So poor old Rafa has fallen foul of the real life fantasy football club that is Real Madrid and a true legend of the game has stepped in to fill his shoes. One has to wonder why Florentino Perez hired a notoriously defensive coach in the first place if he was going to fire him for being too defensive. Let’s see if there’s any value on offer in La Liga this weekend in the wake of all of the controversy in the Capital.
Though most people are interested in Barcelona and Real Madrid, the former are at home to Granada this weekend and that’s about as easy as a fixture gets in La Liga so there’s not much to talk about here. What is interesting however is that Coral are offering 10/1 for Luis Suarez to score a hat-trick which is fantastic value considering the other bookies are as tight as 7/2. Get on that one early though, as it won’t last long.
Sevilla vs. Athletic Bilbao is the first game to pique my interest this weekend. Sevilla have been on a fantastic run at home, winning their last 7 games and knocking off Barcelona and Real Madrid on the way. They’re scoring more than 2 goals per game at home this season. Both teams are wobbling a little though. Sevilla lost to Granada last time out and Bilbao are coming in after a very disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Las Palmas.
Although they sit 2 points below Athletic in the table, Sevilla have really gotten their act together (last game aside) after a dreadful start to the season that saw them take just 2 points from their opening 5 games. Home advantage should see them get over the line this weekend and 12/11 is a pretty attractive price for them to do so.
Later that evening it’s Real Madrid vs. Deportivo la Coruna at the Bernabeu. Depor have been a bit of a surprise package this season and as of week 18 they’ve reached the lofty heights of 7th place in the table. What effect will all the consternation have? Will ZZ have had enough time to impart…well, anything in the minds of his players?
Deportivo have managed to come away with something from their last 4 games, including one at the Camp Nou. They’re well above average in terms of scoring goals away from home and, despite Rafa Benitez being pegged as a defensive minded coach, Madrid have struggled to keep the ball out of the net this season. They have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 5 games at home. A draw at 8/1 looks too good to pass up, what with everything that’s going. If you’re feeling particularly funky, the 1-1 draw is priced at 19/1 with BetVictor. How could you not put a fiver on that?