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As with the other leagues we generally need to see a couple of games before we can build up an idea of how teams have set up for the season ahead so we will keep it simple this week.
Friday 17th August 2018
Real Betis v Levante
A big season for Betis who will relish the prospect of a European campaign where they should do quite well and also the chance for them to establish themselves as a top half La Liga side. This fixture is the perfect start as in the last eight meetings today, there have been six wins for Betis and two draws whilst the last four at home have seen three Betis victories and one draw. The only danger I can see to a home win is the pressure that will be on them to make a fast start but if they get an early goal, the three points should be theirs. Levante are an average side at best and this could be a long season for them. Betis at 1.80 (4/5) looks the obvious selection.
Saturday 18th August 2018
Villarreal v Real Sociedad
This fixture has been poor for Sociedad in recent seasons with no wins in eight meetings today, just three draws. In Villarreal it has been worse with the last five head to head ending 4-2, 2-1, 0-0, 4-0 and 5-1. Villarreal look a strong top six squad but I’m not convinced about Sociedad and it may take time to get a settled side. I think Villarreal are well worth chancing at a touch above 2.00 (Evs) with a view to trading for our stake back if they lead.
Celta Vigo v Espanyol
Celta are usually slow starters and have lost their first two games in both of the last two seasons, but Espanyol are not much better having lost one and drawn one of their two opening games in the same period. One pretty solid stat here is that this fixture has finished 2-2 in three of the last five meetings today in Vigo and in four of the last five head to head, both teams have scored. At this early stage of the season we need to keep it as simple as possible and Both Teams To Score at around 2.00 (Evs) looks most solid with a fun stake on correct score 2-2 at 17.00 (16/1) just in case!
Barcelona v Deportivo Alaves
Barcelona and Real Madrid games are always tough to call in La Liga as they can tear sides apart or take their foot of the gas making predicting their games a tough task. Alaves do have a victory in the Nou camp winning in September 2016 by 2-1 when Barca left many of their stars out and came unstuck. Alaves got off to a poor start last season losing eleven of their first thirteen games and Barcelona have won their last six opening home fixtures by 2-0, 6-2, 1-0, 3-0, 7-0 and 5-1 so they do hit the ground running. They are unbackable at 1.10 to win the match but they should win this game to Nil available at 1.61 (8/13) with Over 3.5 goals at 1.91 (10/11) another viable option, preference for the to Nil market.
Monday 20th August 2018
Valencia v Atletico Madrid
The first thing to point out here is that backing away wins in La Liga can be the quickest way to the poor hose unless the stats back it up and last season, Atletico were one of the sides with a decent record on the road. They have won on two of their last three and three of their last five visits to Valencia and have won five of the last seven overall head to head with two draws. Atletico are priced at 2.60 (8/5) but I suggest a safer option may be to Lay Valencia at around 2.80 giving us the draw on side.
Of the other fixtures I can see both Girona and Eibar getting off to strong starts but there doesn’t appear to be huge value in trading either. We have a long season ahead!
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