La Liga Return: 5 Goalscorer Bets to Watch This Weekend

La Liga returns

Following the announcements of football returning around the world after the recent stoppage, Spain has become the next country to see it’s top-flight action return behind closed doors. Every team still has 11 games left, with it still all to play for in the league.

La Liga returned on June 11 as Sevilla beat Real Betis 2-0 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The action continues into the weekend, with two games on Friday before the big guns are back, seeing the likes of Barcelona take on RCD Mallorca on Saturday before both Madrid sides resume their season on Sunday.

With the games coming thick and fast, there’s plenty of goals to be scored with some intriguing odds on the market to take a look at. Avoiding some more obvious shouts, here are five goal scorer bets that could be worth a punt when La Liga returns this weekend.

Messi to score in both halves vs Malllorca

There’s still plenty of scores to settle in the Spanish top tier when it gets back underway, including the small matter of the title itself. The two heavyweights of Spain are the usual challengers in a two-horse race at the top, with Barcelona edging Real Madrid by just two points.

Quique Setién’s men face what looks like a comfortable task on paper when they return against Mallorca at the Son Moix in front of no fans. With Madrid playing a day later, it’s a chance for Barca to put a little bit of daylight between themselves and their championship challengers with a big win against a struggling Mallorca side that sits in the bottom three and in a relegation place.

The difference between the two sides in the table is reflected by the odds that suggest that Barca will cruise past their opponents, which is no surprise. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest the league leaders will put a few past a weaker Mallorca side, given the contrast in the standings. Barcelona have been the top-scorers in the league with 63 goals to their name – 14 more than their title rivals. In contrast, Mallorca have conceded the most in league, with 44 goals against them.

If a dominant performance from the champions does occur, the question is who will be scoring the goals? You can almost guarantee Lionel Messi will have a hand somehow.

The Argentinian legend has been on top form yet again for Barca this season, scoring 19 goals and assisting 12 in just 22 league appearances across this campaign. Whilst his odds to score a time anytime in the match are unsurprisingly low, SkyBet are offering odds of 4/1 for the magician to get a goal either side of half-time – a feat that he has already managed when the teams met earlier in the season in a 5-2 win for the Blaugrana where Messi bagged a hat-trick

Benzema back with a bang?

Similar to Barca, Real Madrid will want a winning return to La Liga to keep their title dreams alive. Zinedine Zidane’s side could be five points adrift by the time they come to host SD Eibar so will be eager to stay within touching distance of the Catalan club.

Like Barcelona, Madrid also face a relatively easy task on paper, as they welcome Eibar to the Bernabeu with no fans in attendance. Eibar are at the opposite end of the table and sit in 16th, just two points off the relegation zone, so it’s no surprise that the odds are heavily stacked on an easy home win for Los Blancos. One of the star performers for Zidane’s team this season has been Karim Benzema.

The French forward has led from the front and found the net 14 times this campaign with only Messi achieving more in La Liga this year. With Madrid coming up against a much weaker opposition, the 32-year-old is likely to find the net again.

Whilst odds for Benzema to score are obviously low, odds for him to get three in the game stand at 12/1 with SkyBet. This might be a punt worth taking, especially considering the 4-0 away win Madrid chalked up against Eibar earlier in the season in which Benzema scored two. You wouldn’t put it past the veteran striker to go one further and get the hattrick this time around.

Sergio Ramos to outscore the opposition?

On the subject of Real Madrid, a dominant performance could see them trounce Eibar with many different scorers on the scoresheet. Whilst a defender on the scoresheet isn’t an everyday occurrence, Sergio Ramos is somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to goalscoring.

The Madrid captain has an impressive eight goals in all competitions, a return that is quite extraordinary for a centre-back.

The Spanish legend is a threat in the air from corners as well as taking the odd penalty which has seen him become second behind only Benzema in goals scored in La Liga this season – another remarkable achievement for the 34-year-old.

It’s also hard to see Eibar scoring away at Madrid, with Zidane’s side boasting the best defence in the competition this season conceding just the 19 goals. Therefore, a bet on Ramos to score more goals in the game than Eibar could be worth a gamble with Ramos only needed to score one if he keeps a clean sheet to win this bet.

Ramos is priced at 9/2 odds with Sky Bet to outscore the opposition.

Lucas Perez to score and win

Former Arsenal and West Ham striker Lucas Perez has been impressive in the Spanish top tier this season. The Spanish striker failed to make an impact in England for the Gunners or the Hammers, but he’s been forming a terrific partnership up front alongside former Stoke City forward Joselu for Deportivo Alaves.

The Basque club have steered away from a relegation scrap and find themselves around midtable, with Perez’s goals being a massive contribution to that.

The 31-year-old became the first Alaves player to score in six consecutive league games earlier in the season when he went on a run of scoring seven in a row from September through to November. The former Deportivo La Coruna man has hit 11 goals this season, bettered only by Benzema and Messi.

Alaves had just one loss in their last five league games before the break and will look to get back into form when they travel to Barcelona to face a rock bottom Espanyol on Saturday. The hosts are looking more doomed as the weeks go on, with six points now separating them from safety. Thus, a win for Alavez could be on the cards, and Perez is the likely candidate to get a goal.

Lucas Perez to score and Deportivo Alaves to win is 3/1 with Skybet.

Morata to score first for Atletico

Atletico Madrid and Alvaro Morata were loving life before the break, following the 3-2 win at Anfield that saw them beat the European Champions over two legs and progress into the Champions League quarter-final.

Morata’s last-minute extra-time goal wrapped up the game for Diego Simeone’s team, a goal in successive games for the ex-Chelsea man after his goal against Sevilla in La Liga prior to the Liverpool encounter. Atleti travel to the Basque Country on Sunday to face an Athletic Bilbao team who sit in tenth position.

Simeone’s men will need all three points at the weekend as they find themselves in a huge battle for a top four Champions League spot: sixth-placed and two points behind third-placed Sevilla.

It shows just how tight the league is around them, with just five points separating Sevilla and seventh-placed Valencia. Consequently, a win for Atleti would massive or else they could be in danger of falling behind more teams vying for a top four spot. Simeone’s famous 4-4-2 tactics will most likely see Morata paired up top with Diego Costa or Joao Felix.

Given the good form, the former Juventus and Real Madrid was in prior to the break, the odds of 7/2 for Morata to score the first goal by SkyBet look very tempting.

By Jordan Edmonds

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