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Posted By Topic: SBOBET: Latest Spanish Football Updates       - Views: 1448 Change Timezone:
SBOBET 19-Oct 2019 Saturday 1:22 PM (290 days ago)               #1
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La Liga: Challengers Clash and Dream Big!

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia

They are the two clubs who took on the established La Liga big boys last season and made them sit up and take notice.

Atletico have long been accustomed to upsetting the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid under coach Diego Simeone, and they did so again by splitting them last season to take the runners-up spot.

That Valencia created La Liga highlights of their own to seal the fourth and final Champions League spot was an equally fine achievement, made even better when they capped off a memorable campaign by lifting the Copa del Rey in memorable fashion.

Now both are ready to defy the SBOBET La Liga betting odds once again after making decent starts to 2019/2020.

 

Talking Points

Atletico currently occupy third spot in the league with 15 points from their first eight games.

Valencia are five places behind but only three points away in eighth spot.

So it’s quite clear both need the points as Atletico look to close the gap on leaders and city rivals Real Madrid, who they met last month.

To do that, they will need to score goals and that means Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata, Atletico Madrid’s No.9 and No.19, showing the punch they clearly have but are seriously lacking in the early stages of the new campaign.

 


 

 

Yes, Los Rojiblancos’ defensive reliability has them still performing as one of the elite sides in La Liga but goals are missing, scoring just seven in their eight games and if Simeone’s men are to be challenging at the top come May, they’ll need their frontmen to find form soon.

Both have one goal this season -- fewer than Joao Felix -- Vitolo and Thomas Partey. While injuries have impacted the two of them, that’s not enough to explain their struggles at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Their struggles focus the link with the man Simeone reportedly wanted to sign this summer.

Rodrigo was all set to leave Valencia for Atletico this summer and his failure to land the frontman left Simeone frustrated.

Sixty-seven days later, Rodrigo’s bags are packed for a trip to the capital only this time Simeone will be paying close attention to him as a threat to his own defence.

Team news is sparse as players report back from international duty but Vitolo could be fit enough to play for the hosts.

They have suffered a setback, however, with the news Stefan Savic will be out for up to four weeks with a muscle injury he picked up on international duty with Montenegro.

Apart from a defeat at Real Sociedad last month, Atletico are unbeaten with clean sheets in the four games which followed. Valencia have been beaten twice both on the road but managed to stop the rot at Bilbao before the international break.

 

History

In this corresponding fixture six months ago, Atletico won 3-2 when Angeal Correa scored a late winner.

Morata had opened the scoring before Kevin Gameiro equalised into the second half, Antoine Griezmann restored the hosts lead but again Valencia hit back to level through Daniel Parejo.

La Liga: Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno has been linked to transfer in Atletico Madrid
Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno celebrates scoring against Chelsea in Champions League

If goals are your thing, then perhaps this is not the game for you. The previous three meetings had produced just three goals and resulted in two draws.

Last season, on the opening day, the sides played out a 1-1 draw with Correa and Rodrigo on target.

Atletico are unbeaten in the previous nine meetings with Valencia and recorded six victories in the process. Valencia last defeated Atletico 3-1 in October 2014. It remains their only success against them in the last 13 clashes.

Atletico and Valencia have met 44 times in total with Madrid triumphing on 17 occasions and Valencia 13. Fourteen encounters have ended all square.

 

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia Atletico Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 2.25
October 19, 22:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET La Liga betting odds are in favour of a home win. Atletico are priced 1X2 @ 1.68 with Valencia out @ 5.00. The draw is available @ 3.70.

Asian Handicap betting odds are similar with Atletico – 0.75 @ 1.90 and Valencia +0.50 @ 2.33.

Over 2.50 goals @ 2.13 and under 2 goals @ 2.33 suggest this may be either a low scoring game or see goals aplenty.

Double Chance Valencia or Draw @ 2.11 is the best Double Chance offer, while a repeat of last season’s encounter here – correct score 3-2 - @ 36.00 is a big ask.

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

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 19-Oct-2019 at 1:22 PM


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SBOBET 19-Oct 2019 Saturday 1:57 PM (290 days ago)            #2
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La Liga: Barca Prepare for Battle in Basque Country

Eibar vs Barcelona

La Liga is back after the International break and we have a belting match to kick off the weekend, as Barcelona heads to the Basque country to take on Eibar. After a slow start, 12 points from the last five games have seen Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona climb stealthily up the table into second place. And as the first fixture of the day, this trip to the Basque Country could see the Blaugrana hit top spot for the first time this season. The latest La Liga 2019 betting odds have kept faith with the Catalans, odds on to retain the title, but Real Madrid are not far behind. Los Blancos have been setting the pace and remain the only unbeaten side in Spain’s top tier. And with the El Clasico looming, Los Blancos visit the Camp Nou next weekend, Valverde needs a victory. But it won’t be easy. The 7,000 capacity Ipurua Municipal Stadium is a tricky place to play, and Eibar boss Jose Luis Mendilibar has worked wonders over the past three seasons.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Is Messi ready to take off? The Catalans have put together a three-match winning run in the league with a victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League in there too, Luis Suarez scoring twice to peg back the Serie A pace-setters. But the best news for the Uruguayan is that Barca’s talisman Lionel Messi opened his account in a recent victory over Sevilla before the break. If Messi starts to find his best form, it’s time for the rest of La Liga to lookout. Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Sevilla came at a cost, as two players were sent off late in the game. Ronald Araujo was red-carded for a clumsy foul, and bizarrely Ousmane Dembele followed him for protesting too much. Midfield man Sergio Busquets escaped with a yellow! But, with the exception of those two, and the injured Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, Valverde has a rested squad ready to go again. For the first time in recent memory, Spain started an international, against Sweden, without a Barca player on the pitch, which is a reflection of the wider recruitment which has reshaped the Champions. Summer recruits Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong are settling in nicely. Win this match and the Blaugrana can take it easy for the rest of the day, with one eye on the La Liga 2019 updates as their main rivals take to the pitch. Atletico Madrid have a tough examination at home to eighth-placed Valencia, before the late match sees Real Madrid visit strugglers Mallorca. Valverde would love to heap a little more pressure on Los Blancos before they kick-off. Gunsmiths have found their aim After a difficult start to this campaign, Mendilibar has got his team going again. Los Armeros have picked up eight of their nine points from the last four games, including home wins over Sevilla and Celta Vigo. They are a tough nut to crack on this tight ground which has a lively atmosphere; it’s a far cry from the 99,000 capacity Camp Nou.
Eibar are aiming to turn the odds in their favour when they clash against La Liga champions Barcelona
Gonzalo Escalante was sent off during their match against Real Betis


Eibar fought back from 2-0 down to beat Sevilla 3-2 recently, Jose Angel scoring a dramatic late winner with a well-taken free-kick. They have the underdog spirit with a never say die attitude, but will be without midfield star Gonzalo Escalante who picked up a red card in the draw against Real Betis last time out.  

History

Eibar decided to play in claret and blue shirts and blue shorts to emulate Barcelona. That’s quite a tribute to their opponents and one which helped them out when they won their first-ever promotion to La Liga in 2014. They celebrated with confetti originally produced by Barca. The Catalans didn’t win the La Liga title as they expected and sent their lorry loads of confetti up to the Basque Country! Since then, Mendilibar has overseen a gradual improvement with midtable finishes over the past two seasons. But they are yet to beat Barcelona. In the 10 meetings since 2014, Eibar has drawn once and lost the other nine. But the 2-2 draw came last May, and so that will give the hosts some hope. Barca have scored two or more in each of the 10 meetings and have kept six clean sheets.  

Betting Tip

??

Eibar vs Barcelona Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 1.94
October 19, 19:00 (GMT+8)
Eibar are at 5.20 to win, at SBOBET, with the draw at 4.30, while Barca are odds on at 1.55 to win. The Gunsmiths are on a decent run, unbeaten in four, and they will put up a good fight. But I back Barca’s frontline big hitters to score at least two yet again.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 19-Oct-2019 at 1:57 PM


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SBOBET 20-Oct 2019 Sunday 6:37 PM (289 days ago)            #3
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La Liga: Honours Even, Which Helps Neither Challenger

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Valencia

If ever there was a clash of the challengers and a chance for the winners to dream big and set out their stall for this year’s La Liga title race, this was it.

Yes, Atletico have long been accustomed to upsetting the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid under coach Diego Simeone, and they did so again by splitting them last season to take the runners-up spot.

Yes, Valencia sealed the fourth and final Champions League spot last term and then made it even better when they capped off a memorable campaign by lifting the Copa del Rey in memorable fashion.

But this was a chance to lay down a marker of their own in the marathon that is the league and show they can challenge during the long winter ahead.

 

Highlights of the game

Lee Kang-In was given a red card during Valencia's La Liga draw with Atletico Madrid
Valencia's Lee Kang-in looks dejected after being sent off during a La Liga match against Atletico Madrid

Atleti coach Diego Simeone didn’t include Vitolo in his starting line-up. The winger returned from injury and trained with his team-mates this week. But he was not risked, presumably with the midweek visit of Bayer Leverkusen in mind.

In addition to the Canary Islander, Stefan Savic was unavailable due to a muscle injury.

Before the La Liga 2019 highlights got underway, there were moving scenes as former Atletico Madrid player Jorge Griffa received an honorary plaque.

Griffa played for the club in the 1960s and won one league title, one Cup Winners Cup and three Copa del Rey titles. After leaving the club, he went onto discover and develop some of the best Argentine talents of recent decades, such as Jorge Valdano, Gabriel Batistuta and now Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Both sets of players were also wearing pink armbands to mark their support for breast cancer awareness month.

Much had been said before the match of the need for the hosts to end a scoring drought. They have failed to find the net in four of their past five league matches, with Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata both netting just one goal each so far this season.

So, it was barely a surprise that when the deadlock was broken, it came from the penalty spot.

Nine minutes before half-time, Denis Cheryshev was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area. VAR confirmed the decision and Costa converted the resulting spot-kick.

Before then, Morata had twice come close with a header and a shot which was blocked, while Saul Niguez also wasn’t far away with a left-footed effort.

However, Cheryshev was a threat before and after the break for Valencia, and seven minutes after the restart, he hit the bar with a strike as they searched for an equaliser.

Atletico remained the better side overall, but there was always the risk their failure to add a second goal – and they did have chances – could prove costly.

So it proved as, two minutes after Joao Felix had to leave the fray injured after Simeone had made all his three substitutions, Valencia equalised.

It was another set-piece goal as Daniel Parejo delivered a free-kick into the top right-hand corner.

It finally saw Jan Oblak beaten.

The shot-stopper hadn’t conceded a goal in more than 555 minutes. He kept five consecutive clean sheets with neither Celta Vigo, Real Mallorca, Real Madrid, Lokomotiv Moscow nor Real Valladolid able to find a way past the Slovenian number one.

If not for Oblak, Parejo would have scored again within two minutes as Valencia sensed a turnaround.

It actually finished 10 versus 10 as South Korean substitute Lee Kang-In was shown a yellow card, upgraded to red by VAR, for a late foul.

So, a point apiece but really a result that will not help either side’s hopes of challenging the big boys for the top prize.

Both continue to overachieve but the SBOBET La Liga 2019 betting odds suggest neither will mount a bid for the championship just yet.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key statistics

This is Valencia’s longest ever winless streak against Atletico.

Los Che have not beaten them in each of their last 10 outings in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

Their last win over Los Rojiblancos came in October 2014 when goals from Andre Gomes, Nicolas Otamendi and an own goal from Miranda gave them a 3-1 win at Mestalla.

Until today, Blaise Matuidi was the last player to score past Oblak when he netted Juventus’ second goal in the Champions League game at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

 

What’s next?

There’s two more home matches next week for Atletico.

Bayer Leverkusen are the visitors in the Champions League on Tuesday followed by Athletic Bilbao in La Liga next Saturday.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 20-Oct-2019 at 6:38 PM


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SBOBET 30-Oct 2019 Wednesday 4:20 PM (279 days ago)            #4
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La Liga: Atleti Need Goals to Hit the Top

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

I know, it sounds obvious. But it’s not a big change I’m asking for.

Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone have had the best defence in Europe, if not the world, for the last five seasons, and they have pushed Barca close in La Liga, finishing second in the last two seasons. And they were Champions League runners up in 2014 and 2016.

You can’t come so close to winning two big prizes without wondering what else you need to do. Simeone knows it. But he sold his main supply of goals, Antoine Griezmann to Barca in the summer. He made an exciting signing in Joao Felix, but is he ready to fire Los Rojiblancos to glory?

Well, we won’t know when Atleti host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday because the young striker is injured. Even so, surely Simeone has the strikers to win. The latest odds at SBOBET back Los Rojiblancos as favourites to win this clash at odds of 1.72, with Athletic Club at 5.00 and the draw available at 3.45.

The La Liga 2019 betting odds have Los Blancos as second favourites for the title, after Barca, but with Granada and Real Sociedad playing on Sunday and El Clasico postponed, Simeone’s side can draw level with Barca at the top. Now is the time for Atletico to get moving.

 

Talking Points

Los Rojiblancos misfiring

It must be so frustrating. In a strange set of early La Liga 2019 results, Barcelona made a poor start to the campaign and Real Madrid still look to be in a phase of transition and naval-gazing. But Atleti haven’t managed to take advantage.

A draw with Valencia last week was not the result Simeone was looking for, and it meant his side had picked up just one win in six, drawing the last three. Just two more wins from those six would have seen Los Rojiblancos clear at the top.

Simeone has had some bad luck with injuries. The creative wide man Vitolo has been out but might be fit to return on Saturday. And now Joao Felix, who has made a bright start with a couple of goals, is out for three weeks having picked up an ankle knock.

Simeone’s side was at their impregnable best against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night, giving the German side little more than a sniff, before Alvaro Morata bagged a late winner. It was their first win on home soil in five games, and with their Champions League campaign ticking along nicely, it might kick-start their domestic challenge.

Diego Costa is the main man up front at the moment, and with Morata alongside and Saul Niguez just behind, you’d like to think Atleti can start to score.

Tipsters back Iñaki Williams to score first for Bilbao in their La Liga clash vs Atletico Madrid
Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams shakes hands with Iker Muniain after he is substituted

The two meanest defences

Athletic Bilbao started the new season with a bang, beating Barcelona 1-0 on the opening weekend. But they have hit a difficult patch, having without a win in four. But remarkably, they can overtake Atletico with a victory on Saturday.

Like Atleti, they have a tight defence and are extremely hard to break down; it’s only been breached five times this season.

With Alvaro Lopez and Inigo Martinez at the back, their rearguard is supremely organised. In fact, the two teams have identical goal differences, with eight scored and five conceded. No other side in the top half of La Liga has scored fewer.

It’s not easy to sell this game if you’re only interested in goals!

Head coach Gaizka Garitano will be happy with a point on Saturday, but his side will try to hit Atleti on the break. Raul Garcia has scored four goals from midfield for Los Leones and the lively Inaki Williams was on target in the recent 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid.

 

History

Atletico Madrid have had the best of the head to head matches with Athletic Bilbao, winning 30 of the 51 meetings since 1993, while their visitors have come out on top 14 times and there have been seven draws.

Bilbao won their last meeting 2-0, but last season’s clash here at the Wanda Metropolitano ended in a 3-2 win for Los Rojiblancos. I can’t see a goal-fest this time though!

While Los Rojiblancos haven’t won in four, they are unbeaten in 15 on home soil and Athletic Bilbao is yet to win on the road this season.

 

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Under 2.00 goals @ 1.88
October 27, 03:00 (GMT+8)

Atleti sit just outside the top four in the La Liga table and need to turn draws into victories while, even after a poor run, Athletic Bilbao are just three points behind in eighth place.

A draw is just not good enough for the hosts and I think they will grind out a win. 1-0 at 4.40 is very tempting, but I’m hedging…just in case Atleti score twice!

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 30-Oct-2019 at 4:21 PM


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SBOBET 30-Oct 2019 Wednesday 4:26 PM (279 days ago)            #5
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La Liga: Soaring Sevilla Search for Much-Awaited Win at Mestalla

Valencia vs Sevilla

Valencia and Sevilla could not be further away from each other in terms of their current form. While Sevilla have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, Valencia have had just one victory in their last five, with two draws and two defeats.

Los Che will now look to arrect that poor form in La Liga as they host the high-flying Rojiblancos at the Mestalla.

Sevilla are one of four sides currently tied for second with 19 points, although Barcelona have a game in hand, as do Real, who are at 18 points.

Sevilla still aren't among the top title favourites according to the La Liga 2019 odds, but victory away at Valencia could go some way toward changing that.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Valencia in desperate need of a victory

Albert Celades has had a rough first 10 matches as Valencia manager. They've won just three of those 10 games with him in charge, with four draws and three defeats. They've also scored only 13 goals during that time while giving up 18.

After a creditable 1-1 draw away to Atletico Madrid, they shipped three more goals last weekend as they lost 3-1 away to Osasuna. Rodrigo gave Valencia an early lead, but he was sent off before the half-hour mark, which played a huge part in Los Che failing to hold onto their advantage.

With Rodrigo's red card, Valencia have now had a player sent off in three consecutive matches. The fact that they were down to 10 men helped Lille grab a stoppage-time equaliser to force a 1-1 draw in their most recent Champions League outing.

Rodrigo will be suspended for their upcoming match against Sevilla, which means that Kevin Gameiro and/or Maxi Gomez will be tasked with deputising in the attack. Gomez has had a strong start to his Valencia career, scoring four goals in his first nine appearances.

Gomez has scored three of those four goals at home, where Valencia are still undefeated in the league this season. However, they've won just two of those five games. They should've beaten Getafe, but they gave away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3.

Sevilla in superb form

Sevilla are on quite a roll at the moment. Julen Lopetegui's side have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, with that one defeat a 4-0 setback away against Barcelona.

They followed up their 3-0 win over F91 Dudelange in the Europa League with a routine 2-0 victory over Getafe last weekend.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who scored the winner in their 1-0 win over APOEL Nicosia -- made some La Liga 2019 highlights when he picked up his first La Liga goal for his new club against Getafe. Lucas Ocampos added a second to seal the points.

It should be noted that Sevilla's recent good form has been aided by the fact that they've played at home five times. But still, they deserve credit for keeping a clean sheet in four out of those five games.

Can Julen Lopetegui guide Sevilla to a new heights in La Liga?
Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui giving instructions to his players from the touchline

Sevilla also had an impressive away record to start the new league season. They had won their first three away matches in La Liga -- including one against surprise package Granada -- without conceding a single goal.

They really should have made it four wins out of four, but they conspired to give up three unanswered goals after going up 2-0 against a struggling Eibar side.

However, recent history will not be on Sevilla's side as they visit the Mestalla.

 

History

Battles between Valencia and Sevilla have been quite even throughout the years. Since 1993, Valencia have won 25 of their 53 matches, with Sevilla winning 19.

Valencia have had a significant edge in terms of more recent encounters, though. They have gone five matches unbeaten against Sevilla, with three wins and two draws.

It's also been a long time since Sevilla have won away at the Mestalla. The last time that happened was way back in 2012.

Since that match, the home team has won eight of their last 14 La Liga matches, although Valencia have won two out of the last three at the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

 

Betting Tip

??

Valencia vs Sevilla Under 2.50 Goals @ 1.90
October 31, 02:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds have Sevilla as slight favourites at 2.49 to snap their Mestalla drought. Meanwhile, Valencia are priced at 2.80 to get the home win, with the draw at 3.20.

Both sides are quite evenly matched, and all three outcomes are quite possible. That's why I'm going for the over under, specifically under 2.50 goals.

I don't expect to see too many goals in this game. Four of the last five meetings between the two have resulted in two goals or fewer. I predict a cagey match that will either end up being decided by the odd goal or finish in a draw.

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 30-Oct-2019 at 4:26 PM


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SBOBET 31-Oct 2019 Thursday 5:59 PM (278 days ago)            #6
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La Liga: Barcelona Bring Impressive Win Streak to Struggling Levante

Levante vs Barcelona

Barcelona are back at the top of the La Liga table thanks to an impressive run of results. Lionel Messi and co. have won their last seven matches in a row and are once again blowing away their opposition in recent games. Their latest outing saw them fire five past Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou. However, Barca still have some question marks away from home which need answering. They will look to do just that as they travel to Valencia to face Levante. The Granotas are once again hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone this season after a rough stretch of La Liga 2019 results.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Levante slumping badly After a bright start to the season which saw them win two of their first three matches, Levante have gone steadily downhill. They've won just one of their last seven league games -- which came against bottom club Leganes -- with four defeats and two draws. To be fair, two of those four defeats came away to Real Madrid and Sevilla, and they put up a fight in both. They pulled two goals back against Real to lose 3-2, and it took Sevilla until the 86th minute to get their winner. However, they also lost to Real Betis and Espanyol, two of the bottom four sides. As of this writing, Levante have yet to play at the Anoeta against Real Sociedad. But with La Real currently riding high in fifth, the La Liga 2019 odds anticipate another Levante defeat. Levante scored the fourth-most goals in La Liga last season with 59, but they have found goals hard to come by in recent weeks. Since scoring six in their first four games, they have scored just four in their last six. Roger Marti, last year's top scorer with 13 goals, has a team-high three thus far, but all three have come from the penalty spot. Messi still magical Barcelona are on quite a run of late. They have won their last seven games in all competitions -- five in La Liga -- with their most recent victory coming in the form of a 5-1 demolition of Real Valladolid. Perhaps not surprisingly, Barca's current stretch of wins has coincided with Messi's return to top form. The Argentine had arguably his best performance of the season to date against Valladolid as he scored two and assisted two of the team's five goals.

Can Lionel Messi score goals against Levante in La Liga?
Lionel Messi is back in his fine form scoring 2 goals and made 2 assists during their recent match against Real Valladolid

Over his last six appearances, Messi has recorded five goals and five assists, which is remarkable for any other player but typical for him. Luis Suarez, who saw his four-game streak with at least a goal snapped at Slavia Prague, also found the net. But despite scoring yet another goal, his performance was once again unconvincing as doubts persist about his place on the team. While Barca have racked up the wins, they still have concerns playing away from home. Despite Messi's brilliance, they laboured to a 2-1 win away to Slavia Prague in their most recent Champions League group game. They controlled just 51 per cent of possession and were thoroughly outshot by the Czech champions, 24-13. On the bright side for Barca, though, Levante don't figure to put up as tough a fight. The Catalans took care of lesser La Liga sides -- Getafe (without Messi) and Eibar -- with little fuss and should be able to do so again at Levante.  

History

To the surprise of no one, Barcelona have historically dominated their head-to-head against Levante. Since 2004, they've won 21 of their 28 meetings, while Levante have won just three times. However, two of those victories have come over the past 18 months. First, there was Levante's famous 5-4 win at home back in 2018. They actually went up 5-1 in that match before Barcelona pulled three goals back in a comeback attempt that came up short.  Barcelona got some revenge in their next visit to Estadi Ciutat de Valencia as they won, 5-0. However, Levante once again shocked the Catalans in the Copa del Rey, where they came out on top 2-1 in the home leg. But Barca still went through after winning 3-0 at the Camp Nou. It should be noted that Messi did not play in both losses against Levante. Moreover, he's scored six goals in his last four matches against the Granotas.  

Betting Tip

??

Levante vs Barcelona Barcelona Asian Handicap -1.25 @ 1.84
November 2, 23:00 (GMT+8)
SBOBET odds have Barcelona at 1.39 to pick up a sixth straight win, with Levante priced at 6.40 to score another huge home scalp. I fully anticipate Barcelona to bounce back from their disappointing showing away at Slavia Prague. And with Messi in blistering form, they should pick up a comfortable win of at least two goals.

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

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SBOBET 31-Oct 2019 Thursday 6:02 PM (278 days ago)            #7
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La Liga: Late Valencia Strike Denies Sevilla From Reaching Top Spot

Valencia 1-1 Sevilla

Sevilla missed their chance to go level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga as they could only draw with Valencia 1-1 at the Mestalla.

As predicted in the SBOBET preview of this match, it was a tight and cagey affair between two evenly-matched sides. Los Rojiblancos took the lead in first-half stoppage time, but Valencia managed to salvage a point at home with a late equaliser.

Considering Los Che's current struggles, picking up a point against one of the top five sides in the table isn't the worst result in the world.

As for Sevilla, they will be somewhat disappointed not to hold on to take all three points and snap their recent Mestalla hoodoo. As a result, they've missed the opportunity to tie Barcelona, who will play their game in hand against Levante over the weekend.

 

Highlights of the game

Valencia and Sevilla produced very few clear-cut goalscoring opportunities throughout the match. But the hosts had the more notable chances in the early going, and they came through corners.

On the 13th minute, Carlos Soler's header from the near post sailed over the bar. And shortly thereafter, Gabriel Paulista also couldn't get his header on target.

Maxi Gomez, who started up front with Rodrigo suspended, had another headed chance for Valencia following a cross from Lee Kang-In. But the Sevilla defender did enough to put the striker off.

Valencia's best chance of the half fell to Lee on 20 minutes. Ferran Torres supplied a great ball to Lee, who was unmarked from 13 yards out. Unfortunately, the South Korean was unable to keep his volley down.

But for all of Valencia's dominance in the first half, it was Sevilla who took the lead against the run of play during first-half stoppage time.

Fernando picked out an unmarked Lucas Ocampos just inside the penalty area, and the Argentine coolly slotted past Valencia keeper Jasper Cillissen to give Sevilla a shock lead.

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui looks upset after failing to seal a win over Valencia in La Liga
Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui is distressed after failing to win over Valencia in recent La Liga match

Valencia very nearly hit back just three minutes into the second half. Lee and Maxi Gomez combined once again as the South Korean supplied a terrific through ball to his strike partner. But Tomas Vaclik produced a brilliant save to keep out the Valencia striker's shot, which was destined for the bottom corner.

The hosts continued to pour on the pressure in search of an equaliser, but they were nearly caught out on the break. Ocampos had another opportunity on goal, although his decision to shoot from a tight angle instead of laying it off to one of his team-mates was not the best.

Valencia's persistence eventually paid off as they got their equaliser on 81 minutes. Ruben Sobrino rose highest to head home Dani Parejo's free-kick. Sevilla's marking was sloppy as they allowed the Valencia substitute to meet the ball with little resistance.

Sobrino also had the last chance of the game deep into stoppage time, but Vaclik was on hand to make the save which preserved a point for the visitors.

 

Key statistics

Valencia and Sevilla are arguably the two best sides in La Liga outside of the established top three, but their matchup produced very little La Liga 2019 highlights. They combined for 20 shots but just four of them were on target.

Ocampos was the brightest attacking player in the match. He had four of the team's 10 shots and also had their lone shot on target, which was their goal.

With this draw, Valencia have now gone six matches unbeaten against Sevilla (three wins, three draws). Moreover, they've also extended their unbeaten run at the Mestalla against Sevilla to eight matches (five wins, three draws).

As for Valencia, they've now gone three matches without a win in La Liga and have won just two of their last nine (five draws, two losses). They've also drawn four of their six home league matches.

 

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Valencia will go in search of a much-needed win when they visit struggling Espanyol this weekend. The Catalans are currently second from bottom in the table, so the La Liga 2019 odds will likely fancy a Valencia victory in that matchup.

As for Sevilla, they will have a much tougher assignment as they face the other Rojiblancos, Atletico Madrid. Atleti have been stalemate specialists of late, drawing five of their last seven matches in La Liga. They also drew both matches against Sevilla last season, so this could be yet another tight affair.

 

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SBOBET 04-Nov 2019 Monday 12:47 PM (274 days ago)            #8
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La Liga: Sevilla and Atleti Square Off in Big Top-5 Showdown

Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid

With a quarter of the season gone, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid both find themselves tied for third place in the La Liga table. Although, both clubs have played one more game than the top two of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Atleti -- the third favourites to win the title behind Barca and Real according to La Liga 2019 odds -- should probably be a few more points and places better off in the table as they've struggled to pick up wins in recent weeks.

They will have another tough test ahead of them as they face a Sevilla side which is always a handful at the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Sevilla's home win streak

Sevilla are coming off a 1-1 draw away to Valencia in midweek. After taking the lead through Lucas Ocampos, they conceded a late goal which saw them fail to go level with Barcelona atop the table.

Prior to that draw, Sevilla had won five of their last six matches in all competitions, with all five of their wins coming at home.

While they haven't faced the strongest competition -- APOEL Nicosia, Levante, F91 Dudelange, and Getafe -- it's still notable that Sevilla have kept four consecutive clean sheets.

And on the other end of the pitch, Ocampos has been in superb form. The Argentine winger leads the team with four goals this season, including two in his last two outings. Add his exploits with the national team during the previous international break, and he has scored in six goals in his last eight matches.

With strikers Luuk de Jong and Javier Hernandez yet to provide consistent goalscoring for Sevilla this season, Ocampos will once again be Sevilla's top attacking threat against Atleti.

Ocampos will look to recreate the success departed wide forward Pablo Sarabia had against Atletico. Sarabia scored three goals in his last four meetings against Los Colchoneros.

Atleti keep dropping points

Atletico Madrid currently have 20 points after 11 matches, but they really should have a few more. They've drawn four of their last five La Liga fixtures, two of which were away from home against bottom-half sides in Real Valladolid and Deportivo Alaves.

They took the lead through Alvaro Morata against Alaves but conceded a brilliant Lucas Perez strike in the 83rd minute. They also conceded late in a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia.

Morata has been in fine form for Atleti of late, creating his share of La Liga 2019 highlights. He's now scored in three consecutive matches, including the last two in La Liga.

Atletico have certainly needed Morata's resurgence, especially with young starlet Joao Felix still missing with an ankle injury. Diego Costa continues to struggle -- he has just two league goals this season, one coming from the penalty spot -- although manager Diego Simeone is still starting him.


Both Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have 20 points in La Liga Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone coaching from the touchline[/caption]

Angel Correa has also stepped up in a big way in Joao Felix's absence. The Argentine has started the last three games and has assisted in Atleti's last three league goals.

Meanwhile, defence remains a real strength for Los Colchoneros. They've conceded just two goals in their last nine matches in all competitions.

 

History

Sevilla and Atleti have been remarkably evenly-matched in their meetings over the years. Since 1993, Sevilla hold the slight edge with 19 wins, Atleti have 17, and there have been 17 draws. Two of those draws came last season as both of their games ended 1-1.

Sevilla came out on top in both of their Copa del Rey quarter-final ties in 2018. But in La Liga, Atleti won three in a row prior to last year's draws. Moreover, Atletico have lost just once in their last 11 league matches against Sevilla (seven wins, three draws).

Atletico have also won four times in the league at the Sanchez Pizjuan since 2013, while Sevilla have won just once during that same time. They thrashed Sevilla 5-2 back in 2018, with Antoine Griezmann netting a hat-trick.

 

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 1.85
November 03, 01:30 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds slightly favour Sevilla at 2.41 to win, with Atleti priced at 3.15 and a draw at 2.96. Given Atletico's current form, another stalemate against Sevilla looks very likely. However, the visitors are also the more likely to win of the two, as their recent head-to-head track record shows.

So that's why I'm tipping Atleti on the Asian Handicap. I just don't see Sevilla's attack doing enough to beat Atleti and their imposing defence. A draw will still get you half the winnings, and you win in full with an away victory.

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SBOBET 04-Nov 2019 Monday 12:55 PM (274 days ago)            #9
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La Liga: Another Real Test For Granada

Granada vs Real Sociedad

There’s more top-six La Liga action to look forward to on Sunday, when Granada takes on Real Sociedad in a fascinating clash at the Estadio Los Carmenes.

The 19,000-seater stadium will be bouncing for this game, as Granada try to continue their superb start to their first season back in the top flight.

We at SBOBET reckon this could be one of the games of the weekend, with all three results well in play and only one point separating the two sides.

An away win would see Real Sociedad leapfrog their hosts, but the La Liga new boys are making their home in Los Carmenes a fortress, with three home wins on the run.

Remarkably, Granada and Real Sociedad are in the group of six all within three points of Barcelona at the summit, but both teams suffered midweek setbacks in the league and will want to bounce back straight away.

 

opacity 0

 

 

Talking Points

El Grana punching above their weight

What a return to the top flight it has been for Granada, possibly above their fans’ wildest expectations.

The pre-season La Liga 2019 betting odds featured Granada as a potential relegation candidate, and that’s the norm for newly promoted sides in any of Europe’s top leagues. But they have performed consistently, rising to third in the La Liga table, having taken ten points from the first five games of the season and another ten from the second five.

Only two teams in La Liga have a lower salary cap, and in a recent win over Real Betis Granada’s starting line-up cost around £7m in total!

Head coach Diego Martinez took El Grana to promotion from the Segunda Division in his first season at the helm. This term he has been careful to manage expectations in Granada, recently saying his team and Barcelona belong to different universes before beating the champions and La Liga favourites 2-0!

It was, without any doubt, one of the biggest La Liga 2019 results of the season so far, and that kind of humility is serving Martinez well.

At the beginning of the month Granada were at the wrong end of a 4-2 result in an entertaining clash against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, but they acquitted themselves well and responded with back-to-back wins.

Martinez plays a 3-5-1 formation with a back three of Domingos Duarte, German Sanchez and Martinez Gil, with ex Spurs star Roberto Soldado often the lone striker. They defend as a collective with all eleven players fighting for every ball and with a never say die approach. 12 of his squad are local boys from Andalusia.

But they had a disappointing night on Thursday with a 3-1 defeat at Getafe, in a bad tempered game which included ten yellow cards (five for each team).

Granada dominated possession and shots on goal, but were simply not clinical enough at either end of the pitch.

Sociedad searching for consistency

Three defeats and three victories in the last six games tells its own story for La Real, and a 2-1 home defeat to mid-table Levante was hardly ideal preparation for this tough test.

Real Sociedad have avoided defeat in each of their last five games at Los Carmenes in La Liga, with 3 wins and 2 draws
Real Sociedad players celebrate after scoring a goal

Top scorer Willian Jose climbed off the bench and was on target again within two minutes of his arrival, but not before La Real went down to a two goal deficit before the break. Despite dominating possession and having 17 shots on goal, they couldn’t get that crucial second.

Head coach Imanol Iguacil has seen his side make plenty of opportunities but all too often let them slip through their fingers. They led in an away game to Sevilla before going down to a 3-2 defeat, and they will need to hold on to any advantage they can get in Andalusia.

Skipper Mikel Oryarzabal is a talented wide player and leads from the front, already weighing in with four goals for the season.

 

History

La Real have the advantage in the head-to-heads, with seven wins to Granada’s three, and there have been four draws in the 14 meetings since 2011.

Sociedad did the double the last time the two teams met in La Liga, and Granada haven’t won any of the last four against these opponents.

 

Betting Tip

??

Granada vs Real Sociedad Granada Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.16
November 4, 04:00 (GMT+8)

This game could go any which way. The hosts are at 2.95 to win, with Sociedad at 2.51 and the draw available at odds of 3.00.

Granada have won the last three home games by a 1-0 score line, and their fans will be willing them on to make it four. The prize is to keep hold of their top three place and the Andalusians will do all they can to strengthen that grip against more illustrious opponents.

The 1-0 score line is available at odds of 7.20, but 1-1 at 5.20 is the most likely outcome.

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SBOBET 04-Nov 2019 Monday 2:36 PM (274 days ago)            #10
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La Liga: Entertaining Draw Suggests Chasers Are Not Ready to Be Challengers

Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid

With champions Barcelona going down to a shock 3-1 defeat at Levante, this tea-time clash was the perfect opportunity for one of Sevilla or Atletico Madrid to go top of the La Liga table – at least temporarily.

It was also a milestone for Diego Simeone. Could his team create more La Liga 2019 highlights or would it be left to Sevilla to leapfrog their opponents?

In the end, the answer was neither.

 

Highlights of the game

With both Barca and Real Madrid failing to put forward a convincing case, this game represented an opportunity for these sides to be among the main front runners.

Having said that, the La Liga 2019 betting odds remain unconvinced by both these sides’ ability to last the pace and, it has hardly been the best of starts to the season for Los Rojiblancos.

Atletico’s last five La Liga games had delivered four draws and one win, picking up just seven points from the 15 on offer.

In fact, one football website this week gave them advice on ways to improve, pinpointing a number of factors, including the fact they have only tended to hit the ground running after the interval.

Indeed, in five of the 11 games they have played so far this season, they haven’t managed to score a single first-half goal.

That was a statistic Simeone was only too well aware of, and a point my SBOBET colleague highlighted in the build-up to this fixture.

They arrived at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, one of those places that’s never easy to visit, looking to reverse that trend.

The injuries to Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez meant that Mario Hermoso and Felipe Monteiro were the only centre-backs in the travelling squad, which was also without Joao Felix as he recovers from injury.

Sevilla, level on points but hammered the last time they faced a title challenger, included Oliver Torres in their starting line-up, facing his former team for the first time since his departure back in 2017.

Since coach Julen Lopetegui managed to lure him back to Spain, Torres has played all but three of Sevilla’s 15 games so far and scored a couple of goals.

And he would have appreciated the play which led to the opening goal in the 28th minute.

Éver Banega delivered a free-kick into the box and there was Franco Vázquez to head into the bottom left corner.

Koke and Angel Correa had gone close early on for Atletico as they aimed to end that poor first-half sequence in front of goal.

Koke also tested Tomas Vaclik in the Sevilla goal as the half drew to a close, but the hosts, who missed the chance to go top of the table in midweek although gained a creditable point at Valencia, went in at the break a goal to the good.

Diego Costa, who has a fine scoring record against Sevilla, was introduced for the second half along with Santiago Arias – on for Thomas Lemar and Kieran Trippier.

It seemed an early spell of pressure had been rewarded within nine minutes as Costa headed home a Correa cross only for VAR to intervene and rule it out.

The other substitute then provided his own decisive moment as Arias’ ball was headed in by another former Chelsea man, Alvaro Morata.

Alvaro Morata scores Atletico Madrid's only goal in their recent La Liga match
Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring Atletico Madrid's equaliser against Sevilla

It was a deserved equaliser from the visitors and reward for their bright start to the second period.

Renan Lodi then went close to putting them in front. The momentum was most definitely with them when VAR intervened again, this time in their favour as Nemanja Gudelj was adjudged to have fouled Koke in the box.

Up stepped Costa and the smart money would have been on the Spaniard putting Atletico in front, yet Vaclik kept out his spot-kick.

That seemed to give Sevilla added impetus. Jan Oblak was the busier goalkeeper in the closing stages, saving a Lucas Ocampos header and a Gudelj strike before Costa and Morata saw efforts blocked.

Neither side could grab a winner and the point apiece merely added to the feeling that these teams are not yet ready to challenge for the La Liga title.

 

Key statistics

This was Simeone’s 300th La Liga game in charge – a statistic few could have predicted when he arrived in December 2011.

He is the fifth coach in La Liga history to hit 300 games with the same team, drawing level with the legendary Johan Cruyff.

In matchday 36 this season, he is due to reach a total of 322 with John Toshack, who accumulated that number during three spells with Real Sociedad.

Vázquez has scored more headers this season (three) than in each of his previous three seasons.

Morata has matched his best streak scoring since four games with Real Madrid in October 2016.

 

What’s next?

It’s another busy week for both these clubs before the international break.

Sevilla are in Luxembourg to play Dudelange in the Europa League and then face Real Betis in La Liga next Sunday.

Bayer Leverkusen await Atletico in Germany in midweek before they are back on home soil domestically against Espanyol next Sunday.

 

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SBOBET 12-Nov 2019 Tuesday 1:21 PM (266 days ago)            #11
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La Liga: Valencia Aim to Build Momentum Against Struggling Granada

Valencia vs Granada

Valencia are looking to gain some ground in the La Liga table as they host the slumping Granada squad at the Mestalla on Saturday.mes

Los Ches are coming off with back-to-back wins against Espanyol and Lille in the Champions League days after drawing level against Sevilla to deny them of the top spot at the table.

Such momentum is much needed for the home team as they’re currently placed at 13th in the standings, which is a far cry from their performance last season.

On the other hand, Granada continue to exceed expectations as they are clinging on to the sixth spot at the table. However, their losses against Real Sociedad and Getafe CF have given them a reality check of sorts.

Valencia would be keen on getting another home win at the expense of El Grana, but it should be easier said than done as this figures to be an interesting match.

For today, SBOBET discusses some talking points ahead on Saturday.

 

Talking Points

Valencia aching to bounce back

Valencia were initially dubbed as one of the up-and-coming contenders in the La Liga after finishing fourth last season and winning the Copa del Rey last summer. However, it’s safe to say that they haven’t been living up to the expectations so far.

Albert Celades’ side has struggled to produce some La Liga 2019 highlights as they’ve only managed to score 17 points in 12 match days – which includes four wins, five losses, and three draws.

However, the good thing for them is that they are yet to be defeated at home. In this 2019/20 campaign, Los Ches compiled two wins and four draws in the Mestalla. They’ve had their chances to improve their record in their matches against Getafe CF and Sevilla, but they just came up short in the end.

 


 

 

There’s still hope for Valencia given their recent form as they are currently in a tight race in the Champions League in Group H where they have the same points as Chelsea and Ajax.

If their recent game provides any indication, it’s that they can score against the best of them as shown in their 4-1 win against Lille. Midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia finally scored a goal after missing all his attempts since February and guys like Ferran Torres and Daniel Parejo should be able to provide quality on their attack as well.

But what’s holding them back really is their subpar defence, as they’ve conceded 18 goals already for this season. Even with their 4-4-2 formation, opponents have found a way to attack their backline given their lack of urgency. They should work on it if they plan on making it back as a top La Liga contender.

Granada looking to recover

Granada have made a surprising start to the season as they now sit at the sixth spot of the standings with 20 points. Not bad for a team that just got out of the Segunda Division last season!

One of the biggest highlights of their season so far was when they upset the defending champions in Barcelona last September with a 2-0 tally.

They were, indeed, facing a depleted Barca back then when Lionel Messi just made his return after a leg complaint. However, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due as Granada’s stout defence and opportunistic attack gave them the win.

But that was already a month ago as they were dealt with a reality check with back-to-back losses against Getafe CF and Real Sociedad. In those matches, they struggled to muster some shots on target which put them in a difficult position to produce the needed goals to offset their mishaps on defence.

El Grana were caught in a bad-tempered game against Getafe CF which included five yellow cards while they simply had no answer against Real Sociedad.

Even with these setbacks, however, I’m pretty sure that Diego Martinez and his wards can recover right away. They just need to manage their expectations while going all out in their upcoming matches.

Granada are currently sitting at sixth place in La Liga
Granada manager Diego Martinez coaching from the touchline

History

Head-to-heads between Valencia and Granada have been one-sided as the former has won in 12 matches along with two draws in all of their encounters.

Granada have failed to score more than one goal in their matches for the last five years.

 

Betting Tip

??

Valencia vs Granada Valencia Asian Handicap -0.75 @1.86
November 09, 23:00 (GMT+8)

Our La Liga 2019 odds have Valencia at 1.67, Granada at 5.20, and a draw at 3.55 in the 1x2 market.

While recent history suggests that Valencia will keep Granada winless in their head-to-head once more, I expect the latter to make this more interesting as it should.

El Grana have the players that can provide the necessary physicality needed to make life harder against their opponents in the backline.

However, with guys like Kondogbia, Parejo, and Torres hitting their stride for Los Ches, their collective firepower might be too much to handle for the road team.

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SBOBET 12-Nov 2019 Tuesday 1:23 PM (266 days ago)            #12
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La Liga: Plenty at Stake in Seville Derby

Real Betis vs Sevilla

We’re heading to the Benito Villamarin to round of this weekend’s La Liga round of fixtures, where Real Betis welcome their rivals and neighbours Sevilla.

It’s one of the lower profile derbies in the SBOBET football calendar, but La Liga; Real Betis vs Sevilla is as big as it gets in Andalusia. You can keep your El Clasico, Milan derby and Liverpool versus Manchester City, as far as fans of Betis and Sevilla are concerned; and quite right!

Real Betis boss Rubi is hoping his side can continue a recent upturn in form, while his opposite number, Julen Lopetegui, knows a win could even take his team top. Sevilla is in fifth place on 21 points, but just a point behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table while Betis sit eight points behind in 15th place.

Lopetegui needs all of the top four to slip up. Three points is all he’s after at the Benito Villamarin, but with form often going out of the window in derbies, Betis will fancy their chances.

 

Talking Points

Betis on the up

After an inconsistent start to the campaign, Los Verdiblancos have put in two good performances recently, winning at home to Celta Vigo and then picking up an impressive point away to Real Madrid. The Betis fans were treated to a big-name signing in the summer and he seems to be settling well.

France star Nabil Fekir was quite a coup for Los Verdiblancos. Only a year ago he was chased by European Champions Liverpool, but the deal to take him from Lyon to Merseyside fell through with some confusion surrounding his medical. Well, Liverpool’s loss is Real Betis’ gain and Fekir is happy with his lot, saying: “I can understand that my decision to come to Seville was difficult to understand when you come from a club like Lyon, who play in the Champions League every year.

“I like facing up to challenges, even if they seem a bit crazy. La Liga is perhaps more suited to me than Ligue 1; it’s more technical and focused on attacking.

Another man we expect to see in the Real Betis vs Sevilla highlights package is striker Loren Moron. Having progressed from Betis B last year, the 25-year-old 6ft 2 inch Spaniard is having a great start to the season at Betis, already scoring seven goals, and taking much of the pressure off last season’s main man Borja Iglesias.

Sevilla visit Real Betis hoping to steal a spot in La Liga’s top four standings
Sevilla's Franco Vazquez scores their second goal

 

Sevilla’s top-four challenge

It’s amazing to think that Valencia, currently in 13th place, are only five points behind the league leaders. Five! So can we rule any of the top two-thirds of the table out of qualifying for next season’s Champions League? With respect to the likes of Osasuna, Levante and Real Valladolid, Julen Lopetegui will see a bigger threat in Valencia than those three, but we are almost a third of the way through the season and the big teams are yet to break away.

Should Los Palangalas aim higher? They’ll certainly want to improve on last season’s sixth-placed finish. Sevilla’s draw with Atletico Madrid last week was hard-fought but Los Rojiblancos are finding winning difficult at the moment and, at home, it was a game Sevilla would hope to win. And measured against the best in the league they suffered a hammering at the Camp Nou when Barca ran riot with a 4-0 win, despite finishing with nine men.

Lopetegui has the quality in his squad to reach the top four. Wide man Franco Vazquez has been impressive, scoring three goals so far and notching the opener in last week’s draw with Atletico. While Lucas Ocampos, with four goals, and Oliver Torres are a handful upfront.

Argentine Ever Banega is the midfield general while captain Jesus Navas is still one of the best-attacking full-backs in the league.

 

History

These two teams have been playing the Seville derby since 1915 when home team Sevilla ran out 4-3 winners.

Over the last 25 years, Sevilla have had the better of the clashes, winning 20 to Real Betis’ ten and there have been 16 draws. The visitors are unbeaten in five games, while the hosts are unbeaten in five on their home patch.

And that makes the Real Betis vs Sevilla betting tips a little more difficult.

Or does it?

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Betis vs Sevilla Draw 1x2 @ 3.45
November 11, 04:00 (GMT+8)

I’m going to sit on the fence and predict a draw. Betis are improving and the home crowd can roar them on to thwart their talented rivals.

Sevilla are favourites at 2.14 with Real Betis at 3.20, but a draw wouldn’t be a disaster for either.

For an alternative bet, 2-3 goals is available at odds of 1.91, while the most likely scoreline is 1-1.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.  

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SBOBET 12-Nov 2019 Tuesday 1:25 PM (266 days ago)            #13
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La Liga: Atleti Aims to Inch Closer to Top Spot

Atletico Madrid vs Espanyol

It’s a battle between top and bottom as Atletico Madrid lock horns with Espanyol in the 13th matchday of the La Liga.

The game is to be hosted at the 68,000-seater Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, where Atletico Madrid has built a fortress as they are yet to be defeated there.

While Barcelona currently is on top of the table, they are have drawn level with Real Madrid and Real Sociedad with 22 points. Trailing them by a point are Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, while Granada are clinging on to the sixth spot with 20 points.

Espanyol, meanwhile, have sunk to the bottom of the table with only eight points and they are in danger to be relegated at season’s end if they won’t string together some wins in the next few matchdays.

Battles between these two teams have normally been lopsided ones. However, their head-to-head record against each other is closer than most would think, making this a fascinating match to watch on Sunday evening.

As always, SBOBET is here to talk about some important tidbits ahead of this fixture.

 

Talking Points

Atletico Madrid still looking for their form

Atletico Madrid currently have 21 points in the La Liga, but it feels like they should have a few more. They weren’t able to gather some more points when they were unable to close out in their drawn matches against the likes of Celta Vigo, Valladolid, Valencia, and Alaves.

Diego Simeone’s side has struggled to produce goals on that span, as the last time that they netted at least three goals was back in September when they defeated Eibar.

Much of their scoring woes can be attributed to the injury of Joao Felix last month. The 19-year-old attacking midfielder rolled his ankle in their home draw against Valencia and he just came back in their match against Lokomotiv Moscow after being sidelined for three weeks.

His presence was felt right away when he scored off a lovely finish at the 48th minute, which should serve as a stern warning for their counterparts in the La Liga.

During his absence, several players were forced to step up which should be treated as a blessing in disguise if you’re an Atleti fan. Angel Correa and Alvaro Morata have stepped up for their young star’s absence, as they’ve provided many goals and assists plus some La Liga 2019 highlights.

Diego Costa, on the other hand, continues to struggle as he only has two goals for this season. With Felix now back in the fold, for sure he’ll have better chances in the next few games.

With everyone back fully healthy, expect Los Colchoneros to hit their stride as they vie for the top spot at the table. Mix their attack to their fortress of a defence that only conceded seven goals so far, they should pose a serious threat to Barcelona’s three-peat bid.

La Liga fans expect a tight game between Atletico and Espanyol this weekend
Espanyol's Facundo Ferreyra celebrates scoring their sixth goal

Espanyol turn their focus to the Europa League

By the looks of it, Espanyol will be one of the three top teams that will be relegated at the end of this season given everything that they’ve been through for the past few weeks.

After a miserable time on the sidelines, David Gallego was replaced by Pablo Machin at the start of October to try and steer the club to a better direction.

Machin has helped Los Periquitos perform well in the ongoing Europa League. They are currently on top of Group H with 10 points and they haven’t lost a single game there.

Their most impressive victory recently was their 6-0 victory against Ludogorets. Espanyol opened the floodgates when two of their opponents were given red cards, giving them some confidence heading into this upcoming fixture.

"It helps your morale to see you can win games and it would give us a boost before we face Atletico Madrid,” said Machin.

For the rest of this term, survival in the La Liga should be Espanyol’s main objective. And with the way that they’re playing as of late, it looks like there will be brighter days ahead for this club and for their fans.

 

History

These two sides have met each other 39 times with the home team having won 16, while Espanyol won 14 along with nine draws.

Espanyol managed to win over Atleti back in April where Borja Iglesias scored a brace and Diego Godin had an own goal for a 3-0 tally.

 

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Espanyol Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 1.87
November 10, 23:00 (GMT+8)

The La Liga 2019 odds have placed Atletico Madrid at 1.48, Espanyol at 6.80, and a draw 4.00 in the 1x2 market. However, anything is possible in the game of football.

I can’t help but look back on their previous match last season, but it seems like Diego Simeone’s side had already learned its lesson to avoid such collapse this time around.

Espanyol will have to play like they’ve got nothing to lose in order to give themselves a fighting chance in this match.

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SBOBET 12-Nov 2019 Tuesday 1:27 PM (266 days ago)            #14
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La Liga: Derby Delight for Sevilla

Real Betis 1-2 Sevilla

Sevilla moved up to fourth in the table tonight after winning a pulsating clash with Real Betis in the final La Liga match of the weekend.

La Liga: Real Betis vs Sevilla is the sporting highlight of the year in Andalusia, and there was more than local pride at stake in the red hot atmosphere of the Estadio Benito Villamarin. Sevilla is on the hunt for a top four place while Betis started the match a single place above the drop zone. And a goal in each half, punctuated by a Betis equalizer gave bragging rights to Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla.

The Real Betis vs Sevilla results will always make or wreck your weekend, dependant on whether you’re green and white…or red and white. And Betis can feel unlucky to come away with nothing.

 

Highlights of the game

Sevilla came into the game on a five match unbeaten run and started in a mood to make it six. In the early exchanges Luuk de Jong forced a good save from Joel when he met a Lucas Ocampos corner, and Jesus Navas crossed for Nolito who aimed his shot towards the bottom left corner but again Joel saved.

And the early pressure told as Los Palangalas went ahead on 12 minutes after Zouhair Feddal cut de Jong down on the left wing. The centre back was booked, and punished again when the free kick found Ocampos on the left side of the box and he slammed home his fifth league goal of the season.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

As Sevilla continued to dominate, Ocampos, brimming with confidence, tried an audacious shot from 40 yards which forced Joel into a save low to his left, but Betis began to get into the game midway through the first 45. Nabil Fekir fired just over when Aiassa Mandi put him in, though chances were few and far between for the hosts.

Overall Sevilla had the better of the first half and looked like going onto the break ahead, but they were pegged back in the last minute. Betis striker Loren Moron is in the leading group of La Liga top scorers this season with seven already, and he bagged his eighth after he picked up the pieces when Emerson’s header was blocked, smashing his shot into the roof of the net.

The Benito Villamarin exploded into life and they almost roared their team on to a second before the break, but Vaclik managed to keep out Alex Moreno’s header which was destined for the bottom corner.

Moron had a chance to make it 2-1 early in the second half, but he headed Moreno’s cross high and wide. And then the visitors struck again when Ever Banega put de Jong through on goal and he finished with a flourish, firing his shot into the top left corner, giving Joel no chance.

Real Betis boss Rubi brought his talisman Joaquin on to try to inspire a second comeback. Moron forced Vaclik into another save, and Moreno too saw his header kept out by the Sevilla keeper. Then, on 71 minutes Betis came so close to an equaliser when Moron hit the post from close range.

Loren Moron's effort came up short for Real Betis to win against Sevilla in La Liga
Real Betis' Loren Moron in action during their clash against Rayo Vallecano

Sevilla almost got a third when Franco Vazquez found Ocampos, but Joel saved well, low to his left, but the visitors were on the back foot in the closing stages as Los Verdiblancos pressed for an equalizer.

 

Key statistics

The pre-match Real Betis vs Sevilla betting odds had Sevilla as favorites at odds of 2.14, but their hosts gave them a real battle, dominating possession and the shot count by 16 to ten.

Sevilla’s three points take them up to fourth in the La Liga table while Betis stays fourth from bottom. It’s Los Verdiblancos first home defeat in six, but Sevilla have extended their unbeaten run, in all competitions, to six.

 

What’s next?

Next week, here at SBOBET, we’ll be covering all the best action in the Euro 2020 qualifying games with previews, betting tips and match highlights.

Then we’re back to business in Spain. Sevilla is going nicely in the Europa League, winning four from four and already qualified for the last 32, and so Julen Lopetegui can concentrate on league matters. His team has an away game against Real Valladolid next. Their hosts are sitting in 13th with two wins and two defeats from the last four games.

After the break, Los Verdiblancos have another home game against Valencia who are up to ninth after back to back wins.

 

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SBOBET 03-Dec 2019 Tuesday 5:40 PM (245 days ago)            #15
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La Liga: Atletico Madrid Go on the Road Against Granada

Granada vs Atletico Madrid

Visitors Atletico Madrid are set to lock horns with the skidding Granada as international club football action resumes this weekend.

It looks like that the law of averages have caught up in our La Liga table, as Barcelona and Real Madrid are currently drawn level with 25 points. Not far behind are the likes of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla who are only trailing by one point from the league leaders.

Real Sociedad holds solo fifth with 23 points, while Athletic Bilbao, Getafe CF, and Granada are holding 20 points each.

Atleti have been doing okay given their recent form as they look to inch closer to the top spot. They’ve managed to score a big victory against Espanyol after drawing level against Alaves and Sevilla.

On the other hand, Granada are still struggling as of late with three straight losses against Getafe CF, Real Sociedad, and Valencia.

For now, SBOBET offers to you some talking points ahead of this match on Sunday.

 

Talking Points

Granada still on a slump

Granada have crashed back to Earth as they’re on a three-game slump with bad losses against Getafe CF, Real Sociedad, and Valencia.

In those matches, Granada’s defence was porous at best, as they’ve allowed their opponents to score at least two goals. Not only did their defence falter, but their attack has also been suspect as well.

They’ve failed to muster shots on target despite securing the majority of the possession. At the same time, they can’t seem to help themselves in getting bookings from the referees after collecting 10 yellow cards for that span.

Diego Martinez will continue to have his work cut out for him and he may need to draw some inspiration from his key players.

Antonio Puertas has been a pleasant surprise for El Grana. The 27-year-old forward has notched four goals for the team already, which is good for the Top 15.

However, I’m looking at the likes of Yangel Herrera, Alvaro Vadillo, and Roberto Soldado to improve overall. If they can somehow play with more inspiration and improve their fitness levels, the team will get up quickly on its feet to continue their chase for the top-six spot at the table.

Granada still have a long way to go to be considered as one of the La Liga’s elite clubs. But given the way they are going, for sure team manager Diego Martinez will dig deep to pull out his squad out of this rut.

Atletico Madrid still bit by the injury bug

Atletico Madrid have been an exciting team to watch this season, but they are yet to unleash their full potential with no thanks to injuries suffered by their key players. They currently have 24 points in the La Liga table, but it feels like they should’ve gotten a few more.

For starters, Joao Felix has been long sidelined due to an ankle injury. Even if he looks to be healed by now, his fitness levels are still in question despite already working out with the club. It remains to be seen on whether he’ll play right away this weekend. But either way, I do expect some rust from his end.

Their defence will also take a hit with centre-back Stefan Savic injured. The Montenegro native suffered a muscular injury during the last international break and he is expected to be out for some time.

Los Rojiblancos might opt to use Felipe Monteiro and Mario Hermoso at the back, while Angel Correa and Koke should continue to provide quality in the midfield, along with some La Liga 2019 highlights.

Alvaro Morata will be at the forefront of their attack once again, and he is stepping up nicely for Diego Simeone so far.

Atletico Madrid are currently sitting at the third place of La Liga
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone coaching from the touchline

History

Atletico Madrid have dominated Granada in their head-to-heads, as they’ve won 13 out of their 17 matches along with four draws.

Los Rojiblancos have only lost one of their last 32 La Liga matches against newly-promoted sides (W27, D5).

El Grana have yet to lose back-to-back matches in Los Carmenes this term.

 

Betting Tip

??

Granada vs Atletico Madrid Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -0.25 @1.66
November 24, 01:30 (GMT+8)

The La Liga 2019 odds have Atletico Madrid at 1.93, Granada at 4.40, and a draw 3.05 in the 1x2 market, which is expected given Atleti’s overall quality compared to the home team.

Granada will be keen on using their home advantage against an injury-riddled Atletico Madrid. However, Diego Simeone’s brilliance on the sidelines might prove to be the difference in this upcoming matchup.

This should be an intense, low-scoring affair for both sides, and I’m betting on a 1-0 score here in favor of Los Rojiblancos.

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SBOBET 03-Dec 2019 Tuesday 5:46 PM (245 days ago)            #16
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La Liga: Sociedad Seek Another Real Scalp at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad

Don't look now, but Real Madrid appear to be hitting their stride. The Spanish giants have reeled off three dominant wins in their last four matches, including huge beatdowns at Santiago Bernabeu.

Real will look to keep their fine form going in La Liga as they host Real Sociedad in their return from the international break.

Sociedad have had an impressive season thus far and are currently fifth in the table. However, they could've been even higher had they not had some costly stumbles in past matches.

But they've had Real's number in their most recent meetings and will look to cause another major upset to the La Liga 2019 odds this weekend.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Real Madrid on a roll

Real Madrid are seemingly getting back to their best. Los Blancos have gone unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions (four wins and a draw), with three of those wins coming by four or more goals.

They thumped Leganes (5-0) and Galatasaray (6-0) at home, and crushed Eibar (0-4) away prior to the international break.

The Real backline has been big reason for their recent success. They've kept clean sheets in five consecutive matches. And they haven't had too many problems up front, either.

Karim Benzema has been in fine form, scoring five goals and adding three assists in his last four appearances. Sergio Ramos has also gotten into the act with three goals -- all from penalties.

Meanwhile, Eden Hazard is finally looking like the player Real paid 100 million euros to acquire this summer. The Belgian star has scored just once in his first seven La Liga appearances, but after bagging a brace for his country against Russia during the break, he will be eager to add to that tally.

Real Madrid rising star Rodrygo starts to make an impact in La Liga after his recent performance
Rodrygo celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Galatasaray in Champions League

It remains to be seen who will start alongside Benzema and Hazard in Real's front three, but Rodrygo will no doubt be in contention. The Brazilian teen made headlines with his Champions League hat-trick against Galatasaray and also made his international debut for his country during the break.

La Real's impressive away form

A third of the season is already through, and Real Sociedad find themselves way up in fifth spot in La Liga. But they probably should be a bit higher had they not dropped some valuable points at home in recent weeks.

First, they suffered a 2-1 defeat to mid-table Levante. Then, they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom club Leganes.

Curiously, they've been much better away from the Anoeta Stadium this season. In fact, they have the best away record in the league with four wins, a draw, and two defeats in seven matches.

They've done a lot of their damage late in matches, too. Of their 10 away goals, six have been scored with 15 minutes or fewer left in the match. That includes their winners against Celta Vigo and Granada.

Sociedad have had a balanced attack led by Willian Jose, who has four goals. Portu and Mike Oyarzabal have four apiece, while 20-year-olds Alexander Isak and Martin Odegaard have two each.

The latest La Liga 2019 updates say Odegaard is recovering well from a heel injury which has kept him out of the last two games and could potentially be fit enough to face his parent club.

 

History

Real Madrid have historically had the upper hand over Real Sociedad. In 47 overall meetings since 1993, Madrid have won 27 matches while Sociedad have won 11. Real have also won seven of the last nine games.

However, La Real pulled off a major shock when they did the double over Los Blancos last season. Madrid didn't help their own cause as they had a player sent off in both matches.

 Prior to Sociedad's 2-0 win in Madrid last season, their last victory at the Bernabeu came back in 2004.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad Real Madrid Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 2.08
November 24, 04:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds have Real Madrid priced as 1.40 favourites at home. Sociedad are 6.60 underdogs while a draw is 4.90.

As good as Sociedad have been, particularly away from home, I still like Madrid to win this game quite comfortably. They've been scoring goals for fun of late as their confidence has steadily improved with each passing game.

I fully expect them to keep that run going at home as they get some revenge over La Real for last year's defeats.

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SBOBET 03-Dec 2019 Tuesday 5:49 PM (245 days ago)            #17
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La Liga: Atletico Await Antoine!

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

As La Liga returns go, this could be a rather unpleasant experience for Antoine Griezmann.

Of course, it will not be on the scale of Luis Figo’s return to Barcelona after he switched to arch rivals Real Madrid at the turn of the century.

But perhaps it will be similar to Thibaut Courtois’ return to Atletico Madrid with Real last season, an occasion when plastic rats were hurled at him.

That the Belgian goalkeeper received such a welcome, even after a break from Spanish football in West London with Chelsea, showed time isn’t necessarily a great healer.

So, with the Griezmann feeling still raw – just 12 months after he pledged loyalty to Los Rojiblancos – it’s clear the departure of the French star this summer has cut Atletico fans to the core.

He was one of them as far as they were concerned and someone they may have wished well had he moved on 12 months earlier.

Yet by pledging his future to the club and then subsequently departing, there is a feeling amongst home fans which comprises an element of treachery – even if some within the game will understand his intentions to seek pastures new at the home of the Spanish champions.

 


 

 

Talking Points

That viewpoint will not matter one jot for the majority inside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium this weekend as Griezmann returns to the place where he was, until recently, adored.

Indeed, we could witness one of the La Liga news stories of the season.

Atletico have constantly punched above their weight under Diego Simeone but the loss of a number of key players again this summer has made it very difficult for them to maintain runs which saw them crowned Spanish champions in 2014 and reach two out of three Champions League finals.

Barcelona are not exactly setting the world alight but they are top of La Liga and there were little glimpses of them getting back to near their best in midweek when they beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

Atletico didn’t play badly 24 hours earlier but this is a results industry and they went down narrowly, not for the first time, to Italian champions Juventus.

This match will tell us a lot about the direction in which both sides are heading this season.

Atletico Madrid are winless against Barcelona in their last 18 La Liga fixtures
Diego Simeone looking concerned on their title hopes after their recent performances in La Liga

Barcelona remain favourites to retain the title, perhaps with a reduced points tally than in recent times, Atletico will probably fall short of sustaining a title challenge unless, of course, they win this weekend and it sparks massive confidence in the ranks.

It is also questionable whether they’ve been quite the same since their move to a new stadium two years ago as the former one, Vicente Calderon, seemed to be a far more imposing arena for visitors.

Interestingly, only one Atletico player in the squad for Sunday’s fixture has scored against the Blaugrana and that is Saul. The other two are Diego Costa, sidelined due to a hernia, and Griezmann.

Atletico players have called on their fans to get behind the team – some supporters have voiced their disdain during recent matches due to the team’s disappointing run of form.

Do that this weekend and they will play into Barca – and Griezmann’s - hands.

 

History

Just over a year ago this fixture ended 1-1 when Ousmane Dembéle – who has been ruled out until the new year through injury – netted a 90th minute equaliser to earn Barcelona a point and keep them top of La Liga after Costa’s opener.

It was also 1-1 the season before when Saul again gave the hosts the lead before a late leveller from Luis Suarez.

 

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Total Goal 2-3 @ 1.90
December 2, 04:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET’s La Liga betting odds make Barcelona narrow favourites in what has got all the hallmarks of a major game.

Atletico can be backed 1X2 @ 2.73, Barcelona 1X2 @ 2.63 and the draw @ 3.10.

With the Asian Handicap odds, take a look at Atletico -0.25 @ 2.40 or Barcelona -0.25 @ 2.25.

A repeat of the last two league matches here – correct score 1-1 – will pay out @ 5.40.

This match will not be one for the faint-hearted and it would be easy for me to sit on the fence and predict a draw, although I do have a sneak for Barcelona. Atletico, though, do enjoy playing the club from Catalonia in recent years, including winning the title at the Nou Camp in 2014 and knocking them out of the Champions League in 2016 with two goals from Griezmann.

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

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SBOBET 03-Dec 2019 Tuesday 5:58 PM (245 days ago)            #18
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La Liga: Magical Messi is the Man in Madrid!

Atletico Madrid 0-1 Barcelona

Lionel Messi scored the 86th-minute winner tonight, as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid to return to the top of La Liga.

It was a dramatic finish to a hard-fought game after both sides had hit the woodwork and the referee had a busy night.

Barca came into the game on the back of four consecutive wins, while Los Rojiblancos have been struggling, with only one win in six. But with a passionate 64,000 home crowd behind them and only three points separating the two sides it was all set up to be a mammoth clash. Particularly as the big pre-season La Liga 2019 news was the long-awaited switch of striker Antoine Griezmann from Atleti to Barca, and tonight the wanderer returned. And he lined up alongside the main man Messi, who scored a goal on his 700th appearance for the Blaugrana in a 3-1 Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund this week.

Real Madrid’s win away to Alaves yesterday lifted Los Blancos to the top of La Liga, three points clear of Barca, but the Catalans are back on top and the La Liga 2019 betting odds back the title returning to the Camp Nou.

 

Highlights of the game

Barca had an early escape when Angel Correa won a corner, which was taken by Kieran Tripper and cleared by Gerard Pique. But the ball was recycled and eventually landed at the feet of Atleti defender Mario Hermoso and his effort was deflected onto the post before bouncing to safety.

And Hermoso had a golden chance to put the hosts ahead, on 21 minutes, when he was clean through with just Ter Stegen to beat, but the Barca keeper saved from point-blank range to keep the scores level.

La Liga: Marc-Andre ter Stegen once again prove why he is the number one in Barcelona
Marc-Andre ter Stegen celebrates at the end of the match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona

In a hard-fought first half, there were four bookings. This was never going to be the friendliest of occasions, particularly for Antoine Griezmann.  He was worshipped here as an Atletico player but the home crowd delighted in the run-around Kieran Trippier gave him in the first half. The French striker scored two goals for Los Rojiblancos when they knocked Barca out of the 2016 Champions League, but that meant nothing on a night on which the Madrid fans wanted to show they didn’t miss him. And they cheered every time Trippier gave him the slip, as the wing-back made a lot of ground down Barca’s left flank, giving him ample opportunity to get balls into the box. Ter Stegen was called on to make another great save when Alvaro Morata met a Trippier cross.

In the last action of the first half, the visitors came close when Pique rose to meet a corner and his header bounced down and onto the crossbar.

Ter Stegen had made two good saves to keep the scores level at the break while the woodwork had come to both teams’ rescue.

Barcelona came close again to breaking the deadlock on the hour when Jan Oblak struggled to hold on to Messi’s drive, but he gathered the ball before Luis Suarez could pounce. And moments later Hermoso made a block when Messi looked like he was just about to score from the edge of the box.

Griezmann finally got in on the action on 70 minutes, but he could only volley Suarez’ cross over the bar. Then Gerard Pique, who was on a yellow card, was lucky to stay on the pitch when he clattered into Morata, and the home crowd let the referee know exactly what they thought. It was an odd decision in a game which had already yielded seven cards.

But as the crowd fumed, that man Messi made it a whole lot worse with just five minutes left on the clock. Barca put together a superb move which ended with the little genius stroking the ball home from 20 yards. The Catalans celebrated while 90 per cent of the stadium fell silent.

Cometh the hour cometh the man!



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key Statistics

The pre-match odds here at SBOBET had Barca as marginal favourites at 2.63 to win, but a draw looked on the cards until that man Messi stepped in.

The last two league clashes between Atleti and Barca at the Wanda Metropolitano ended in a 1-1 draw but tonight the visitors were just about worth their victory.

Barca had 63 per cent of the possession in the first half, but Atleti had more shots, 12 to six, but the on-target figure was just two to one.

Messi inspired the champions on to a dominant second half and they ended up winning the on-target shot count by five to two.

 

What’s next?

Los Rojiblancos are away to Villarreal next weekend. The Yellow Submarine has sunk to 13th after back to back defeats and face high flying Sevilla the following week.

After the Villareal game, Simeone’s side has a big Champions League tie at home to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Meanwhile, Barca is at home to Mallorca and then has a visit to Milan to take on Inter. The Blaugrana is already through to the Champions League Round of 16 while Antonio Conte’s side is locked on seven points with Borussia Dortmund.

 

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SBOBET 09-Dec 2019 Monday 7:19 PM (239 days ago)            #19
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La Liga: Who Needs the Win More…Villarreal or Atleti?

Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid

This weekend’s La Liga entertainment kicks off at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Friday night when Villarreal welcomes title-chasers Atletico Madrid.

And it’s a game both teams would dearly love to win, each arriving on the back of a difficult run of results. Diego Simeone’s Atleti is looking for a first away win since October, a sequence which has seen them drop six points off the pace at the top of La Liga.

Los Rojiblancos are looking good to reach the Round of 16 in the Champions League, sitting in second place in Group D with just a home game against bottom club Locomotiv Moscow to come, and a win on Friday will drag them back into the title race.

Meanwhile, Javier Calleja’s Villarreal has drifted seven points behind sixth-place after three defeats on the bounce, all in games they could have taken points from. A win will stop the rut and keep their modest hopes of a European adventure on track.

In the very latest La Liga 2019 betting odds here at SBOBET, there is a quirky symmetry to the odds on these two teams. Los Rojiblancos are third favourites at 27.00 to spring a major surprise and win the league, with Villarreal at 27.00 to get relegated. The Yellow Submarine would rather look upwards of course!

 

 

Talking Points

One win in six for Atleti

It was a cruel blow in some respects, but there was an air of inevitability when Leo Messi scored a late winner for Barcelona to beat Atleti at the Wanda Metropolitano last week.

 


 

Though Simeone can be pleased by the way his side dominated the attacking play in the first half, wing-back Kieran Trippier was particularly impressive in nullifying the threat of Antoine Griezmann while sending a series of dangerous crosses into the Barca penalty area.

Los Rojiblancos have been sound in defence but are struggling to score the goals to put teams away, drawing 1-1 with Granada and losing 1-0 to Juventus in their two previous games.

The loss of their main striker Griezmann to Barcelona in the big summer transfer was a blow to their fans, and the club has just escaped sanction for the abuse their supporters hurled at their former hero during the Barca game.

Alvaro Morata is top scorer with five, but fellow strikers Joao Felix, Diego Costa and Vitolo have registered just two each. However, they could have some success on Friday night.

 

The Yellow Submarine has a leaky defence

The Yellow Submarine made a solid start to this campaign but is sinking fast after a run of just one draw to show for the last five La Liga 2019 results. Head coach Javier Calleja has put together a good attacking outfit but they have struggled to keep things tight at the back.

In all four recent defeats, they have scored but failed to capitalise. They suffered a setback in the Valencia derby, losing in the away fixture 1-2 with top scorer Gerard Moreno having a goal chalked off by VAR.

He’s been in fine form by netting eight already this season. And if he scores again on Friday, he’ll be hoping Villarreal’s centre-back pairing of Raul Albiol and Francisco Torres will be able to keep Morata and Co. at bay at the other end.

La Liga News: Kieran Trippier pose a constant attacking threat on the right wing for Atletico
Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier prepares to take a throw in

 

History

Fans of the Valencia club have had it pretty good in recent seasons. The Yellow Submarine were La Liga runners up as recent as 2008 and held a top-six place for five seasons running before finishing 14th in a difficult campaign last term.

And Villarreal is in top in the head to head results against Atleti over the past two decades, winning 15 to Los Rojiblancos’ 12 and there have been nine draws.

It was a 1-1 draw in this fixture in October last year, and that was Atleti’s fourth draw in nine games as they lost pace at the top of the table.

Sounds familiar? Mario Gaspar equalised after Filipe headed Los Rojiblancos into the lead to give the Yellow Submarine a vital point.

Then Simeone’s side ended a seven-match winless streak by beating Villarreal 2-0 in February.

Both teams are hoping to break an unhelpful sequence with Villarreal without a win in five and Atleti without an away win in six.

 

 

Betting Tip

??

Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid 2-3 goals @ 1.91
December 07, 04:00 (GMT+8)

At 2.97 to win, the hosts have a decent shot at picking up a welcome three points. But a draw at 3.10 wouldn’t be a bad return while Atleti is at 2.44 to win.

And I guess looking at the recent form a draw looks the most likely result, so 1-1 at odds of 5.40 could be a decent outside bet. I do think both teams will score in a tight contest.

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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SBOBET 09-Dec 2019 Monday 7:25 PM (239 days ago)            #20
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La Liga: Surging Barca Take On Mallorca

Barcelona vs Mallorca

It’s a tight race up in the La Liga table, as Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to play cat-and-mouse at the mountaintop.

As of this writing, Barca are tied with Real Madrid with 31 points apiece while Sevilla holds solo third with 30 and Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao are not far behind with 26 each.

The two-time defending champions are fresh off from a hard-fought win against Atletico Madrid, thanks to the usual heroics of Lionel Messi, who has won his sixth Ballon d’Or award a few days ago.

Barca would be keen on gathering as much momentum as they can since they’ll have a tough schedule next week. They will face Italian powerhouse Inter Milan for their last Group F match in the Champions League before facing Real Sociedad and Real Madrid right after.

Meanwhile, RCD Mallorca are fighting to stay alive in top-flight and they should play like they have nothing to lose even if the La Liga 2019 odds don’t favour them anyway.

Today, SBOBET offers to you some discussing points before this match on Sunday.

 

Talking Points

Barca peaking slowly but surely

The final month of the 2019 calendar year will be crucial for the Catalan giants.

With teams hell-bent on dethroning them, Barcelona will have the conundrum on balancing between being consistent with their deadly form while staving off injuries.

They were tested during the first stretch of this season. For a time, trouble was brewing in Camp Nou when they slid to the fourth spot at the table with only 10 points which was the club’s worst start in the La Liga for 25 years.

Injuries to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hurt the team and it didn’t help when Antoine Griezmann wasn’t playing his best ball at the time.

Barcelona have shown their capability to fight back as they would always win in games following a defeat. They annihilated Real Betis after losing to Athletic Bilbao last August, and they did the same against Villareal and Celta Vigo after enduring defeats against Granada and Levante respectively.

At the same time, Valverde uncovered some young shiny gems in the form of Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati.

Frenkie de Jong has emerged as a leader for Barca. The 22-year-old logged 1558 minutes in total and he has started in almost all matches for the squad given Valverde’s constant tinkering on his midfield. He is also enjoying an astounding 94-per cent passing success rate in his 74 attempts which should strengthen his case.

Ansu Fati, meanwhile, has wowed the fans with his oozing potential. The 17-year-old’s unique mix of energy, speed, and ball handling dexterity has made him one of La Liga’s exciting young players to watch this term. Because of that, the club went on to give him a contract extension that would last up until 2022.

Barcelona would definitely need all hands on deck as they gun for a three-peat in this year’s campaign.

Mallorca fighting for survival

Los Bermellones have made an admirable jump to the Primera Division of the La Liga after being relegated last 2017. But their performance so far this season indicates that they still have long ways to go.

They may not be a roster filled with big names but they rely on their team play from their homegrown talents who are looking to bring the fight every game.

Lago Junior continues to be their best attacker with four goals this season. The Ivory Coast native isn’t afraid of the big stage as he can produce some of the best La Liga 2019 highlights against the best of them.

La Liga: Lago Junior is expected to lead Mallorca upfront against Barcelona
Lago Junior celebrates with teammates after scoring for Mallorca

Supporting him are the likes of Dani Rodriguez and Ante Budimir with three goals each. The said duo has formed a viable partnership in the middle and they should continue to get better as we go along.

Team boss Vicente Moreno has done an admirable job for RCD Mallorca’s program over these past few seasons. The Spaniard manager helped steer Los Bermellones’ rise to top-flight and he has done all he can to keep up against the La Liga’s best teams.

Of course, we won’t expect Mallorca to make a huge noise this season. And if somehow they’ve managed to survive from being relegated in season’s end, that should be a huge victory in itself already for their fans.

 

History

Barcelona have dominated in their head-to-head against Mallorca as they’ve won in 20 out of their 30 matches against them. Mallorca won in six along with one draw.

The Blaugrana are undefeated in their last six home games against Los Bermellones in all competitions since their 3-2 loss back in May 2008.

 

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Mallorca Barcelona Asian Handicap -2.25 @ 1.86
December 08, 04:00 (GMT+8)

As expected, the Catalan giants are coming in this match as the overwhelming favourites as they’re being placed at 1.13 in the 1x2 market. RCD Mallorca are at 15.50 while a draw is also unlikely at 8.50.

It’s fair to say that RCD Mallorca aren’t expected to win in this weekend’s match, which is why the main concern for Vicente Moreno should be focused on whether the team will do well under the bright lights of Camp Nou.

Barca are loaded with firepower on their attack which would force Mallorca to be on the defensive all night long, so a safe bet should be the defending champions posting a clean sheet here.

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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SBOBET 09-Dec 2019 Monday 7:31 PM (239 days ago)            #21
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La Liga: Stalemate Suits Villarreal More Than Atleti

Villarreal 0-0 Atletico Madrid

Villarreal and Atletico Madrid played out a goalless draw tonight and it’s probably a result the hosts welcomed more than their visitors.

This clash at the Estadio de la Ceramica was a big one for both teams with Atleti trying to keep pace with the La Liga leaders and Villarreal attempting to halt a slide down the table. And it was Javier Calleja’s Yellow Submarine which achieved its first aim in picking up a valuable point against powerful opponents.

Losing to Barca last week was a serious blow to Atleti’s title hopes, and head coach Diego Simeone will know they’ll probably lose more ground this weekend.

The Villarreal vs Atletico betting odds pointed to a hard-fought game, and so it was, with the Yellow Submarine dominating the first half before Atleti fought back in the second. But the defences were in charge as the draw came in at odds of 3.10.

 

Highlights of the game

It was a frenetic first half with plenty of goalmouth action, but not too much for the goalkeepers to do as accuracy wasn’t a feature in most efforts on goal.

Los Rojiblancos had the first attempt on just five minutes as Saul Niguez met Renan Lodl’s cross with a close-range header. But the Villarreal defence stood firm and scrambled the ball away.

Only Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi have scored more league goals than Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno’s eight, and he came close to adding a ninth on ten minutes when Moi Gomez swung across a corner but Moreno’s header flew narrowly wide.



CLICK HERE


 

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

Two minutes later Villarreal’s keeper Sergio Asenjo made a smart save, down low to his left when Joao Felix’s shot from outside the box was destined for the corner.

The hosts began to take control of the game, and Atleti’s defence had to be alert to block Raul Albiol’s shot when he latched on to a through ball from Samuel Chukwueze.

Moreno met a Manu Trigueros cross but his header was blocked. And then Trigueros unleashed a shot which was flying towards the top left corner until Atleti keeper Jan Oblak tipped the ball to safety.

Trigueros was at the centre of much of the Yellow Submarine’s attacking play and he sent over a well-aimed corner which Pau Torres headed just over. And then on the stroke of half time, Torres was the provider for Vicente Iborra but his header from very close range missed the target.

The hosts came out for the second half on the front foot and after a fast break Chukwueze met Trigueros’ ball but his shot from a tight angle sailed just over the bar.

Just after the hour mark, Atleti’s young striker Felix had a sight of goal but shot narrowly wide. And then a minute later, he fired one towards the bottom right corner but Asenjo made a great save the keep the scores level.

At the other end, Pau Torres passed to Moreno and the top scorer shot narrowly wide but Atleti fought back and Niguez, Morata, and Koke all came close to breaking the deadlock.

Felix had another shot charged down with five minutes left on the clock, and then the young Portuguese striker took a nod down from Alvaro Morata and let fly but was off target.

 

Key statistics

The first half only yielded three shots on target, two for Villarreal and one for Atletico. But the hosts had unleashed 16 efforts in total, though Atleti came the closest when Felix had his early effort saved by Asenjo.

Sergio Asenjo played spectacularly for Villarreal as they get the La Liga draw
Sergio Asenjo attempts to save Alvaro Morata's shot attempt

The Portuguese star continued to threaten in the second half as Atleti fought back, and the shot count margin narrowed with Villarreal registering 23 to Atleti’s 18 with each team with three on target.

In failing to score both teams couldn’t break an unhelpful sequence. Villarreal is now without a win in six and Atleti without an away win in seven.

 

What’s next?

With this tough contest over, Villarreal and Atleti fans can sit back and watch the La Liga 2019 updates roll in over the weekend.

But then next up it’s the Champions League for Simeone’s men who have a chance to progress from Group D with a home game against Locomotiv Moscow.

A win will see them through, but with group leaders Juventus playing third-placed Bayer Leverkusen it would be a particularly awful night for Simeone if Los Rojiblancos missed out.

And next week there’s more action for SBOBET La Liga fans to enjoy when the Yellow Submarine has a difficult trip away to title-chasing Sevilla. But Calleja can take plenty of confidence from tonight’s performance.

 

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SBOBET 17-Dec 2019 Tuesday 6:12 PM (231 days ago)            #22
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La Liga: Barcelona Brace for Top-5 Showdown with Sociedad

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona

Barcelona have hardly looked as convincing this season as they have in recent years. But lo and behold, they are top of La Liga alongside rivals Real Madrid and breezed through the Champions League group stage, knocking out Inter Milan at San Siro with a second-string side.

The Blaugrana will now turn their attention back to the league, where they will pay Real Sociedad a visit at the Anoeta.

La Real have gone off the boil in recent weeks, but they still find themselves in the top five. However, they will need to be on top of their game if they are to defy the La Liga 2019 betting odds and put an end to Barca's impressive winning run.

 

Talking Points

La Real's roller-coaster form

Real Sociedad have struggled to find much consistency in the league in recent weeks. Their last six matches have seen them pick up a loss, win, draw, loss, win, and draw. While there's no shame in losing away to Real Madrid, they've also dropped points against some weaker sides, particularly at home.

They seemingly got back on track with a dominant 4-1 win at home against Eibar. But they once again came unstuck away to Real Valladolid, where they had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

La Real just didn't have their shooting boots on against Valladolid. Despite firing 16 shots, only two were on target.

On paper, Sociedad still possess quite a decent attack spearheaded by Willian Jose, the team's leading scorer with seven goals, as well as Mikel Oyarzabal (five goals, four assists), Portu (four goals, four assists), and Martin Odegaard (three goals, four assists).

La Liga: Can Martin Odegaard help Real Sociedad win against Barcelona?
Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard during Real Sociedad training

However, their defence remains a bit suspect. Their clean sheet against Valladolid was the first they've kept in the league in five matches. They've also conceded three goals in losses against other top sides in Sevilla and Real Madrid, although both were away from home.

Still, it will take a monumental effort from that Sociedad defence to keep Barca's star-studded attack quiet at the Anoeta.

Barca keep racking up wins

Barcelona just keep winning. After squeaking past Atletico Madrid with a late Leo Messi goal, they turned on the style as they thrashed Mallorca 5-2 at the Camp Nou.

The front three of Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez all got on the scoresheet, with Messi celebrating his recent Ballon d'Or by claiming the record for La Liga hat-tricks from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Meanwhile, Suarez scored an audacious backheel goal that could very well be the best of the La Liga 2019 highlights.

And even with Messi rested and Suarez only a substitute, they went into San Siro and defeated Inter 2-1 to knock the Italians out of the Champions League. Young Ansu Fati fired home the winner to become the youngest ever player to score in the competition.

That win was Barca's seventh in a row in all competitions, with four coming in the league.

One of the few knocks on Barca this season, though, has been their away form. They haven't nearly been as impressive outside of the Camp Nou. But aside from a couple of setbacks, they've still gotten the job done and picked up the points for the most part.

 

History

Real Sociedad's recent form against Barcelona has not been good. The Catalans have come out on top in each of their last seven meetings in all competitions.

Sociedad's last win against Barcelona came all the way back in 2016 when a teenage Oyarzabal grabbed the only goal.

Barca won both matches against Sociedad last season, 2-1. Keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen starred in their win at the Anoeta. Messi surprisingly didn't score in either encounter after scoring in the previous four.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Sociedad vs Barcelona Barcelona 1X2 @ 1.73
December 14, 23:00 (GMT+8)

SBOBET odds have Barcelona favoured away from home and are priced at 1.73 to pick up all three points. Sociedad are at 4.30, while a draw is 3.80.

Based on recent form, it's hard not to go with a Barca win. Despite the criticism about the quality of their performances this season, they've still picked up the results. And with Messi in spectacular form, they always have a great chance.

Recent meetings against Real Sociedad, coupled with Barca's somewhat shaky away form, suggest it won't be a simple walk in the park. But at the end of the day, I fully expect Messi and co. to come away from the Anoeta with all three points.

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SBOBET 17-Dec 2019 Tuesday 6:18 PM (231 days ago)            #23
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La Liga: Real Madrid Face a Tricky Valencia Test

Valencia vs Real Madrid

The race to the top of the La Liga table has never been this close as bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are now drawn level with 34 points apiece.

Defending champions Barcelona are bracing for a top-five showdown against Real Sociedad. Los Blancos, on the other hand, will clash against Valencia as part of their three-game road trip.

While La Real have faced a topsy-turvy journey as of late, Valencia CF have been superb in their form by winning four out of their last five La Liga matches. They’ve also managed to secure a spot to the final 16 in the Champions League by placing atop of Group H with 11 points.

Like Valencia, Real Madrid have also booked their berth at the knockout stages in the Champions League. They are a team on the rise as they continue to gel under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane, who has been showing everyone as to why he’s the right man for the job for them.

Despite their different places in the La Liga standings, Valencia should give Los Blancos a real run for their money on this one.  And for sure, this will be a cracker just like in their recent matches.

Today, SBOBET provides a preview of this exciting match on Monday.

 

Talking points

Albert Celades emerging past his predecessor’s shadows

Valencia's manager Albert Celades will be looking to win when they host rivals Real Madrid this weekend
Valencia's manager Albert Celades gestures during their group H Champions League match against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena

Valencia CF fans had some doubts over Albert Celades when he took over as the team manager a few months ago. The 44-year-old boss had an inauspicious start, as they’ve registered only four wins, five losses, and three draws in the first 12 match days.

Fast forward to today, Los Ches are in the midst of a turnaround evidenced by their run in the Champions League. They capped off their exemplary group stage performance by sitting atop of Group H, culminated with a victory against Ajax the other day.

More importantly, the team seems to play with more energy and inspiration as Celades told reporters that his relationship with his players is improving by the day.

“The relationship I have with my players is very good. We work well together on a daily basis. The quality of the people we have on the squad and the courage of the entire group made this possible,” said Celades in a recent interview.

With his recent achievement, Celades has surpassed Marcelino in Europe’s elite competition. Under the former boss, Valencia weren’t able to make it out of the group stages last season.

Their success can also be attributed to their improving offence. They are currently fourth overall in goals scored with 26 in the La Liga and a lot of those came from the opportunities created by the likes of Dani Parejo and Moreno. The two have formed a lethal combination at the attack and they’re expected to produce some La Liga 2019 highlights on a per-game basis.

 With this team slowly finding their footing, they should finish at least in the top five come season’s end.

 


 

The Rodrygo effect

Everything has been clicking now for Los Blancos.

After a horrendous preseason to enduring inconsistencies earlier this term, Real Madrid are now back to a place to where they should be - which is at the top of the food chain.

Zinedine Zidane has done a great job in shrugging off critics as he would guide his team to a great run and the trust given to his younger players has been paying dividends.

The likes of Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, and Sergio Ramos have been the key veterans for this team. However, it’s the emergence of Rodrygo that has captured the eyes of the fans in Bernabeu.

The teenage sensation is a fearless attacker who has shown great athletic gifts and quality to be one of Los Blancos’ formidable attackers despite coming off the bench. All in all, the Brazilian scored six goals in eight shots at target while providing some assists as well.

Real Madrid have never lost in seven games when Rodrygo is listed as a starter (W6, D1). And with the likes of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale sitting out due to various reasons, for sure ZZ might consider putting him in as a starter for good sooner or later.

 

History

Valencia and Real Madrid have faced each other 47 times. The home team won in 10 while Los Blancos won in 26 along with 11 draws.

While Valencia won in their previous matchup last April, they have lost thrice and drew level once in their last four matches prior.

Real Madrid have won four consecutive La Liga games for the first time since ZZ’s return at the helm.

 

Betting tip

??

Valencia vs Real Madrid Real Madrid Asian Handicap -0.25 @1.74
December 16, 04:00(GMT+8)

Our La Liga 2019 odds have Real Madrid at 1.96, Valencia at 3.55, and a draw at 3.60 in the 1x2 market, which clearly favours the road team.

With a talent-laden roster, Zinedine Zidane will have the luxury of going young with his lineup especially since Rodrygo is having the hot hand. Other players such as Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Isco are expected to support him out front.

Valencia can also provide some goals too with Daniel Parejo and Moreno leading the way. However, Los Blancos’ improved defence might spell the difference in this one.

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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SBOBET 17-Dec 2019 Tuesday 6:24 PM (231 days ago)            #24
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La Liga: Honours Even in the Basque Country

Real Sociedad 2-2 Barcelona

Critics say this Barcelona side is not playing well – and to an extent, this SBOBET observer would agree.

However, in travelling to the Basque Country, it was easy to forget not only were the Catalans top of La Liga but they had just sealed their 150th Champions League win as they reached the knockout stages for the 19th season in a row.

If this is below par, then most clubs the world over would take it!

 

Highlights of the game

The pre-match La Liga 2019 news saw Jordi Alba ready to start after recovering from an injury, while Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic retained his spot in the starting line-up.

For the hosts, an injury to Artiz Elustondo and the suspension to Robin Le Normand meant Igor Zubeldia dropped back alongside Diego Llorente at centre-back, so Ander Guevara featured in midfield.

Imanol Alguacil’s side had struggled at home recently, with just two victories - against Real Betis and Eibar - in their last five outings.

Yet just 11 minutes in and they were celebrating after home pressing caused Barca to lose their defensive shape.

Llorente had his shirt pulled in the box by Sergio Busquets and Mikel Oyarzabal clinically converted from the spot, sending goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way.

The opener buoyed Sociedad’s confidence and they made much of the running for the remainder of the first half, including going close to a second from an Alexander Isak header.

It seemed there may be more fuel to the fire for the Barca’s critics, but up popped the one player home fans would have dreaded getting on the scoresheet.

Antoine Griezmann has been whistled by the crowd every time he’s returned since leaving Sociedad for Atletico Madrid in 2014 – the French World Cup winner came through the academy at La Real before becoming a star in La Liga during his spell in the first team.

Though, here he was, clipping home an equaliser after receiving a Luis Suarez pass. To his credit, the Barca number seven refused to celebrate against his former club.

Despite being second-best for spells, it was further proof why Barcelona can often win when it matters the most.

Sure enough, just four minutes after the restart, the La Liga 2019 betting odds turned in their favour once more.

Busquets lifted a ball over the top to captain Lionel Messi and the Argentinian wizard – recently voted the world’s top player of 2019 - unselfishly squared for Suarez to fire the champions in front.

If Alex Remiro had not denied Griezmann or Gerard Pique seen a header cleared off the line moments later, the contest could have been beyond the home side, but they kept battling and Martin Odegaard – on-loan from Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid – worked hard to push the hosts forward.

In fact, it will be a surprise if the Norwegian isn’t given the opportunity next season to play regularly in a Madrid shirt.

Alexander Isak scores a 62nd-minute goal that led to their 2-2 draw with defending La Liga champions Barcelona
Real Sociedad's Alexander Isak celebrates with fans after hitting an equaliser during their La Liga clash against Barcelona

They were duly rewarded on the hour when Isak rifled home after ter Stegen had parried away a delivery from former Arsenal man Nacho Monreal.

It was to prove the 20-year-old Swede’sfinal contribution but the belief in the hosts’ ranks remained. It required desperate defending from Barca to keep them out with Willian Jose and Mikel Merino seeing efforts saved and blocked.

Rakitic went close at the other end before there was some late controversy involving a possible penalty for the visitors for a shirt pull on Pique by Llorente, but overall the draw was a fair result after a scintillating 90 minutes of football.

Sociedad, for now, are up to fourth in the table.

 

Key statistics

This was Griezmann's second goal at Anoeta since leaving Real Sociedad in 2014. He also bagged for Atletico in October 2015.

Messi has assisted five of Suarez’s last six club goals.

Barcelona have conceded three penalties this season. That is the most in a season since 2014-15 when they gave away five.

Barca had less than 50 per cent possession – only the fourth time in the top flight under coach Ernesto Valverde. Two have been against Sociedad and the others against Real Betis and Las Palmas.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

What’s next?

Sociedad face minnows Becerril in the second round of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night (December 19). They then meet Osasuna next weekend before La Liga pauses for a brief winter break.

Barca host Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the new season – a match which last season led to Real sacking their manager – before hosting Alaves a week today.

 

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SBOBET 17-Dec 2019 Tuesday 6:26 PM (231 days ago)            #25
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La Liga: All Set for El Clasico!

Barcelona vs Real Madrid

It’s here again folks! Europe’s biggest match is on at the Camp Nou on Wednesday where La Liga Barcelona vs Real Madrid is the entertainment on offer.

Two legends of the Spanish game, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos will lead their teams out in front of a packed 90,000 crowd on a special night in Catalonia. With 16 games of the 2019/20 campaign already done and dusted the two clubs are trading blow for blow at the top of the La Liga table. Four wins and a draw each in the last five games leaves them both on 35 points and four ahead of third-placed Sevilla.

Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona are the favourites to pick up a priceless three points on Wednesday, and a win in front of their home fans will allow them to steal a march in the race for La Liga glory. But Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane won’t need to get his players up for the biggest game of the football calendar in Spain.

 

Talking Points

More to come from Barca

It may seem odd to say it but, even though the Catalans sit on top of the table and have comfortably qualified for the Champions League Round of 16, they don’t quite seem to be firing on all cylinders.

I suppose they don’t have to when they have the mercurial genius of Messi to dig them out when they need it. The Argentine has already scored 12 goals this campaign, and he’s not the only forward who can strike fear into the defences facing up to Barca. Luis Suarez is in fine form and has bagged nine goals, while marquee summer signing Antoine Griezmann is gradually finding his feet and has contributed six goals.

A visit to the Basque Country to face Real Sociedad on Saturday resulted in a hard-fought 2-2 draw which ended Barcelona’s six-game winning streak in all competitions. Suarez and Griezmann were both on target, but I reckon the Barcelona vs Real Madrid highlights will be dominated by Messi; it’s just the kind of game he loves.

Benzema so crucial for Los Blancos

While Barca have three world-class strikers sharing the goals, ZZ doesn’t have that luxury in Madrid. Top scorer Karim Benzema has 12 goals, but nobody else has more than two, apart from skipper and centre back Ramos who has weighed in with three.

Zidane gave a chance to Brazilian pair Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior who starred in a 1-3 Champions League win over Lille last week, and Rodrygo kept his place in a 1-1 draw at Valencia on Sunday. Gareth Bale has missed the last three starts though he came off the bench at the Mestalla at the weekend. It looked like Carlos Soler Barragan’s late goal had won it for the hosts until Benzema popped up to smash home the equaliser from a 95th-minute corner.

La Liga: Karim Benzema is expected to lead Real Madrid upfront when they face Barcelona away from home
Karim Benzema celebrates with Sergio Ramos after scoring a late equaliser for Real Madrid against Valencia

Los Blancos have plenty of quality in midfield, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos pulling the strings, but without Bale contributing much upfront there is an awful lot resting on Benzema’s shoulders.

 

History

The Barcelona vs Real Madrid betting odds point to a home win on Wednesday night and there’s little wonder when you look at the relative firepower in each team, not to mention the head to heads.

Of the 69 El Clasicos played over the past quarter of a century, Barcelona have won 32 to Los Blancos’ 19, and there have been 18 draws. The recent clashes are even more compelling evidence that we should see a home win.

In the last six encounters, Barca have totally dominated, with four wins and two draws, including a thumping 5-1 win in this fixture last season when Luis Suarez scored a stunning hat-trick.

The hosts are unbeaten in nine games and have won their last three at the Camp Nou, and I’m backing them to make it four.

 

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Real Madrid Barcelona First Half 1x2 @ 2.29
December 19, 03:00 (GMT+8)

The Blaugrana are heavily odds on to win this clash at odds of 1.69 with SBOBET, while the draw is available at 3.80 and Los Blancos are out at 4.70. So I’m looking for the value in a fast start for the hosts who will want to put their rivals away sooner rather than later.

2-1 is a good long-shot bet at 7.20, and that may depend on Benzema continuing his form for Los Blancos, but I expect Real’s defence to be much the busier of the two.

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SBOBET 26-Dec 2019 Thursday 8:12 PM (222 days ago)            #26
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La Liga: Barca Set to Extend Dominance over Alaves

Barcelona vs Alaves

Barcelona remain locked in a close battle with Real Madrid atop the La Liga standings. And the Catalans will have a great opportunity to pick up three more valuable points before the winter break as they host Deportivo Alaves in their last match of the year.

Alaves have been dealing with a bit of adversity of late, going three straight matches without victory. And the La Liga 2019 betting odds are most definitely against them as they take on a Barca side that's notoriously tough to beat at the Camp Nou.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Barca very hard to beat at home

Barcelona's run of six straight victories (four in La Liga) came to an end with a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad. The match ended with some VAR (or lack thereof) controversy, which prompted Barca to lodge a complaint to the federation.

El Clasico is yet to be played at the time of this preview's writing, so it remains to be seen whether Barca's five-game unbeaten run in the league will remain intact.

But if it does stay alive, it almost surely won't end at home against Alaves. Barca have been imperious at home this season. They've won all seven matches to date while scoring 4-5 goals in six out of those seven games.

Lionel Messi has especially enjoyed performing in front of his home fans. The amazing Argentine has scored a hat-trick in back-to-back home matches and has netted nine goals in his last four home games overall.

However, the big question is whether Messi and other Barca stars will even feature against Alaves or whether manager Ernesto Valverde will opt to rest some of them following what is sure to be another physically and emotionally taxing El Clasico in midweek.

Needless to say, Valverde's decision will have a huge bearing on the outcome of this match

Alaves' atrocious away form

Alaves need a victory after going three matches without a win. They dropped back-to-back matches against Real Madrid and Granada before picking up a disappointing home draw against second-from-bottom Leganes.

After challenging for European places for most of last season, Alaves have been pretty underwhelming during this year's campaign. They are currently in 14th place with 19 points. They've scored just 18 goals in their first 17 matches while conceding 24.

Alaves will look to upset match favourites Barcelona in their upcoming La Liga clash
Deportivo Alaves are struggling in La Liga winning only 2 in their last 5 La Liga matches

They've been getting a good number of goals from their former English Premier League strike partnership of Lucas Perez, formerly of Arsenal, and ex-Newcastle man Joselu, who have scored eight and seven goals, respectively.

But they just haven't had enough attacking production beyond those two; the rest of the squad has scored just three goals between them.

Perhaps more crucially, though, Alaves have been simply unable to pick up points away from home. They remain winless in eight away matches with three draws and five defeats, the second-worst away record in the entire league.

Moreover, they've only scored four away goals, which is dead-last in the league. Picking up a goal at the Camp Nou will be a tough ask, and even then, they will have to keep Barca's fantastic forwards at bay, which will be even more daunting.

 

History

Barcelona have dominated their historical head-to-heads with Alaves. The Catalans have won 17 of their 23 meetings since 1999, with Alaves winning four times and the two teams drawing twice.

Barca have won the last six meetings, five in the league and one in the Copa del Rey final back in 2017. Lionel Messi scored the opener in that final, as well as in Barca's last two wins over Alaves at the Camp Nou.

 

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Deportivo Alaves Under 3.50 @ 1.95
December 21, 23:00 (GMT+8)

The SBOBET odds for this match are as one-sided as it gets. Barca are overwhelming 1.15 favourites to pick up another home win. Meanwhile, Alaves are an astronomical 14.50 to pull off the upset at the Camp No. A draw is priced at 7.80.

So it's safe to say a Barca win is a foregone conclusion at this point. So let's go to the over under market and take under 3.50 goals.

This pick may seem a bit daft considering Barca's La Liga home games this season have averaged around 5.5 goals per contest. But with this match coming on the heels of El Clasico and the possibility of some squad rotation, I'm confident that while there are bound to be some La Liga 2019 highlights, there won't be quite as many as in previous matches at the Camp Nou this season.

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SBOBET 26-Dec 2019 Thursday 8:14 PM (222 days ago)            #27
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La Liga: Goalless El Clasico Settles Nothing

Barcelona 0-0 Real Madrid

Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a goalless El Clasico for the first time in 17 years to leave the two teams locked together at the top of the table on 36 points.

This is a game La Liga fans had to wait for after it was postponed in October amidst security risks surrounding Catalan separatist protests. And the vast majority in a packed Camp Nou expected the Blaugrana to win, but the visitors had their fair share of chances in a hard-fought game.

The La Liga 2019 betting odds have Barca as odds on favourites to win a third successive Spanish league title and a fifth in six seasons but, after this performance, I wouldn’t say Los Blancos are ready to give them an easy ride.

 

Highlights of the game

Los Blancos have relied almost exclusively on the in-form Karim Benzema for their goals this season and the Frenchman had the first shot of the game, on 11 minutes. After a slick passing move the ball fell to Benzema and he turned to shoot smartly, but his effort was comfortably saved by Ter Stegen.

There was significantly more panic in the home defence minutes later when Casemiro climbed above the Barca defence to head towards goal, but with Ter Stegen beaten Gerard Pique was on the goal line to head clear. Los Blancos were having the better of the early exchanges and a frustrated Ivan Rakitic went into the referee’s book for a late challenge, halfway through the first half. And Ter Stegen was called into action again to clear a cross with his boot, and then recover to stop a Casemiro attempt.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

When Barca finally got going Messi was so close to taking the lead when he collected a weak punch from Thibaut Courtois and fired towards goal, only to be denied by a superb goal-line clearance by Sergio Ramos. And then, minutes before the break, Barca had the best chance of the half. Messi sent a great ball over the Real defence to meet a run from Jordi Alba, but he couldn’t convert with the goal gaping.

Early in the second half, Messi himself missed a great chance after receiving a return pass from Antoine Griezmann, and the home fans started to get restless and took to chanting about independence.

Having sat on the bench for the last three games Gareth Bale got the nod to start in attack for Los Blancos with young Brazilian Rodrygo missing out. The Welshman was pretty anonymous in the first hour and he mistimed his run when Benzema had a chance to put him through. He did have a chance on 70 minutes but his shot flew into the side-netting.

Bale had the ball in the net, on 73 minutes, but was flagged offside, and then he was booked for a late challenge on Griezmann.

Watching Bale’s action-packed ten minutes must have made Zinedine Zidane wonder whether his winger is more suited to coming off the bench, rather than starting!

La Liga: Gareth Bale's goal was denied by the VAR
Gareth Bale reacts after his goal was ruled for offside by the assistant referee

Key statistics

The pre-match betting odds here at SBOBET predicted a home win at odds of 1.69 with the draw at 3.80, and in the end that was a fair result.

The last time there was a 0-0 draw in this fixture was way back in 2002, and the stalemate means that they remain tied at the top of the table as well as in La Liga El Clasico victories at 72 each.

Sergio Ramos has now played in more El Clasicos than anyone, 43, and one more than Messi, who has now gone four games without a goal or assist against Real for the first time in his career.

 

What’s next?

Both teams came into this game on the back of a draw, Barca taking a point from a difficult away game against Real Sociedad, while Real Madrid grabbed a 95th-minute equaliser, courtesy of Benzema away to Valencia.

They’ll probably both be reasonably satisfied with another draw tonight.

There’s one more round of fixtures to go before the Christmas break, and the Blaugrana are at home again when Alaves are the visitors to the Camp Nou. Asier Garitano’s team is comfortably placed in 14th at the moment, five points above the drop zone, and in Lucas Perez, he has a striker in form with eight goals so far this season.

Meanwhile Los Blancos host Athletic Bilbao in their first match of 2020. Los Leones are in seventh place and only three points behind a Champions League spot.

Then, after the break, we’ll be back with all the La Liga 2020 news, updates and highlights in what promises to be a fantastic second half of the season.

Bring it on!

 

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SBOBET 26-Dec 2019 Thursday 8:17 PM (222 days ago)            #28
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La Liga: Real Madrid’s World Stars Up Against Bilbao’s Local Boys

Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

There’s a clash of cultures at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday when Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid welcomes Athletic Bilbao in La Liga Round 18.

Los Blancos have long been known as the Galacticos, drawing on the biggest talents from world football in their pursuit of glory. David Beckham, Luis Figo, Zidane himself and Cristiano Ronaldo have all graced the Bernabeu as Real Madrid gobbled up 33 La Liga titles and countless cups, and they are well in the hunt again this year.

In contrast, Athletic Bilbao only draws players from the Basque Country, and what they lack in star quality they have always made up for in terms of pride and fighting spirit.

The pre-match SBOBET odds show just how big a task Los Leones face on Sunday, with the hosts heavily odds on at 1.37 to pick up all three points.

 


 

 

Talking Points

Los Blancos keeping pace with Barca

Much of the pre-season La Liga 2019 news surrounded the apparent turmoil in Madrid as Zidane, still suffering the loss of Ronaldo to Juventus the previous summer, struggled to put a happy squad together. The Los Blancos boss is yet to see the best of Gareth Bale this season. The Welsh winger was the subject of so much transfer speculation in the pre-season that Zidane became exasperated and said he’d happily wave him off to China!

[Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 8 La Liga games with 6 wins and 2 draws
Gareth Bale’s goal last El Clasico was disallowed due to offside

But Bale’s move didn’t materialise and he’s been in and out of the side. He’s only scored two goals and made two assists in his ten appearances so far, which is okay, but no where near enough to replace the tally racked up by Ronaldo year on year. Karim Benzema is shouldering the burden of goal scoring with 12, and is the joint league leading scorer with Leo Messi. The difference is that Barca’s talisman is backed up by Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, who have scored 15 league goals between them.

So Los Blancos would undoubtedly have been happier with a draw in El Clasico than their opponents, which means the two giants of Spanish football are locked together on 36 points. The latest La Liga 2019 betting odds still have Barca strong favourites to win the title at 1.49, with Real Madrid at 2.77.

Bilbao’s Basque pride

Los Leones’ head coach Gaizka Garitano took over at the San Mames Stadium 12 months ago when Los Leones were deep in relegation trouble; but he steered them to safety and narrowly missed out on a Europa League place.

Athletic Bilbao has an age old policy of recruiting players just from the Basque Country and Garitano believes that means he can attract players to the club for the right reasons: “It’s different when you play not just for money,” he says, “not just to win titles but we play for our jersey, for our families, friends, it is something special in the world.”

For this writer, speaking as a Burnley fan, those words have great resonance!

Garitano, who worked his way up at Bilbao, continues: “We are proud of doing things this way.” And the policy hasn’t hindered Los Leones greatly. The San Mames Stadium is one of the most atmospheric in the league, with a passionate set of fans, and with a team of players who are not continually sniffing the next contract.

Bilbao has plenty of creative quality with three players sharing the goals. Raul Garcia has five, while Iker Muniain and Inaki Williams both have four goals

One point from the last two games, after a run of three consecutive victories, has left Los Leones in seventh place in the La Liga table, a place and a point behind an automatic Europa place and just three points adrift of a Champions League spot.

 

History

While they are hoping for a European place at the end of this campaign, Bilbao was a real force to be reckoned with in the eighties, winning back to back titles in 1983 and 1984, but they can no longer compete with their hosts in terms of playing riches.

The head to heads are clearly in Real Madrid’s favour. Of the 54 games played since 1993, Los Blancos have won 34 to Bilbao’s 11 and there have been nine draws, with Real winning this fixture 3-0 last season. Moreover, when playing at home, Real Madrid have not lost to Athletic in their last 15 encounters.

Bilbao’s away record this season is one win, four draws and three defeats while Real are unbeaten in 11 games at the Bernabeu.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Total Goals 2-3 @ 2.07
December 23, 04:00 (GMT+8)

Real Madrid are at 1.37 to win this game, with the draw at 4.60 and Athletic Bilbao out at 8.00.

On the face of it, Los Blancos should collect all three points, but Los Leones have a talented squad which is always up for the fight. ZZ will be more than happy for his team to win by the odd goal in three.

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SBOBET 26-Dec 2019 Thursday 8:22 PM (222 days ago)            #29
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La Liga: Super Suarez Inspires Barca

Barcelona 4-1 Alaves

Barcelona went three points clear at the top of La Liga today, thanks to a comfortable win over Alaves as Luis Suarez put in a man-of-the-match performance.

The Uruguayan hitman turned provider with three assists, before rounding off his day with a goal of his own from the penalty spot.

The win puts a little daylight between the champions and the chasers, and now Ernesto Valverde’s team can put their feet up for the winter break and watch the last La Liga 2019 results of the year come in.

Unless Real Madrid score a hatful, Barcelona will finish 2019 at the top of the pile again.

 

Highlights of the game

After drawing a blank in the midweek El Clasico, which ended in a goalless draw, Barcelona came out for this clash on the front foot and were ahead after a quarter of an hour.

Alaves were playing a high line and had sprung two successful offside traps to catch Arturo Vidal and Lionel Messi, but they left Antoine Griezmann alone to collect a ball from Luis Suarez and the Frenchman fired into the bottom-right corner to score his seventh league goal of the season.

La Liga: Antoine Griezmann puts Barcelona ahead early in the game
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann in action during a La Liga clash against Alaves

There were few chances at either end in the first half, and Alaves’ only effort was a wayward shot from Mubarak Wakaso after good work from Ruben Duarte.

Messi almost doubled Barca’s lead when Griezmann broke quickly and crossed for the Argentine, but his close-range effort flew narrowly wide.  Messi had another shot from outside the penalty area, charged down.

And right on the stroke of half-time, Barca took a firm grasp on the game as Luis Suarez earned his second assist, feeding Arturo Vidal on the right side of the box, and his low cross shot gave Alaves keeper Fernando Pachecho no chance.

At the beginning of the second half, Alaves continued to play a high line, catching Jordi Alba and opening scorer Griezmann offside, but it’s a dangerous game to play against a side which can break so incisively.

Lucas Perez has been Alaves’ biggest attacking threat so far this season, coming into this game with eight league goals already in the bag, while strike partner Joselu started on the bench, having scored seven so far.

Perez didn't have a sniff in the first half and he continued to toil in the second. But Alaves did halve the deficit on 57 minutes, and it was midfielder Pere Pons who headed home from a Duarte cross.

Two minutes later, Aleix Vidal forced Ter Stegen to make a save and, as Alaves sniffed a chance to get something, Duarte headed a chance narrowly wide. But the underdogs’ hopes were dashed on 69 minutes when Suarez claimed a hat-trick of assists, teeing up Messi to arrow a long-range effort low into the corner.

And Suarez got the reward for all his selfless play on 75 minutes when Martin Aquirregabiria handled in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Suarez stepped up and fired the spot kick low into the corner to round off the perfect day.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key statistics

Alaves came into this match winless in eight away matches and by half-time, they looked set to make it nine. Even though the Blaugrana had 74 per cent possession, they only managed four shots on goal, though crucially the two on target both hit the net.

Barca put the game to bed with two more in the second half while Pere Pons’ goal was no more than a consolation.

Believe it or not, Barca only had four attempts on target, but Pachecho had no chance with any of them, and Messi’s 13th goal of the season makes him the league's leading scorer.

 

What’s next?

All eyes with be at the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow when Real Madrid take on Athletic Bilbao. The visitors are in seventh place in the table and well in the hunt for Europe.

The latest La Liga 2019 betting odds here at SBOBET have the Blaugrana as clear favourites to retain their title, but Los Blancos are not letting them get away just yet and a win over Athletic Bilbao will draw them level on points again.

After the Christmas break, it’s the Catalan derby on the 4th of January when the Blaugrana meet local rivals Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium. The hosts are having a wretched season and are rooted at the bottom of the table.

Next up for Alaves, they are at home to Real Betis and that will be a hard-fought game. Los Verdiblancos have climbed to mid-table after a decent run of results.

 

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SBOBET 26-Dec 2019 Thursday 8:24 PM (222 days ago)            #30
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La Liga: Real Fail to Break Down Bilbao at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid 0-0 Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid will head into the winter break behind rivals Barcelona by two points atop the La Liga standings. After the Catalans crushed Alaves 4-1 in their weekend fixture, Real could only draw 0-0 against Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Los Blancos have now ended the year with a hat-trick of draws, including back-to-back goalless draws after their drab El Clasico against Barca in midweek.

Real's La Liga 2019 odds of winning the league are still decent despite this recent setback. But dropping points at home certainly won't help their chances of finally reclaiming the league.

 

Highlights of the game

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was frustrated after missing a chance to score in their recent La Liga match
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema reacts after failing a scoring chance during their La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao

After a quiet opening 10 minutes, the first real chance of the game fell to the hosts. Vinicius Junior won the ball at the edge of the Bilbao penalty area, and after playing a one-two with Karim Benzema, twisted and turned to get a shot off from close range. But the young Brazilian could not get his effort past Bilbao keeper Unai Simon.

Madrid would come even closer to getting an opening goal on 19 minutes, this time through Toni Kroos. The German midfielder made a purposeful run into the Bilbao area and let out a thunderous strike, which, unfortunately for him, struck the underside of the crossbar and ricocheted away.

Upon further review from the replay, the ball actually struck the head of Unai Simon, which sent it toward the bar.

Madrid held onto possession and fashioned another chance with Luka Modric trying his luck from distance, but it went well wide.

But just a few minutes later, Athletic Bilbao had their first real chance to snatch the lead against the run of play. A loose pass from Fede Valverde was intercepted by Raul Garcia, who played a pass into Inaki Williams. The young Spaniard got his shot away, but it was well saved by Thibaut Courtois on his near post.

Meanwhile, Unai Simon would once again be called upon just after the half-hour mark. Rodrygo delivered a good cross into the box which resulted in a Benzema header that the Bilbao keeper was able to catch rather comfortably.

But Benzema would have an even better chance moments later. The Frenchman dispossessed a Bilbao defender and was clean through on goal. He calmly rounded Unai Simon and looked set to slot the ball into the net, but his effort was cleared off the line by Unai Nunez.

Real would continue their onslaught into the second half. Benzema had a couple more efforts saved by Unai Simon. And just before the hour mark, they struck the post again through substitute Nacho following a corner.

The hosts would go on to complete the hat-trick and hit the frame of the goal for the third time with just four minutes to go. Luka Jovic, who had come on for Vinicius, rose high to win a header which left Unai Simon stranded. But it struck the base of the post and Sergio Ramos was unable to pounce on the rebound.

That would prove to be the last meaningful chance of the game as Real were unable to break down the Athletic Bilbao resistance.

 

Key statistics

Based on the statistics for this match, Real did enough to pick up the victory. They dominated possession, controlling 69 per cent of the ball.

Moreover, they had over twice as many shots as the visitors (20-8) and had eight shots on target to Bilbao's two.

Benzema was very active in search of his 13th league goal of the season, which would put him into a tie with Lionel Messi atop the La Liga scoring charts. He finished with seven shots in the match, with four on target.

But despite filling up the La Liga 2019 highlights for this match, it was not to be as Benzema failed to score in a match at the Bernabeu for the first time since the start of November.

 

What's next?

La Liga will take a little winter break for the next week or so. But when it kicks off again, Real Madrid will take the short trip to Getafe, who are currently sixth in the table.

Real could only come away with a goalless draw from that fixture last season but have had a strong record against Getafe in recent meetings.

As for Bilbao, their first assignment of the New Year will be a tough one as they go away from home to face third-placed Sevilla.

Don't forget to check out the SBOBET odds for all of those matches once they are finally up.

 

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SBOBET 07-Jan 2020 Tuesday 3:05 PM (210 days ago)            #31
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La Liga: Los Blancos Take a Short Trip for Some Big Points

Getafe vs Real Madrid

With the New Year returns an old problem for Real Madrid: How, just how can they wrestle the La Liga title off Barcelona?

Christmas has come and gone, and the players in the Spanish league have had their break. Now they go again, and for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, it couldn’t be much harder when they kick off on Saturday.

Los Blancos will make the short journey to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on the outskirts of Madrid to face in-form Getafe. Zidane’s team sit just two points behind Barcelona at the top of the table but have drawn their last three games, and anything less than three points this weekend will probably see them drift further behind the reigning champions.

It’s going to be tough for the Whites, though. Head coach Jose Bordalas has done a fine job at Getafe. Since taking over in 2016, he's led his team to promotion and two top-10 finishes in the Primera Division, earning a Europa League spot after a fifth-place finish last season.

 

 


 

 

Talking Points

Draws not enough for Los Blancos

A goalless draw at home to Athletic Bilbao was not the way Los Blancos hoped to go into the winter break, and that came on the back of two other single point encounters against Valencia and Barcelona. They were a little unlucky in the first goalless El Clasico for 17 years as Gareth Bale was denied a late winner by VAR.

The Welsh star has been a feature in the La Liga 2020 news and not always for the right reasons. In fact, for well over a season now he hasn’t been the most popular player at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But his national team boss, Ryan Giggs, says he is not fazed by the criticism he gets in Madrid and is still enjoying his football. ZZ somehow needs to get his unsettled star firing in the second half of the season, as he has left Karim Benzema to shoulder too much of the goalscoring burden.

The French hitman netted a highly impressive 30 goals for Los Blancos last season, and he already has 16 from 23 outings in this campaign. But he needs some help.

Compare his plight with the strikers at Barcelona, who seem to be gathering some momentum at the right time. A Luis Suarez-inspired 4-1 win over Alaves was the latest example of how Leo Messi, brilliant though he is, does not stand alone.

The latest La Liga 2020 betting odds here at SBOBET have Real Madrid out at 3.20 to wrestle the title away from Catalonia with Barca now down to 1.38. And a clash with bottom club Espanyol is likely to lead to another win for the leaders.

Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid and Getafe will face each other on Saturday for their first La Liga match for the new decade
Real Madrid's head coach Zinedine Zidane calls out to his players during a Spanish La Liga soccer match against Athletic Bilbao

Getafe’s Europa target

Since promotion back to the Primera Division in 2017, Getafe have finished eighth in La Liga in 2018 and achieved a fifth-place finish last season.

Bordalas’ team is thriving in Europe, having qualified in second place behind Basel in Group C, and they have been in fine form in the league too. Defeat to Villarreal ended a five-match winning streak which has taken them to sixth position and just two points behind Atletico Madrid in fourth.

The Yellow Submarine won a hard-earned three points thanks to a second-half strike by Moi Gomez, and even though he threw his top scorer Angel Rodriguez on, Bordalas couldn’t change the game in Getafe’s favour.

Angel has already equalled his La Liga goal tally of eight for the 2018/19 campaign and he has 12 in all competitions this season, with forward Jaime Mata in support with five goals so far.

 

History

In the 28 games played between these two sides since 2004, Getafe have won five to Real Madrid’s 20 and there have been three draws.

The last meeting resulted in a 0-0 drawback in April last season and I wouldn’t rule out a repeat of that outcome. Real Madrid are unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions with only one league defeat on the road having won four and drawn four.

Getafe have only lost once in eight outings and the hosts will be keen to avoid back-to-back reversals.

 

Betting Tip

 

??

Getafe vs Real Madrid Under 2.50 Goals @ 1.94
Janaury 04, 23:00 (GMT+8)

Real Madrid are odds-on favourites to win this game at odds of 1.85, with Getafe at 4.30 and the draw is available at 3.40.

But I think Bordalas’ team will make it difficult for Los Blancos, and neither team has been free-scoring in the league. Both clubs have gone three league games with fewer than 2.5 goals at the final whistle.

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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SBOBET 07-Jan 2020 Tuesday 4:07 PM (210 days ago)            #32
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La Liga: It’s Derby Day in Catalonia

RCD Espanyol vs Barcelona

After the briefest of winter breaks, La Liga returns with the Catalan derby. The  fixture known as El Derbi Barceloní. Yet this is no ordinary derby. This is a game which has a long history of rivalries and La Liga highlights. A match-up between giants and their much smaller neighbours, indeed underdogs. A new decade also brings new faces as Abelardo Fernandez takes charge of the hosts as their third coach of the campaign against the club where he made his name as a player.  

Talking Points

Even accounting for the fact this is a derby, the SBOBET La Liga betting odds, quite understandably, have it as an away banker. Barcelona are the leaders and expected to return to the Nou Camp with maximum points against their struggling opponents who are bottom of the table with just two wins this season – a 1-0 away win at Levante and a 2-1 victory at Eibar - and five points from safety. That is a major surprise given last term they fought for a place in the Europa League and ultimately finished in seventh position. Despite showing glimpses of that form by topping their Europa League group, their performances have severely dipped in the league and they have suffered their worst ever start to a league campaign without a home win in nine league games. Surely that won’t end against the champions who have a two point lead at the summit following a 4-1 home success against Alaves just before Christmas. This wasn’t planned when Espanyol were taken over by Chinese billionaire Chen Yansheng and which has seen a massive spike in interest in the club since the arrival of Wu Lei - dubbed the "Chinese Maradona" by one of his former coaches – two years ago. The truth is the club has struggled to recover since selling forward Borja Iglesias to Real Betis and centre back Mario Hermoso to Atletico Madrid last summer. Team news wise, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has been able to welcome back Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal to training this week. The three South Americans had been granted a slightly longer break than their European teammates, with the rest of the squad having had their first post-Christmas training session on December 29.
Barcelona will be looking for their 100th head-to-head win against their rival Espanyol in La Liga
Barcelona are back to La Liga action as they continue their fine form against troubled Espanyol

Elsewhere, Valverde will be unable to call upon neither Ousmane Dembele nor Arthur Melo, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen is a serious doubt. The focus on Espanyol is whether the new manager will be able to strengthen the league’s bottom club during the January transfer window. Sporting director Rufete this week fielded a number of questions. One of them was about the rumours linking them to Hulk, but Rufete said the striker won't be coming to the RCDE Stadium, although he did say there could be other players coming in. Of course, it is not just Abelardo facing his former employers. ‘Abelardo, the new coach of Espanyol with a Barcelona past - 257 matches, 17 goals,’ Barcelona tweeted on Thursday with a video of his goals. He spent eight years at the Camp Nou between 1994 and 2002, winning two La Liga Santander titles among other trophies. Shortly after Barcelona’s post, Espanyol replied in a similar vein, celebrating Valverde’s time as player and coach at Cornella. That may be as friendly as it gets once the action kicks-off. It is derby day, after all.
 

opacity 0

 

 

History

Last season in this fixture saw Barcelona win 2-0 at home with a Messi double. Messi also notched a brace for Barca in the corresponding fixture in 2018/19 - a thumping 4-0 triumph for the visitors at RCDE Stadium. The season before, 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 10th meeting with their neighbours at their new arena that they were able to win a derby fixture (three draws, six defeats), winning 1–0 in a Copa quarter-final first leg tie. However, Ernesto Valverde’s men overturned it 2-0 the following week to go through in the tie. Barcelona have historically dominated these matches and Espanyol have only succeeded in defeating their Catalan rivals three times in almost 70 years.  

Betting Tip

??

RCD Espanyol vs Barcelona Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.78
January 5, 04:00 (GMT+8)
Barca are overwhelming favourites and are priced 1X2 @ 1.47 and can be backed with Asian Handicap odds –1.50 @ 2.35. Espanyol are available 1X2 @ 6.40 and Asian Handicap +1.00 @ 2.19 with the draw @ 4.30. Their poor defensive record has been evident throughout the season, with the Blanquiazules conceding a whopping 34 goals in 18 games. A re-run of last season’s game – correct score 0-4 – will pay out @ 22.00.

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

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SBOBET 07-Jan 2020 Tuesday 4:18 PM (210 days ago)            #33
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La Liga: A New Year Thriller in Catalonia!

Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona

After the opening 22 minutes of this La Liga encounter, the possession total read 81 per cent to 19 in favour of the league champions.

Yet possession is not always king in football, and when the league’s bottom club opened the scoring, the blue touch paper was well and truly lit for the latest version of the Catalan derby, which is rich in history as well as plenty of controversial moments.

 

Highlights of the game

If you had looked solely at the SBOBET La Liga 2020 betting odds before kick-off, you wouldn’t have suspected Barcelona were in for an uncomfortable evening.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for the fact this was a derby, it would surely have been an away banker.

After all, Espanyol had failed to win any of their past 20 derbies against Barcelona – a run stretching back over a decade – and had only scored in five of them.

What’s more, they were bottom of the table, failing to impress domestically and now on their third manager of the season as Pablo Machín was replaced before the New Year.

In his first match in charge, new boss and former Barca man Abelardo Fernandez received a warm welcome at the RCDE Stadium but Barca, chasing a landmark century of wins against Espanyol – their 99 league victories against them is a club record – were overwhelming favourites to create more La Liga 2020 highlights.

There were three changes for Espanyol in Abelardo’s first selection with captain Javi Lopez, defender Naldo and young winger Oscar Melendo all handed starting berths.

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had a tendon injury so summer signing Neto made his first league start, with Ivan Rakitic, Frenkie de Jong and Clement Lenglet also returning to the first XI.

Indeed, Rakitic may have given the visitors a dream start only to miscue his shot from the edge of the box.

As Barca controlled long spells, Espanyol proved a threat on the break. Bernardo Espinosa headed wide from a Marc Roca free-kick before the same player whipped in a 23rd-minute free-kick and David Lopez glanced home a header beyond the helpless Neto.

Barca had won their most recent Catalan derby when a Lionel Messi double secured a 2-0 win. And it was their inspirational captain again who lifted his side before the break.

He saw efforts saved and blocked, while Lenglet headed wide. Luis Suárez then struck the post after good work from the dangerous Sergi Roberto as Barcelona finished the half upping the pressure.

Arturo Vidal hits an equaliser at the start of second half during Barcelona's La Liga battle against derby rivals Espanyol
Barcelona players celebrate after Arturo Vidal scored an equaliser during the Catalan derby with Espanyol in La Liga

Sure enough, Barcelona, who replaced Rakitic with Arturo Vidal at half-time, were level five minutes after the restart.

Jordi Alba crossed from the left and Espanyol defenders carelessly left Suarez in acres of space and he promptly poked the ball past Diego Lopez.

Antoine Griezmann saw an effort blocked but the pressure was building. There was no surprise then when Suarez picked up a loose ball in the box and found Vidal – currently in dispute with the club over unpaid bonuses – who headed home.

Suarez was denied a quick third as Lopez palmed the ball over the bar and it seemed the turnaround was nearly complete. Yet there was to be a nervous final 15 minutes as two quick fouls worthy of yellow cards from young midfielder Frenkie de Jong saw the visitors reduced to 10 men.

Home substitute Wu Lei went close with a header and Neto had to be alert. Barcelona's concern of conceding an equaliser was evident with manager Ernesto Valverde replacing Griezmann with a defender, Nelson Semedo.

You could not begrudge the scenes which arrived three minutes from time when the Chinese favourite earned himself a place in Catalan folklore with a dramatic equaliser.

Moments after Suarez had been kept out, Lei latched onto a pass from Matías Vargas and fired home a right-footed shot from a difficult angle to spark home pandemonium.

In becoming the first-ever Chinese player to score against Barcelona, so another piece of history had been written in the El Derbi Barceloni.

A new year thriller in Catalonia!

 

Key statistics

This was David Lopez’s first La Liga goal since May 2018.

Barcelona have conceded eight set-piece goals in La Liga this season, two more than in all of last season and double their total in 2017-18.

Suarez has scored nine La Liga goals against Espanyol. His other best hauls in the Spanish league are against Real Betis (10), Eibar (10) and Real Madrid (nine).

Suarez has been involved in each of Barca’s last 10 league goals (four goals and six assists).

Vidal has scored six La Liga goals this season - he has only started four times and is averaging a goal every 90 minutes in the league.

De Jong is the first Dutch player to be sent off for Barcelona in a La Liga match since Edgar Davids against Atletico Madrid in February 2004.

Former Barcelona playmaker Xavi Hernandez is the player with the most Catalan derby appearances ever (32), while his former teammate and current captain Messi has the most La Liga goals in the fixture with 22, including two hat-tricks and a four-goal haul in 2011/12.

This fixture has been played in LaLiga every year apart from the four seasons Espanyol spent in the second tier. Barça’s biggest victory came early, a 5-0 win in 1933/34, while older Espanyol fans will still recall their side’s record 6-0 success during the 1950/51 campaign.



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What’s next?

A trip to minnows San Sebastian de los Reyes in the Copa del Rey is next on the agenda for Espanyol before they return to league action in a fortnight at Villarreal (January 19).

Barca now travel to Saudi Arabia to meet Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup. They are home to Granada next in La Liga the weekend after next.

 

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SBOBET 14-Jan 2020 Tuesday 1:53 PM (203 days ago)            #34
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La Liga: Ruthless Real Madrid Back Tied at the Top

Getafe 0-3 Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane watched his Real Madrid team earn a comfortable win today in a game they expected to be tough. But after a hard-fought first half, goals from Raphael Varane and Luka Modric eventually saw off Getafe.

This Madrid derby was the big early kick-off in La Liga, which gave Los Blancos the chance, possibly very briefly, to go to the top of the league. Real Madrid started the game two points behind Barca in the La Liga table and the Catalan fans will have watched the La Liga 2020 updates of that match with interest.

Jose Bordalas has done a fine job at Getafe since arriving as head coach in 2016 and his side is in the hunt for a Europe League place for a second season running; but after dominating the first half, in the end, the hosts were put away by a professional Real Madrid.

 

 

Highlights of the game

Los Blancos have relied heavily on the goals of Karim Benzema this season, and he almost gave them the perfect start in the first minute.

Gareth Bale swung over a cross and Benzema steered his header from a tight angle towards goal, but Getafe keeper David Soria got down well to keep the ball out of the bottom-right corner of the net.

The hosts have been on a good run of form and they began to get a grip on the game. Thibaut Courtois stretched himself to make a fine save when Mauro Arambarri’s shot was destined for the top left corner. Then, Getafe top scorer Angel Rodriguez twice had shots charged down.

But it was a rash piece of defending which undid the hosts’ good early work.

Faycal Fajr and Getafe suffer defeat in front of their home crowd in their recent La Liga match
Real Madrid defender Ferland Mendy in action with Getafe midfielder Faycal Fajr

Allan-Romeo Nyom hacked down Gareth Bale on the right wing and earned himself a yellow card. But his punishment became much worse when Ferland Mendy sized up the free-kick and then crossed into the danger area, where Raphael Varane and Soria went up for the ball and it landed in the net. Varane celebrated and Soria was awarded the own goal.

Varane almost turned provider just before the break, passing to Benzema, but Soria saved well in his bottom left corner. And Courtois kept his side in front, getting down well to save from Faycal Fajr on the stroke of half time.

Getafe had the best of the first half and Courtois had played a blinder, but the hosts’ hopes of fighting back suffered a heavy blow ten minutes after the break when Varane got his goal.

Again, the chance came from a free-kick on the right after Marc Cucurella had upended Isco. This time, Toni Kroos crossed and Varane beat Soria to the ball to plant his header home.

The hosts tried to fight their way back into the game but Courtois was on hand again to save when Angel had fed co-striker Jaime Mata. Soria also did well at the other end to keep out a low drive from Dani Carvajal.

With time running out, Vinicius Junior came close to adding a third for Los Blancos. But with 96 minutes on the clock, Luka Modric did make it 3-0, rounding off a fast break.

That was hard on Getafe.

 



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key statistics

Failing to break down Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu made it three draws in three for Los Blancos but they made amends today with a ruthless display.

The La Liga 2020 betting odds had Los Blancos odds-on to win, but while they had plenty of possession in the first half, Getafe won the shot count by seven to two, and three to two on target.

Real redressed the balance in the second half, finishing with seven shots on target to Getafe’s four, and that makes it 14 games unbeaten for Zinedine Zidane’s team.

But it was back-to-back defeats for the hosts after a seven-match unbeaten run.

 

 

What’s next?

Barcelona could only draw 2-2 with bottom side Espanyol in the Catalan derby despite the SBOBET odds heavily in their favour. That means Real are once again tied with their fierce rivals at the top of the La Liga table.

Real Madrid have two big tests coming up this week: first, a Spanish Super Cup clash against Valencia, followed by a home La Liga match against Sevilla, who are in third at the start of this weekend.

Getafe have two very winnable away games to look forward to: first, it’s a trip to Badalona in the Copa del Rey. They will then visit relegation-threatened Leganes.

 

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SBOBET 16-Jan 2020 Thursday 4:50 PM (201 days ago)            #35
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Madrid Giants Are Up for the Spain Super Cup

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

It’s the tie that everyone wanted, in Madrid anyway! Real and Atletico will contest the Spain Super Cup final on Sunday, in the heat of Saudi Arabia.

In the four-team showcase of Spain’s cup winners and runners up, Los Blancos saw off Valencia, and Atleti beat Barcelona, for the first time since April 2016, so it’s an all Madrid final and one which could go either way.

The very latest Spain Super Cup 2020 betting odds here at SBOBET point to a well fought final, but with Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid favourite at 2.25. Atletico Madrid are at 3.10 to win with the draw at 3.20, and Diego Simeone’s side is on a good run of form.

The two teams meet in a crunch La Liga match at the beginning of February and this game will hand a psychological edge to the victors.

 

Talking Points

Ruthless Real

Real Madrid had a comfortable passage to the final, beating Valencia 1-3 after cruising to a three goal lead. Toni Kroos opened the scoring with a little help from Valencia keeper Jaume Domenech who punched the German’s corner into his own net. Isco doubled the lead with the goal of the game, a well taken volley, before Luka Modric made it 3-0.

Real Madrid aim to win their 11th Spanish Super Cup title against city rival Atletico
Isco celebrates scoring a goal during their 3-1 victory against Valencia in semi-final

Valencia had a late consolation when Dani Parejo slotted home a penalty awarded by VAR. Los Blancos are beginning to show a ruthless streak, beating Getafe 0-3 to keep up the chase at the top of La Liga, and things are looking much brighter at the Bernabeu than at the start of the season when ZZ had an unsettled squad.

Gareth Bale has come back into the fold but he is unavailable for the final, still struggling with a chest infection that kept him out of the semi-final, while top scorer Karim Benzema is also out injured.

Rojiblancos can upset the odds

With Los Blancos a little short of firepower that may leave the door open for Atletico to cause another minor upset. Their 2-3 semi-final victory over Barcelona came thanks to a stunning fight back as Simeone’s team were heading for defeat with just ten minutes remaining.

Alvaro Morata calmly converted an 81st minute penalty and then Los Rojiblancos threw everything at it, and got their reward when Angel Correa took advantage of a sleepy Barca defence to fire home the winner.

Keeper Jan Oblak had a good game and he will be key to Atleti’s chances on Sunday.

Simeone’s team is going nicely in the league too. A recent defeat to Barcelona followed by a goalless draw with Villarreal cut Atleti adrift in La Liga, but three wins on the bounce have dragged them back into contention and they now sit just five points behind the leaders, Barca and Real.

 

History

The Spain Super Cup started in 1982 as a play-off between League and Cup winners over two legs; but it was announced, in November, that the Supercopa would expand to four teams including the runners up.

The decision to play it in Saud Arabia has not been without controversy though, as broadcaster RTVE declined to bid for the media rights in protest at Saudi’s human and women’s rights records.

Los Blancos have won the Spain Super Cup on ten occasions, the last time in 2017, and only Barcelona have won more with 13, while Atleti have won on two occasions, most recently in 2014.

In terms of head to head statistics, of the 66 games played since 1993 Real Madrid have won 35 to Atleti’s 12 and there have been 19 draws.

The earlier meeting, this season, resulted in a 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Los Rojiblancos gave their city rivals a 7-3 hammering in the International Champions Cup back in July.

Both teams are in fine form, Atleti are on a run of five wins in all competitions while Los Blancos are unbeaten in 15.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Over 2.50 goals @ 2.05
January 13, 02:00 (GMT+8)

This showcase final promises plenty of drama, and while Los Blancos are favourites, the absence of their La Liga top scorer does give Atletico a decent chance.

Real Madrid would love to avenge their ICC humiliation but I don’t see a repeat of that goal fest or the goalless league clash. Expect a close game decided by the odd goal.

I’ll be back with the Spain Super Cup 2020 highlights on Sunday night. In the meantime enjoy a great weekend of domestic football!

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

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SBOBET 16-Jan 2020 Thursday 4:51 PM (201 days ago)            #36
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Ramos Fires Real to Spanish Super Cup Success

Atletico Madrid 0-0 (1-4 on pens) Real Madrid

Real Madrid lifted the Spain Super Cup in Saudi Arabia tonight thanks to a 4-1 penalty shootout win after the Madrid giants cancelled each other out for 120 minutes.

Sergio Ramos fired home the winning spot-kick to give Zinedine Zidane his first trophy since his return as head coach.

Both teams came into the match on a superb run of form, Atleti having won the last five in all competitions and the big Spain Super Cup 2020 news so far has been Diego Simeone’s side’s stunning fightback to beat Barcelona. But despite having the better of much of this game they couldn’t break down the Los Blancos defence and fell at the final hurdle.

 

Highlights of the game

Real Madrid started brightly and Casemiro tried to curl one in with his left foot, but Jan Oblak had plenty of time to see it and saved comfortably. And the Atletico keeper was called into action again when Luka Modric hit a scorching drive from the edge of the box but straight at Oblak.

The best chance of the first half came to Los Rojiblancos, and it was a slip up by Sergio Ramos. The Real skipper gave the ball to Joao Felix some 20 yards out and he had a free shot at goal, but mis-hit his effort wide.

Spanish Super Cup: Atleti once against suffer a painful defeat versus Real Madrid
Joao Felix in action for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid during the Spanish Super Cup final

Atletico had a good passage of play towards the end of the first half and Angel Correa had a shot charged down, as did Felix, and then Saul tried an overhead kick but it landed in the arms of the grateful Thibaut Courtois.

With both Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema missing from the Real Madrid front line a lot was resting on the shoulders of Luka Jovic, and when Casemiro sent him on his way he ran from his own penalty area the full length of the pitch but Jose Gimenez managed to clear for a corner before he pulled the trigger. Then the big Serb beat Kieran Tripper and hit a low skidding shot which flew just past Oblak’s left-hand post.

With a quarter of the game remaining, Federico Valverde had a glorious chance to score for Los Blancos when Jovic sent in a perfect cross, but with the goal at his mercy he headed the ball down onto his knee!

Extra time was looming when Alvaro Morata had a decent chance for Atleti but Courtois got down well to push his effort away for a corner.

Extra Time

Both sides had early chances in added time with Real’s Mendy trying to curl a shot in from distance, but Oblak watched it sail past the post. At the other end, Vitolo got a shot away but Courtois saved well from a tight angle, and when Correa floated over a lovely ball Gimenez planted his header wide.

Courtois got a foot to a Morata effort and his opposite number made a double save from Modric and Mariano. Atleti came close again when Courtois parried an effort from Correa.

Penalties

Los Blancos drew first blood in the shootout when Atleti’s Saul hit the post with his team’s first spot-kick. And it was double delight for Real when Courtois saved Thomas Partey’s effort.

Modric made it 3-0 to Zidane’s team before Trippier got Atleti going, but even the former Burnley and Spurs wing-back knew it was to be in vain when Sergio Ramos stepped up to slide home the winner.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

Key statistics

The Spain Super Cup 2020 betting odds had the draw at 3.20, but both sides gave all they could to break the deadlock only to find each defence unbeatable.

Real were rampant in a recent 0-3 away win at Getafe and Atleti had been in fine form, putting three past Barca last week, but neither could score in 120 minutes.

Los Blancos won’t mind that one bit; they’ve won the Supercopa for the 11th time and are unbeaten in 16 in all competitions, while their head coach, ZZ, has picked up his tenth trophy as Real Madrid boss.

 

What’s next?

Los Blancos have a big three weeks ahead in La Liga with a home match against Sevilla and then a trip to play Real Valladolid, and then there’s a repeat of tonight’s clash at the Santiago Bernabeu when Atleti visit for another Madrid derby. Here at SBOBET we’ll be previewing and reporting on the next chapter of this epic battle.

Both Atleti and Sevilla are still in the title hunt, five points behind Real and Barca at the summit of the La Liga table and they will both give Los Blancos a severe test.

Before they meet their old foes again Los Rojiblancos have an away game against Eibar and then a home clash with strugglers Leganes. Both are in a relegation battle and Atleti will hope to make it five league wins on the bounce.

 

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SBOBET 16-Jan 2020 Thursday 4:54 PM (201 days ago)            #37
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La Liga: Sevilla is a Real Test for Zidane

Real Madrid vs Sevilla

The big guns of Spanish football were sunning themselves in Saudi Arabia last week for the Supercopa. But now it’s back to business on home soil.

Saturday’s big La Liga match between Real and Sevilla will pit second against fourth. It's an opportunity for Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid to keep the pressure up on Barcelona at the top, and a chance for Sevilla to close the gap between themselves and Real to just two points.

A former Los Blancos boss also has a point to prove. Sevilla head coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked after less than six months at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he’s doing a good job in Seville. Los Palanganas are going along nicely in the league and Copa del Rey, as well as in Europe.

This is a big test for Zidane’s team.

 

Talking Points

Supercopa winners have sights set on La Liga

Los Blancos have already picked up the first silverware of the Spanish season, winning the Supercopa by beating Atletico Madrid on penalties in the heat of Saudi Arabia.

After Los Rojiblancos had much the better of 120 goalless minutes, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and captain Sergio Ramos were the heroes as Real won the penalty shootout 4-1, with the skipper slamming home the winner.

And Ramos’ partner in the centre of defence has also been doing the business at the other end of the pitch. Real Madrid ended a run of draws with a win over Getafe, and Raphael Varane had a hand in two of the goals.

La Liga: Raphael Varane scored a wonderful header during their match against Getafe
Raphael Varane celebrates with Eder Militao after scoring real Madrid's second goal versus Getafe

The French defender put the Getafe goalkeeper under pressure leading to an own goal and then he planted a powerful header home to make it two.

But if Real Madrid are to stop Barcelona from making it three domestic titles on the bounce, then they need their strikers to do their bit. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale were both absent in the Supercopa win but are in with a chance of returning on Saturday.

Benzema, with 12 goals, has carried the scoring burden on his shoulders for the last two seasons, and fans will hope a hamstring injury won’t keep him out for too long.

Take a look at the latest SBOBET odds and you’ll see Los Blancos are at 2.70 to win the league. After a difficult close season and slow start to the campaign Zidane will be delighted with that.

Julen’s unfinished business

Julen Lopetegui’s time in Seville has been a period of redemption for the former national team coach. The Sevilla boss had a rough time as head coach of Los Blancos at the beginning of the 2018/19 season and was sacked after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Barcelona.

But the Seville board has given him another chance and haven't been regretting their decision. His side has won Group A of the Europa League in impressive style, only losing to Apoel after winning the first five matches to take the group by storm.

 


 

 

Los Palanagas are also through to the third round of the Copa del Rey after hammering Escobedo 0-5 with five players on the score sheet. The front three of Luuk de Jong, Nolito and Lucas Ocampos were all on target, as were Franco Vazquez and Oliver Torres.

Skippered by former Manchester City star Jesus Navas, this is a team with plenty of attacking threat, as well as some bite. Midfield enforcer Fernando has picked up eight yellow cards so far and he’ll have his sights set on Los Blancos’ supply line to their forwards.

 

History

The historic La Liga 2020 results between Real and Sevilla make good reading for Madrid fans; of the 57 games played since 1993, Los Blancos have won 37 to Sevilla’s 16 and there have been just four draws.

In more recent times, the omens are even better for the hosts. Real won a tight game by 0-1 in Sevilla back in September, and won the last meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu by 2-0 in January 2019.

Real Madrid have not lost to Sevilla in their last 12 encounters at home and have a home record this season of six wins and three draws.

Both teams are in decent form, having won two and drawn two of the last four games.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Sevilla Real Madrid Asian Handicap - 0.75 @ 1.76
January 18, 23:00 (GMT+8)

The La Liga 2020 betting odds are set on a victory for Zidane’s men with Real at 1.60 to win, while the draw is available at 3.75 and Sevilla is 5.60 to pull off a surprise win.

A repeat of the last meeting here in Madrid, 2-0, is available at odds of 8.50 and, while I can’t see a comfortable afternoon for Los Blancos, I think their momentum will carry them forward.

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SBOBET 21-Jan 2020 Tuesday 2:52 PM (196 days ago)            #38
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La Liga: Baptism of Fire for Quique Setien

Barcelona vs Granada

Newly-minted manager Quique Setien will be thrust into his first La Liga match for Barcelona as they will face Granada this weekend in Camp Nou.

The race to the top is still tight since Barca and Real Madrid are currently level with 40 points apiece. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are not far behind with 35 points each while Real Sociedad and Valencia round out the top six with 31 each.

 


 

 

A victory here is in order for Barca as their rivals in Los Blancos have been riding high after bringing home the Supercopa. But with a loaded roster composing the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Antoine Griezmann, for sure they’ll come out firing come Sunday evening.

Granada, on the other hand, sank to the 10th spot of the table with 27 points after punching above their weight with their superb start. El Grana have already lost three of their last five fixtures.

El Grana would be desperate to find their footing once more. But with Barca’s superior record against them especially at home, their La Liga 2020 odds of winning in this game are unpromising.

 

Talking points

Barca’s new regime

When the La Liga 2020 news broke about the hiring of Quique Setien, it drew a lot of mixed reactions. Most pundits felt that he didn’t deserve to get sacked after leading the club to two La Liga titles and he should get the respect that is due.

On the flip side, there were others who felt that Valverde’s tenure had run its course. The 55-year-old manager was often viewed as being too pragmatic and overly cautious to the point that he often relies in the individual brilliance of his players. And somehow, winning domestically isn’t enough for the impatient fans over at Camp Nou.

Towards the end of his tenure, Valverde was booed whenever his face was shown in the big screen for some reason. Particularly in their game against Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa, the fans were merciless with their jeers and Barca eventually lost and was eliminated.

In search for a new voice, Barca shortlisted their candidates to either former club icon Xavi and Quique Setien. Camp Nou went with Setien since Xavi felt that he is not yet ready to lead his former team albeit in a different setting.

Setien’s entry was welcomed with open arms from fans and player alike.  Known as a proponent of Johan Cruyff’s principles, many believe that the former Real Betis boss is a perfect fit, and that his tactical brilliance will translate well into the pitch.

“Setien: a coach with Barca DNA and ‘in love’ with Messi,” wrote the Diario AS newspaper in Spain.

I guess SBOBET fans will have to wait and see on how he’ll lead the team moving forward.

Lionel Messi hope to keep Barcelona on top of the La Liga table with incoming match against Granada at Camp Nou
Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action during the Spanish Super Cup semifinal match against Atletico Madrid at King Abdullah stadium

Granada dealt with a reality check

El Grana continue their slump after their wild start to the season, and they are hoping that the New Year will bring good omen to the team.

For a time, Granada rose to the third spot at the La Liga table, and that’s a whole lot since their starting lineup only costs around £7-M in total.

It is guys like Antonio Puertas, Carlos Fernandez, and Alvaro Vadillo who have been doing the heavy lifting for El Grana as they’ve accounted for 10 of their 25 goals so far this season. However, it’s their defence that needs some work.

Diego Martinez’s side has given up 25 goals already and it has been on a decline as of late.

In their three previous losses, El Grana have given up 2.7 goals while failing to score more than once. And their most embarrassing defeat so far this season was particularly against the struggling Eibar when they lost 3-0.

The team veered away from its usual 3-5-1 to a 4-2-3-1 formation, which arguably left them vulnerable in midfield. Sergi Enrich and Kike took advantage with that and both of them had goals of their own. Plus, Takashi Inui capped it off with his goal at the 87th minute.

Granada bounced back, however, with wins against Mallorca and Tamaraceite in the Copa del Rey. But their 1-0 victories aren’t that convincing to say the least.

Diego Martinez will have his work cut out for him and it won’t get any easier against Barca.

 

History

Barcelona have been undefeated in all of their 23 home matches against Granada, and a win here could set a new record for most consecutive home wins by a team against a single opponent in La Liga.

They have also yet to lose in their last eight La Liga matches (W5, D3).

 

Betting tip

??

Barcelona vs. Granada Barcelona Asian Handicap -2.00 @ 1.74
January 20, 4:00(GMT+8)

Barcelona are rightfully the overwhelming favourites in the 1x2 market, as they are placed at 1.16. Granada, meanwhile, are at 15.50, and chances for a draw are at 7.00.

There isn’t much to say here especially since Barcelona’s overall quality is much superior than that of Granada’s. For now, it’s just a matter on how many goals Barca can score on this one.

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SBOBET 21-Jan 2020 Tuesday 2:54 PM (196 days ago)            #39
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La Liga: Surprise Two-Goal Hero Casemiro Sinks Sevilla

Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla

Real Madrid have reclaimed sole possession of first place in the La Liga standings after a big 2-1 win over top-four challengers Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu.

A surprising brace from Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro clinched victory for the hosts, who have extended their impressive unbeaten run in the league to 11 matches.

Sevilla were always going to be a test for Real manager Zinedine Zidane, but the La Liga 2020 betting odds still favoured Real at home despite the absence of some of their top attackers.

And they proved that they are more than capable of getting a result against one of their top challengers even at less than full strength.

Now, it's Barcelona's turn to respond to Real in new manager Quique Setien's debut.

 

Highlights of the game

Real were without the services of their three first-choice forwards in Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, and Gareth Bale during their Spanish Supercup triumph in Saudi Arabia. And the big La Liga 2020 news was that none of them started against Sevilla, with only Benzema present on the bench.

In their place, young Luka Jovic led the line with Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo in support on the wing. Meanwhile, Eder Militao started for injured captain Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos came in for the suspended Fede Valverde.

The makeshift Real attack struggled to create many clear-cut scoring chances during the first half. Speculative long-range shots by Kroos, Marcelo, and Casemiro were their most notable opportunities on goal.

On the other hand, Sevilla had the ball in Real's net just before the half-hour mark as Luuk de Jong headed home from a corner. However, the goal was ruled out by VAR due to an apparent foul by Nemanja Gudelj.

To the dismay of Sevilla fans, the referee disallows Luuk de Jong's goal in their recent La Liga match
The referee reviews the VAR before disallowing Sevilla's Luuk de Jong's goal against Real Madrid

It took until the 56th minute for Real's first big goal-scoring opportunity to arrive, and Casemiro took it beautifully. The Brazilian, who is known more for his defensive prowess than his ability in attack, got on the end of a gorgeous back-heel from Jovic and ever so coolly chipped the ball over the on-rushing Sevilla keeper Tomas Vaclik to put the hosts in front.

Real almost doubled their lead on 62 minutes. Vinicius Jr. went on a dazzling run as he cut in from the left wing, but his attempt to curl the ball into the corner did not quite come off.

And just a couple of minutes after that, Sevilla got the ball in the net for a second time, but this time it counted. de Jong picked up the ball near the edge of the box surrounded by Real defenders, but he managed to find some space and set himself up for a sensational left-footed strike, which curled past a diving Thibaut Courtois.

However, it took just five short minutes for Real to reclaim their lead. Some lax Sevilla defending allowed Casemiro to go unmarked right at the edge of the six-yard box. As a result, the Brazilian got up unchallenged and headed Lucas' cross right into the bottom corner.

Not content with his brace, Casemiro went in search of a hat-trick. He very nearly got it when he intercepted a ball at the edge of the Sevilla penalty box, but he didn't get a good connection with his attempted volley.

Speaking of volleys, Luka Modric connected sweetly with his, but it lacked the accuracy as it skied high and wide.

In the end, though, Real didn't need a third goal as they were able to hold onto their slim advantage to claim all three points.



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Key statistics

The final statistics were what you would expect from what was a fairly close game. Real just barely edged out the possession battle, 52 per cent to 48. They also had more shots (13-8), although they only had one more shot on target than the visitors (4-3).

Real's unusual front three of Jovic, Rodrygo, and Lucas was unable to generate shots, so midfielders Casemiro and Toni Kroos stepped up to the plate. Both finished with four shots, which led the team, and two on target.

This was the first time in Casemiro's career where he's scored more than one goal in a game.

 

What's next?

Real Madrid have a relatively easy assignment up next as they pay a visit to struggling Real Valladolid. The Albivioletas are currently down in 15th spot in the La Liga table and have not won in their last eight league matches (three defeats, five draws). The SBOBET odds will surely be sided heavily toward Madrid in that matchup.

As for Sevilla, they will go back home next week to face Granada. The Rojiblancos will be looking to improve upon their recent home record; they've won just one of their last four at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan as they drew against Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao and lost to Villarreal.

 

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SBOBET 21-Jan 2020 Tuesday 2:57 PM (196 days ago)            #40
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La Liga: Messi Gives Setien Winning Start

Barcelona 1-0 Granada

Barcelona have begun the Quique Setien era on the right foot. Lionel Messi's right foot made sure of that as his goal gave them a 1-0 win over Granada. As a result, they have jumped back up to the top of the La Liga standings over Real Madrid via goal difference.

It wasn't a perfect performance by any means, but the game did give a glimpse of Barcelona's style under Setien as they dominated possession for virtually the entire match.

And while they needed to work a bit harder to get the win than anticipated, they still proved the La Liga 2020 odds right as Setien picked up all three points in his baptism at the Camp Nou.

 

Highlights of the game

It took just seven minutes for Barcelona to fire their first shot at the Granada goal. Young Ansu Fati, who was inserted into the starting line-up due to the injury to Luis Suarez, took a pass from Antoine Griezmann on the right wing and got off a right-footed shot which was saved by Granada keeper Rui Silva.

Messi's attempted rebound was blocked, but it eventually broke to Arturo Vidal, who blasted his shot over the bar.

A few minutes later, Fati was once again on the end of a great chance. But the 17-year-old's first touch wasn't the best and he skied his stabbed shot over. Messi was next to take a crack at Granada's goal via a free-kick, but it went just a few inches over the bar.

Granada finally got their own shot in just before the half-hour mark, although Carlos Fernandez's effort from outside the box didn't trouble Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Messi came the closest to breaking the deadlock at the stroke of half-time. The Argentine struck Jordi Alba's cutback first-time, but to the surprise of everyone at the Camp Nou, he missed the target.

Messi and co. continued to pile on the pressure on the visitors in the second half, though. Messi had a couple of long-range efforts go off target, which included a deflected free-kick, while Ivan Rakitic also had a go from distance.

But Granada very nearly took the lead with a long-distance strike of their own on 66 minutes. Yan Eteki had ter Stegen beaten, but unluckily for him, his shot struck the post.

Granada's German receives a red card during their recent clash against current La Liga champions Barcelona
Granada's German looks dejected after receiving a red card in their La Liga match against Barcelona

However, Granada's quest to leave the Camp Nou with at least a point took a massive blow just three minutes later as German Sanchez was sent off for a second yellow card. After seeing how relatively tame Sanchez's challenge on Messi which earned him that second yellow was, it seemed like a harsh decision.

After that sending off, it was only a matter of time before Barca would find their way past 10-man Granada. And their breakthrough finally came on 76 minutes. A flick-on by Griezmann and an Arturo Vidal backheel set up Messi, who slotted home with his right foot.

That one moment of brilliant teamwork -- which was started and ended by Messi -- proved to be all Barca needed to hand new manager Quique Setien a debut win at Camp Nou.

 

Key statistics

While Barca only won  1-0, the final statistics showed a much more dominant display. They controlled a whopping 83 per cent possession as they played Setien's possession-heavy style. They also got off 18 shots, with six on target, compared to Granada's five.

Messi, as usual, was responsible for majority of La Liga 2020 highlights in this match. He produced nine of the team's 18 shots and played a part in the majority of the others.

And while Griezmann didn't get on the scoresheet, he did have four shots with two on target. The French forward has had a disappointing start to his Barca career, but he will have more opportunities to prosper while playing in the middle while Suarez is out of the line-up.

Meanwhile, Barca's terrific home form continues. They have won nine of their 10 home league matches this season, with their only draw coming against Real Madrid in the Clasico.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

What's next?

SBOBET La Liga fans are being treated to an exciting title race this season, and one that could stay tight all the way.

Barcelona's next assignment takes them to the Mestalla to take on Valencia. Los Che will be eager to bounce back after they suffered a crushing 4-1 defeat to Mallorca over the weekend. However, they will be without captain Dani Parejo, who was sent off for two yellow cards.

As for Granada, they will have another tough assignment next week as they visit Sevilla at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Sevilla are also coming off a loss after they went down 2-1 to Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

 

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SBOBET 27-Jan 2020 Monday 2:59 PM (190 days ago)            #41
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La Liga: Sevilla can be Kings of Andalusia

Sevilla vs Granada

They have bossed their region for some time and Sevilla fans hope that’s not about to end any time soon.

Julen Lopetegui’s side is currently fourth in the La Liga table, with neighbours Granada and Real Betis 10th and 11th , and Los Sevillanos will be keen to keep their local rivals at arms’ length when Granada visit the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Saturday.

Sevilla will be determined to stay in their Champions League berth, while their visitors will be more than happy to finish the season where they currently sit and, with a poor away record, to take a point in this derby game would be a significant success.

The latest La Liga 2020 betting odds suggest Julen Lopetegui’s Seville will qualify for the Champions League and that will be a good outcome for the former Los Blancos boss in his first season in Andalusia.

Granada’s promotion to La Liga, two years after relegation, prompted pundits and fans to predict a season of consolidation, and a superb start to the season has given them every chance of staying at the top table.

 

Talking Points

Sevilla’s midfield powerhouse

Sevilla were sunk by two goals from Casemiro in their recent 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid, having failed to take advantage of Los Blancos’ depleted squad. And there will be no player more angered by that than Argentine midfield lynchpin Ever Banega.

Banega has had a colourful career and was something of a hell-raiser in his youth, but he’s been a key part of the Argentina national team and is often seen as the player who makes Lionel Messi tick.

And, as well as being a fierce tackler, he is a good source of supply for Sevilla’s strikers, having made six assists already this season. Banega will be planning to control the middle of the park when the neighbours arrive on Saturday.

Lopetegui’s search for a striker

Luuk de Jong was on target in the defeat to Real Madrid, but leading scorer Lucas Ocampos was sidelined. He’s scored five league goals this season and returned to bag another as Los Sevillanos beat Levante 3-1 in the Copa del Rey third round.

But five goals isn’t a big tally for the leading scorer of a top fur club and Lopetegui is looking to strengthen in the January window. He’s considering a move for Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos. The Colombia international has scored 28 goals in all competitions this season, so the Scottish club will be keen to keep hold of him.

Lopetegui needs to make a move after the departure of Javier Hernandez to LA Galaxy.

This SBOBET writer was talking to some Manchester United fans last night, after the Red Devils lost to Burnley, and they were amazed their former striker has been allowed to leave Seville; they’d certainly welcome him back to Old Trafford.

Fast start made Granada safe

A fantastic set of La Liga 2020 results early in the season set Granada up for a good year, and while they couldn’t sustain their start, they sit comfortably in mid-table. After taking one point from their first two games back in the top flight, including defeat to Sevilla, Granada won four league games in September to take them to the top of the league.

Granada currently sit at 10th place in the La Liga table with 27 points
Granada centre back German was sent off during their match against Barcelona

Los Granadinos Granada gave Barcelona a run for their money last week, and were level until centre back German Sanchez was red carded for a second bookable offence. The 6ft 2in defender Jose Martinez, currently on loan from Eibar, is likely to step in.

Diego Martinez’ men are on a six game losing streak sway from home and have failed to score in their last four away games in La Liga.

 

History

The Andalusian head to heads are in favour of Sevilla who have won ten, drawn two and lost five of the last 17 meetings with Granada.

Lopetegui’s team won a tight game away to Granada (0-1) in the second round of La Liga 2019/20 and I fancy them to complete a derby double on Saturday. They have won five of the last seven home games against Los Granadinos.

Both teams come into the game with four wins from six, but Granada’s league form is less impressive. Of those four wins only one was in la Liga, and that a 1-0 victory over struggling Mallorca. The same applies to Sevilla with one win in the last three league games; both teams have progressed to the fourth round of the Copa del Rey

 

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Granada Sevilla First Half Asian Handicap -0.50 @ 2.04
January 26, 04:00 (GMT+8)

With Sevilla at 1.41, the draw at 4.40 and Granada at 7.40 all signs point to a home win, and that makes perfect sense considering Granada’s poor away form.

I think Sevilla will come out all guns blazing, to grab control of this match as soon as they can, and get their noses in front before the break.

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SBOBET 27-Jan 2020 Monday 3:01 PM (190 days ago)            #42
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La Liga: Barca Don’t Fear The Mestalla!

Valencia vs Barcelona

Some of the best La Liga action is bound to be in the white hot atmosphere of the Mestalla this weekend, where Barcelona are the visitors.

The Valencia fans have long been some of the most passionate, hostile and impatient in European football, and when they make a noise it takes a cool head to play football as a visitor. But Barcelona, and captain Lionel Messi are the best in the business under intense pressure, and Quique Setien’s side will be ready for whatever the Los Che fans can throw at them.

Barcelona are still locked at the top of La Liga with Real Madrid after both sides have won two and drawn three of the last five games, and the latest La Liga 2020 betting odds are starting to entertain the prospect of a Los Blancos triumph, though the Blaugrana is still odds on…just.

So a calm performance and clinical efficiency will be needed to beat Albert Celades’ Valencia and stay in pole position. They should do it. Valencia are at odds of 4.50 and the draw at 4.10 with Barcelona at 1.66 for this game.

It would be major La Liga 2020 news if the hosts were to take points off the champions, but with their impressive home form I wouldn’t rule it out.

La Liga: Lionel Messi managed to score 17 goals on 17 games in all competition
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Granada

Talking Points

The Mestalla is a fortress again

Los Che were shambolic in defeat to Real Mallorca last week as they went down 4-1 to the La Liga strugglers. They were 3-0 behind by half time in the match at Son Moix, and that was too big a mountain to climb in the second period. That means Valencia have won just one in four league matches and have drifted down to seventh in the table, and four points behind fourth placed Sevilla.

Celades’ aim is Champions League football and that’s still very much on, providing they keep up their home form. Valencia are unbeaten at the Mestalla this season, having won five and drawn five. But they’ll have to face the Blaugrana without some key players. Dani Parejo has six goals but is out suspended, while Cristiano Pucini is injured and Rodrigo and Ezequiel Garay are both doubtful.

A lot rests on the shoulders of top scorer Maxi Gomez, who will look to add to his seven league goals.

Setien settling in

Barca’s season hasn’t been flawless by any stretch of the imagination; despite having over 80 per cent possession they recently had to settle for a 2-2 draw against bottom club Espanyol in the Barcelona derby.

But after the Catalans had said goodbye to Ernesto Valverde, new coach Setien got off to a winning start against Granada thanks to Lionel Messi, who else? The Argentine scored the only goal of the game, his 14th of the campaign and 17th in 17 games in all competitions.

 


 

 

His form is crucial to the Catalans who will be without the injured Luis Suarez, who scored twice against Valencia earlier in the season, and Ousmane Dembele.

Messi was rested, along with other first-teamers, in last night’s Copa clash with minnows Ibiza, which almost ended in embarrassment until Antoine Griezmann scored a 94th minute winner.

 

History

In the 62 games played since 1993, Valencia have won 13 to Barca’s 32 and there have been 17 draws, and Barcelona have been particularly dominant over the past five years.

This fixture last season, at the Mestalla, was a 1-1 draw as Messi equalised with a spectacular long range effort after Ezequiel Garay had put the hosts ahead.

That meant Los Che have failed to beat Barcelona in the league since early 2014, and that was at the Camp Nou, and the Catalans are unbeaten in Valencia since 2007, winning five and drawing seven.

 

Betting Tip

??

Valencia vs Barcelona 2-3 goals @ 2.09
January 25, 23:00 (GMT+8)

This is a crucial fixture for both teams. Valencia is aiming for the fourth place and with Sevilla at home to Granada they can’t afford to drift too far behind. Meanwhile Real Madrid have a very winnable game at Real Valladolid, and with a wafer thin advantage at the top, just two goals, Barcelona must keep up the pressure. A repeat of last years result, 1-1 is at 7.80 while the most likely score-line is 1-2 at 7.00, and it promises to be a hard fought game. The SBOBET top scoring pundit, and my good mate James, will be back with the match report at the weekend. My money’s on Messi making the headlines again.

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SBOBET 27-Jan 2020 Monday 3:03 PM (190 days ago)            #43
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La Liga: Reputations at Stake on Derby Day

Atletico Madrid vs Leganes

A high noon kick-off on a Sunday may not be the ideal time to play a football match but for Atletico Madrid the chance to return to action can’t come soon enough. This La Liga clash will be exactly what Diego Simeone and his players need after their embarrassing Copa del Rey exit in midweek.

Yes, it was a significantly weakened side, but the embarrassment of being eliminated by such lower league opposition will not sit well and puts more pressure on the side to mount an outside title challenge and do well in the Champions League (a last 16 tie against holders Liverpool beckons next month).

While this should be a formality, Los Rojiblancos were expected to win last weekend too and went down to defeat at Eibar.

This is their chance to return to winning ways and create some La Liga highlights and gain local bragging rights.

Yet, given the unpredictability that the Spanish top-flight has thrown up so far this term, no one can say for sure.

And of course, form can go out of the window in derbies as Leganes have proved before.

It’s derby day and here are two sides who need the points for very different reasons.

 


 

 

Talking Points

You would be right to ask, how can Atletico turn on the style one minute – they defeated champions Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup just a few weeks ago – and then have a seven days like they have just encountered.

Following the Copa debacle, a post-mortem has already begun in the media about how, in tough times, the old figureheads of the club like Juanfran, Godin and Gabi would lift the team and push through with sheer fight and determination.

Atletico's current crop has been accused of being absent of leaders.

You have to go back to before Simeone’s arrival as coach to find a similarly shock defeat, that coming in a Copa del Rey elimination against Albacete, then also a Segunda B side.

Diego Simeone aims to build their momentum and improve their standings in La Liga when they face Leganes
Diego Simeone giving instructions from the touchline

That loss came in the same round as this most recent stumble and led to Gregorio Manzano losing his job as coach and Simeone’s appointment.

A repeat is not even on the cards given what the Argentine has achieved for the club but there is no doubt they need to bounce back quickly and may be helped by the return of striker Alvaro Morata who was rested against Cultural Leonesa in the cup.

The striker has also missed games against Eibar and Real Sociedad because of injury, while he missed the Madrid derby earlier in the season through suspension.

It’s clear Leganes, in the relegation zone and four points from safety, could do with someone of Morata’s ilk.

The priority for them is to bring in one or two strikers before the transfer window closes next week, with Cristhian Stuani and Mariano Diaz the favourites.

For now, though, they will just hope for the best and that Atletico’s miserable week continues. Everything does come in threes, after all.

 

History

It seems some time since the sides met in the Segunda Division back in the 2001/2 campaign, the season in which Atletico were promoted to the top flight.

More recent meetings between these sides have produced few goals.

Last season, this fixture finished 1-0 to Atletico when Saul Niguez scored the only goal.

It was the same scoreline earlier this season when substitute Vitolo netted.

The year before saw Atletico huff and puff but they weren’t able to break the deadlock in a goalless draw.

Granted, Atletico won the return fixture when the unplayable Antoine Griezmann scored four times without reply.

The previous season also resulted in a 2-0 home win for Atletico, courtesy of a Fernando Torres double.

But again, the match at Leganes ended without a goal.

That is a mighty achievement for this tiny club.

Remember, this a side from cucumber country south of the Spanish capital.

A town of 185,000 where there are streets named after AC/DC and Scorpions and a side which, as recently as 2013, had no training ground and a pitch full of potholes.

 

Betting Tip

??

Atletico Madrid vs Leganes Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -1.25 @ 2.21
January 26, 19:00 (GMT+8)

With the SBOBET La Liga betting odds, I cannot see past a home triumph.

They are priced 1X2 @ 1.45 with the visitors out @ 7.60. The draw – not an uncommon scoreline in recent years (though mainly at Leganes) - can be backed @ 4.00.

Yet Leganes may be worth backing outright with Asian Handicap odds +1.00 @ 2.12, as may over 2.75 goals @ 2.42 when you consider goals have often been hard to come by in these meetings.

Indeed, if you opt for the opposite, total goal 4-6 will payout @ 4.70, compared to total goal 0-1 @ 2.54.

For an upset, Double Chance Leganes or Draw is on offer @ 2.61 and a repeat of this match last season – correct score 1-0 – is available @ 4.40.

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SBOBET 27-Jan 2020 Monday 3:07 PM (190 days ago)            #44
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La Liga: Gomez-Inspired Valencia Have Occasion to Savour

Valencia 2-0 Barcelona

Most La Liga afternoons in January are cold, but the atmosphere in the Mestalla is nearly always white-hot for occasions like this so La Liga 2020 highlights were seemingly guaranteed.

Valencia fans have long been some of the most passionate, hostile and impatient in European football, and when they make a noise it takes a cool head to play football as a visitor.

Well, the Mestalla is rocking right now after their heroes upset the SBOBET La Liga 2020 betting odds to upset the champions.

 

Highlights of the game

Valencia went into this match in fifth with a plus one goal difference, not a ringing endorsement of their form this term and meaning they were out of the European qualification spots.

Their cause was not helped by the absence of captain Dani Parejo after he picked up a red card in Los Che’s 4-1 loss away at Real Mallorca last weekend.

There is no denying Parejo’s influence on Valencia; they are a different team when he plays.

That is often the case, too, as he has played 27 games so far this season: 19 in La Liga (1,671 minutes and six goals), six in the Champions League (540 minutes and one goal), one in the Supercopa de Espana (90 minutes and one goal), and one in the Copa del Rey (90 minutes).

The big decision from home manager Albert Celades was to leave Rodrigo Moreno on the bench. Barca are rumoured to be keen on the frontman who has just returned from injury.

New Barca boss Quique Setien would have been aware his side needed to produce a convincing La Liga performance following two narrow wins against Granada and Ibiza, in which they won but failed to impress.

Quique Setien feels disappointed after suffering his first defeat as Barcelona manager in La Liga game against Valencia
Barcelona manager Quique Setien looks dejected after losing to Valencia in recent La Liga clash

He named Arthur in midfield with teenager Ansu Fati again selected in attack.

With Rodrigo on the bench, all eyes were on the other central character in Lionel Messi. From the outset he was their key figure, seeing an effort blocked inside three minutes.

Messi has scored 28 goals against Valencia, including 24 in 27 league matches against Los Che, four of them coming in a single home game in the 2011/12 season. It was easy to see why the world player of the year was their main threat.

Only nine minutes had passed though when Gerard Pique brought down Jose Gaya and conceded a penalty for which he was cautioned. But Maxi Gomez wasted the opportunity as German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen dove to his left and clawed away the powerful effort.

Gomez and Francis Coquelin were again thwarted by the shot-stopper, with the former seeing an effort parried onto the inside of the post before the keeper also saved the rebound from Kevin Gameiro.

Barcelona may have been relieved to go in level at the break. They fashioned their best chance of the game within seconds of the restart as Fati played a one-two with Messi before bursting into the penalty area and toe-poking the ball inches wide of the far post.

It was to prove crucial as moments later. Pique’s headed clearance landed at the feet of Gomez in the corner of the penalty area, and he rifled in a powerful effort that was fortuitously deflected off Jordi Alba and beyond a helpless ter Stegen.

After that, Barca probed for long spells with Messi seeing shots blocked and attempts narrowly off-target. But without the Argentine maestro, there would have been no cutting edge and Valencia countered crucially 13 minutes from time.

Ferran Torres drove forward and, as the ball broke to Gomez in the area, he arrowed a powerful shot past ter Stegen. The ground erupted and Valencia had their first home win over Barca since 2007.

Messi and ter Stegen may have deserved more but Barcelona didn’t and Valencia held on comfortably for a victory to remember.

 

Key statistics

Since the beginning of the 2017/2018 season, Gómez has scored more goals vs Barca (four) than any other player.

Setien has a poor personal record against Los Che. He has now faced them eight times with just a single victory.

Barcelona have conceded 25 goals in 21 LaLiga matches this season.

Messi had the most shots (11) in a game he’s managed without scoring, matching a game he played against Deportivo de La Coruña in December 2017.

The two penalties conceded by Pique against Valencia have both been saved: Claudio Bravo in April 2015 and Ter Stegen today.

 

What’s next?

Valencia meet the conquerors of Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey last 16 in midweek, Cultural Leonesa, and will surely learn from their rivals’ defeat as they aim to defend the trophy they won famously last May. They then host Celta Vigo in La Liga a week from today (February 1).

Barcelona host Leganes in the Copa del Rey on Thursday before welcoming Levante to the Nou Camp next Sunday back in league action.

 

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SBOBET 03-Feb 2020 Monday 4:58 PM (183 days ago)            #45
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La Liga: The ‘Must Not Lose’ Madrid Derby

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

When Atletico Madrid stride out at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday they will have one objective; to upset their hosts’ march to the title.

Los Blancos have the momentum at the top of La Liga, leading the table by three clear points after winning the last three matches, while Barcelona have faltered, taking just four points from their three most recent games. And shock waves have gone through the Spanish football world as the latest La Liga 2020 betting odds have just installed Zinedine Zidane’s team as the odds on favourites to lift the title after two seasons of Catalan dominance.

There’s a long way to go, with many a twist and turn to come, and we’ll be right there all the way with all the latest La Liga 2020 news and action as it happens. This weekend, with the Blaugrana at home to mid-table Levante on Sunday, Los Blancos need to keep their momentum in the pressure cooker atmosphere of a Madrid derby.

And that means not losing.

There is a ten-point gap between Real and fifth-placed Atleti, and with a battle for Champions League places heating up I suspect both teams would take a point, though maybe grudgingly in Los Blancos’ case.

 

Talking Points

Defences in charge

Both Real Madrid and Atletico’s campaigns have been built on a foundation of miserly defence, Los Blancos conceding 13 goals so far and Atleti shipping only one more. They are the two tightest defences in the league.

Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos at the heart of Real Madrid’s defence have been imperious, and both are capable of scoring goals.

For Los Rojiblancos, captain Jan Oblak is a colossus between the sticks as the last line of defence while, at centre back, Stefan Savic could prove to be a decent replacement for the departed Atleti legend Diego Godin

Benzema must avoid injury if Los Blancos are to stay top

While their defence has been doing the business, the challenge at the other end of the pitch has been spearheaded by Karim Benzema. The French hitman has scored 12 league goals, with no other player exceeding three, and he has made the most assists (five).

And he was one of four scorers in Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey win away to Real Zaragoza, with Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane and Vinicius Junior also on target in a 0-4 stroll.

The argument over Gareth Bale’s commitment rages on. Spanish journalist Antonio Romero has said Zidane will be sending a ‘terrible message’ to his squad if he gives the Welsh wide man a start in the derby. Fans are still furious that, in November, he posed with a flag saying: “Wales, golf, Madrid – in that order.”

Maybe Benzema needs to look for support elsewhere. Casemiro was the hero of the day when Real Madrid beat Sevilla recently, scoring both their goals in a 2-1 win

Felix in doubt

Goals have been hard to come by for Atletico Madrid at times this season, and they have been dealt a blow this week with the news that summer signing Joao Felix may be ruled out with a muscle strain. The 126m Euro signing felt a problem during last week’s 0-0 draw with Leganes and has missed training since. He has struggled to make the impact Diego Simeone had hoped for, with just two league goals so far. But his pace and creativity can always be a threat and Atleti fans know there is much more to come from their new striker.

Certainly, Simeone would rather have him in the squad, to support leading scorer Alvaro Morata, who has seven goals. And the Atleti boss is looking for re-enforcements, hoping to bring Edinson Cavani on loan, while also showing interest in Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette.

La Liga: Atletico Madrid are looking to bolster their attack by signing Edinson Cavani on loan
Edinson Cavani warms up at half time during the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne

History

Los Blancos have had the upper hand in this derby, with 110 wins to only 56 for Atletico.

A 0-0 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano, back in September, was a top of the table clash, but this time the best Atleti can hope for is to close the gap to seven points.

It’s going to be tough. Los Blancos have won the last seven, in all competitions, and are unbeaten at home in 13 matches, while Atleti are winless in four.

 

Betting Tip

??

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Under 2.25 goals @ 1.95
February 01, 23:00 (GMT+8)

The pre-match SBOBET odds have Los Blancos just odds on at 1.89, with the draw at 3.30 and Atletico Madrid at 4.20.

Real Madrid should win, but form often goes out of the window in derbies, and Atleti will fight tooth and nail.

These are two mean defences and a draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either. I won’t take my eyes off this game, but goals will be hard to come by.

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SBOBET 03-Feb 2020 Monday 6:05 PM (183 days ago)            #46
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La Liga: Sevilla Looking to Sneak in the Title Race

Sevilla vs Alaves

While Barcelona and Real Madrid are in the tight race at the top of the La Liga table, Sevilla have quietly enjoyed a great season so far under Julen Lopetegui.

The grizzled mentor steered Los Palanganas to the third seed with 38 points, and they are only trailing behind Los Blancos at five points.

They just got eliminated in the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey as they lost shockingly to Mirandes. But that shouldn’t dampen their fans’ overall mood as they can now fully turn their focus on the ongoing La Liga season.

This game will mark their first match on a three-game stretch to where they will face the league’s bottom feeders in Celta Vigo and Espanyol right after Alaves.

Speaking of Alaves, they have been underwhelming as usual as they hang on to the 14th spot at the table with 23 points. With the way that they are playing, Alaves will probably be in a precarious position to fight off relegation once again.

 

Talking points

Sevilla in search for some key pieces

One of my fellow SBOBET writers pointed out that Los Palanganas are in dire need of a reliable striker, and yes that’s definitely the case.

Sevilla have only scored 27 goals this season, but their defence is intact as they’ve only conceded 20 so far. Given with the departure of Javier Hernandez to  LA Galaxy, Julen Lopetegui have scarce options up front.

Their top scorer so far this term has been Munir El Haddadi. The 24-year-old forward notched seven goals and two assists this season. Right behind him are the likes of Lucas Ocampos and Franco Vazquez who have five apiece.

Luuk de Jong celebrates after hitting the opening goal for the Sevilla versus Real Madrid match
Sevilla's Luuk de Jong celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the La Liga match against Real Madrid

Luuk de Jong hasn’t found his stride yet in that department as he only scored four goals. However, he was on target in their loss against Real Madrid with Lucas Ocampos sidelined. But with his recent play in the Copa del Rey, perhaps he is on his way to find his form sooner or later.

Lopetegui’s side, however, boasts a strong midfield led by Ever Banega. The Argentinian national already has two goals and six assists and he has proven that he can help at the backline with his fierce, yet smart tackling.

Sevilla already made a transfer move when they pried Suso away from AC Milan for a 18-month loan deal, according to our La Liga 2020 news. The Spanish winger joined the Rossoneri from Liverpool back in 2015 and has made a name for himself in Serie A.

Suso can somehow alleviate Banega’s heavy duty at the midfield as he is also a capable defender plus a wiley playmaker that is great at creating attacking opportunities.

He will be reunited with Julen Lopetegui as the latter coached him in his first international cap for the Spanish national team when he was younger.

Another name to monitor for Sevilla is Alfredo Morelos. The Rangers FC forward is the third leading scorer in the Scottish Premiership League with 12 goals and one assist. For sure, Lopetegui will keep an eye on him.

 

Alaves in search for improvement

Alaves may be 14th right now in the La Liga table, but they should be worried on their atrocious away form more than anything.

They have only won once in their last five outings as they’ve produced a mixed bag of results.

Losing to Barca was expected and they did so too against the eighth-seeded Villareal. They weren’t able to snatch a win against Leganes -- who is expected to be in for relegation -- but they drew level against Real Betis and won over Levante.

A key factor for their lacklustre performance is their leaky defence. Alaves have given up 31 goals already this term.

It didn’t help too when the team suffered injuries to their key players. One of their more reliable defenders in Rodrigo Ely had been sidelined for more than a month due to a hamstring complaint despite having a decent season.

With him back in the fold now looking healthy, the Brazilian national vows to do everything he can to pull his team out of the relegation zone.

“We all know La Liga is an extremely tight competition and that there are some very good teams out there, but we can always dream of achieving something big with hard work and sacrifice,” said Ely.

Moreover, Alaves bolstered their depth at the No. 1 spot by securing the services of Roberto on loan. The former West Ham United goalkeeper has made 10 appearances in all competitions including eight in the Premier League and two in the Carabao Cup.

 

 

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History

Los Palanganas have been the better team in their overall matchups against Los Babazorros with eight wins while the latter only won thrice along with four draws.

Alaves are yet to win in their road games against Sevilla since their first trip in 1954. From there on, Alaves lost seven times and drew level once in their last eight visits.

 

Betting Tip

??

Sevilla vs Alaves Sevilla Asian Handicap -1.50 @2.11
February 03, 01:30 (GMT+8)

Sevilla are the overwhelming favourites in our La Liga 2020 odds as they are placed at 1.34. Alaves’ odds are significantly lower at 9.25 while a draw is unlikely at 4.60 in the 1x2 market.

With Lopetegui’s side boasting a strong midfield, it’s expected that they’ll control majority of the possessions – and that’s something that Alaves can’t give up.

Alaves may have to pull off a miracle if ever they would want to draw level, let alone to win.

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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SBOBET 03-Feb 2020 Monday 6:08 PM (183 days ago)            #47
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La Liga: Sunday Night is Messi Night!

Barcelona vs Levante

Normally this would be considered a La Liga home banker, but this is no ordinary season in Spain.

The reigning champions are slightly off the pace, indeed none of the leading lights have convinced in comparison to previous years.

In fact, as form stands, it will be a major surprise if Barcelona or either of the Madrid giants go onto triumph in this season’s Champions League.

Yet with all respect to Levante, who are achieving fine things and on course to secure a fourth successive stay in the division, Barcelona should win this Sunday night Nou Camp clash with something to spare.

 

Talking Points

They need to as well after last weekend’s La Liga news headlines were led by their 2-0 reverse at Valencia, a game where, aside from the performances of talisman Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, they failed to produce anything near their lofty standards.

They already have a new manager, of course, in Quique Setien who revealed this week that his biggest aim with Barcelona is to help the team to Champions League glory.

That could be a big ask in that he has just 18 senior players available to him for the rest of the season - 17 if you count the injured Luis Suarez.

 


 

 

This after the club let go of Carles Alena, Carles Perez, Jean-Clair Todibo and Moussa Wague in the January transfer window.

Even more of the attacking onus now will be on Antoine Griezmann and, if he can become prolific, then perhaps Setien’s dream can come true.

Levante can prove stubborn opponents on the biggest stages but Griezmann also knows how to find the net against them and this is an opportunity Barca must take to pull back the three-point gap on leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

With Real meeting Atletico in the Madrid derby this weekend, that feeling is strengthened.

Yet again, you cannot look beyond Messi to be the matchwinner.

He has been superb again this season and bagged a brace in the 5-0 Copa del Rey victory over Leganes in midweek.

With Suarez and Ousmane Dembele out of action, he is relied upon more than ever and leads the Barcelona scoring charts once again this season, hitting 14 goals in 15 La Liga starts in 2019-20.

The Argentine maverick has also been directly involved in more La Liga goals this season (20 – 14 goals and six assists) than any other player in the division.

At the other end, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet should continue their partnership in central defence, while Sergio Busquets may be rested after playing on Thursday night.

For the visitors, who have suffered three straight league defeats, manager Paco Lopez will be without Rober Pier and Ivan Lopez for the trip.

Nemanja Radoja could also miss out due to a hamstring injury while both Oier Olazábal and Enis Bardhi are doubtful.

This should really be a home banker against a side with a lousy record against the Catalans – they have lost 21 of their 29 meetings.

Valencia have beaten Barcelona at home in LaLiga for the first time since February 2007
Lionel Messi and Co looking dejected after losing 2-0 against Valencia last week

 

History

However, it would be unwise to take Levante lightly, despite their inconsistency.

They beat Barca 3-1 in November when three goals in eight minutes from Jose Campana, Borja Mayoral and Nemanja Radoja sealed a day to remember for the home side.

That was only the second time in 16 years that Levante have beaten their illustrious opponents in the top flight.

Last season, Barcelona edged this contest by a single goal as Messi came off the bench to score the goal that confirmed the title.

After a 2-1 first leg defeat, they also beat them 3-0 at home in the Copa del Rey 12 months ago – Dembele (two) and Messi the scorers once again.

 

Betting Tip

??

Barcelona vs Levante Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.53
February 3, 04:00 (GMT+8)

I cannot ignore the SBOBET La Liga betting odds and I am certain you won’t either.

If you want the chance of an away-day payday, then look at Levante 1X2 @ 16.00 or Asian Handicap +2.25 @ 2.00.

Then there’s Barca. 1X2 @ 1.16 and Asian Handicap -2.50 @ 2.17. The draw is on offer @ 6.80.

If the unthinkable happened and Levante repeated their success from November – correct score 1-3 – then the odds are @ 225.00.

If this will be the same as last season’s encounter – correct score 1-0 – then it’s odds of @ 12.00.

I do think there will be plenty of goals and the odds reflect that: total goal 0-1 @ 8.00, 2-3 @ 2.53 and 4-6 @ 1.94.

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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SBOBET 03-Feb 2020 Monday 6:10 PM (183 days ago)            #48
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La Liga: Benzema Fires Real Six Clear!

Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid are six points clear at the top of La Liga after a second-half strike from Karim Benzema saw off Atletico in the Madrid derby.

It was a game of two halves: the first a tight and evenly matched affair, but after the break, Los Blancos totally dominated and were never under threat.

Barcelona, in second place, have a game in hand but the latest La Liga 2020 betting odds are now on the side of Zinedine Zidane’s Real, and it’s over to the Blaugrana tomorrow.

The white half of Madrid will be watching the La Liga 2020 updates keenly over the weekend, but for now, they can celebrate another derby triumph.

There’s a steely look about this Real Madrid side. The last time Los Blancos played at the Santiago Bernabeu was mid-January when a Casemiro double gave them a 2-1 win over Sevilla. And they had to work for their victory again today, but that’s two top-four-chasing sides put away.

Atleti came here on a poor run of form, an embarrassing Copa del Rey exit to Cultural Leones sandwiched by defeat to Eibar and a home draw against struggling Leganes. And now they are 13 points behind their city rivals, but they are still well in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

 

Highlights of the game

Los Blancos started the brighter; Luka Modric had a shot charged down and Sergio Ramos tried his luck from distance twice, but both times shooting way over Jan Oblak’s bar.

Toni Kroos took a pass from Federico Valverde but he too fired well over, and the first save to be made was at the other end of the pitch. Vitolo found space in the penalty area and hit a snapshot which was easily held by Thibaut Courtois.

Atleti had a good period of play, winning successive corners and when the second one swung over, Saul Niguez came close with his effort. Then when Vitolo found Angel Correa with a little room, his shot from a tight angle crashed against the post.

As half-time approached, Modric crossed for Casemiro but his header was blocked. As the teams went in for the break, fans of both teams, but particularly the home side, hoped for more in the second half.

And it came. Real started brightly and when Vinicius Junior passed to Federico Valverde, his shot brought a smart save from Oblak low to his left. But there was nothing the Atleti keeper could do when Ferland Mendy crossed for Benzema and the French hitman fired his 13th league goal of the season into the bottom-right corner.

The hosts pressed for a second. Valverde combined well again with Vinicius Junior to set up the young Brazilian, but his shot was well-saved by Oblak.

Atletico Madrid have suffered a defeat at the hands of rivals and current La Liga leaders Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid players walk off the pitch after suffering a 1-0 defeat against rivals Real Madrid

Atletico looked short of ideas and Los Blancos looked the more likely to score. Junior tested Oblak again after taking a pass from Benzema when his low shot was saved in the bottom left corner. But one was always going to be enough.

 

Key statistics

We expected a tight game here at SBOBET, and each side registered just a single shot on target in the first half. But Los Blancos totally dominated the second period, finishing with 16 shots to four, and five to one on target.

A single-goal game was no surprise, as Benzema’s strike was just the 15th goal Atleti have conceded, while Los Blancos have conceded only 13.

Real Madrid are now on an eight-match winning run and are unbeaten at home in 14 matches. But Los Rojiblancos have work to do; they are without a win in five.



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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

What’s next?

Barcelona play tomorrow and this win for the leaders will have added extra pressure to the back-to-back champions. Having sacked Ernesto Valverde, the appointment of Quique Setien as head coach raised some eyebrows.

Lionel Messi gave Setien a winning start at the Camp Nou, inspiring a victory over Granada, but defeat to Valencia rapidly ended any hopes of a honeymoon period for the new boss.

The Blaugrana are at home to Levante tomorrow. It’s a game they should win against a side in 13th place and on a run of three consecutive defeats.

Next up, Real Madrid have a Copa del Rey date at home to Real Sociedad before taking the trip to Osasuna to continue their title bid next Sunday.

Meanwhile, Los Rojiblancos are at home to Granada next Saturday and should get back to winning ways.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 03-Feb-2020 at 6:11 PM


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