La Liga Betting: Champions Barça to finish season in style



It's out with the old and in with the new for Barcelona this week, with Erić Abidal and Neymar at the centre of events. Barça decided not to renew the French defender's contract, with football reasons taking priority over sentiment. It's the right decision as he wouldn't be able to do himself justice at the very highest level, though he will make a fantastic signing for a team a rung below. He is likely to return to his home country before heading back to Catalonia in another capacity after he has retired.

On Monday, Neymar will officially be unveiled as a Barcelona player. The smokescreen has dispersed and unsurprisingly the champions have been left in the clear. "We were looking to reinforce our attack and we've been getting reports on him for two and a half years," remarked Tito Vilanova when pressed. Former coach and player Johan Cruyff was a little less enthusiastic about the move: "Messi and Neymar? Two captains on one boat doesn't work."

At Málaga it's not about whom will be arriving, but who will almost definitely be leaving. Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that a verbal agreement has been made with Manchester City - a move that has long been expected, with the completion of the Spanish season the last hurdle. Isco might be following him to the Etihad, whilst Joaquín is also expected to leave.

Team news

Víctor Valdés will start in goal, but it might not be his last match; he recently announced his plan to see out the final year of his contract. Dani Alves is with his national team preparing to face England. The visitors are likely to be at full strength, with only Roque Santa Cruz a doubt. The squad will have had a makeover by the time we reconvene in August.

Form

A win in the derby for Barça ensured they stay on course to equal the 100 point record set last season by José Mourinho's Real Madrid. Victory over Deportivo broke a run of three matches without a victory for Málaga, meanwhile. It's been difficult for them to operate on the pitch with so many sub-plots happening off it.

Recent head-to-head

The two teams have played three times in 2013 already. Málaga's last visit to the Camp Nou ended 2-2, and another draw can be backed at 6.00.

Goalscorer betting

The last game of the season has a funny habit of throwing up unlikely scorers With this in mind, why not consider a defender for last goal? Javier Mascherano is available at 28.00 and Jordi Alba at 17.00, while for the away side Weligton is 50.00.

Verdict

Barça are after the points record, whilst Málaga want to consolidate sixth place with a victory even though they have no idea whether they will be able to participate in European competition next term. Barcelona are 1.25 to win.

Bonus bet

With 19 goals in the previous four encounters between the teams, over 4.5 goals is a distinct possibility at 2.65.

Score prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Málaga (10.50)