Terry Gibson's La Liga Betting: Barcelona, Atletico And Real Madrid All Set For A Super Sunday


Gary Neville's Valencia v Rayo Vallecano – Sunday 11:00 GMT

Eight without a win in La Liga for Valencia, coinciding with Villarreal going on a six game winning streak, has seen the home side slip 16 points behind fouth position.

That was the target for ex-coach Nuno at the start of the season and astonishingly already that now looks out of reach as they sit in the bottom half of the division behind Malaga.

Who better to play in troubled times like these than Rayo Vallecano at home?

There have been no wins in eight for Paco Jemez and his team but that includes six defeats.

Statistically, they yet again have the worst defence in the league and they are a team who are suffering at the moment.

According to recent results and all round form it is hard to see how Rayo can get anything from this game but it is Rayo Vallecano we are talking about. They are the most unpredictable team and now and then they produce a performance and a result from nowhere. That is possible and much needed this weekend against Valencia.

They stick to their principles of play come what may and will succeed or fail on these principles. They are playing with fire this season though.

If Valencia don't win this game then obviously Gary Neville will come under intense scrutiny. That is something he has avoided so far, despite failing to win a league game. It is a weird situation regarding Valencia at the moment as they are usually one of the most analysed teams and clubs in La Liga, which always brings pressure, but at the moment they are almost being ignored. I'm not sure which is worse.

I'm going for a Valencia win and for Gary Neville to get his first three points against Rayo, anything else is unthinkable.

Terry’s Tip

Valencia 2-0 Rayo Valllecano 9.00

 

Real Madrid v Sporting Gijon – 15:00 GMT

Decent start for Zinedine Zidane eh?

A comprehensive 5-0 victory at home against Deportivo last week is followed by another home game against lowly Sporting Gijon. If only Rafa could have lasted another week!

Sporting have now lost four on the trot and won't be holding out much hope that the outcome will be any different this week. It’s just four wins so far for Abelardo's newly promoted team, who knew from day one that they were going to be fighting for survival. They are an enthusiastic bunch of players and I hope they stick around in the top flight. Their chances long term took a real battering last week though with the loss of their inspirational leader and centre back Bernardo Espinosa, who injured his knee in the 2-0 defeat at Villarreal and is now out for the rest of the season.

Gijon’s enthusiasm and desire means that they haven't suffered too many thrashings yet with 3-0 being their heaviest defeat so far but this might be the week they do. Unbelievably they drew 0-0 against Real Madrid in the opening game of the season, with Los Blancos guilty of wasting chances galore. That can't happen again surely.

With Bale and Benzema in fine form I also expect Ronaldo to step on the gas this weekend after drawing a blank last week. I fear for Sporting Gijon.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Real Madrid hit at least five.

Terry’s Tips

Ronaldo to score first 3.00

Real Madrid to score over 4.5 goals 2.55

 

Las Palmas v Atletico Madrid – Sunday 17:15 GMT

It's hard to see how a frontline of Sergio Araujo, Jonathan Viera and Nabil El Zhar (remember him?) can succeed where so many other forward lines have failed against Atletico's formidable defence. They could be aided though, by perhaps Juan Carlos Valerons last appearance against his old club, the 40-year-old Canarian still comes off the bench to help out.

Therefore, the very best Las Palmas can hope for is a 0-0 draw. Teams have made it hard for Simeone's side this season but Atletico will get you in the end.

They went goal crazy last week with a 2-0 away victory at Celta Vigo with Griezmann, obviously, and Yannick Carrasco with the goals.

It was an impressive performance by Atletico and was a good sign for them going into the second half of the season in top spot.

I'm going to remain consistent like Atletico and go for another clean sheet (12 so far in La Liga) and for them to repeat last week’s two goals scored.

Terry’s Tip

Las Palmas 0-2 Atletico Madrid 7.50

 

Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao – Sunday 19:30 GMT

This is a tough game for Barcelona against a slowly improving Athletic Bilbao. Luis Enrique's team will know exactly how tough this game will be after Athletic beat them 4-0 back in August in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. However, that was at San Mames and not the Nou Camp.

Athletic will still believe going into the second half of the season that a top four place is well within their reach but their hopes and aspirations in climbing the table might have to be put on hold until after this game. They were defeated last week away from home at Sevilla in a tight game and also suffered a huge blow as Raul Garcia picked up a knee injury which is likely to keep him out until March. The absence, also, of leading scorer Aritz Aduriz from suspension for this game really does make Athletic a totally different proposition for Barca.

They don't have an obvious replacement for the strong, effective attacking midfielder so a change in style might be needed by Ernesto Valverde.

It is the type of game where Barcelona will have to be at their best, there can be no coasting in this one. If they are then I expect them to keep up their good form at home with a 3-1 victory.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Barcelona eventually wear Athletic down but the Basques are more than capable of scoring through either Ińaki Williams or the evergreen Aritz Aduriz.  I can't imagine Messi not scoring this week either on his return home with another Ballon d'or.

Terry’s Tips

Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao 14.00

Ińaki Williams to score 6.75