La Liga Betting: Bank on another low scoring Madrid derby
It's the derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Saturday and Dan Fitch has his money on the defences being on top, as he previews the weekend La Liga action...
Real go top, Atletico falter
Real Madrid1.89 v Atletico Madrid 5.00; The Draw 3.60 Saturday 1 February, 15:00 Live on Betfair Live Video
With the Madrid derby taking place on Saturday afternoon and there being no TV coverage, Betfair Live Video is the place to watch all the action.
It's Real Madrid that will start the day at the top of La Liga, having won at Real Valladolid last weekend and seen Barcelona lose at Valencia. Real have trailed Barca for much of the season, but now have a three point advantage over their rivals.
They hold a ten point advantage over Atletico, who slipped down to fifth with a 0-0 home draw against struggling Leganes last Sunday. It already looks as if Atletico are fighting to merely finish in the top four, rather than for the title, after a season in which they have won only nine of 21 La Liga games (D9 L3).
In the two derbies that have taken place this season between the clubs, both have finished 0-0, with Real triumphing in a penalty shootout in the Super Cup final. There is a temptation therefore the back the draw at 3.60, but with Real Madrid in good form, under 2.5 goals looks a safer bet at 1.76.
Bilbao are draw specialists
Athletic Bilbao2.64 v Getafe 3.40; The Draw 2.94 Sunday 2 February, 15:00 Live on LaLigaTV
Getafe took advantage of Atletico slipping up again, to move into the Champions League places last weekend.
An 89th minute penalty from Angel saw Getafe take all three points against Real Betis with a 1-0 victory. It marked the continuation of another fine season under their highly rated coach Jose Bordalas. Getafe are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, where they will play Ajax and have only lost twice in their last eleven La Liga games (W7 D2).
Despite being ninth in the table, Athletic Bilbao are just five points off fourth spot themselves. They will have to start winning more games if they are to have any chance of qualifying for Europe though. Bilbao may have only lost one of their last eleven league matches, but they have drawn six of them, which includes each of the last five games (W4).
It's therefore no surprise to see the draw at an unusually short price of 2.94. We're going to avoid that option at such odds and instead recommend the 0-0 half-time score at 2.20, in a match featuring two of La Liga's better defences.
Barca hope to build on cup win
Barcelona1.15 v Levante 20.00; The Draw 11.00 Sunday 2 February, 20:00 Live on LaLigaTV
After a slow start under their new manager Quique Setien, his Barcelona team finally exploded into life in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Narrow, late victories against Granada and Ibiza were followed by a 2-0 defeat at Valencia last weekend, which saw Barca move down to second. The club's fans will hope that the 5-0 home win on Thursday against Leganes is a sign of what's to come.
Barcelona should certainly beat thirteenth placed Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday. Levante have lost each of their last three La Liga outings and though they're likely to put up more of a fight than a Leganes side that are in the relegation zone, it's hard to see them pulling off any kind of upset.
Finding some value on an erratic Barcelona is difficult at a price of 1.15 for a win. The best bet could be to back them to win to nil at 2.20. Three of their last four home games have seen Barca keep a clean sheet, while Levante have failed to score in either of their last two home matches.