Match Previews: Spanish La Liga (Week 8)

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Updated: October 1, 2013
FC Bayern Muenchen v Villarreal CF - UEFA Champions League

Villarreal | Image source: sportskeeda.com

 

The Spanish top-tier league’s eighth week of competitions is touted to be one of the tournament’s most thrilling frames, with the fixtures arranged in the way that the competing teams will really engage in a hard-fought display. Here are match previews for four of the match week’s rivalries; set dates are on October 4 & 5.

 

Villarreal vs. Granada

Despite losing their most recent match to Real Betis, Villarreal were still able to defend their fourth-place standing. Thanks to strong finishes in their previous stints, Marcelino García Toral’s men still have high motivations to continue their journey solidly. The side’s success started in their curtain raiser where they defeated Almeria in a 2-3 away finish. This was later followed by three more victories (non-consecutive) and two draws, until culminating with their first loss this season. Thus far, El Submarino Amarillo have already scored 12 goals in seven matches, of which Giovani dos Santos contributed the most innings (three).

 

Granada’s seven-match streak is not as strong as their opponents’. They may have debuted in the season with a 1-2 away victory over Osasuna, but that waned so instantly after they obtained three lame defeats and two dull stalemates in their following matches. Thanks to their most recent 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, El Grana breathed life into their record which allowed them to climb a few steps above the relegation zone. Creativity is still lacking in the squad’s façade, but a well-established knack for counterattacking will provide Lucas Alcaraz’s men with an alternative route to topple their rivals.

 

Football betting tip: As the visitors, Granada will have to step up their game a few notches higher. They are faced with a big challenge from Villarreal, and taking on the wrong cues or mismanaging their pressure will not give them any merit. By apparent reasons, this side will end in favor of Villarreal. A plausible 2-0 finish will give El Submarino Amarillo their fifth victory this season.

 

Málaga vs. Osasuna 

Málaga’s home matches this season yielded them two victories and one defeat, while Osasuna’s away matches for the same period gave them landslide losses. The current league table ranks the sides at number 10 and 19, respectively.

 

Osasuna have been performing utter disappointingly in the Spanish top-flight league. They are somewhat repeating their routine in their first few matches last season, where they also raked the league’s most dreaded spots. If not for a victory over Elche on Week five, Los Rojillos would have created a seriously detrimental form, as all of their other tourneys turned out poor.

 

Málaga’s reasonable placement in the top 10 means that they have the obvious edge to beat their opponents. Backed by a good pitch weaponry and a promising leadership from Bernd Schuster, Los Boquerones have sustained a non-defeated streak since their third appearance this season. The only defeats they incurred, thus far, were in their first two matches with Valencia and Barcelona.

 

Football betting tip: By all measures, Málaga are way ahead of Osasuna. Unless they make any surprises, the visitors will hardly get past their opponents. Added to their burden is the growing list of players being sidelined.

 

 Madrid

Real Madrid | Image source: ronaldo7.net

 

Levante vs. Real Madrid

The current ninth placers will be put to major trial when last season’s runners up visit their stadium on Saturday. Levante will be facing Real Madrid to produce a brawl that most supporters would be delighted to watch.

 

Levante are noted this season for obtaining the largest away defeat incurred by any La Liga club, which they had in their curtain raiser against Barcelona 0-7. This heartbreaking upset challenged coach Joaquin Caparros and his men to do better in the next tourneys. Doing well they did, after they were no longer beaten by any other opponents. Of their six subsequent matches, two ended in sweet victories while the rest concluded in thrilling draws.

 

Despite losing their match in their derby with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid remain seated in a comfortable third-spot ranking. The side have only conceded seven goals in their run so far, which is just half compared to the 14 goals they scored. If not for their most recent defeat, Real Madrid would have continued in the competition undefeated. But Atletico were just too huge of an opponent, hence making a small buckle in their form was not entirely unexpected.

 

Online betting tip: As with their past three matches with Levante, Real Madrid will lord this one over. The hosts are strong, no doubt, but the visitors are just stronger.

 

Barcelona vs. Real Valladolid

The defending champions are still leading the pack this season, with a total of 24 goals scored in just seven matches. Even in continental tournaments, such as the Champions League and Super Cup, the club have remained undefeated. However, the seemingly perfect streak is in danger of going flat by some crumbs. Lionel Messi, the current (and past) season’s top scorer has been sidelined due to thigh injury and will not be able to appear in the competitions for at least two weeks. This picks a major opportunity for their opponents to score innings, especially that a few other esteemed Barcelona men are also unavailable, including Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, and Carles Puyol. This leaves Pedro as the side’s best shot to maintain their glory.

 

Real Valladolid are also not without any injured players, as Rubio, Oscar, Larsson, and Perez have all been sidelined for being unfit to enter the pitch. This could potentially stir another peril in the club’s streak, especially that their past matches have not all been that magnificent. A dismaying curtain raiser, followed (non-consecutively) by two additional defeats, and three draws have drowned the side’s only win (from Getafe 1-0) this season. The squad are currently placed in the 15th spot, after accumulating six points from all relevant gauging factors.

 

Online betting tip: Despite the absence of Messi and a few other team-mates, Barcelona will be able to continue a successful stint. Sanchez, Neymar, and Pedro are all in good shape to fend off disgraceful performance. Real Valladolid may try to capitalize on their opponents’ slight mishap, but their plan to dominate their rivals could be halted by Barcelona’s fatal attack.