La Liga Betting: Real Madrid v Real Zaragoza



The club that lures football's superstars has come under criticism recently for their inability to promote their own youngsters. The talent has always been there, but too many players have been forced to seek pastures new in a bid to develop and obtain first team football.

José Mourinho's decision not to use his 'cantera' during his injury crisis has seen him face plenty of flak, but the Special One shifted the focus onto Real Madrid Castilla coach Alberto Toril as the debate reached boiling point. Mourinho made it public that he feels Toril could have assisted his first team plans better, by playing Nacho in a left-back role as opposed to the left-sided centre-back position he has been occupying for the reserves.

Real Zaragoza are now in the top half of the table, after securing their fourth league win of the season against Sevilla. It took them until January last season to reach that total.

Team news

Xabi Alonso misses the game following his 5th yellow card of the season. With Sami Khedira injured, it's likely Michael Essien will move back to centre-midfield after being used as a makeshift left-back recently. This may force Mourinho into giving Nacho his league debut at the back.

The 'Blanquillos' are not likely to make to many changes from their last league encounter, which saw former Tottenham striker Hélder Postiga rounded Andrés Palop to slot home the crucial goal. The team will continue to be without Adám Pintér, Maurizio Lanzaro and Ivan Obradović.

Form

"We're winning games. We're maybe not yet playing as fantastically as we did for almost all of last season, but well enough to win games calmly." That was the conclusion of Mourinho following their 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca. Minnows Alcoyano were defeated 4-1 in the first leg of the cup on Wednsday evening. Zaragoza have won their last three games in all competitions, though two of those matches were against Granada, who they beat 1-0 in Copa del Rey in the week.

Recent head-to-head

Real Madrid have won five of the last six meetings between the two sides, scoring a minimum of two a game and averaging 3.66 goals a match. Back over 3.5 goals at 1.67. Twice the scoreline has been 6-0 to 'Los Blancos' - having found their shooting boots recently, it's a very rewarding 30.00 to happen again.

Goalscorer betting

Having battled the doubters throughout his career in the capital, Gonzalo Higuaín has once again emerged victorious. His opener after just eight minutes against Real Mallorca last Sunday evening deflated Joaquín Caparrós's team, and he went on to score again and provide two assists. He's continually linked with a move away, but 'El Pipita' is currently on a great run. He's at 4.00 to open the scoring.

Verdict

As José says, his team is getting the job done, even if they're not at the same level we have come to expect in recent times. A Zaragoza win is at 23.00, with the more feasible home win at 1.10.

Bonus bet

Appearing on the Italian version of Jeremy Kyle, as a witness in Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi's sex trial, it's been a pretty standard week in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo. He upset Caparrós with his cupped ear celebration last week: "He needs to show a lot more humility and a lot more ambition in other things because as a footballer he has it all," said the Mallorca boss. Ronaldo is available at 1.35 to top his eventful week with another goal.

Score prediction

Real Madrid 3-1 Real Zaragoza (10.00)