La Liga Tips: Back Barcelona to win entertaining derby

It's a derby for Barcelona this weekend, as they make the short trip to Espanyol and Dan Fitch is backing the goals to flow, as he previews the pick of the weekend La Liga action.

Tough challenge for La Liga leaders

Villarreal 2.68 v Real Madrid 2.82; The Draw 3.6
Saturday 12 February, 15:15
Live on Betfair Live Video

The La Liga leaders Real Madrid face a test on Saturday, when they travel to Champions League chasing Villarreal.

Three consecutive draws from second placed Sevilla have seen Real Madrid extend their lead to six points. With Sevilla playing on Friday, that lead could be cut somewhat.

Since winning the Super Cup, Madrid have not been in convincing form. They needed extra time to beat Elche in the Copa del Rey, before drawing 2-2 at home with the same opposition days later. Real then exited the Copa del Rey with a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao and needed a late goal last weekend to beat Granada 1-0 at home.

Villarreal come into this match as favourites, having won their last two games, which included a 2-0 victory at third placed Betis last weekend. The absence of Karim Benzema has had an influence on these prices and we should see a close, low scoring match, with under 2.5 goals at 2.04.

Betis value against rock bottom Levante

Levante 3.5 v Betis 2.2; The Draw 3.8
Sunday 13 February, 15:15
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Betis have already bounced back from that defeat against Villarreal and will now be looking for more league points.

Manuel Pellegrini's side shrugged off the disappointment of that loss to Villareal, when they won 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano in the first-leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. With Betis on the brink of their first Copa del Rey final since winning the competition in 2005, this could prove to be quite a season for them.

It would be a shame if their cup exploits, impacted their league form. Betis are third in La Liga, but the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are not far behind and both have a game in hand.

One would expect Betis to get back to winning ways in La Liga, when they meet Levante. The hosts are bottom of the table, having only won one of their 22 games this season (D8 L13). Betis look good value against such opposition at 2.2.

Barca will continue unbeaten streak

Espanyol 5.1 v Barcelona 1.77; The Draw 4.1
Sunday 12 February, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

The La Liga action on Sunday concludes with the Barcelonian Derby between Espanyol and Barcelona.

Espanyol come into their biggest game of the season in poor form. They are without a win in their last five games (D1 L4), having lost 2-1 in their most recent outing, away at Athletic Bilbao.

Thanks to recent defeats in cup competitions, It's too soon to say that Barcelona have found some consistency. They are picking up points regularly in the league though, with an unbeaten run that now stretches to seven games (W4 D3).

That run has seen Barcelona move up to fourth and with a game in hand, they could move ahead of Betis. The odds for an away win are big enough to back as a standalone bet, but with Espanyol scoring and conceding in each of their last ten games, backing a Barcelona win and both teams to score, makes sense at 3.6.

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