La Liga Betting: Real Madrid can edge past Valencia
There's more La Liga action on Thursday and Dan Fitch is predicting wins for Real Madrid and Real Sociedad.
Madrid will pass big test
Real Madrid1.40 v Valencia 8.40; The Draw 5.70 Thursday 18 June, 21:00 Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
Of their remaining fixtures, Real Madrid's match against Valencia on Thursday looks like one of their sternest tests.
Madrid got off to a solid start when the season returned, beating Eibar 3-1. Three goals up by half-time, they eased off in a second-half that saw Zinedine Zidane make five substitutions.
With the amended rule that allows managers to have extra players on the bench and make more substitutions, the strength in depth available to Zidane was emphasised. With games coming in quick succession, Real Madrid will be better able than most to handle the schedule.
That's fortunate for Zidane at a time when his team can afford few slip ups. With Barcelona also winning with some ease, Madrid remain two points behind their rivals in the title race.
Valencia are in need of a result here to stay in touch with their rivals for a spot in the top four. Currently seventh, Valencia looked like they were going to claim all three points when Rodrigo gave them an 89th minute lead at home against Levante on Friday, only for the visitors to win a penalty and equalise in injury time.
Dropping points in such a circumstance to their local rivals was a cruel blow. Valencia can count themselves lucky that any damage was limited by other results. The likes of Atletico Madrid, Getafe and Real Sociedad also failed to win their first games back and Valencia remain only four points away from fourth place.
Real Madrid should have enough extra quality to win this one, but results between the two teams this season suggest that Valencia should at least get on the scoresheet. In the reverse fixture in La Liga the sides drew 1-1, while Real Madrid triumphed 3-1 in the Super Cup. A Real Madrid win and both teams to score is 2.80.
Sociedad can claim first win since restart
Alaves4.20 v Real Sociedad 2.00; The Draw 3.50 Thursday 18 June, 18:30 Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
Real Sociedad will be looking to take advantage of Valencia's later kick off time and the difficulty of their fixture, when they travel to Alaves.
The fourth placed club passed up the chance to increase their lead over the chasing pack on Sunday, when they drew 1-1 at home with Osasuna. With their three closest rivals all failing to win, Sociedad were presented with a great chance to open up a gap and close ground on third placed Sevilla. Conceding a penalty in the first-half against Osasuna, derailed that plan and though Mikel Oyarzabal scored an equaliser pretty quickly after the break, a winner was not forthcoming.
Sociedad will hope to get back to winning ways against Alaves, who were rather easily swept aside by rock bottom Espanyol on Saturday. Alaves were dealt a big blow in the first-half of that match when their goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco got himself needlessly sent off for handling the ball outside the area. Espanyol subsequently scored twice to win 2-0.
Asier Garitano's side are now without a win in their last three La Liga games (D2 L1) and are only six points clear of the relegation zone. Sociedad really should inflict another defeat and their odds of 2.00 are big enough to back them to do so, without adding any caveats.