and Real.

Getafe strengthened their grip on fourth with a convincing 3-0 win over Sevilla, who are one of their main rivals for that final Champions League place.

With fifth-placed Valencia visiting Atletico in midweek, Getafe have a chance to extend their two-point lead. But the Azulones also have a tough test in the form of Real, who will make the short trip to visit the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

While Real have no more trophies left to play for this season, they should still be eager to win in order to keep pace with rivals Atletico for second in the standings.

Talking Points

Getafe going great guns at home

When Getafe were flying high earlier in the season, many expected them to fade later in the campaign. But instead, the opposite has occurred; they have arguably grown stronger as the year has gone on.

With their win over Sevilla, Getafe have now gone undefeated in 11 of their last 12 La Liga matches (six wins, five draws).

Getafe's La Liga 2019 results at home have been especially impressive. They've won six of their last seven at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with their lone defeat coming against mid-table Leganes.

Although, it should be noted that three of their other four losses have come against the other members of the current top five: Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona.

Getafe will likely look to keep it relatively tight at the back and make it hard for Real to break them down. They have allowed just 11 goals at home this season, which is tied for third-best in the league.

Getafe's attack admittedly isn't all that special -- two of their three goals against 10-man Sevilla came from penalties -- but they at least have two capable forwards in Jaime Mata and Jorge Moreno.

The two have combined for 27 of the team's 43 league goals this season and are both in the top 10 of the goalscoring charts.

 


 

Zidane still waiting for an away win

Zinedine Zidane's second stint as Real Madrid manager is now six games old, and while it's still pretty early, a certain pattern of results has emerged.

Real remain undefeated in their four home matches with Zidane back. They thumped Athletic Bilbao 3-0 at the Bernabeu last time out, with Karim Benzema firing home a terrific hat-trick.

Benzema has been in absolutely brilliant form of late. He's now scored 10 goals in his last seven games and has added three assists as well.

After the match, Zidane even went so far as to say that Benzema is the best No. 9 in the world. And based on his current play at the moment, Benzema is proving that at the very least, he should be part of that conversation.

But despite Benzema's brilliance, Real remain winless away from home under Zizou. While a 2-1 defeat at Valencia was somewhat understandable, they also dropped points away to Leganes, which was less so.

Prior to Zidane's return, Real had gone seven matches undefeated away from home in La Liga, with six wins and a draw.

With Real's undoubted quality, though, it's just a matter of time before they return to winning ways away from home. And the history between them and their city neighbours suggests that Real should finally get that first away win.

La Liga Getafe vs Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane's men are set to face face a tough opponent
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane watching his team play during their match against Eibar

History

To say Getafe's head-to-head record against Real Madrid isn't great would be a massive understatement. The Azulones have lost each of their last 10 La Liga fixtures against Real, and 17 of the last 18. Real beat Getafe in this season's opening game 2-0, with Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale scoring the goals.

But it should be noted that this Getafe side is much better than the ones who suffered all those losses over the past few years, which is why the La Liga 2019 betting odds for this match are somewhat close. And of the five wins, Getafe have had over Madrid in the last 14 years, four have been at home.

Betting Tip

??

Getafe vs Real Madrid Real Madrid 1X2 @ 1.98
April 26, 03:30 (GMT+8)

Getafe have had a brilliant season and will clearly be no pushover at home. SBOBET odds have a Getafe home win priced at 3.85 and a draw at 3.45 in the 1X2 market.

But Real are just too good to continue dropping points away from home. With Benzema in incredible form, they should have just enough to eke out their first away win since Zidane's return -- and continue their amazing dominance over their neighbours.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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29-Apr 2019 Monday 1:59 PM (221 days ago)            #20
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La Liga: The Stuff of Dreams and Nightmares at the Coliseum

Getafe 0-0 Real Madrid

This La Liga meeting prompted me to think of dreams and nightmares.

Because for one minnow of the game, this has been a season of chasing a monumental dream. One that, if it comes true, will provide the La Liga new story of this and many a season.

In complete contrast, for a giant of the game, this campaign has been one to forget.

From the moment they were defeated by their neighbours in the final of the UEFA Super Cup, it has been instantly forgettable and embarrassing for the club.

Throw in an El Clasico humbling which cost Julen Lopetegui his job, followed by a home Champions League humbling to Ajax which ended their three year reign as European champions — and you, SBOBET fans, get the picture.

In terms of resources and strength, this was a mismatch. Yet on the pitch, it was anything but.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 



Highlights of the game

The hosts were without Vitorino Antunes and Djene Dakonam due to injury and suspension, respectively. While Madrid missed the injured duo of captain Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Odriozola.

Recently returned coach Zinedine Zidane did, though, welcome Gareth Bale and Isco back into his starting line-up in the Coliseum.

However, all eyes were elsewhere in the Real team.

Karim Benzema had scored all of the team’s previous eight goals going into this one, and had also an impressive scoring record against Getafe.

The Frenchman had scored three in his last four here and is just two away from matching his best-ever return of 32 in a season.

It was no surprise that the first chance fell to him within the opening 60 seconds as he ran onto Isco’s long pass and dragged his shot wide.

Chances weren’t easy to come by as spirited Getafe matched their millionaire opponents stride for stride, and it wasn’t until nine minutes before the break that Benzema and Casemiro saw dangerous shots cleared.

Leandro Cabrera went close for the home side early in the second period before an important block by Bruno Gonzalez denied Isco a likely goal as Madrid’s chances of closing the gap on second place Atletico Madrid diminished.

It took a fine double save from Keylor Navas – preferred to Thibaut Courtois – to keep out Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata. But still, the deadlock could not be broken.

Indeed, it was the home side which finished stronger and substitute Samuel Saiz possibly saw the morning headlines when he would have been advised to pass to a team-mate, allowing Navas to save.

It didn’t matter as Getafe claimed a point which took them back into fourth spot — who are now six points behind second-placed city rivals Atletico Madrid with four games to go— and into the Champions League places above Sevilla, who had earlier thrashed bottom club Rayo Vallecano 5-0.

Whatever happens in the final weeks of 2018/19, their coach Jose Bordalas has overseen a remarkable campaign.

Jose Bordalas wary of Real Madrid Karim Benzema to tilt Getafe chance on Champions League title in La Liga clash
Getafe manager Jose Bordalas reacts during their 0-0 draw against Real Madrid in La Liga

Indeed, it’s easy to forget that, compared to the illustrious sides around them, Getafe’s record transfer is no more than €5m.

They have just six internationals in their current squad, and the team that started their previous La Liga game was assembled for €19m. In addition, their Coliseum, Alfonso Perez stadium, has a capacity of just 17,000 and rarely draws crowds of more than 12,000.

Whether or not the La Liga 2019 betting odds are overcome, this was the start of a tough run-infor Bordalas to take a club that had been in danger of relegation to the third tier of Spanish football when he first took over, to the brink of Champions League qualification in the space of a little over two-and-a-half years, is nothing short of incredible.

While they dare to dream, Real surely  can’t wait for their nightmare season to be over.

Key statistics

Benzema has netted eight goals against Getafe, more than any other opposition in a Madrid shirt.

Before this evening, Real had won their last four LaLiga games at Getafe, as many as in their previous nine games (won four, drawn one, lost four).

Getafe’s stadium is named after a player who never actually played for them, although he did play for Madrid.Alfonso Perez was born in Getafe and played for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Betis, Marseille and Spain.

What’s next?

Two contrasting seasons are drawing to a close for these two sides.

Both have four La Liga matches remaining.

Getafe visit Real Sociedad next before hosting Girona on May 5.

Madrid are at Vallecano this weekend before welcoming Villarreal at the Bernabeu.

 

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07-May 2019 Tuesday 1:57 PM (213 days ago)            #21
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Simeone Should be Lauded After Another Fine La Liga Campaign

Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid

The campaign had started with so much expectation amidst Atletico fans.

A victory in the curtain raiser to the season over arch-rivals and reigning European champions Real Madrid had Los Rojiblancos dreaming of greater glories than that and the Europa League success with which they concluded last season.

It would be hard for SBOBET fans to now brand 2018/19 unsuccessful as Diego Simeone is always competing against the La Liga giants that are Real and Barcelona.

Yet a second successive position of runners-up would go some way for atoning for the undoubted disappointments.

Talking Points

After producing their own fair share of La Liga 2019 highlights, Atletico travel to Espanyol knowing a draw will mathematically seal second spot.

It will also begin the goodbye to popular Inter Milan-bound skipper Diego Godin, who has three matches left in an Atletico career which has spanned nine years, eight titles and various decisive goals following his arrival from Villarreal in 2010.

Lucas Hernandez has already signed for Bayern Munich, and then there’s Rodrigo Hernandez, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola expressing his interest. Should City attempt to sign the midfielder, the English champions would have to meet his 70 million Euro release fee.

Can Espanyol take advantage of Diego Costa's absence to finished in their deserved position at La Liga table
La Liga table 2018-2019 season

The scenario just highlights the difficulties facing Simeone.

Filipe Luis’ future at Atletico Madrid could take another turn, however, after the player who for so long looked set to leave, began to reconsider his decision and now could stay at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

The player, his agent Jorge Mendes, and Miguel Angel Gil will sit down in the coming days to reach a conclusion one way or another.

Incomings are being considered, it must be said.

Porto centre-back Felipe Monteiro is reportedly close to becoming Simeone’s first signing ahead of the summer transfer window.

There have already been advanced negotiations between the two parties, but the agreement will not be announced before the Portuguese side's last game on May 25.

One thing that's certain is that as long as they have Simeone, Atletico have a chance.

Last weekend’s victory over Real Valladolid was his 180th in La Liga with Los Rojiblancos in his 285th game in charge.

With it, he surpassed the late, great Johan Cruyff’s 179 Barcelona victories and in 15 fewer matches, with the Dutchman doing so in 300 games.

Simeone has also lost fewer games: 45, compared to Cruyff’s 53.

 


 

 

In fact, only two coaches in LaLiga history have won more games in charge of the same team. Luis Aragones collected 194 with Atletico, though in 407 games, and Miguel Munoz enjoyed 257 with Real Madrid.

Beyond the results, Simeone’s impact has been felt at his club in a way that few men who occupy football's benches can claim. The Argentine has completely transformed Atletico, allowing them to consistently dine at European football's top table where they will return next season.

Their European hopes now over, Espanyol have lost 25 points from winning positions this term and Atletico should be too strong.

History

An Antoine Griezmann penalty settled the encounter earlier in the season. That was the only goal of the game at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Last season, Espanyol clinched a memorable double over Simeone’s men.

They won 2-0 in Madrid, thanks to an own goal and Leo Baptistao, while Sergio Garcia’s late goal won the corresponding fixture.

They remain Espanyol’s only victories over Atletico since 2013.

Overall, Atletico have triumphed in 13 of their top-flight clashes, with Espanyol winning nine and the other six ending as draws.

Betting Tip

??

Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.17
May 4, 22:15 (GMT+8)

La Liga 2019 betting odds edge towards Atletico as expected, but it’s closer than you may think.

1X2 odds price them @ 2.17 to win with the hosts @ 3.30 and the draw also @ 3.30.

If you fancy the home side to be leading at the break, you will find attractive odds of First Half 1X2 Espanyol @ 4.30, although the same bet for Atletico @ 2.86 is also pretty tempting.

Asian Handicap betting is where my tip stems from and my *** bet is Asian Handicap -0.50 Atletico @ 2.17.

If Espanyol are to repeat last season’s heroics then how about Asian Handicap Espanyol +0.25 @ 2.07 or an exact repeat – correct score 1-0 - @ 9.00.

Another Atletico success by one goal -correct score 0-1 - will payout @ 5.80.

This fixture has often produced goals or been very tight and that is reflected in total goal 0-1 @ 2.64, total goal 2-3 @ 1.91 and total goal 4-6 @ 4.60, while over 2.25 goals is available @ 2.04.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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07-May 2019 Tuesday 2:00 PM (213 days ago)            #22
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La Liga: Real Madrid Owes it’s Fans a Performance

Real Madrid vs Villarreal

Summer can’t come soon enough for the white half of Madrid, after a forgettable season which is just about to fizzle out.

La Liga Real Madrid vs Villarreal is an attractive fixture for the neutrals, but for the home side, it’s a chance to give the Bernabeu faithful something to cheer as they head towards a welcome break.

The SBOBET odds backed a Barca title from the off, but the way Los Blancos’ have meekly surrendered will not have pleased their fans one bit. Crashing out of the Champions League and then losing to Barca in the Copa Del Rey all adds to the pain of watching the Catalans stroll to another La Liga title.

Head coach Zinedine Zidane has a rebuilding job to do.

The mood is quite the opposite in the visitors’ camp as a run of ten points from five games has lifted the Yellow Submarine out of the drop zone, and now five points clear. But their safety isn’t yet guaranteed, so head coach Javier Calleja will have his team right up for this game, which could mean more pain for Los Blancos.

 


 

 

Talking Points

ZZ’s Summer Plans

Two wins, two draws and two defeats in the last six league games rather sums up a patchy season for Real Madrid, who have lost ten games in total. That’s some number for a team touted to challenge at the start of the campaign. But a poor start to the season under the newly installed Julen Lopetegui set the tone for nine months of disappointment for the Real fans.

Zidane was drafted in to sort things out, and I expect he will with a summer spending spree. Premier League stars Eden Hazard and David de Gea are already in his sights.

But with three games still to play to see out this campaign, Real Madrid owes their fans a decent finish. Los Blancos’ striker Karim Benzema has been in superb form, scoring each of his side’s last eight goals, a club record, but a hamstring injury is keeping him sidelined, and that has meant two games without a goal and a shocking 1-0 defeat to relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano in midweek.

Gareth Bale prepare for La Liga clash vs Villarreal
Gareth Bale has come under fire after scoring just eight goals

The spotlight is on Gareth Bale again, for much of the season the target of the fans anger. The Welshman has only scored eight league goals and often cut a disgruntled figure, but he’s the second top scorer at the Bernabeu, with the next highest scorer being centre back Sergio Ramos.

The Rayo result was a disaster, but it was no real surprise that Los Blancos played out a 0-0 draw away to Getafe last week, the minnows are in fourth place and chasing a Champions League spot.

How times have changed!

Yellow Submarine is ready to surface

Villarreal fans have had a torrid time for much if this season too. Languishing in and around the drop zone is unchartered territory for the Yellow Submarine in recent years; and when you look at the talent in their squad it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

But head coach Javier Calleja has turned things around, just in time, as his team has played with a combination of incisive attacking and steely defence. Calleja has plenty of creative talent in his squad with top scorer Karl Toko Ekambi outscoring respected marksmen Carlos Bacca and Gerard Moreno. Meanwhile, former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has made ten assists.

Defensive trio Alvaro Gonzalez, Mario Gaspar and Ramiro Funes Mori have accumulated a whopping 39 yellow cards and three red cards between them this season, so Bale and company can expect a rough ride.

History

The head to head Real Madrid vs Villarreal results are no surprise. In the 37 games played over the past two decades Los Blancos have had the lion’s share of the wins with 21 to Villarreal’s four, and there have been ten draws.

But Santi Cazorla scored a brace as the Yellow Submarine held Los Blancos to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season, and Villarreal hasn’t lost in the last three meetings.

The visitors will try to keep things tight and unsettle the home crowd, if the hosts do get an early goal they should go on to win, having accumulated four home victories on the bounce.

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Villarreal Under 3.25 goals @ 1.84
May 05, 22:15 (GMT+8)

Real can no longer claim to be the best team in Madrid, never mind La Liga. They trail Atletico by nine points, with three games to play.

So for the hosts this game is as much about pride as anything, while the in form visitors still have plenty to play for.

The latest Real Madrid vs Villarreal betting odds suggest this will not be a walkover; with the home side at 1.70, Villarreal at 5.00 and 3.55 the draw.

Los Blancos have failed to score in the last two games, and with Karim Benzema sidelined the Villarreal defence will be set up to frustrate.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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11-May 2019 Saturday 6:17 PM (208 days ago)            #23
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La Liga: Can Sevilla Breach Atleti’s Formidable Defence?

Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla

All eyes are on Madrid this weekend for the big La Liga clash, where top four chasing Sevilla visits Atletico Madrid.

Atletico needs just a single point to guarantee second place ahead of Real Madrid, while the visitors desperately need a win to keep their Champions League hopes alive; and that’s what makes La Liga Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla the Spanish game of the weekend.

The Andalusians have a rocky patch at the wrong time, with just two games remaining, and this is about the last fixture head coach Joaquin Caparros would have picked at such a crucial moment. Los Hispalenses need two wins, starting at the Wanda Metropolitano, and hope that Getafe and Valencia both slip up.

Diego Simeone’s side pushed Barcelona for much of the season until defeat at the Camp Nou early in April and are now heading for the beach. But there’s no way Simeone will allow his players to set off early!

It’s a fascinating clash; so let’s take a closer look at the form, the head-to-heads and the latest Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla betting odds.

But first our tribute, here at SBOBET, to a departing Atleti Legend.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Farewell to Diego Godin

We’re not alone in being long time admirers of Los Rojiblancos’ defence, for a few seasons now the finest in Europe, better than the group of defensive units that dominate Serie A, and better than anything in the Premier League. And the man who has been at the heart of this incredible rearguard, Diego Godin has announced he’s on his way at the end of the season.

In his nine years at the Wanda Metropolitano the Uruguayan rock has played 387 times, and helped his side to win La Liga in 2014, along with two Europa League titles, one Copa del Rey and two Champions League final appearances.  The 33 year old’s biggest regret is that his team couldn’t beat fierce rivals Real Madrid in either of those two finals.

Nevertheless this has been a golden period for Atleti, and Godin leaves them, almost certainly, looking down on Los Blancos. It looks like Godin could be heading to Inter Milan, they’ll love him there!

But it does leave another defensive headache for Simeone, as wing back Lucas Hernandez has already agreed to join FC Bayern.

Antoine Griezmann is the only Atleti player to hit double figures in the league this season, and his 15 goals are probably fewer than he had hoped for at the start of the campaign. But, along with Godin, the Frenchman has been instrumental in so many Los Rojiblancos victories, scoring winners while the defence completes shutouts.

Could this be Godin’s last 1-0 home win?
Sevilla travel to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Monday to face Atletico Madrid in La Liga
Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal

Have Sevilla’s Wheels fallen off?

Three defeats in five have left Joaquin Caparros’ side in sixth place, and three points behind Getafe in fourth. Sevilla’s home defeat to Leganes, last week, was a serious blow to their top four hopes, coming on the back of a defeat to Girona. They had the Champions League place in their grasp just a fortnight ago, and skipper Jesus Navas has a tough task on to lift his side. Sevilla has been the favourite to grab the invaluable fourth place in La Liga for most of the season, and now they are outsiders.

He has the firepower up front. Wissam Ben Yedder has 17 goals while creative midfielder Pablo Sarabia has 11. The question is…do they have the guile and the spirit to beat a rock solid defensive wall?

 

History

It might come as a surprise that the visitors have had the better of the head-to-head Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla results, but the rivalry has been close. In the 52 games played since 1993, Los Hispalenses have won 19 to Atleti’s 17 while there have been 16 draws.

But recent form is rather less encouraging for the visitors. While Sevilla misfires, Los Rojiblancos have won the last seven at home.

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla Atletico Madrid 1x2 @ 2.19
May 13, 00:30(GMT+8)

Sevilla has to go for a win in this game and, away to Atletico Madrid that means a once in a season performance. An away win at odds of 3.25 is the only result which will keep Caparros’ team in the hunt, while a draw at odds of 3.20 will probably see them playing in next season’s Europa League.

But they are not in a rich vein of form. So how can we expect them to come to life when it’s almost certainly too late? Add to that Diego Godin’s emotional farewell to Atletico and the unifying effect that will have on the hosts, I can see another clean sheet for Simeone’s men… and a big moment for Griezmann.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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22-May 2019 Wednesday 5:20 PM (197 days ago)            #24
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La Liga: Another Year of Messi Magic!

He just keeps on breaking records… and that suits fans at the Bernabeu just fine. Lionel Messi has fired Barcelona to a 26th La Liga title, and there’s more action from the little genius to come when Barca meets Valencia in the Copa Del Rey final next week.

Ernesto Valverde’s team romped to the title as Messi scored 36 league goals and a total of 50 in all competitions for the sixth time in his sensational career. And the La Liga 2019 betting markets backed Barca from the moment Real Madrid’s season began to unravel, way back in the autumn.

Messi has now picked up the Pichichi for the sixth time, the third in succession and that equals a record held by Telmo Zarra, the Athletic Bilbao striker who was La Liga’s highest scorer for almost six decades before Messi took that title too. And the Argentine looks set to win the European Golden Shoe for a sixth time unless PSG’s Kylian Mbappe can score four in his final game!

 



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Atleti Kings of Madrid

This competition for the Madrid crown was never really in doubt as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid held off Los Blancos all season, eventually finishing eight points above their rivals, who will be trying to forget the last nine months as quickly as possible.

Julen Lopetegui’s stint as Real Madrid head coach lasted just three months before he was potted, following a 5-1 drubbing in El Clasico. Santiago Solari took over for almost six months before the Bernabeu chiefs asked Zinedine Zidane to return to the fold and fix things.

Meanwhile, Atletico kept the pressure up on Barcelona at the top, until the last few games, but Simeone now faces losing two big players.

Champions League football is returning to the Mestalla after Valencia made the fourth place, pipping Getafe and Sevilla to the post and consigning those two teams to the Europa League. With a Copa final to come it’s been a great season for Marcelino’s team.

Sixth place was an underachievement for Joaquin Caparros’ Sevilla, who had the firepower to do better, through Wissam Ben Yedder’s 18 goals and Pablo Sarabia’s 13 assists, but they didn’t have the consistency.

Who’s in and who’s out?

It’s been a disastrous season for Girona, suffering relegation alongside Rayo Vallecano and new boys Huesca. A few weeks ago our SBOBET tips suggested Manchester City’s sister club could get dragged into the bottom three and they just didn’t react. They had the league’s fifth top scorer with 19 goals, Cristhian Stuani. After two years in the top flight, they will be hoping to bounce back from the Segunda Division at the first attempt and they would dearly love the Uruguayan hitman to give them another season.

Girona’s demise meant a reprieve for two of La Liga’s big names. Celta Vigo survived as did Villarreal, but they don't want another season at the wrong end of the table any time soon.

Osasuna has run away with the Segunda Division title and will likely be joined by Granada in La Liga Primera. They hold the second promotion spot with two games remaining and should see the job through. The playoffs will give a chance to one of Albacete, Majorca, Cadiz and Malaga, while Deportivo La Coruna still has an outside chance of making the four-way shoot out.

Early Transfer Rumours

La Liga: Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin will leave the club this summer
Diego Godin leave Atletico Madrid after nine seasons with the club

The top two La Liga sides are dominating the early close season La Liga 2019 news.  Diego Simeone has some work to do at the Wanda Metropolitano as Diego Godin has already left Atletico Madrid, after marshalling the best defence in Europe for nine seasons; and Antoine Griezmann looks likely to be on his way too. Barcelona are hopeful of capturing the World Cup winner’s signature, and he could be joined at the Camp Nou by Ajax centre back Matthis de Ligt.

Ernesto Valverde seems determined to get his business done early, and who wouldn’t want to join the Catalans?

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard’s proposed move from Chelsea to Real Madrid looks to be inching closer; while Zinedine Zidane has already said Gareth Bale is no longer in Los Blancos’ plans, but as yet, the Welshman is going nowhere.

Barca will be the team to beat again next season, Messi will still be with the Champions and that alone means their rivals need to recruit extremely well over the next two months.

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27-May 2019 Monday 7:23 PM (192 days ago)            #25
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Copa Del Rey Final: A Spanish Showdown to Savour

Barcelona vs Valencia

Ahead of the showpiece of the Spanish football season, the words of one of the best Spanish goalscorers of his generation seemed to sum up perfectly what many feel ahead of the 2019 Copa del Rey Final.

Indeed, if Fernando Morientes’ comments are to prove accurate, SBOBET fans could be in for a surprise this weekend.

A winner of this competition himself with Los Che 11 years ago, he knows the mighty Barca, with Lionel Messi the talisman, will start as clear favourites.

Yet he also knows the Catalans, despite being on course for another league and cup double, are a club still struggling after an ignominious Champions League semi-final exit a fortnight ago.

 

Talking Points

Never mind that they finished top of La Liga by 11 points.

Never mind they were a massive 26 points ahead of their final opponents in the standings.

Never mind they have produced some special Copa del Rey highlights en route to the final – not least in their semi-final rout of arch rivals Real Madrid.

Never mind they are bidding for a fifth successive triumph in the competition.

Mentally, Barcelona are not in a good place right now, many critics believe.

Others say they are too professional to let one setback spoil another successful campaign.

 


 

 

That includes Ronald Koeman who won four La Liga titles and the Champions League during his time as a player at Barcelona and was in charge of Valencia on their memorable night 11 years ago – the last time they won a trophy.

Talking of coaches, Valencia were languishing in 12th position in the standings in December and there were repeated calls from supporters for Marcelino to be sacked.

Fast forward five months and they have secured Champions League football for the second year running by winning 2-0 at Real Valladolid, clinching fourth place in La Liga at the expense of Getafe.

Marcelino’s side will now have an extra spring in their step when they face Barcelona and will be looking to add shine to an impressive end to what has been a turbulent campaign.

On the team news front, a knee injury means Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been ruled out.

Jasper Cillessen was expected to start anyway but Ter Stegen will now not even be on the bench.

Ousmane Dembele is practically ruled out too as he has not trained so far this week but they have been boosted by the return to training of Philippe Coutinho.

Valencia have concerns of their own but will be encouraged that former Real defender Ezequiel Garay, who missed the victory over Valladolid, has returned to training, albeit wearing a protective bandage.

If there was any doubt how much the Europa League semi-finalists want this, then listen to forward Santi Mina who has claimed he will get a tattoo of the trophy if Los Che beat Barcelona.

Stranger things have happened.

History

Barcelona fancy winning a domestic double when they meet Valencia in the Copa del Rey final
Can Barcelona lift the trophy for a second season in a row?

These sides have actually met in two previous Copa Del Rey finals.

In 1951, Valencia triumphed 3-0 with goals from Antonio Fuertes (two) and Manuel Badenes.

Barca had a player in the team that day called Luis Suarez!

In 1971, it was Barca who were successful with a 4-3 extra-time triumph as substitute Ramon Alfonseda netted the winner.

Then Valencia were managed by the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano and Barcelona by an Englishman with a colourful history, Vic Buckingham.

In the league this season, both matches have ended all square.

Garay and Messi scored in a 1-1 draw in La Liga in October.

The return match in February in the Nou Camp saw Valencia open up a 2-0 lead through Kevin Gameiro and a Daniel Parejo penalty before Messi hauled the champions level with his own double, again the second was from the penalty spot.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Valencia Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.59
May 26, 03:00(GMT+8)

The Copa del Rey betting odds naturally favour Barcelona before a ball is even kicked in the Benito Villamarin in Seville.

Victory would ease some of the pressure coach Ernesto Valverde finds himself under, extremely unfairly considering he has guided them to another league title and is on the verge of two doubles in as many years.

You can get odds on Barcelona 1X2 @ 1.57 and Valencia @ 5.00. The draw is available @ 4.10.

With Asian Handicap betting odds, how about Barca -1.00 @ 1.97 or Valencia +0.75 @ 2.33?

Double Chance Valencia or Draw @ 2.27 will prove attractive to many, as will repeat of their league meetings earlier this season: Correct Score 1-1 @ 7.80 or 2-2 @ 15.00.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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28-May 2019 Tuesday 5:40 PM (191 days ago)            #26
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Copa del Rey: Centenary Copa for Valiant Valencia

Barcelona 1-2 Valencia

This was the stuff of dreams for Valencia.

Copa del Rey winners 2019.

Their first major success in this or any tournament for 11 years.

The first time in five years that Barcelona haven’t won the trophy.

None of the followers of Marcelino’s team, especially those inside the Benito Villamarin in Seville, will ever forget this night.

Few SBOBET followers will begrudge them either as they ended Barcelona’s chances of back-to-back league and cup doubles.

Highlights of the game

Before a ball was kicked this season, Kevin Gameiro vowed that Valencia would win silverware and he was as good as his word.

It took the deadly marksman just 21 minutes to open the scoring, firing a blockbuster past Jasper Cillessen after Jose Gaya worked the ball towards him.

A further 12 minutes later and another talented dangerman notched what proved to be the clincher.

After receiving a Dani Parejo pass, Carlos Soler had too much pace for Jordi Alba and his delivery was expertly headed home by the talent that is Rodrigo (he had already been denied by a goal line Gerard Pique clearance early on).

Despite Lionel Messi’s best promptings, no-one could argue Valencia didn’t deserve their half-time lead as the Copa del Rey betting odds were turned on their head.

Jaume Domenech had produced a superb one-handed save to deny the Barca captain on the stroke of half-time and, 10 minutes after the restart, was helpless as Messi played a sublime one-two with Malcom before firing a shot with the outside of his foot which hit the post.

Name on the trophy?

Certainly, if that had gone in, Barcelona would have been confident of forcing extra-time but Valencia were going nowhere.

Not only did they frustrate the Catalans, they also threatened themselves on the break and weren’t breached until 18 minutes from time.

Then, after Pique had gone close to reducing the arrears, Messi – who else – produced a neat finish following a corner after Domenech had palmed away Pique’s header.

If that was the cue for some more Copa del Rey highlights from the champions, we were mistaken.

Valencia played with a resoluteness you could only admire and held firm during a pulsating finale to spark wild celebrations.

Fourth place, a Champions League berth, and the Spanish Cup – all this despite languishing in mid-table at the beginning of the calendar year.

What a way to mark the club’s centenary year!

As for Barcelona, whose fans continued their tradition of whistling the Spanish national anthem before the showpiece - the Catalan fans have showed their disdain for the anthem in recent years - the only whistles at the end were for their team.

Coach Ernesto Valverde deserves to be in charge next season.

Lionel Messi looks defeated following Barcelona's defeat against Valencia in the Copa del Rey final
Barcelona star Lionel Messi walks off the pitch after Barcelona's defeat at the hands of Valencia in the Copa del Rey final match

Yet, such is the fickle nature of football, his reputation has been so damaged by their embarrassing Champions League semi-final exit, quickly followed by this defeat, that, incredibly, winning La Liga may not be enough to keep him in a job.

That post-mortem, though, is for another day.

This was Valencia’s moment as coach Marcelino became the 13th boss at the club to win a title during their 100 years of history.

The Copa del Rey belongs to Valencia.

Key statistics

Coach Marcelino García Toral had not won any of his previous 20 encounters against Barca before tonight - as coach of either Recreativo Huelva, Racing Santander, Real Zaragoza, Villarreal or Valencia.

Valencia are only the second team to win the competition in the same year they celebrate their 100th anniversary, following Espanyol who defeated Atletico Madrid in the 2000 final.

Rodrigo’s winner took him level with Villarreal’s Karl Toko Ekambi as the Copa del Rey’s top scorer this season with five goals.

Valencia are the first side to take a lead by two goals in a Copa del Rey final against Barcelona since Real Madrid in 1974 (also against Barcelona).

Until now, Barcelona had held the Copa for the last 1,456 days.

This was the first final in 12 games where Pique has ended up on the losing side.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


Messi has become the first player in Copa del Rey history to score in six different finals (seven goals).

This was his 28th career goal against Valencia in all competitions.

What’s next?

That is 2018/19 complete for both clubs. Both will meet in the final of the Spanish Super Cup at the start of next season. Both will play in the Champios League next season. As for who has had the more successful season, I will let you decide.

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15-Jul 2019 Monday 12:43 PM (144 days ago)            #27
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La Liga: The Big Three Plotting More Blockbuster Moves

The Big Three of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid were significantly ahead of the competition last season. And now, they are dominating the La Liga transfer window news cycle to an enormous degree.

The sheer magnitude of the moves they have already made or are reportedly planning to make is simply stunning. Barcelona alone are in the middle of several huge transfer stories that may or may not come to pass, while Real and Atletico have been major players as well.

To get a better sense of what's going on in La Liga during this silly season, allow SBOBET to break down the latest transfer news surrounding the Big Three, as well as the rest of the league.

Barcelona

At long last, one of the most high-profile La Liga transfer sagas is finally over: Antoine Griezmann has now completed his much-anticipated move from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona for 120m euros.

The French star is set to link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the Barca forward line. But it remains to be seen who else will be playing alongside him at the Nou Camp.

That's because the other protracted transfer saga surrounding Neymar's potential return back to the Nou Camp remains unresolved.

PSG star Neymar allegedly set to return to Barcelona in the upcoming 2019/20 La Liga season
Neymar looks positive during the Neymar Jr's Five youth soccer tournament in Brazil

PSG sporting director Leonardo has recently made it clear that the Brazilian superstar -- who missed his country's Copa America triumph due to injury -- can leave for the right offer. And after he missed the start of PSG's pre-season training, it doesn't seem as if Neymar is too keen to return to Paris.

The Spanish giants are reportedly set to offer cash plus three players -- Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele, as well as defenders Nelson Semedo and Samuel Umtiti -- to PSG for Neymar. That would be a massive piece of La Liga 2019 news if a deal does get done, although nothing looks imminent just yet.

Speaking of Coutinho, he has also been linked to other clubs aside from Paris. After 1.5 underwhelming years in Spain, the 27-year-old has been touted with a return to England, with Manchester United and his old club Liverpool as possible landing spots.

Coutinho's agent Kia Joorabchian has denied that Barcelona are going to sell the Brazilian during the summer transfer window. However, it would not be much of a surprise if Coutinho does move on after failing to fully ingratiate himself with the Barca faithful.

Real and Atletico Madrid

In non-Barca transfer news, Manchester United have reportedly set a non-negotiable £150m price tag on Real Madrid target Paul Pogba and will not sell him at any price once the English transfer window closes on August 8.

While Pogba has recently indicated that he'd be ready for a new challenge, Real are apparently not quite ready to pay whatever it takes to bring in the French midfielder.

Madrid have already splashed some serious cash this summer, spending over 300m euros on Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, and Rodrygo.

Perhaps Real can raise more funds for Pogba by getting a big sum for midfielder James Rodriguez, who is reportedly closing in on a move to Atletico.

Real Madrid's James Rodriguez is allegedly on his way back to La Liga and eyes to move to Atletico Madrid
Colombia star James Rodriguez in action against Chile's Charles Aranguiz during their Copa America quarter-final match

The Colombian international, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, appeared to be on his way to Napoli to reunite with Carlo Ancelotti. But he has apparently had a change of heart and would like to play for the other side of Madrid.

Atletico have already done business with their city rivals recently after signing midfielder Marcos Llorente for 30m euros. And if Atleti do land James, their La Liga 2019 odds would improve even more as they would boast an exciting attacking trio that also includes record signing Joao Felix and former Real forward Alvaro Morata.

The Rest of the League

And last but not least, perhaps the biggest transfer news outside the big three clubs is Nabil Fekir reportedly keen on a move to Real Betis. The Lyon midfielder, who was linked with Premier League giants Liverpool last season, is in the final year of his contract and could be on the move for only 30m euros.



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Fekir will likely come in to replace Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who has been linked with a big-money move to Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur.

Hopefully, more La Liga sides can make a splash in the transfer market moving forward. But as things currently stand, it'll likely be the Big Three making even more huge headlines.

 

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29-Jul 2019 Monday 2:22 PM (130 days ago)            #28
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La Liga 2019/20: New Boys and Epic Matches

Hang on to your sombreros everyone! La Liga is on its way back and we’re buckling up for another rollercoaster ride.

The top three teams will dominate the La Liga 2019 news headlines as the endless pressure to win silverware and bragging rights shows no sign of abating, while three promoted teams will become embroiled in the frenzy to avoid relegation.

Osasuna, Granada and play-off winners Real Mallorca are all set to take on Europe’s finest, taking the places of Girona, Huesca and Rayo Vallecano who all fell through the trap door.

Welcome to the Jungle!

With a sub header like this I don’t want to strike fear into the newly promoted teams. But all three will need to learn how to fight and be fleet of foot, or prepare to suffer a mauling at the hands of some fierce predators.

The big three teams have all been spending big to strengthen their hands, but it’s the other 14 clubs that the promoted three need to focus on. If they pick a point up from any of the top three then that will be a bonus, and a memorable one.

The new boys can’t afford to look too closely at who Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico have recruited. The Madrid giants have spent over a half a billion Euros between them, while champions Barca have secured the services of Atleti’s Antoine Griezmann.

Osasuna

The La Liga 2019 betting odds predict at least two of the three promoted teams will return to the Segunda Division but Osasuna has a decent chance of survival.

The Pamplona outfit stormed the Segunda Division last season, winning the league by eight points, finishing with an impressive total of 87. Their hopes of survival rest on home form where they were outstanding last season, winning 19 and drawing two.

Osasuna needs to stand tough; and experienced midfield general Roberto Torres will be a key figure when times are hard. If he stays fit then I can see more joy for the Osasuna fans.

Granada

Finishing second was a fantastic outcome for the Andalusians and it means they return to the top flight after an absence of two seasons. They said goodbye in 2017 after a disastrous end of season spell under former England international Tony Adams.

Granada finished comfortably in second place and will start the season in hopeful mood, though fans hope Chinese owner Jiang Lizhang will continue to invest in the hope of a prolonged stay at the top table.

Real Mallorca

The islanders secured back to back promotions with a stunning turnaround in the 2018/19 play-off final to defeat highly fancied Deportivo La Coruna. They were two down after the first leg, but goals from Ante Budmir, Salva Silva and a late strike from Abdon Prats sent 21,000 island supporters wild, including tennis star Rafael Nadal.

Mallorca was last in the top flight in 2013, and two seasons ago suffered relegation to the third tier for the first time in its history. But a fifth placed finish and a dream play-off campaign has brought the good times back to Mallorca.

Only time will tell if the Islanders’ momentum can continue in the toughest circumstances.

 


 

 

Three Colossal Match Ups

We won’t have to wait long for some blockbuster ties as La Liga gets underway so keep these dates in the diary.

The Madrid Derby 29th September

Real Madrid and Atletico meet at the Wanda Metropolitano in September and they have already clashed in the ICC tournament; but fans on both sides of Madrid won’t worry about anything that comes before this monumental tie.

Diego Simeone has moved to strengthen his side after losing two big names in Griezmann and Diego Godin, and he’ll be confident of drawing first blood against Los Blancos if his side can keep their new creative threat, Eden Hazard, quiet.

El Clasico 27th October

Can Antoine Griezmann live up to the hype after joining La Liga giants Barcelona?
Antoine Griezmann made his first appearance for Barcelona during their clash against Chelsea in Rakuten Cup

Barca finished 19 points ahead of Los Blancos last term and it would be a major state of intent if Zinedine Zidane can inspire his team to a result at the Camp Nou in October.

Griezmann will be desperate to impress on the biggest stage and this game will be a cracker.

Granada vs Osasuna 20th October

The first reunion of the promoted sides pitches the Segunda Division’s top two together. Osasuna has the best chance of survival, and avoiding defeat in Granada will be a decent result for them.

And, of course, we’ll be there all the way with the latest news, views and SBOBET odds to make sure this is another memorable season in Spain’s premier league.

 

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29-Jul 2019 Monday 2:29 PM (130 days ago)            #29
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La Liga: Gareth Set to Bale Out

With three weeks to go until the start of the new La Liga season one of the soap opera plots is reaching a conclusion and that could mean a big name heading for China.

It seems the ‘will he won’t he stay at the Bernabeu?’ saga is nearing an end for Gareth Bale, and not before time. He has been dominating the La Liga 2019 news over the past few weeks and now the Welsh winger looks set to sigh a £1m a week deal to go join Chinese club Jiangsu Suning; and if he does, that will be the end of a rather grumpy relationship between player and club.

Since arriving in a big money switch from Tottenham Hotspur Bale has never been a fans’ favourite at the Bernabeu. Team-mate Marcelo revealed last season that the former Spurs star didn’t contribute much at all in the dressing room and hadn’t learnt to speak Spanish. And his refusal to celebrate goals in the latter part of the season really got the fans’ backs up.

Well, his move to Jiangsu Suning seems to be drawing nearer and the proposed three year deal will see Bale earning an eye-watering 22 million Euros a season. Head coach Zinedine Zidane has been less than enthusiastic in any attempts to keep Bale at the club and seems happy to wave him on his way, saying: “I have not disrespected anyone and much less a player. The club is dealing with his departure. Period.

Well that appears to be that.

Atleti give Los Blancos a Real Bashing

There have been no holds barred in the spending of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico as the big three prepare for the new season, and we had a chance to see some of the stars in action when the Madrid giants met in the International Champions Cup in New Jersey on Friday. It turned out to be Los Rojiblancos’ day as they gave their city rivals a 7-3 hammering.

Atletico Madrid delivered a great performance ahead of the new La Liga season
Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa scores 4 goals against La Liga and city rivals Real Madrid in a friendly match

We won’t be slashing the SBOBET odds either way after this result, but it won’t half have pleased Atleti coach Diego Simeone and the club’s passionate fans. Enfant Terrible Diego Costa was in scintillating form, scoring a hat-trick and he still managed to get himself sent off. But that’s just a normal sort of day for our Diego!

Los Blancos fielded a strong side including new signings Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, but they were blown away in the first half, defending like amateurs, and Atleti slammed in five unanswered goals. Record signing Joao Felix put on Costa for his first and that signalled a rout.

But in leaving the field of play Costa managed to get Real’s Dani Carvajal sent off too as they were both red-carded for fighting.

It looks like the Madrid derby is going to be tasty!

Saturday Football Please

The very latest La Liga 2019 betting odds are predicting another successful campaign for Barcelona, but if the Catalans thought they’d steal an opening day march on their rivals then they are wrong.

Fans have been fed up about matches being shifted around for television for some time, yearning for the days when Saturday was football day. And the Spanish authorities have been listening. The Royal Spanish Football Federation has ruled that Friday and Monday games can’t be played without its approval.

As a result Barca’s opening fixture against Athletic Bilbao has been moved from Friday 16th July to Saturday. This news will please Alaves fans in particular. In February they held a mock funeral during their victory over Levante in protest at it being a Monday night television match.

Strange thing to do…but you have to admire their commitment.



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New deals for Leganes and Betis

So it’s all bubbling up and we welcome the new boys, Osasuna, Granada and Mallorca who have a tough season ahead but plenty of excitement to come.

Deals are still happening and Leganes have moved to make the signing of midfield star Martin Braithwaite permanent after an impressive loan in the second half of last season.

Meanwhile Real Betis have pulled off an impressive signing with the move of Olympique Lyonnais skipper Nabil Fekir to La Liga for an initial fee in the region of 20 million Euros. The attacking midfielder was a target for Liverpool last season but failed a medical leading the Anfield club to pull out.

But he’s a real livewire and if he manages to stay fit I’d say Betis have got themselves a real bargain.

 

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12-Aug 2019 Monday 6:01 PM (115 days ago)            #30
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Ten Players to Light up La Liga

I’d say Barcelona had it a little too easy last season, but that won’t worry the Catalans one jot, as Lionel Messi put in another outstanding shift to inspire Barca to the title.

The Blaugrana are the team to stop again this year but I don’t think they’ll have it all their own way. This La Liga season promises to be another belter with the two Madrid sides leading the charge to stop Barca.

Messi is the main man in Spain of course, so now let’s take a look at another ten players who can light up the league.

 

Antoine Griezmann (28) Barcelona

As the Big Three have spent liberally over the summer the early standout move was, of course, Antoine Griezmann’s switch to Barcelona.  The La Liga 2019 news has been dominated by the Frenchman’s move to the Camp Nou and as one of only a handful of players on the planet who can hold a candle to Messi, this is news which sends a shiver down rival fans’ spines. He’s needed a new challenge for a while and now Griezmann must show how god he really is.

Eden Hazard (28) Real Madrid

One player capable of stealing the limelight in La Liga has arrived at the Bernabeu this summer in the shape of former Chelsea star Eden Hazard. The new number seven has arguably been the best player in the Premier League over the past five seasons and Hazard has already made some appearances for Los Blancos in the International Champions Cup. He’s going to be a big player in the battle to be Kings of Madrid, and after Atleti gave Los Blancos a right royal thumping in the ICC that particular fight has already spiced up.

Joao Felix (19) Atletico Madrid

What a signing Diego Simeone has made in young Portuguese sensation Joao Felix. He burst onto the scene with champions Benfica last term and his combination of pace and lethal finishing could make him the eventual successor to Griezmann. Will this be a season too early for Felix? Only time will tell, but Simeone is sure to give him the opportunity to shine.

 

Frenkie de Jong (22) Barcelona

The La Liga 2019 betting markets are backing another Barca title and, along with the signing of Griezmann, the recruitment of Dutch midfield playmaker De Jong could be a telling factor. He was a key part of the Ajax side which dazzled in the Champions League last season and has already won nine caps for the Netherlands, fast becoming a force in world football again.

Frenkie de Jong wants to prove La Liga fans that he is the best in his position
Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong waves to the crows prior of the Joan Gamper trophy soccer match against Arsenal

 

Wissam Ben Yedder (28) Sevilla

Sevilla’s number nine has scored 38 goals in 91 appearances since arriving in 2016. Nicknamed Benyebut – using the French word ‘but’ which means ‘goal’ he is sure to find the net with regularity again this season. He was capped by the full French team in 2018 and that’s some achievement among the current crop of Les Bleus.

 

Jan Oblak (26) Atletico Madrid

As the season progresses our SBOBET tips will invariably back Los Rojiblancos to pick up wins, even against Los Blancos, and the continued form of keeper Oblak is a crucial factor. The Slovenian stopper was part of Benfica’s 2014 treble-winning side and has been one of the main reasons Atleti’s defence has been so miserly in recent seasons. He may have more work to do this term without Diego Godin in front of him though.

Maxi Gomez (22) Valencia

This young Uruguayan striker has been in demand, with Premier League club West Ham working hard to get his signature; but they were beaten to it by Valencia who might just have a real gem on their hands. He scored 13 goals last season for Celta Vigo and his new club will hope his goals can fire them to a top-four place.

 

Iago Aspas (32) Celta Vigo

One of the most prolific goal scorers in La Liga is still plying his trade at Celta Vigo and Aspas will be a handful for many a defence again this season. The experienced striker scored 20 goals and made six assists last season and has a scoring record of 75 in 128 games for his club, and that’s hard to beat by anyone other than Messi!

 


 

 

 

Nabil Fekir (26) Real Betis

Betis could have picked up one of the bargains of the summer having signed France international Fekir from Lyon. The attacking midfielder was hot property last season, tracked by Liverpool, and he almost joined the Anfield side for £52m but Betis have got him for less than a £20m as he entered the final year of his contract. A skilful attacking midfielder Fekir has frequent flashes of brilliance.

 

Adria Pedrosa (21) Espanyol

One player I think could really breakthrough this season is this young wing-back who began to make an impression last term, replacing the experienced Didac Vila by the end of the season. Los Periquitos have a real prospect on their hands, he’s started both of Espanyol’s Europa League fixtures so far and impressed in both.

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:15 PM (106 days ago)            #31
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La Liga: Barcelona May Be Without Messi for Trip to San Mames

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona

The new La Liga campaign is finally set to kick off. And this year's curtain-raiser will see champions Barcelona travel to Basque Country to take on Athletic Bilbao. However, they will likely do so without superstar Lionel Messi, who is still dealing with a calf injury.

But even without Messi, the La Liga 2019 betting odds still have the Catalans as overwhelming favourites against Bilbao, who have not have a particularly eventful summer transfer window.

In contrast, Barcelona have once again strengthened this offseason with the big-money signings of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann, who will be eager to start lighting up La Liga for Barca in the region where he spent the early part of his career.

Talking Points

Same old Bilbao

After flirting with relegation during the 2017-18 season, Athletic Bilbao bounced back quite nicely last season as they finished a respectable eighth. That was despite the dismissal of manager Eduardo Berizzo in December. Athletic Bilbao B manager Gaizka Garitano came in to replace him and steadied the ship.

Garitano will need to recreate that success with virtually the same squa

d this season as Bilbao have not done anything of note during the transfer window. They've made no new signings and have only brought in a handful of youngsters from Athletic Bilbao B to help replace the five players who left the club on free transfers.

 


 

Perhaps their most notable move of the offseason was signing star forward Inaki Williams to a new nine-year contract. Williams played all 38 games for Bilbao for the third successive season and scored a career-best 12 goals as 38-year-old striker Aritz Aduriz finally began to slow down.

The 25-year-old Williams, who had recently been linked to Manchester United, will once again have a major part to play in Bilbao's season. He, Raul Garcia, and Iker Muniain will need to prop up a Bilbao attack which scored just 41 goals last season, fifth-fewest in the league.

Meanwhile, their defence will need to be at its very best to contain Barca's world-class frontline. The Bilbao backline surrendered just 19 goals in 19 La Liga home matches last season.

Messi's status remains unclear

It remains unclear whether Messi will be able to recover from his calf injury in time to take part against Bilbao. The latest La Liga 2019 updates on the injury aren't too promising, though, with Barca manager Ernesto Valverde saying it is "looking difficult" for Messi to be ready.

The Argentine missed out on Barca's pre-season double-header against Napoli during their tour of the US. But Barca didn't seem to miss their talisman at all during those two matches, which they won 2-1 and 4-0.

The attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele all got on the scoresheet in the second match as they absolutely blitzed Napoli with four goals over a 15-minute stretch in the second half.

La Liga: Can Antoin Griezmann live up to the expectations in Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring a goal for Barcelona in a friendly match against Napoli

While Barca continue to talk with PSG about a potential Neymar reunion, their front three would still be arguably the best in the entire league even without Messi. That's how ridiculously talented they are up front.

Meanwhile, the midfield is looking a lot more solid with the addition of new signing Frenkie de Jong. The young Dutchman has integrated into the side seamlessly and will be eager to impress in his La Liga debut.

History

As the only other club aside from Real Madrid and Barcelona that's never been relegated from La Liga, Bilbao have had their fair share of battles against Barca.

But unfortunately of them, Barca have had the upper hand in their head-to-heads, particularly in recent years. Prior to last season, they had won nine consecutive La Liga meetings and are unbeaten in 24 of the last 25 (20 wins, four draws).

But Bilbao finally put an end to that unwanted losing streak as they held Barcelona to draws in both of their matchups last season.

Betting Tip

??

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.20
August 17, 03:00 (GMT+8)

As Barcelona showed quite emphatically in their 6-1 aggregate win over two games against Napoli, their attack won't be particularly weakened by Messi's absence. With the attacking trio of Suarez, Griezmann, and Dembele, there are still loads of goals in this squad.

That's why I feel confident in taking the Asian Handicap in this match. SBOBET odds have Barcelona -1.00 priced at 2.20, which is strong value. I fully expect Barca to come out strong in the first match of the season and claim a comfortable win by at least two goals at San Mames.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:18 PM (106 days ago)            #32
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La Liga: Fresh New Start For Real Madrid

Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid

A new La Liga season is about to start and what better way to kick off the year than with a slew of action-packed fixtures.

One of which is the upcoming match between Celta Vigo and Real Madrid – two teams who are on opposite sides of the table last season.

Celta Vigo will look to improve on their campaign last season by hosting Los Blancos at home in the Balaidos.

On the other hand, Real Madrid are looking to turn things around after a putrid pre-season. Team manager Zinedine Zidane must be feeling the pressure right now as he tries to lift Los Blancos to championship anew.

With a sold-out crowd anticipating this matchup, SBOBET looks on what’s ahead for these two clubs that might provide some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights on Saturday.

Talking Points

Can Celta Vigo rise above the table this time?

The Celtics staved off relegation last season by just five points and for sure they would like to go further in the upcoming season.

Team manager Fran Escriba has made eleven signings over the summer with emphasis on bolstering their attack. After all, Celta Vigo’s fortunes last season were heavily reliant on the availability of main man Iago Aspas.

 


 

 

The growing legend of Aspas still remains with Celta Vigo. The 32-year-old striker tallied 20 goals and six assists last season and he continues to be a thorn on the side of opposing defences. All in all, Aspas put in 75 goals in 128 games while playing for the squad.

Returning for Celta is a rising star in Brais Mendez. Last season, the 21-year-old was responsible for 13 goals and emerged as the team’s top playmaker.

Following a failed loan to Arsenal, forwards Santi Mina and Denis Suarez will provide additional depth and quality. Both are expected to play on Saturday versus Real.

The management has done a great job of establishing a better cast of players this time around, increasing their La Liga 2019 odds of surpassing last season’s finish. It’s just a matter of developing their young core while remaining healthy throughout the long year ahead.

Expect for them to at least reach for the middle third of the table at season’s end.

Zinedine Zidane continues to be in the hot seat for Real

Real Madrid is clearly thirsty for championship anew which is why they made a variety of transactions over the past summer with Zidane at the helm.

Los Blancos signed the likes of Luka Jovic, Rodrygo, Ferland Mendy, Brahim Diaz, and Eden Hazard – who has been underwhelming so far for the team.

The team experienced a miserable summer, capped by key losses against Tottenham and Atletico Madrid. While fans are quick to blame Zidane for such, much of their misfortunes can be attributed to their players getting injured.

Marco Asensio will be sidelined indefinitely due to a ruptured ACL in their match against Arsenal at the International Champions Cup, while Ferland Mendy and Brahim Diaz are both dealing with their own injuries as well.

All hope is not lost for Real though, as the door has opened for Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale to be inserted at the starting XI and provide quality.

La Liga: Real Madrid are still counting on Gareth Bale despite having confusing situation
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale in action against Atletico Madrid

What about Gareth Bale?

Speaking of Gareth Bale, it must be confusing for him right now given his current situation.

Days ago, the Welsh footballer almost went to Jiangsu Suning club in China for a three-year deal, only for him to pull the plug.

His frosty relationship with his team manager didn’t help either as Zidane last month really pushed for his exit due to the difference of their play-style preferences.

Or so we thought.

Just two days ago, Zidane made an interesting statement regarding his current relationship with the beleaguered striker.

“James (Rodriguez) and Bale are players of the squad. They are both registered, but anything can happen and I, as a coach of Real Madrid, must count on them. I count on them 100 per cent,” said Zidane.

With multiple players at sickbay, it might be high time for the French manager to give Bale a chance this time.

History

These two clubs have met 33 times where Real Madrid have won 21 in those matches. Celta Vigo were victorious seven times and there have been four draws between them.

Los Blancos dominated Celta in their two games last season. Real scored a 4-2 win back in November last year and a 2-0 home victory last March.

Betting Tip

??

Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid Real Madrid Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.82
August 17, 23:00 (GMT+8)

Even with their share of struggles over the past few weeks, Los Blancos’ firepower may be too much for the up-and-coming Celta Vigo squad.

The combo of Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema would surely give Celta’s defence fits, and their defence would be much more solid with Sergio Ramos back.

For Celta manager Fran Escriba, putting up a good fight is a victory in itself for the team. They will have to learn on how to generate offence with or without Iago Aspas.

Real Madrid is primed to get a 2-1 victory in this game.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:20 PM (106 days ago)            #33
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La Liga: Espanyol Host Rejigged Sevilla in La Liga’s Opening Week

Espanyol vs Sevilla

After finishing at the middle of the table last season, Sevilla and Espanyol are looking to gain the upper hand by facing each other in the curtain-raiser of the La Liga.

The game will be held at the 40,000-seater RCDE Stadium, where the hosts are looking to change the status quo.

Their rivalry has been a one-sided affair for the most part, as Sevilla have won the most games against Espanyol overall in league history (69 games total, 19 on the road).

Both clubs come in with new managers. However, their respective offseasons are in stark contrasts with each other.

Sevilla saw the return of sports director Monchi and the appointment of Julen Lopetegui. And they didn’t waste any time in bringing in some key additions.

Espanyol, on the other hand, witnessed an exodus of their players – leaving new boss David Gallego a daunting task of replicating last season’s success.

SBOBET discusses on some notable tidbits on these two fine clubs ahead of their matchup.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Retooled Los Hispalenses

With Monchi and Lopetegui in the fold, Sevilla went all out in adding some new, young talent especially with some of their players leaving.

Wissam Ben Yedder was originally pegged as a breakout star in the upcoming La Liga. However, he has transferred to AS Monaco in the French Ligue 1.

Midfielder Pablo Sarabia also left for greener pastures as he joined Paris Saint-Germain via transfers, per La Liga 2019 news.

Rather than crying for spilled milk, Sevilla flexed its newfound wealth by bringing in the likes of Joan Jordan, Lucas Ocampos, Jules Kounde, and Sergio Regiuilon, among others.

The duo of Joan Jordan and Jules Kounde is something fans should look out for given their strong upside. Jordan’s elegant ball handling and passing will be a real asset on offence while Kounde is a very capable centre-back despite being a bit undersized.

Luuk de Jong and Munas Dabbur will compete for the spot out top while Lucas Ocampos will be an exciting addition at the wing for Lopetegui.

Sevilla sports director Monchi has always had the Midas touch in the transfer market. Their recent transactions suggest that a push for fourth place may be the main objective, and they look to have a deep squad that can keep up against the best teams in the La Liga.

Uncertainty continues to loom for Espanyol

Last term has been a roller coaster ride for Los Periquitos.

At the start of the season last year, Espanyol were brilliant mostly at home and they dashed to almost at the top of the table – with Borja Iglesias firing in goals left and right.

However, winter wasn’t too kind for them when they eventually sank to the bottom six – highlighted by a six-game losing streak in rounds 12 to 17. They managed to turn things around for the better by stringing some wins and draws towards the end.

Espanyol have won just two of their 17 La Liga matches vs Sevilla
Espanyol's Borja Iglesias in action with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos

Fast forward to the offseason, Espanyol lost the likes of Mario Hermoso and Marc Roca to Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. The club is also in danger of losing Borja Iglesias as he was rumoured to be moving on to Real Betis. David Gallego could only pray that he could keep together a competitive team.

But good thing for them, they have viable, young prospects in Adria Pedrosa and Matias Vargas. The youngsters are versatile enough to play either as a winger or an attacking midfielder.

Espanyol’s La Liga 2019 odds of a mid-table finish seem very likely given they’ve overachieved last season. If Los Periquitos can manage to get a decent run both in the La Liga and in the Europa League group stages, they’ll be fine.

 

History

Sevilla and Espanyol have met 28 times total where the former scored 15 wins and the latter with seven. There have been six draws between them.

Los Periquitos’ previous victory against the Andalusians dates back to January 29, 2017 with a final tally of 3-1.

RCD Espanyol have won in their last six matches while the same cannot be said for Sevilla given their up-and-down journey during the offseason.

Betting Tip

??

Espanyol vs Sevilla Sevilla Asian Handicap +0.00 @1.74
August 19, 01:00(GMT+8)

Just like in their previous matchup, it’s hard to tell on who gets the clear-cut nod here.

Sevilla are favoured at 2.36 odds with RCD Espanyol at 3.00 and the draw at 3.15 - giving Sevilla a slight advantage here.

But everything will most likely depend on Borja Iglesia’s destination on whether he stays or go from RCD Espanyol. If he stays, a high-scoring draw (or even a victory) will remain a possibility.

Nonetheless, a safe bet here is for Sevilla to pull off a 2-1 win on the road.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:29 PM (106 days ago)            #34
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La Liga: Athletic Bilbao Stuns Messi-Less Barcelona

Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona

In what was an intense low-scoring affair, the Athletic Bilbao have wielded the upset axe against Barcelona in the opening week of the La Liga.

Athletic Bilbao’s La Liga 2019 odds on winning this game have significantly increased when the defending champs were without Leo Messi - who was nursing a calf injury. Eventually, fellow striker Luis Suarez was also pulled out in the game with an injury on his own.

Supported by the raucous home crowd in the San Mames Stadium, Los Leones hit the ground running from the get-go, as several players took turns in impressing the crowd.

Forward Aritz Aduriz came off the bench for Athletic and scored the game-winning goal at the 89th minute, sealing Barca’s fate.

The 38-year-old has now scored at least one goal in 15 consecutive seasons in the La Liga, putting him beside Messi as the only players to achieve such feat. What a way to start off his farewell tour!

Allow SBOBET to relive some of the game’s most notable highlights in this fixture.

Highlights of the game

Spanish forward Iñaki Williams set the tempo for most of the first half with his direct running and firm control of the ball.

The 25-year-old let out a rightie long-range strike in the seventh minute, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen was there to deflect the ball out of the way. Seven minutes later, Williams outran Barca’s flat-footed defence towards inside the box but the goal still eluded the tireless striker.

Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie De Jong finally made their debuts for Barca, but they didn’t look their best in this game. To make matters worse for the club, Luis Suarez was also having a hard time as he bore the responsibility of filling in the void left by Messi.

Speaking of Suarez, the Uruguay national almost scored the first goal of the game with a lovely chance. However, his shot was a tad overcooked and it bounced off the left post unfortunately. He then limped his way to the bench and never returned.

Raul Garcia almost scored a connection from Ander Capa in the 36th minute, but the defending champs survived another scare with ter Stegen’s heroics.

Ernesto Valverde's men couldn't get the job done as they drop their first game of the La Liga season
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde looking disgruntled during their clash against Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde looked to be very frustrated for his injury-hit side, which is why he made some key lineup changes. He brought in Rafinha early and Ivan Rakitic off the bench in the second half.

Both subs had great chances for a shot on target for the road team. Rafinha’s strong attempt outside the box hit the crossbar before ending the first half. Meanwhile, Ivan Rakitic squandered two more scoring chances - first via a header off of an Ousmane Dembele corner kick, and a wayward kick after a mad scramble in the box with less than 20 minutes remaining.

The wards from Camp Nou had chance after chance but failed to convert. However, it was admirable for Ernesto Valverde’s side to hang tough despite their predicament.

Unai Simon’s efforts won’t go unnoticed in this match. The Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper repulsed Rafinha’s run towards the goal in the 80th minute and he did it again by stopping the goal attempt of Antoinne Griezmann after a cross by Jordi Alba.

The missed opportunities haunted Barca in the final minute when Aritz Aduriz unleashed a bicycle kick goal that sealed the deal at 1-0. That exquisite score will undoubtedly be a great addition to the La Liga 2019 highlights

Barcelona’s last chance came in the additional five minutes when Rafinha volleyed a cross for a possible score. But once again, it was Simon who came to the rescue and thwarted the header of an attempt.

Key statistics

47,693 fans have come to watch in this highly-anticipated matchup at the San Mames Stadium.

Athletic Bilbao have an unblemished record in their last 14 games at home in La Liga.

New Barca players Frenkie de Jong and Antoinne Griezmann have signed for a whopping total of £172M. While Messi and Suarez were huge losses, players with their price tags should at least still be good enough to get a victory.

Surprisingly, Barcelona had more time with the ball (72-per cent possession) and corner attempts (8) than Athletic Bilbao. The host team has five shots on target compared to Barca’s two.

This was Athletic’s first league victory over Barcelona since 2013.

What’s next?

Athletic Bilbao is slated to go up against Getafe CF while Barcelona will go back to Camp Nou to host Real Betis on Sunday, August 25.

 

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:36 PM (106 days ago)            #35
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La Liga: Winning Start for Real Madrid

Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid

Real Madrid got off to a flyer in their 2019/20 campaign opener as they grabbed a well-deserved 1-3 win over Celta Vigo in front of 24,000 fans at the Balaidos.

Los Blancos are looking for a better La Liga season than last, and they will have been very happy last night when title favourites Barcelona suffered a shock 1-0 reversal in their opener away to Athletic Bilbao. So to follow that up with a comprehensive win against a tricky Celta side makes it the perfect weekend.

Karim Benzema got Zinedine Zidane’s team off to a great start and second-half strikes by Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez sealed the three points before Iker Losada scored a late consolation for the hosts.

We like a good title race here at SBOBET and if Los Blancos can keep up this level of performance we’re sure to get one!

Highlights of the game

Eden Hazard’s big-money move from Chelsea dominated the summer La Liga 2019 news at the Bernabeu, but injury kept the Belgian star out of the opening fixture and that meant a start for Gareth Bale.

ZZ recently said that the day the Welsh winger left the Bernabeu couldn’t come too soon, but the Real boss found himself relying on Bale to create something for his team.

Karim Benzema hits a 12th-minute goal to give Real Madrid an early lead in La Liga season opener against Celta Vigo
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema hits a goal during their La Liga season opener against Celta Vigo

And the unsettled star obliged on 12 minutes when he evaded a defender and crossed for Karim Benzema to fire home from close range in a start Zidane couldn't really have expected.

Bale looked up for this game, which must have both pleased and confused his boss. He took a pass from Marcelo and tried his luck from distance, but his shot went straight at Ruben Blanco.

Iago Aspas scored 20 goals last season, but the Celta skipper wasn’t getting a sniff early on. He also wasn't controlling his team particularly well as he became the third home player to be booked in the opening 12 minutes.

The hosts had their only real chance of the first half on 30 minutes when Denis Suarez swung over a corner which David Costas headed just over the bar. Then, Los Blancos’ midfield playmaker Luka Modric took a pass from Vinicius Junior and fired one low towards the corner which Blanco got down well to save.

Los Blancos had a flurry of chances as half-time approached. Bale forced a good low save from Blanco and Benzema headed narrowly wide.

But then in first-half injury time, it seemed like Celta had delivered a sucker punch. Suarez put Aspas through on goal and the captain fired past Thibaut Courtois and into the net. But after wild celebrations from the crowd, VAR ruled that Aspas was offside.

Suarez and Aspas combined at the start of the second half, and this time the Celta top scorer tested Courtois with a low drive heading for the corner.

The hosts looked to be clawing their way back into the game, but Toni Kroos put paid to any fight back. The German took a pass from Marcelo and hit a screamer into the top left corner, giving Blanco no chance.

Aspas wasn’t going to give up easily, though. He took a pass from Kevin Vazquez before slamming a shot into the Los Blancos’ defence. And on 73 minutes, Celta broke quickly and Aspas shot inches wide from just outside the penalty area.

But it was game well and truly over on 80 minutes when Benzema passed to Lucas Vazquez, and he drilled a shot into the bottom left corner.

Celta did get their consolation in injury time when Iker Losada finished off a fast break in fine style.

Key Statistics

While Celta Vigo dominated first half possession, they rarely threatened Courtois’ goal, having just a single shot of any kind, while Los Blancos registered five on target.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

There was more goalmouth action in the second half, but Real Madrid continued to create the most, with 11 shots on target to Celta’s four.

What’s next?

Los Blancos fans were hoping this season would be a new start in Zinedine Zidane’s second stint at the helm, and they will be happy with what they have seen today.

The La Liga 2019 betting odds foresee a tough battle for Real Madrid, but they have a great chance to steal a march on their rivals. Next up, they are at home to Real Valladolid before an away clash with Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine had a difficult campaign last season.

Meanwhile, Celta Vigo’s tough start to the season continues when they entertain Valencia next weekend before taking a trip to play Sevilla away the following week.

 

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:39 PM (106 days ago)            #36
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La Liga: Lopetegui’s Sevilla Make Strong Start to the Season

Espanyol 0-2 Sevilla

Julen Lopetegui's first La Liga match in charge of Sevilla was a successful one as his side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Espanyol to begin their season.

The former Spain and Real Madrid manager fielded a new-look side with several fresh faces. That's after the club lost their top three goalscorers from last season in Wissam Ben Yedder, Pablo Sarabia, and Andre Silva.

But despite the changes, they still looked much superior to their hosts, as SBOBET tips had anticipated in the preview of that match. And thanks to that win, Lopetegui joins his old team atop the table after one matchday following Real's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo.

Highlights of the game

La Liga: Sergio Reguilon scores Sevilla's first goal against Espanyol in the 44th minute
Sevilla's Sergio Reguilon celebrates after scoring their first goal in La Liga opener versus Espanyol

Lopetegui's first starting XI included six new acquisitions in Sergio Reguilon (on loan from Real Madrid), Diego Carlos, Lucas Ocampos, Joan Jordan, Oliver Torres, and Luuk de Jong.

The likes of de Jong and Ocampos have some big shoes to fill as they replace Ben Yedder and Sarabia, who combined for 30 goals and 22 assists in La Liga last season.

It was Sevilla who had the first notable attack of the match, which came after seven minutes. Reguilon was able to dribble into the penalty box and had his left-footed shot deflected by an Espanyol defender. However, the referee somehow didn't see the deflection and awarded a goal kick, to Reguilon's dismay.

Sevilla also produced the game's first shot on target on 20 minutes care of Jesus Navas. The Sevilla skipper cut inside from the right, but his tame left-footed shot was easily saved by Espanyol keeper Diego Lopez on his near post.

Sevilla's Tomas Vaclik was forced into a slightly more difficult save nine minutes later. Espanyol midfielder Matias Vargas' long-range strike took a bounce in front of Vaclik, but the Sevilla shot-stopper was able to push it to the side. Striker Facundo Ferreyra also had his long-distance effort comfortably caught by Vaclick minutes later.

The visitors finally broke the deadlock just before half-time. Navas' deflected cross was met by Luuk de Jong, whose header was somehow kept out by a brilliant Lopez save. Unluckily for Espanyol, though, the ball bounced off the bar and into the path of Reguilon, who poked the ball home from close range.

The second half was a slow burn, with no La Liga 2019 highlights taking place for the first 15 minutes or so. Although, Espanyol did have a penalty shout on 56 minutes after the ball struck a Sevilla defender's arm. But after consulting with VAR, the referee opted not to award the penalty.

The first shot of the second half came four minutes after the hour mark. Former Manchester City forward Nolito made his way from the corner into the penalty area to unload a right-footed shot, which went just wide of the mark.

Nolita had another glorious opportunity to extend Sevilla's lead on 72 minutes. After a Navas long ball released him for a quick counter, he was unable to keep his composure as his shot sailed over the crossbar.

Eventually, though, Nolito did go on to grab the goal that would seal the win for Sevilla just four minutes from time. After receiving the ball off a throw, Nolito worked his way past some shockingly weak Espanyol defending and slotted past a helpless Lopez.

While it wasn't the most dominant performance in the world, it was still a promising start for Lopetegui's side.

Key statistics

Sevilla were a class above Espanyol, and the stats bore that out. The visitors enjoyed 55 per cent of possession and outshot the home side, 12-7.

Surprisingly, Sevilla's full-back Reguilon led the team with five of those 12 shots, including a goal. He also committed two fouls and picked up a yellow to complete his eventful La Liga debut for Los Rojiblancos. Based on his bright debut, the Real Madrid man could end up being quite a pick-up for Lopetegui.

As for Espanyol, this was their first defeat since losing the Catalan derby to Barcelona back in the end of March. They had gone on a nine-match unbeaten run (five wins, four draws) to end last season.

What's next?

Sevilla will have a great opportunity to make it two wins out of two next week as they take on newly promoted Granada. Despite being away from home, the Aldalusians should still be favoured by most La Liga 2019 predictions to come away with all three points in that match.

Meanwhile, Espanyol will similarly be away from home as they visit Deportivo Alaves, who finished in 10th last season.

 

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22-Aug 2019 Thursday 1:41 PM (106 days ago)            #37
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La Liga : Los Blancos Aim For Home Comfort

Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid

We’re heading into Week Two of Spanish football this weekend as Real Madrid welcomes its supporters for a home clash with Real Valladolid.

Los Blancos fans are hoping for the good times to return under Zinedine Zidane in his second stint as boss, and he will win legendary status at the Santiago Bernabeu if he can bring the La Liga title home at the first time of asking.

The opening La Liga 2019 betting odds favour Barcelona. But last week, the Catalans lost their opener while Los Blancos made a winning start, so a repeat of that will see the odds on Real dropping rapidly.

Sergio’s Real Valladolid will have plenty to say about that though, they too made a winning start, in a bad-tempered affair against Real Betis.

But tempers in Madrid could well explode if Valladolid springs another surprise!

Talking Points

Have ZZ and Bale made up?

Real Madrid got off to a winning start with a 1-3 victory away to Celta Vigo thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez. Kroos’ strike was the pick of the goals but Zidane was happy to share the love.

 

Balaidos is a difficult place to get a result and the head coach was pleased with his side’s all-round play, saying: “We played well today and that was down to the team. The defensive work of (Gareth) Bale and Vinicius Junior was important. The key was defending well. We knew that with the ball we would do damage.”

Well, that’s some turnaround as far as Bale goes!

Only two weeks ago, Los Blancos coach seemed happy to drive the Welsh Winger to the airport for a one-way ticket to China. But injuries, particularly to Eden Hazard, have forced the bosses’ hand. The former Chelsea star hurt his thigh in the run-up to the Celta Vigo game but is expected to return in time for the clash with Villarreal on September 1st.

Los Blancos managed well enough without him last weekend, creating plenty of chances and having an impressive 11 shots on target and ZZ will expect more of the same in front of their own fans.

La Liga: Can Real Madrid secure another win at home against Real Valladolid?
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring thier first goal against Celta Vigo

Valladolid up for a fight

Los Pucelanos got their campaign off to a perfect start with a 1-2 win away to Real Betis, aided by an eighth-minute red card for Betis goalkeeper Joel Robles. Of the first set of La Liga 2019 results, this was one of the biggest surprises.

Goals by Sergio Guardiola and an 89th-minute strike by Oscar Piano were enough to grab an unexpected three points. Los Pucelanos weren’t exactly shy in the tackle, committing 19 fouls and picking up five yellow cards - one each for the midfield quartet of Piano, Roben Alcaraz, Michel and Antonio.

In his playing career, head coach Sergio Gonzalez was a hard-working central midfielder with a long career at Espanyol and then Deportivo La Coruna, and his middlemen clearly play in his tough tackling image.

Brazilian legend Ronaldo took a 51 per cent share in the club in 2018 as the club returned to the Primera Division through the play-offs and a 16th placed finish preserved their status. The great man’s inspiration combined with Sergio’s guidance should be enough to keep Valladolid in the top flight again.

 


 

 

History

Valladolid has been twice runner up in the Copa del Rey, most recently in 1989. And though its achievements are hugely overshadowed by Los Blancos, it is the most successful club in the Castile and Leon region, spending 43 seasons in the top-flight and 35 in the Segunda Division.

Of course, Real Madrid has 33 La Liga titles in the bank but has watched Barcelona pick up the last two.

The head to heads tell a predictable story, with Los Blancos winning 22 of the last 36 meetings -- Valladolid just four -- and there have been ten draws. Los Pucelanos have failed to win on their last 11 visits to the Bernabeu.

Last season Los Blancos did the double over their opponents- 2-0 at home and 1-4 away.

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid Real Madrid First Half Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.86
August 25, 01:00 (GMT+8)

Real Madrid is a hot favourite to win this game at odds of 1.21 here at SBOBET, while the draw is available at 6.00 and an away win out there at 12.50.

The most likely scoreline is a repeat of last season’s outcome at odds of 7.80, and I think Los Blancos will be ahead by the break.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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26-Aug 2019 Monday 5:08 PM (101 days ago)            #38
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La Liga: Barca to Bounce Back

Barcelona vs Real Betis

Spanish champions Barcelona head back to the Camp Nou this weekend to take on Real Betis in the Catalans’ first home game of the season.

This Sunday night clash will round up the weekend’s La Liga fixtures and by the time it kicks off, Barca will almost certainly be six points from the summit having lost their opener in Bilbao. They will expect to bounce back but will face a talented outfit with an incentive of their own.

Los Verdiblancos lost their opening game of the season, in controversial circumstances, and having finished in sixth place last season, they will be keen to avoid back-to-back defeats, or at the very least give their illustrious hosts a difficult night.

Of course, the big La Liga 2019 news of the first weekend was Barca’s defeat, but one result isn’t going to alter our SBOBET tips and I predict a Barcelona win. The big question, however, is by how much?

Talking Points

Barca’s Injury headache

It might seem strange to hear, particularly for fans of clubs with modest riches and talent compared to the champions, but Ernesto Valverde has a bit of a selection crisis as some of his big names have spent the last week on the treatment table. Leo Messi was already sidelined and Luis Suarez went off injured on the opening day upset away to Athletic Bilbao, and that means the only fully fit forward is new signing Antoine Griezmann.

With Philippe Coutinho off to FC Bayern, Barca’s creative muscle is looking a little stretched. Valverde might be considering one of Carles Perez or Rafinha, but he is more likely to go for experience and wheel out his biggest gun of all, providing Messi is pronounced fit.

If he is 100 per cent, then I think Barca will overcome their first-week disappointment in some style, particularly if Griezmann can offer more than he did in Bilbao. The star players need to put on a good show for their fans and wipe away any doubts that they can dominate again.

Frenkie de Jong made his debut in Bilbao and he is likely to make up a midfield quartet along with Sergi Roberto, Arthur and Sergio Busquets, or Ivan Rakitic might make an appearance. Whoever lines up across the middle of the park will be hard for the visitors to match.

Lionel Messi returns to full training ahead of their La Liga match vs Betis
Lionel Messi will be available for Real Betis match

Betis blew their opening chance

Los Verdiblancos also made a losing start at home to Real Valladolid. It was a game they expected to win but the early dismissal of goalkeeper Joel made it too difficult against a side which spent last season fighting an ultimately successful survival campaign.

50,000 passionate fans had flocked into the Benito Villamarin, and despite playing almost 90 minutes with ten men Betis shared possession and had more shots on target. But it was a wasted opportunity and so they’ll be keen to make up for it as soon as possible.

The loss of midfield ace Giovani Lo Celso to Spurs has left a creative void which Betis fans will hope can be filled by new signing Nabil Fekir, who is likely to play in the number 10 role just behind lone striker Borja Iglesias Quintas. And William Carvalho is a key man in a Betis midfield which will have its work cut out at the Camp Nou.

Head coach Rubi has just signed a three-year contract to stay at the Benito Villamarin and his ambition is to match or even better Los Verdiblancos’ sixth-place finish in 2018/19. But it looks like he may have to overcome a tricky start.

History

In this corresponding fixture last season, Real Betis won 3-4 with two goals from Sergio Canales, while skipper Joaquin was also on target. But we’ll look a little further back to inform our Barcelona vs Real Betis predictions.

And the previous head to heads makes good reading for Valverde’s men. Barca have won 18 of the last 22 meetings and they have scored three or more goals in 15 of the last 18 battles at the Camp Nou.

Barca’s home is a fortress where they have gone 21 games unbeaten, winning 11 in a row.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Real Betis Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.75 @ 1.97
August 26, 03:00 (GMT_8)

Barca is a hot favourite to win this game at odds of 1.27 while the draw is at 5.40 and Betis is 10.50.

The visitors are available at 1.96 with a +1.75 start but I am going with the hosts. And I expect them to come out all guns blazing, to match their high scoring history against Los Verdiblancos.

Over 3.25 goals is at 1.83 and 4-6 goals at 2.35, while both 3-0 and 3-1 are available at odds of 9.00.

If I have to choose, I’ll go for 3-0.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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26-Aug 2019 Monday 5:11 PM (101 days ago)            #39
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La Liga: Atletico Madrid Go On Tour Versus Leganes

Leganes vs Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid are headed to Butarque where they’ll face Leganes in the third week of the ongoing La Liga.

Los Rojiblancos started the season on a good note after a tight win against Getafe CF on the curtain-raiser while Leganes are eager to bounce back after a demoralising loss versus Osasuna.

The Diego Simeone-coached squad is looking for a breakthrough after back-to-back maiden finishes against arch-rivals FC Barcelona, and stringing together a couple of wins would be helpful in their cause.

Meanwhile, Leganes will try to remain competitive after achieving their best season in La Liga’s top-flight last year. The Mauricio Pellegrino-mentored club finished 13th at the table last term and they’ll fight for survival once more to avoid relegation.

Today, SBOBET gives you a quick preview on this upcoming fixture on Sunday, August 25.

Talking Points

Can Atletico Madrid finally go all the way this time?

Team manager Diego Simeone still hasn’t figured out the Barca puzzle last term, which is why the team made moves and signed some shiny, new pieces to revamp their roster.

Last year’s standouts Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Rodri, and Juanfran have already departed the club and new cogs have arrived in their place. They signed Marcos Llorente, Alvaro Morata, and Joao Felix – whose debut for Atleti is something to watch out for.

Other than those players -- Atleti still managed to hold on to Jan Oblak --who has been superb at the goalkeeper post. He may arguably be one of the top five goalkeepers in the world right now and he will be tasked to marshal Los Rojiblancos’ new-look defence.

After spending over 240 million euros to bolster their roster, Simeone now has all the tools he’ll need at his disposal. It will be up to him on how he’ll find the right mix and balance for his lineups.

Los Rojiblancos have fared pretty well in the pre-season especially since they won all in their last five games. One of their most notable victories was a dominant 7-3 win against city rivals Real Madrid last July.

Atletico Madrid look to be a team on a mission this season, and keeping their good form will be key to a successful season. Anything short of a championship, or even a top-three finish, will be considered as a failure.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s Leganes have lost their last three La Liga games
Leganes coach Mauricio Pellegrino instructs his players from the touchline

Leganes tries to follow up its best season ever

Los Pepineros enjoyed their best ever league finish in the La Liga last season finishing 13th at the table. But the real highlight of that season is the fact that none of the “big three” teams won in their respective visits at the Butarque Stadium.

Last September 2018, Leganes defeated Barcelona in what was a David and Goliath match up. And from there, optimism grew more and more for the Leganes faithful.

Los Pepineros made the most out of the transfer window replacing their departed players. They brought in Roberto Rosales, Jonathan Silva, Oscar Rodriguez, and Fede Varela with guys like Allan Nyom, Mikel Vesga, and club icon Asier Garitano leaving the club.

The one-two punch of Dimitris Siovas and Youssef En-Nesyri will lead the charge for Los Pepineros. Siovas is a reliable centre-back who will captain Leganes’ backline while En-Nesyri will be featured at the forefront for the club’s attack.

Compared to Atleti, expectations are not that high for Mauricio Pellegrino’s team to produce some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights. However, scoring an upset in this match against Los Rojiblancos would be very much ideal.

History

Leganes gained top-flight status in the La Liga three years ago, and both sides have encountered each other in six top-flight matches where Atletico Madrid is undefeated (W3, D3).

All in all, Atletico Madrid and Leganes have faced each other only in 12 matches. Los Rojiblancos won in seven of those while Los Pepineros prevailed in two matches. There have been three games that ended in a draw – all in top-flight.

Los Pepineros’ latest win against Los Rojiblancos dates back to August 2015 with a score of 1-0.

Betting Tip

??

Leganes vs Atletico Madrid Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -0.25 @1.55
August 26, 01:00 (GMT+8)

Atletico Madrid are the hot favourites in this match with 1.82 odds at a win while Leganes is placed at 4.80. The La Liga 2019 odds of a draw between these two teams are at 3.25.

Last year’s runner-ups are expected to put up quite a show and it will be hard to imagine the home team doing anything to stop that.

Atletico Madrid will come in gleaming with confidence and this looks like a 2-0 win against the up-and-coming Leganes club.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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26-Aug 2019 Monday 5:16 PM (101 days ago)            #40
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La Liga: Griezmann Inspires Barca Beatdown of Betis

Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

Antoine Griezmann's La Liga debut with Barcelona did not exactly go as planned as they lost to Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. However, his first match at the Camp Nou was much more memorable as he bagged a brace and an assist to lead Barcelona to a comfortable 5-2 win over Real Betis.

With Lionel Messi, who recently suffered an injury setback, Luis Suarez, and Ousmane Dembele all out, Griezmann got the chance to be Barca's main man up front instead of being stuck out wide, and he made the most of his opportunity. Youngster Carles Perez also capitalised on his rare start and bagged a goal of his own.

The La Liga 2019 odds were always against Betis getting a positive result at the Camp Nou, even with Barca missing three of their top stars. And as SBOBET -- and many others -- expected, Barcelona were always likely to bounce back from their opening weekend defeat at home.

Highlights of the game

Real Betis opens the scoring against Barcelona at Camp Nou in recent La Liga game
Nabil Fekir celebrates with Real Betis teammates after scoring the opening goal against Barcelona

As one would expect, Barcelona were on the front foot early at home. They had back to back half-chances in the 13th and 14th minutes.

Sergi Roberto found himself unmarked around the penalty spot, but he was unable to get his header on target. And moments later, Griezmann's first-time effort was comfortably saved by Betis keeper Daniel Fernandez.

But Barca's bright start was undone by a costly mistake by Sergio Busquets, which led to an early deficit. The veteran midfielder's pass was intercepted in midfield, and Betis broke quickly the other way.

Loren Moron released Nabil Fekir with a terrific through ball, and the Betis newcomer unleashed a brilliant finish to the corner, just beyond the reach of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barca very nearly equalised on 37 minutes. Busquets found an overlapping Jordi Alba, who pulled the ball back to a wide-open Rafinha. But the Barcelona forward's shot was blocked by Betis' Sidnei and bounced out for a corner.

But it was just a matter of time before the hosts levelled it all up, and they did just that on 41 minutes. A brilliant lofted pass from Sergi Roberto found Griezmann, whose lunging finish squeaked past Fernandez.

And the Frenchman didn't have to wait long to add a second outstanding entry to what will likely be a long list of La Liga 2019 highlights.

Just five minutes after half-time, Griezmann and Roberto once again combined beautifully around the edge of the penalty area. Griezmann then set up a left-footed shot, which he curled expertly past a diving Fernandez.

Barca were in full flow at that point and were pouring on the pressure. Carles Perez came close to adding a third as he cut inside from the right wing, but his left-footed shot hit the side netting. However, the 21-year-old's aim was much more accurate just minutes later.

After Busquets made a key interception at the edge of the Betis penalty area, Nelson Semedo picked out Perez, who took a touch and uncorked another left-footed strike which arrowed into the bottom corner.

A fourth came right at the hour mark. After winning another key challenge, Busquets picked out Jordi Alba, who was just about onside, and the veteran left-back kept his cool to supply a fine finish.

The hosts weren't quite done yet, though. Arturo Vidal, who came on to replace Busquets, added a fifth -- with the help of a beautiful pass by Griezmann.

After the goal, 16-year-old Ansu Fati made some history as he came on to become the second-youngest player in Barca's history to play for the club in La Liga.

Betis did grab one more consolation goal -- again, with the help of a Griezman pass. The Frenchman gave the ball right up to Moron, who left fly a brilliant long-range strike that flew right into the top corner.

That one miscue aside, though, it was a fine Camp Nou debut for Griezmann and Barca, who've now gotten off the mark this season.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Key statistics

For the second match in a row, Barcelona enjoyed a whopping 70 per cent of possession in the match.  But unlike against Bilbao, they had a much more significant advantage in terms of shots. They finished with 20 shots (seven on target), while Bets had four shots (three on target).

Griezmann was clearly a lot more comfortable playing through the centre as opposed to out wide, and it showed in his stats. He produced a team-high seven shots in the match, four of which were on target.

What's next?

Barcelona's next league assignment will see them visit Osasuna this weekend. They will be hoping to have Messi back after the talisman suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf injury, although they will not risk Messi if he's still not completely ready to return.

As for Betis, they will continue their search for their first points in the new campaign when they host Leganes at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

 

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29-Aug 2019 Thursday 4:47 PM (98 days ago)            #41
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La Liga: Exciting Basque Derby Awaits!

Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao are set to host Real Sociedad in what will add to another chapter to the historic Basque Derby.

This La Liga game is to be held at the San Mames stadium where the home team managed to stun FC Barcelona in their first game. However, they couldn’t add another win after they were drawn 1-1 against Getafe CF last week.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad earned their first win against RCD Mallorca after getting a draw against Valencia on opening matchday. They plan on keeping their momentum going as they try to win another one on the road at the expense of their bitter rivals.

The Basque Derby usually is an intense affair between these two clubs. Penalties and red cards are normally handed out and a lot of fireworks are to be expected in this highly-anticipated match up.

SBOBET previews on what’s ahead on this match on Saturday.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Can Gaizka Garitano replicate last season’s success?

Bilbao bounced back after flirting with relegation last season. With the promotion of Athletic Bilbao B manager Gaizka Garitano, the team played with more spirit as they finished at the eighth spot of the table.

With no significant signings over the past transfer window, Bilbao brought in some players from their B squad to try and fill in for the ones who have already left. Garitano will be tasked to right the ship once again despite having fewer tools at his disposal.

Los Leones are to be led by their striker Inaki Williams. The Spanish footballer churned in an impressive campaign for the Athletic Bilbao club that struggled in scoring goals last term. Athletic scored just 41 goals last season – good for the fifth-fewest in the La Liga.

He signed a nine-year pact for Bilbao which says a lot about his potential. He may not be a young high-profile name like Antoine Griezmann or Joao Felix, but he can surely keep up with them thanks to his speed and exquisite ball control.

Athletic academy alumnus Inigo Cordoba is also a player to look out for in this season. He made 15 starts and he notched five assists in the team’s campaign last year. The 22-year-old will be fighting for a starting role this term.

Bilbao will have their work cut out for them as they try to replicate last season’s success. And if they can continue their upward trajectory while staying healthy, San Mames will be a fortress once again.

Real Sociedad’s youth investment

Real Sociedad are coming in with a new look this La Liga season. Like Athletic Bilbao, La Real brought in a new team manager in Imanol Alguacil last December when the team was stumbling to the bottom of the table.

La Real ended ninth at the table since then, but the team lacked consistency as they failed to make it to the European qualifiers.

With the team filled with youthful energy, the trio of Mikel Oyarzabal, Alexander Isak, and Martin Odegaard will spearhead Real Sociedad’s attack this season.

Three points from Saturday’s Basque derby would see either Athletic or La Real go top of the early La Liga table
Real Sociedad celebrates in front of the fans

Oyarzabal netted 13 goals last term and he continues to impress with his stint with the Spanish national team.

Isak, on the other hand, is an interesting addition. The 19-year-old standout scored 13 goals and six assists in 16 appearances for Willem II in the Dutch Eredivisie last season.

After an up-and-down journey over the last few years, Martin Odegaard now has a chance to live up to his promise. The Norwegian forward performed well in the Eredivisie last term and he is expected to do the same here for Real Sociedad.

With all these in place, expect La Real to make a run at least for the sixth spot in the La Liga table.

History

Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad first faced off in the La Liga on February 1929 where they tallied a 1-1 draw.

La Real has gotten the better of Los Leones in the past few matches. They are currently on a three-game winning streak against Bilbao since their drawn match last December 2017.

All in all, these two clubs have met a whopping total of 144 times in La Liga.

Betting Tip

??

Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad Athletic Bilbao Asian Handicap -0.25 @1.77
August 31, 04:00 (GMT+8)

In this match, Athletic Bilbao is pegged at 2.71 odds for a win while Real Sociedad is placed at 4.50. The La Liga 2019 odds for a draw between these two clubs are at 1.96.

While recent history suggests that Real Sociedad is expected to win this match, one can’t simply overlook Athletic Bilbao’s form as of late – especially at home.

 Los Leones won in five out of their last six home games, with four of those games having two or more goals. Gaizka Garitano has done a tremendous job on managing his squad and he continues to prove as to why the team was right in appointing him last season.

I see a 2-1 victory in favour of the home team in this game, but this appears to be a very close fight. Fans can expect a lot of La Liga 2019 highlights on this fixture.

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03-Sep 2019 Tuesday 12:28 PM (94 days ago)            #42
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La Liga: Zidane Aims to Sink Yellow Submarine!

Villarreal vs Real Madrid

Real Madrid heads to the province of Castillon on Sunday for a big La Liga clash against Villarreal; and Los Blancos need a win to regain some early season momentum. A win and a draw isn’t a bad start, but should Zinedine Zidane’s team fail to take three points away from the Estadio de la Ceramica, then one win from three doesn’t sound quite so healthy. Javier Calleja’s Villarreal had a difficult campaign in 2018/19, hovering around the drop zone but eventually finishing comfortably in 14th. And with one point from their first two games the hosts will be keen to keep themselves away from danger zone.

Talking Points

Real can stay ahead of Barca with a win The early La Liga 2019 results haven’t gone exactly as ZZ would want, but neither have they for their biggest rivals Barcelona. But after Barca’s season got off to a losing start, summer signing Antoine Griezmann announced himself at the Camp Nou with two goals and an assist as the Catalans destroyed Real Betis 5-2 last week. Only Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have won their two opening games, but the early La Liga 2019 betting odds have Barca as odds on favourites to retain the title with Los Blancos the biggest threat. Real had a frustrating time last weekend when it took them 82 minutes to break Valladolid down at the Bernabeu, only to concede a goal with two minutes remaining. And now, as the Blaugrana plays on Saturday night and should win away to Osasuna, Los Blancos will need a win in Castillon to keep their noses in front. Is Hazard ready to play? Eden Hazard’s much trumpeted arrival at the Bernabeu has gone a little flat since he injured himself in the run-up to the opening fixture. That wasn’t great news amidst reports that the Belgian star had arrived for pre-season training overweight, so with him nearing fitness now, the Madrid fans will be desperate to see the lean and dynamic Hazard who dazzled the Premier League at Chelsea.
Real Madrid are expecting to see Eden Hazard bring his talent at La Liga
Eden Hazard already missed two games after suffering a thigh injury during pre-season

The club is hoping that both Hazard and Ferland Mendy may be able to play some part and make their league debuts for Real. But the injury to Hazard opened the door for Gareth Bale to get involved in the opening fixtures after a rather public spat with ZZ before the season started. The Welsh winger could make his third start, and there is good news for Los Blancos as midfield star Luka Modric is available to return after suspension. Moreno is Villarreal’s main man Since his 18m Euro switch from Espanyol in 2018 centre forward Gerard Moreno has struggled to find his form, after a good scoring career in Barcelona. He only managed eight from 35 games last season and Calleja will be looking for more from his main striker this term. Moreno has started well, scoring in both fixtures so far, a 4-4 home draw with Granada and then a 1-2 reversal away to Levante. The Yellow Submarine dominated possession and the shot count in that game, but Moreno’s early strike came to nothing as his defence let him down. It was rather the same story in the 4-4 draw with Granada. Captain Santi Cazorla opened the scoring from the penalty spot and Samuel Chukwuese was also on target alongside Moreno, but conceding four at home didn’t please the boss.

 


 

 

History

Villarreal came closest to La Liga glory in 2008 when they finished second in the table, eight points behind champions Real Madrid. The Yellow Submarine is a fixture in the Primera Division, spending all but two of the last 20 seasons in the top flight. Over that period Villarreal has won just four of 38 against Real Madrid, but has shared the spoils on 12 occasions with Los Blancos coming out on top 22 times. During 19 games at home Villarreal has won three, drawn seven and lost nine; last season drawing this fixture 2-2 while losing 3-2 at the Bernabeu.

Betting Tip

??

Villarreal vs Real Madrid First Half Over 1.50 Goals @ 2.11
September 2, 03:00 (GMT+8)
All is not well at Real Madrid, with their new star injured, frustration in the transfer window, and a disappointing home draw last week, not to mention ZZ’s hopes that Bale would leave the club only four weeks ago! A double chance on Villarreal or Draw at 1.84 might seem tempting in that case, but I have concerns over the hosts’ leaky defence. Los Blancos are favourites, at 1.89 to win here at SBOBET with Villarreal at 3.65 and the draw at 3.75. I think there will be goals, and Villarreal could well hit Los Blancos hard from the off, but equally, the visitors’ front men will fancy their chances.

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03-Sep 2019 Tuesday 12:30 PM (94 days ago)            #43
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La Liga: Bilbao Dominate La Real in the Basque Derby

Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao continued their fine form to their La Liga season by defeating derby rivals Real Sociedad 2-0 last Friday night at the San Mames Stadium.

Just like their stellar performance recently against FC Barcelona in the curtain-raiser, Spanish forward Inaki Williams set the tone throughout the game by giving Bilbao the lead at the 11th minute.

Los Leones’ midfielder Raul Garcia added one more goal after a few minutes and the club continued to control the game from there against the struggling visitors.

Athletic Bilbao rose to the top of the table with seven points after this win. Their La Liga 2019 odds of finishing at the top four are looking good so far and they are tied with Sevilla who also have two wins in one draw.

On the other hand, Real Sociedad sank to the ninth of the table with one win, loss, and a draw. They are currently on a six-way tie with the likes of Real Madrid, Valladolid, Alaves, Osasuna, and Celta Vigo with four points.

Let SBOBET take you to the riveting game last Friday to re-live some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights.

Highlights of the game

In what was a touching tribute before kickoff, all attendants in the San Mames Stadium stood in silence to extend their condolences to former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique’s daughter, Xana, who died earlier this week.

But even after that touching moment, it was hostilities all evening as these rivals went toe-to-toe, at least in the match’s first few minutes.

The game went back and forth as both clubs tried their best for a clear shot on target, but to no avail.

Athletic Bilbao are now atop the La Liga table after garnering 7 points in 3 games
Athletic Bilbao boss Gaizka Garitano on the sideline during their match against Real Madrid

However, after 11 minutes, Inaki Williams drew first blood by scoring a lovely goal after a nice assist from Ander Capa. After a throw-in over at the right flank, Iker Munian drew over a deft touch inside the box for the winger to cross it over to the streaking Williams for a score.

 It was physical and intense as expected with both squads trying to get the upper hand. A total of five yellow cards were given away for this match.

After a skirmish near inside the box, Real Sociedad appealed for a penalty kick. However, with the action just outside the box, the VAR ruled it for a free kick instead much to the dismay of the road team with Bilbao’s defence standing their ground.

The lead was doubled at around the 28th minute – thanks to a long-ranged leftie strike by Raul Garcia. Real Sociedad goalkeeper Manuel Moya got his hands on the ball but the tap went inside towards the net. Otherwise, it could’ve been a wonderful save.

After an attempt for a header, Asier Illarramendi had an awkward landing and he was carted off due to a severe ankle injury. The 29-year-old defender was not able to return in this game.

Trying to make amends for the muffed attempt of a save a while ago, Moya this time deflected the ball away successfully after another long-range attempt by Los Leones.

La Real tried to stage a comeback after the end of the first half. They finally got their offence going, but only in the earlier stages.

Swedish youngster Alexander Isak did a header to put the ball in the net for the road team but his effort was deemed futile after it was ruled offside by the VAR.

Real Sociedad never gave up in trying scoring in this game. Substitute Luca Sangalli let off a strong strike just inside the box only to be saved by Unai Simon, who has done a great job in helping Athletic Bilbao post a clean sheet.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Los Leones continued to dictate the tempo in the match’s last few minutes and they almost chipped in their third goal care of Yuri Berchiche.

The game ended with Unai Simon pumping his fists after he parried another La Real attempt. It was the best chance of a goal for Real Sociedad.

Key statistics

It’s no secret that Athletic Bilbao dominated in this game. They had more total shots (15) and shots on target (5) in this game.

Surprisingly, Real Sociedad had more possession (61-per cent) and completed passes in this game (486).

34 total fouls were whistled by the referee and five yellow cards were handed out.

With the victory, Bilbao snapped its three-game losing streak against their bitter rivals.

What’s next?

The home team will face RCD Mallorca in the fourth matchday, while Real Sociedad will go up against the revamped Atletico Madrid on September 15.

 

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03-Sep 2019 Tuesday 12:32 PM (94 days ago)            #44
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La Liga: Bye Bye Antoine…Hello Joao!

Well SBOBET fans, on deadline day across Europe the biggest transfers in La Liga have already been done, but there are still one or two deals flying through, and the odd frustration in those who have missed out.

Each of the big three have made a marquee signing, Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, and the exciting move of 19 year old attacker Joao Felix to Atletico.

Transfer Hits and Misses

Antoine Griezmann announced himself as a Barca player in his first appearance at the Camp Nou, when he bagged a brace in the Champions 5-2 win over Real Betis. 120M is a mighty big price tag, but the French World Cup winner’s move to Barca is one reason why La Liga betting odds point to the Catalans as likely winners.

Arguably the biggest surprise in the window was the outcome of Gareth Bale’s early appearances for Real Madrid, when it seemed inevitable he was about to pack his bags and head to China. But an injury to Eden Hazard meant that Zinedine Zidane had to kiss and make up with his wantaway Welshman, and he’s done okay. He scored a superb brace for to win a point for Los Blancos this weekend against Villarreal, before being sent off.

So it certainly looks like Bale’s heart might still be in his job!

Luka Jovic also joined Los Blancos in a 60M deal, after Eden Hazard had completed his move, and left back Ferland Mendy signed from Olympique Lyon, making his first appearance in the draw against the Yellow Submarine.

Atletico Madrid has been busy during the summer, signing wing back Kieran Trippier from Spurs and Alvaro Morata from Chelsea, while Joao Felix’s 126M Euros move from Benfica captured the imagination and excitement in the red and white half of Madrid, and the young star scored Atleti’s opener in a 3-2 win over Eibar on Sunday.

La Liga: Gareth Bale decided to stay in Real Madrid for now
Gareth Bale during Real Madrid's match against Villarreal

One stellar deal which hasn’t yet happened is Neymar’s proposed move back to Barcelona, as PSG is reported to be sticking to their valuation, which is rather higher than the champions are willing to pay.

And Spurs star Christian Eriksen looks to be staying put after hoping for a move to Real Madrid for much of the summer.

But deals are still happening right up to the last minute, Arsenal full back Nacho Monreal has moved to Real Sociedad and Sevilla looks set to sign West Ham striker Javier Hernandez. The Mexican all time top scorer has ten months to run on his contract with the Hammers and looks set to move for a fee of £8M.

And another creative player is making his way from the Premier League to La Liga, with Chelsea winger Kenedy set to complete a 12 month loan move to Getafe.

Meanwhile Los Blancos say goodbye to keeper Keylor Navas who is on his way to PSG.

Biggest winners

Okay, we’re only three games in but the hard facts we have available suggest that Atletico’s business has been well executed. The early La Liga 2019 results see Los Rojiblancos sitting happily at the top of La Liga after three straight wins. Trippier has settled into a defensive quartet which Diego Simeone wants to mould into another world class rearguard, while Joao Felix could be the next Atleti superstar.

Biggest losers

Borja Iglesias’ 25M Euro transfer from Espanyol to Real Betis caught the eye. The 26 year old scored 17 La Liga goals last season and alongside Nabil Fekir, who has joined from Ligue 1 side Lyon, he looks likely to thrive with Betis.

But that makes Espanyol the biggest losers in my eyes. Having qualified for the Europa League, thanks largely to Borja’s goals, they are yet to score a goal in the league this term and sit in 19th place.

 


 

 

What’s next?

We’ll keep an eye on the three big deals which didn’t happen and see if there’s Christmas news for any of those involved.

Bale seems, for the moment, happy to be at the Bernabeu and it’ll be interesting to see how long that lasts for; and whether or not he is going to be joined by Eriksen from Spurs. The Danish creative midfielder is in the last year of his contract and will be able to leave on a free transfer next summer. But Spurs might want to cash in depending on how the player and club is faring when the winter window opens.

And surely Neymar will get his wish to move back to the Camp Nou before long, though whether PSG is likely to shift on its valuation of the Brazil star, currently at £200M, remains to be seen.

 

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13-Sep 2019 Friday 7:54 PM (83 days ago)            #45
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La Liga: Messi Ready to Take a Bow?

Barcelona vs Valencia

Barcelona welcome Valencia to the Camp Nou this weekend, but once the players cross the white line the Blaugrana will have revenge in mind.

Los Che beat Barca in the 2019 Copa del Rey final in their last meeting, and that will play on the minds of Ernesto Valverde’s team.

The Barca head coach hopes that his squad will finally include Leo Messi. The Barca talisman has been absent through injury in the champions’ first three games, which have yielded a modest four points.

The early La Liga table has an unfamiliar look, with the Blaugrana down in eighth place with just one win from three and on the same points as Valencia.

The early season La Liga 2019 betting odds installed Barcelona as clear favourites. But with Atletico Madrid making a good start again, this is a game Valverde’s side needs to win to avoid a gap at the top from opening up.

But Valencia are a tough challenge, boasting a talented squad with plenty of incentive. They have a new boss to impress after Marcelino was sacked to make way for Albert Celades.

Talking Points

Messi and Suarez could be fit

Fans at the Camp Nou can reasonably claim that missing some big players has had a negative impact on their La Liga 2019 results so far, but there could be good news on the way.

Officials at Barcelona are said to be optimistic that both Messi and Luis Suarez could be fit to face Los Che this weekend. And that would be a major boost for Valverde.

Neither was in training at the beginning of the week, but with Borussia Dortmund awaiting Barca in their Champions League opener, they are in a race against time.

Valverde won’t risk either unless they are fully fit. He is willing to bide his time following the recent performance of his big summer recruit.

After dominating the La Liga transfer news over the close season, Antoine Griezmann got off the mark with a brace in a home 5-2 win over Real Betis, and when he does link up with Messi and Suarez that will be one heck of a front three.

 


 

Celades in the hot seat

They don’t mess about at the Mestalla! After taking four points from three games and having a row with owner Peter Lim, Marcelino has been sacked. The coach who led Valencia to a Champions League place is no more; he has been replaced by Albert Celades.

The 43-year-old has a fine pedigree: a former Spain U21 coach, he was assistant to Fernando Hierro at Russia 2018, and now he has signed a two-year deal at Valencia. Seeing that out will be a good achievement in itself!

Celades has inherited a more than useful squad. Marcelino’s last gift to the club was to sign Maxi Gomez, who switched from Celta Vigo to Valencia over the summer having scored 13 league goals last season.

They are also skippered by Dani Parejo, who has two goals already this term. Los Che have quality running through the team, from Dutch international keeper Jasper Cillessen to midfielder Denis Cheryshev, who had a spectacular Russia 2018, and the ever-dangerous Kevin Gameiro.

After a successful campaign last year, Valencia are in the UEFA Champions League and in a group they could navigate. They are likely to contest second place in Group H, which also has Ajax, Lille and Chelsea.

Celades has plenty on his plate in his first week.

La Liga: Valencia to face Barcelona at Camp Nou
Valencia players and staff celebrate after winning the 2019 Copa del Rey against Barcelona

History

Formed in March 1919, this is Valencia’s centenary year. They are six-time La Liga champions and won their eighth Copa del Rey in May, when goals from Gameiro and Rodrigo Moreno gave the underdogs a famous win over Barcelona.

Gameiro is already off the mark this season and will be a thorn in Barca’s defence.

The Blaugrana lead the head to heads with 31 wins to Valencia’s 13 and there have been 17 draws. Valencia have failed to win at the Camp Nou in their last four attempts.

Both games ended in draws last season: 1-1 at the Mestalla and 2-2 at the Camp Nou.

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Valencia First Half Over 1.25 @ 2.02
September 15, 03:00 (GMT+8)

The latest SBOBET odds have Barca priced at 1.46 to win while the draw is at 4.10. Valencia are at 7.20 to come up with another surprise win.

This game has it all: a revenge mission for Barca, a new head coach for Los Che, the possible return of a hero or two and three priceless points up for grabs.

I think there will be goals in this, probably for both teams, and I expect goalmouth action from the off.

A repeat of last season’s result, 2-2, is at 18.00.

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13-Sep 2019 Friday 8:04 PM (83 days ago)            #46
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La Liga: Atletico Madrid Aim to Keep Pristine Record Intact

Real Sociedad vs Atletico Madrid

League leaders Atletico Madrid are set to travel to the Reale Seguros Stadium facing Real Sociedad on Saturday in the fourth match day of the La Liga.

Los Rojiblancos will look to maintain their torrid start after winning in all of their first three fixtures.  On the other hand, La Real are hoping that their first home game of the season would turn things around for the better.

Many pundits have dubbed Atletico Madrid to be one of the hot favourites for this term because of their depth and the excellent coaching of Diego Simeone, and that’s not a farfetched idea as they’ve spent a whole lot for their players last summer.

Real Sociedad, meanwhile, looks to have all the potential to end up in the top six, but their inconsistency continues to hold them back so far.

Can the home team put a blemish on Atleti’s perfect slate? Or will Los Rojiblancos continue La Real’s misery?

Allow SBOBET to give you an overview on these two clubs ahead on their upcoming match.

Talking Points

Who can stop Atletico Madrid?

Lower-ranked teams like Getafe CF, Leganes, and Eibar didn’t have much luck when they got their chance over these past few weeks, but who can blame them?

Diego Simeone and the rest of his crew have been out on a mission since the first match day, and guys like Saul Niguez, Diego Costa, Koke, and Marcos Llorente have all stepped up.

Atletico Madrid currently sits on the top of La Liga table with 2 points ahead of Athletic Bilbao
Diego Simeone giving instructions on the touchline

And of course we won’t forget Joao Felix, who has lived up to the billing on being their star this term. The 19-year-old striker is primed to be the club’s main attacking threat for years to come, especially with Antoine Griezmann now out of the door.

Despite scoring just five goals this term, Atletico Madrid looked unstoppable thanks to their impenetrable defence. With Jan Oblak manning the goal keeper position and Kieran Trippier at the right-back, good luck at getting past that if you’re La Real on offence.

After suffering a knee injury in the past few weeks, Alvaro Morata might return soon in the lineup for Diego Simeone. Once he gets his legs back underneath him, he and Joao Felix will certainly be the one-two punch that will produce some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights.

Can Real Sociedad live up to their potential?

So far they haven’t, even if they featured their new-look this season.

Since taking over the helm last December, manager Imanol Alguacil wasted no time in revamping his team by leading them to the ninth spot in the table last term and by investing in some of the sport’s up-and-coming stars.

Young standouts in Mikel Oyarzabal, Alexander Isak, and Martin Odegaard are expected to spearhead Real Sociedad’s attack, but the results have been underwhelming in their first three games as they managed to only score one goal.

However, you can’t fault them for trying, especially in their loss against Athletic Bilbao at the Basque Derby. A few calls here and there could’ve given them the much-needed momentum coming into this match against the league leaders.

Midfielder Asier Illarramendi will be sidelined up until November after suffering an ankle injury in their last game, while Nacho Monreal is expected to make his La Real debut soon after joining from Arsenal last August.

Nevertheless, Imanol Alguacil will have to figure out something to avert disaster this season and he would need to find the answers as soon as possible.

 


 

 

History

Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid have faced each other 24 times for the last 14 years with Atleti winning in 16 and La Real winning in six. There have been two draws between them at that span.

Atletico’s last visit to the Reale Seguros Stadium ended in a 2-0 victory and they swept their season series against Real Sociedad last season.

Real Sociedad are hoping to obtain a home win against Atletico and they last achieved that back in April 2018 with a 3-0 victory.

Betting Tip

??

Real Sociedad vs Atletico Madrid Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap +0.00 @1.51
September 15, 00:30 (GMT+8)

For this game, Atletico Madrid is at 2.16 to win, while Real Sociedad is placed at 3.35. The La Liga 2019 odds for a draw between these two clubs are at 3.20.

Being loaded on all fronts, expect Diego Simeone’s side to add Real Sociedad to their list of growing victims. They arguably have the best defence in all of Europe and they will capitalise on any mistakes that their opponents will make.

This game is theirs to lose and if this continues, they might just win their first La Liga title since 2014.

A safe prediction is a 2-0 victory in favor of Atletico Madrid.

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16-Sep 2019 Monday 3:22 PM (81 days ago)            #47
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La Liga: Sweet 16-Year-Old Has Champions Smiling Again

Barcelona 5-2 Valencia

A clash between the best and the fourth-best teams in La Liga last season should have been one to savour in the Nou Camp.

Yet the build-up to this contest was overshadowed somewhat by the La Liga 2019 news story of the week -- Valencia boss Marcelino's sacking.

It was a move which surprised many, including this SBOBET writer, and probably Valencia fans.

Especially after he brought them their first major trophy for more than a decade against Barcelona at the end of last season.

So how much did the departure of Marcelino affect them here?

Highlights of the game

In truth, it’s hard to tell. The impact of the club’s decision will need to be assessed over some time.

However, there’s no doubt it was ridiculously harsh and suggested a split between management and owner, whose aim was to qualify for the money-spinning Champions League.

That Marcelino managed both -- in his two seasons with the club, he twice led them to fourth place and qualification for Europe’s premier competition – makes his dismissal even harder to fathom.

Nor could it be form, as the former Sevilla and Villarreal coach not only clinched the Copa del Rey in May but made a decent start to the new campaign.

Prior to the international break, Valencia drew at home to Real Sociedad and lost to Celta Vigo before beating Real Mallorca 2-0.

Either way, once this match started the focus was back on the football.

Barcelona fans celebrate as the La Liga giants sealed a 5-2 win over Valencia
Barcelona fans wave their flags as the La Liga giants dominated Valencia in recent clash

Former Barcelona midfielder and one-time Real Madrid assistant Albert Celades was now in charge and was naturally keen to make his mark.

Equally, Barca were keen to gain some form of revenge for the defeat which cost them the chance of a league and cup double.

They were also keen to win on a day in which arch-rivals Real Madrid triumphed. They had already dropped five points in their first three matches and are still without Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele.

They did have Luis Suarez back, though, and that ultimately proved to be a key difference.

The La Liga 2019 betting odds on the Uruguayan being on the scoresheet may have been low, but who would have predicted a 16-year-old scoring for Barca again, this time just two minutes into his first start for the club.

Ansu Fati turned in a Frenkie de Jong cross just one minute and 50 seconds in, to be precise. He then returned the favour with an assist to the Dutchman four minutes later.

By the time he departed on the hour to a wonderful ovation, he could be assured he had scored twice in just 116 minutes of first-team football.

By then, Kevin Gameiro had another goal to his collection against Barcelona after Rodrigo Moreno filtered a pass to his streaking strike partner, whose shot went in off the post.

However, Valencia were still two behind when Fati left the fray after Gerard Pique converted a loose ball from close range six minutes after the restart.

Suarez replaced the teenager and duly opened his account for the season with a right-foot strike before adding his second with a rasping low drive.

But for former Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, there would have been more goals for the hosts as the shot-stopper made back-to-back saves to keep out Antoine Griezmann, CarlesPerez and Arthur.

Valencia added a late consolation goal through Maxi Gomez but this capped a week to forget for Los Che, even if the emergence of Fati will take the spotlight of owner Peter Lim’s decision over the next few days.

Afterwards, coach Ernesto Valverde labelled the youngster’s display as abnormal, given that almost no player so young is at the level to feature for the Catalan side in such an effective way.

Watch this space is the message from Catalonia.

Key statistics

Fati (16 years and 318 days) has become the youngest player to both score and assist in a La Liga game in the 21st century.

Barcelona now have 32 wins to Valencia’s 13 in their meetings with 17 draws. Valencia have failed to win at the Camp Nou in their last five attempts.

Both games ended in draws last season: 1-1 at the Mestalla and 2-2 at the Nou Camp.

What’s next?



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

It’s the start of the Champions League for both these clubs.

Valencia have a quick turnaround now and travel to London to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday (September 17).

Barcelona are in action on the same night away to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Domestically, Barcelona travel to newly promoted Granada next weekend, while Valencia entertain Leganes the following day.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 16-Sep-2019 at 3:22 PM


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24-Sep 2019 Tuesday 3:56 PM (73 days ago)            #48
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La Liga: Messi Makes His Return For Barca

Granada vs Barcelona

Lionel Messi is set to make his much-awaited return as the defending champions Barcelona are taking their act on the road against Granada at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes this Sunday.

After missing four La Liga games due to a lingering calf injury, the Argentinean superstar returned to action last Tuesday during their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund where it ended in a draw.

He may not have made much impact during that game since he was probably trying to get his legs underneath him at the time. However, now at full strength, he is expected to carry Barca’s attack while adding on to some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights.

Granada, on the other hand, have been on a tear since being promoted once again to top-flight status. They are currently sixth in the table just behind Barca with seven points.

A home win against the defending champions would definitely leave a lasting impression not only for their avid supporters but for the rest of the competition as well.

SBOBET fans can’t wait to see a healthy Messi back again, and we are here to bring you a sneak peek on the match ahead.

 

Talking Points

Messi to save the day for Barca

The defending champions have had a modest start to their 2019/20 campaign – winning two, drawing one, and losing one to gather seven points at the fifth spot heading into the fifth match day. It wasn’t really smooth sailing from the get-go for Barca, which is why getting their players healthy is a must for them to complete their three-peat.

Of course the return of Messi will bring back smiles of the fans over at Camp Nou, but let’s not forget that Luis Suarez is going to be back as well.

Griezmann to play alongside Messi and Suarez against Granada in La Liga
Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann controls the ball in front Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro during the Champions League group stage match

The said duo will bolster their attack that has been admirably led by Antoine Griezmann over their last few fixtures. The 28-year-old wunderkind has been rounding into form and is expected to continue to light up the La Liga given his inspired play recently with his two goals and two assists.

Ernesto Valverde’s side will also have Ousmane Dembele available to shore up the middle, while the likes of Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Frenkie de Jong are expected to be in the starting XI.

We still have a long way to go in this season and it’s about time for the real Barca to show up!

Granada still a work in progress

El Grana have been making huge strides over the past year. After being unceremoniously relegated at the end of the 2016/17 season, they found their way back to top-flight after finishing second place in the Segunda.

Diego Martinez seems to have struck gold after getting his big break with Osasuna in the 2017/18 term, and he hopes to continue the same trend this time with Granada.

During transfers, Granada signed the likes of Yangel Herrera, Roberto Soldado, and Darwin Machis to bolster their roster. The trio is said to bring quality, smarts, and leadership for their attack this season.

 


 

 

Another key player to watch out for is their top playmaker Alvaro Vadillo. The 24-year-old forward poured in 11 assists in the Segunda last term and he looks to be fitter than ever, and that’s a great sign especially with his injury history.

This team hasn’t been tested yet over these past few weeks, and perhaps a date with Barcelona would be a fitting challenge for them. Even with low La Liga 2019 odds of beating the defending champions in this match, expect the Diego Martinez-coached squad to try and give them a run for their money.

Fighting for survival looks to be the main objective for El Grana. However, their excellent pre-season and recent form suggests that they could fight for something more.

 

History

This has been a one-sided matchup for the most part with Barcelona winning against Granada in 11 of their last 12 matches.

El Grana’s last victory over Barca was back in April 2014 with a 1-0 victory. That surprise loss caused the Catalan juggernauts to lose their title to the hands of Atletico Madrid.

 

Betting Tip

??

Granada vs Barcelona Barcelona 1x2 @1.31
September 22, 03:00 (GMT+8)

For this fixture, Barcelona are at 1.31 odds to win in the 1x2 market. Granada are set at 10.00 while chances for a draw are at 4.90.

El Grana should be commended for their fine form recently, but keep in mind that facing a team like Barcelona is a whole different animal.

Expect Barca to come out firing on all cylinders with a much healthier squad and it’s unfortunate that Granada have drawn the short straw on this one.

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24-Sep 2019 Tuesday 3:59 PM (73 days ago)            #49
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La Liga: Lopetegui Ready to Make a Point

Sevilla vs Real Madrid

First meets third place at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan for the La Liga match of the weekend, when Real Madrid visits league leaders Sevilla.

Los Sevillanos will see this as a chance to exert their title credentials, slim though they may be, against a Los Blancos side wounded by a Champions League defeat in Paris. And the Estadio Ramon Sanchez is something of a bogey ground for Zinedine Zidane’s men.

But the biggest intrigue of the game is the meeting of Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui with his former club, which he managed briefly at the beginning of last season before being shown the door.

There’s a lot at stake in this one and fans of both teams will be watching the La Liga 2019 updates from elsewhere, particularly in Madrid, where second placed Atleti is at home to Celta Vigo.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Julen rebuilding his reputation

After leaving the Spain national side, on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup, to join Real Madrid, and then having a torrid time at the Bernabeu, Lopetegui’s stock dropped somewhat over the past 12 months. But he’s making a good recovery in Seville, so far.

Sevilla has made a blistering start to the campaign and sits at the of La Liga on ten points, in stark contrast to last season’s four points at this stage which left Los Sevillanos in the bottom half.

Lopetegui has his team playing slick football and he has plenty of options up front.

New signing Javier Hernandez linked up well with El Haddadi Munir in the 0-3 Europa League victory over Qarabag, both scoring, while Luuk de Jong and Oliver Torres were preferred in a well executed victory over Alaves last weekend.

But it’s midfield man Joan Jordan who scored the winner in the Basque to make it two for the season. And Lopetegui’s main man is skipper Jesus Navas, who returned to Sevilla after a stint in the Premier League with Manchester City. His heart is in Seville, adding 62 appearances to the 285 he made between 2002 and 2013.

Real’s Champions League shocker

Real Madrid suffered a Champions League humbling at the hands of Paris St Germain, and that has led some impatient fans to call for a change at the top after Zidane’s return to the Champions League ended in disaster. Los Blancos had two goals disallowed, but that apart they failed to register a single shot on target, and some reports in Spain claim it’s the first time in 578 games Real Madrid has had no shots on target in a game.

Sevilla await weakened Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table as they clash at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this weekend
Real Madrid loss their Champions League opener 3-0 against Paris Saint-Germain

Los Blancos moved in the summer transfer market to sign Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic and Hazard was alongside Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in what proved to be a toothless attack. Benzema has been in better form in the league, scoring four already.

Sergio Ramos is as commanding as ever at the back, but it is in midfield where ZZ has problems, having failed to land Manchester United’s Paul Pogba in the summer while allowing Dani Ceballos to head to Arsenal.

The betting markets still have faith in Los Blancos. La Liga 2019 betting odds pitch Barca as odds on favourites, but Zidane’s team is the second favourite, with Sevilla tipped to finish fourth.

History

History is in Los Blancos’ favour with 36 wins to Sevilla’s 16 and there have only been four draws in the last 56 games.

Lopetegui was in charge at Real Madrid when they suffered a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Sevilla, last season, with Andre Silva helping himself to a brace.

Recent form favours the hosts; Sevilla has won four from six, and is unbeaten, while Real has won two, draw two and lost two.

And Seville is not a happy hunting ground for Los Blancos having failed to win there in five attempts.

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Real Madrid Sevilla Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 1.94
September 23, 03:00 (GMT+8)

This is set to be a cracking contest with Sevilla at odds of 2.59 to win and Los Blancos at 2.53 with the draw at 3.45 here at SBOBET.

It’s likely there will be goals in this game, and the probable appearance of Eden Hazard gives Los Blancos the ability to carve open any defence. But while Real Madrid is wounded, the hosts will be full of confidence and have every chance of preserving the status of their home as a bogey ground for the Madrid giants.

Lopetegui has two massive incentives, to show his former employers what they have missed out on and to keep his side at the top of the league.

I give Sevilla the edge and for an alternative bet 2-1 is available at odds of 9.75.

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24-Sep 2019 Tuesday 4:02 PM (73 days ago)            #50
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La Liga: Villarreal’s Chance to Torpedo Camp Nou Losing Skid

Barcelona vs Villarreal

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona were dealt a huge shock as they fell 2-0 to newly promoted -- and table-topping -- Granada over the weekend.

The loss -- Barca's second of the season -- sees the Catalans down in seventh with just seven points in their first five matches, which is their worst start in La Liga for 25 years.

However, the La Liga 2019 betting odds will be heavily in their favour against Villarreal, a team they have historically dominated, especially at the Camp Nou.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Barca's horrific start

Barcelona's disastrous start to the season continued as they went down to Granada. It was a putrid performance from the Catalans, who conceded within two minutes and had just one shot on target all match despite controlling 74 per cent of possession.

That loss came on the heels of their 0-0 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, a match where the Spanish champions were clearly second-best and were lucky not to lose.

Lionel Messi, who finally made his season debut against Dortmund, once again didn't start against Granada and only came on at half-time. The Argentine still doesn't seem close to full strength following his calf injury and was unable to produce the much-needed breakthrough.

But while Barca have looked far from their best this season, it should be noted that their poor performances have all come away from home. They remain as formidable as ever at the Camp Nou, winning their first two matches against Valencia and Betis, 5-2.

Dating back to last season, Barcelona have won their last nine home league matches in a row and 17 out of their last 21 (three draws and one defeat).

With Messi slowly but surely gaining match fitness and the rest of the squad playing so much better at home, Barca should fancy their chances of increasing that winning run at Camp Nou.

Villarreal banging in the goals

Villarreal's La Liga 2019 results to start the season weren't too impressive. They gave up a two-goal lead at home to draw 4-4 against Granada. They then lost 2-1 to Levante after giving up two penalties in the space of five minutes. And they once again failed to hold a lead at home, this time in their 2-2 draw against Real Madrid.

However, they are finally headed in the right direction after winning their last two matches: a 3-0 away win at Leganes and a 2-0 home victory against Real Valladolid.

Villarreal are right there alongside Barcelona as the top scorers in La Liga thus far, scoring 12 goals through their first five matches. Gerard Moreno is currently leading the league with five goals. He had scored in each of the team's first four league matches before failing to find the net against Valladolid.

La Liga: Villarreal will travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona
Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno celebrates after scoring their opening goal against Real Madrid

Midfielder Moi Gomez, who returned to Villarreal this summer after departing in 2016, has also made a strong start with two goals and an assist.

Villarreal are just loaded with attacking talent. Aside from Moreno, Gomez, and Santi Cazorla, they also have the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, Javier Ontiveros, and Karl Toko Ekambi to call upon off the bench. Chukwueze and Ekambi both scored last season against Barca.

History

The last meeting between Villarreal and Barcelona was an absolute classic. After Barca went up 2-0 inside of 16 minutes, Villarreal roared back to score four unanswered goals. But they couldn't hold on as Barca grabbed two late goals to salvage a point in a thrilling 4-4 draw at El Madrigal.

However, Villarreal have had no success whatsoever in their recent visits to the Camp Nou. Barcelona have won each of the last nine home matches against Villarreal, scoring at least two goals in all nine of those matches.

Villarreal's last win at the Camp Nou came all the way back in 2008. In fact, that's also Villarreal's last win over Barca in all competitions, with the Catalans going a remarkable 22 matches unbeaten against the Yellow Submarine (16 wins, six draws).

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Villarreal Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 1.82
September 25, 03:00 (GMT+8)

With a track record that dominant, it's no wonder SBOBET odds have Barcelona as 1.31 favourites on the 1X2 market, while Villarreal are priced at 9.25.

Despite Villarreal's dangerous attacking weapons, a Barcelona win looks in the cards. But if you are betting on Barca, the value is more on their Asian Handicap odds.

They've beaten Villarreal by two or more goals in five straight meetings at the Camp Nou, and with the form they've shown at home thus far this season -- 10 goals in two matches -- there's no reason to think they won't win comfortably again.

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24-Sep 2019 Tuesday 4:05 PM (73 days ago)            #51
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La Liga: Real Joy in Seville

Sevilla 0-1 Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid shrugged off a Champions League nightmare in Paris to beat La Liga pace setters Sevilla and go joint top of the league.

A second half header by the in form Karim Benzema gave Los Blancos a priceless victory at the Estadio