La Liga Betting Preview – 17/12/16
La Liga Betting Preview – 17/12/16
Atletico Madrid v Las Palmas – 3:15 pm – 17/12/16
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid welcome Las Palmas to the Vicente Calderon looking to end a run of three games without a victory in all competitions. Los Rojiblancos have been uncharacteristically sloppy in recent weeks and it’s seen them lose pace in the title race to fierce city rivals Real Madrid. Atletico are now a whopping twelve points off the pace after just fifteen games and it will take an unbelievable effort from them to pip Real to the title. Atletico have already been beaten four times in the league this season and conceded fourteen goals – they lost six times and conceded just eighteen throughout the entirety of 15/16.
Diego Simeone saw his side suffer their heaviest defeat of the season in their last outing when they went down 3-0 to Villarreal at El Madrigal last Monday. It was evening to forget for everyone involved with the club and and with the international break around the corner – they’ll be eager to bounce back here. They’re still yet to be beaten home soil this season and their supporters have seen some landslide victories over the likes of Sporting Gijon (5-0), Granada (7-1) & Malaga (4-2). Simeone would have used some strong words after that defeat last Monday and we’re expecting a big response here against a Las Palmas side that has won just once away from home this season.
Visitors Las Palmas will be happy with the start to the season they’ve had. Quique Setien’s men have been in and around the top six for the majority of the campaign and they’ve proven that they’re more than capable of mixing it with some of the divisions strongest sides. Los Amarillos fans have seen their side beat the likes of Valencia (4-2), Athletic Club (3-1) and be one of just four teams to take any points off leaders Real Madrid (1-1) – so they certainly won’t be overawed by the occasion. However, a run of just one win in four has halted their progress slightly and seen them drop into tenth position – four points behind Atletico.
Las Palmas’ success has come as a surprise to some but they have some quality on the books. The likes of Sergio Araujo, Jonathan Vieira and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all highly experienced players at this level and they’re all capable match winners at the Vicente Calderon. The former Tottenham man Boateng is the biggest threat of the trio, he’s weighed in with five goals in ten starts from midfield and will relish this clash. But despite the positives, there are some concerning statistics for the visitors. They’re yet to keep a clean sheet away from the Estadio Gran Canaria this season and we can see them coming unstuck when facing the likes of Antoine Griezmann and the in-form Yannick Carrasco.
Atletico Madrid -1 Handicap: (Best Priced at 5/6 at Paddy Power) – BET HERE
Yannick Carrasco to score anytime: (Best Priced at 23/20 at BetVictor) – BET HERE
Barcelona v Espanyol – 7:45pm – 18/12/16
The Camp Nou sees the first Derbi Barceloni of the season as Barcelona and Espanyol lock horns. The hosts come into this clash as overwhelming favourites to take the three points and it’s difficult to disagree with that tag. Barca are unbeaten in their last eight games and they’re scoring plenty of goals as usual – with 37 coming in their 15 league games. But things haven’t ran as smoothly as Enrique and their passionate supporters would’ve liked, particularly at home. They’ve won just three of their seven games at the Camp Nou in La Liga and they’ve drawn their last two against Malaga (0-0) & Real Madrid (1-1). The draw against Real was a particularly tough result for them to stomach after conceding an equaliser with seconds left on the clock after Luis Suarez’s opener.
There was some good news for Barca in midweek however with the news that forward Luis Suarez has penned a new deal at the club until 2021. The Uruguayan hit an incredible 40 league goals last season and he already has 10 to his name in 13 starts this season. We can see him enjoying himself here alongside the in-form Lionel Messi and we’re backing the pair to get on the score sheet here at 13/10. Looking at the league table, as you would expect it is the Catalan side and Real Madrid leading the way at the top. However there is a hefty gap of six points between Barca and the leaders Madrid, but if you cast your mind back to last season, it was the other way around when Real were about twelve points behind Enrique’s side.
Visiting outfit Espanyol will be fairly satisfied with their start to the season as they currently find themselves sat in a respectable 9th place in the table. Last time round they ended up finishing in 13th spot, which in no respect is a poor campaign but its fairly uninspiring to say the least. They will understand that they face an extremely difficult task of winning in the backyard of their rivals, but if they look at some of the teams who Barca have slipped up against, they know they have a chance. Ex-Watford boss Quique Sánchez Flores has made his side very difficult to beat this year, they head into Sunday on an impressive unbeaten run of eleven games in all competitions.
These two teams have already met this season back in October, when Espanyol travelled to The Camp Nou to compete for the Supercopa de Catalunya. One solitary first half goal by Felipe Caceido in the 11th minute, was enough to settle the tie, with Barcelona only fielding a hand full of first team players with Denis Suarez, Paco Alcácer, André Gomes, Jeremy Mathieu and Arda Turan named in the starting line-up. The rest of the squad was made up from Barcelona B, sparking an inquest as to whether Barcelona disrespected the 113 year old competition. Espanyol’s most recent match on Sunday saw them beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Caicedo and Leo Baptistao.
Barcelona -2 Handicap: (Best Priced at 13/16 at UniBet) – BET HERE
Luis Suarez & Lionel Messi to score anytime: (Best Priced at 13/10 at William Hill) – BET HERE
See all of our La Liga Betting Previews HERE
See some of Yannick Carrasco’s best goals and skills here: