La Liga Betting: Rock solid Real Madrid to continue record-breaking run


The animosity between Barcelona and Real Madrid continued this week, with new Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu hinting that their rivals drew attention to the Neymar contract situation. "They find it hard to accept that (Barça) has dominated in recent years," said Bartomeu. 

Whilst some of the Spanish media claim that the Catalans are obsessed with the team from the capital. "I don't know what Madriditis is, I have no idea about it," remarked manager Gerardo Martino when questioned on the phrase that was coined by Madrid paper Marca.

 

Barcelona 1.12, draw 8.00, Valencia 18.00

"We can talk about football … for a moment at least," said Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta with a wry smile. His side had just defeated Málaga and produced a decent performance which momentarily distracted from off the pitch issues. 

Andrés Iniesta played 45 minutes in midweek and should feature at some point. It's almost two years since Cesc Fábregas scored the opener in a 2-0 win in this fixture, with the same scoreline priced at 7.50 here.

Valencia are still awaiting their knight in shining armour to pay off their debts and invest in new players. Peter Lim remains in the frame, despite local media suggesting he didn't have the necessary paperwork in order. A four man committee has been assigned to help with the process of selling the club.

There's been plenty of transfer action at the Mestalla, without any funds.

Dorlan Pabón, Hélder Postiga and Andrés Guardado have all departed, whilst Eduardo Vargas and Seydou Keita have arrived. Keita could make his debut against his former club. Right-back João Pereira is suspended so Antonio Barragan is likely to start. 

Valencia's local rivals Levante scored first in all three recent meetings with Barça, with the away team to score in the first half 3.33

Score Prediction: Barcelona 3 Valencia 1 (10.00)

Athletic Bilbao 5.25, draw 4.00, Real Madrid 1.60

 

The new San Mamés has been a real fortress since it opened back in September. Athletic suffered their first defeat ever at the ground this week, but they are yet to be beaten there in the league. 

Outside the mini-league between the top three contenders for the title, this is the biggest remaining test as the Basques look to hold on to fourth position and qualify for the Champions League. 

Real Madrid are through to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey in a repeat of last year's final against Atlético. Carlo Ancelotti has been reinventing a number of players in different positions with Isco the latest to try something new.

The former Málaga attacker was in the 'false nine' role against Espanyol and Ángel di María was part of the midfield three once more. The Argentine arrives late into the box and provides a different kind of goal threat.

Ancelotti is impressed with his team's defence. "At the moment the system gives us confidence," the Italian said. "We have a good defensive balance, the entire team works to recover the ball quickly and there has been an improvement in the side’s core." 

Real Madrid did not concede a goal in the whole of January and are currently on the best defensive run in their entire history. Under 1.5 goals can be found at 6.25

Score Prediction: Athletic Bilbao 0 Real Madrid 1 (11.00)

Málaga 2.80, draw 3.25, Sevilla 2.45

This Andalusian derby promises to be a decent game, with both teams revising their expectations this season. Málaga have loaned Nordin Amrabat from Galatasaray and should complete the signing of Ezequiel Rescaldani soon, to add a bit more firepower. Málaga have not scored in four La Liga matches. Under 0.5 goals for the home team is 3.40. 

Defeat last weekend has left Sevilla frustrated, but Unai Emery hopes to stay in the upper echelons of the league table. "The goal is to get into Europe," admits Emery. "If we are ambitious then the Champions League."

Three of the last six encounters between the teams have finished in a draw. Expect a feisty evening with three dismissals from the previous four meetings, it's 2.40 for a red card to be given

Score Prediction: Málaga 1 Sevilla 1 (6.50)