Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:32 pm Post subject: Darren's Spanish La Liga 2011/12 Blog
My Spanish La Liga blog is back for a second season following the reletive success of last season. I will be taking a different approach this season, making some improvements and changing a few things in order to achieve a better and more successful outcome for this season.
First and foremost, thanks for all the input and comments last season. I want to help you make informed choices when betting on sides from Spain and I really believe this season that I can finish with a profit and go on to hit a good strike rate along the way. You may notice that I haven't provided a write-up for each time as I did last season and the reason for this was simple. I wanted to keep the blog simple and go back to basics as I think last season I concentrated too much on learning about each team and this meant that I took my eye off the ball somewhat in the first few weeks.
I purposefully chose not to tip on games in the opening round as I wanted to get a better feel for the league this season and will be making very few tips early on. I think once each team has played three or four times you can expect to see me tipping on a more frequent basis. I have my data from last season and this has allowed me to pinpoint the markets in which I had the most/least success. By sticking to my guns and continuing to tip the markets I had most success with, and choosing to concentrate my research into the markets that gave me least success last season, I can finish the season in profit - something I failed to do overall last season.
The blog this season will still have write-ups of a good quality, but I will try to condense the information and key facts in an attempt to keep each tip more concise and readable. I have a lot more knowledge on La Liga in general and this will help me greatly as I embark on another nine months of Spanish football. For example, I am much more aware of any local derbies and have a good feel for each side and their bogey teams. I have been brushing up on the three newly promoted teams Real Betis, Rayo Vallecano and Granada.
I will introduce a bank system this term and will start off with 1000 points. Each tip will have an outlay of 10 pts and no more as I attempt to keep the staking plan both sensible and simple. Any profits/losses will be calculated at the end of each round and a summary given to summarise the financial situation. This season the onus will be on LSP and not a percentage strike rate (as was the case last season).
Finally, I will kick off the blog with a tip for Monday night's game between Malaga and Granada. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome and I hope you all enjoy reading my future tips and selections as much as I do researching and writing them. Thanks again for reading _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
Malaga will start their home campaign against newly promoted Granada and will look to right the wrongs in the opening 2-1 defeat at Sevilla. Manuel Pellegrini's spent over 50m in the transfer window and with the financial backing, we should start to see Malaga emerge as big players in La Liga. Last season they endured a terrible start and found themselves bottom of the league for a long period of time.
New signings Santi Cazorla, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Joaquin and Jeremy Toulalan amongst others, outline Malaga's intentions and they will seek qualification into the Europa League come the end of the season. They have the quality in place to achieve this and they may start with a win over the side who were promoted through the Segunda play-offs.
Granada were the surprise package of the Spanish second divison last season but have struggled to bring players in. They did, however, manage some decent arrivals on the deadline day but will surely need to bring more faces in come January to avoid relegation as they will certainly be the underdogs in this game.
The bookmakers have Malaga as odds-on favourites in this game and they will want to go out and give their home fans the result that they want to kick-start their season. Expect a party atmosphere at La Rosaleda and Granada won't come here looking to defend. They are a tricky team and have very quick players on the wings and in Alex Geijo they have a very potent goal threat. I think that the end result may go either way as the Malaga players will need time to gel but I expect an open and attacking game with goals.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals - 8/11 @ Betfred Result: Malaga CF 4-0 Granada CF
Bet outcome: Win _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
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Barcelona will want to bounce back against Osasuna after failing to beat Real Sociedad in the last round. The Catalans squandered an early 0-2 lead to come away with a point and this would have given Real Madrid a massive boost in confidence. Barcelona know that they will need all three points in this game and the pressure will be on from the get-go.
Osasuna have started the season in good form with four points from their opening two fixtures. Although they travel to the Camp Nou, a place in which they have not won at since early 2002, they have restricted the hosts to just a couple of goals in each of their last two away league matches, and there is no reason to suggest that they can't come away with the same this evening. I don't think they will get anything from this game but I feel they will not concede many goals either.
In the last six league meetings between these sides, only one of these games have gone over 2.5 goals. Barcelona won this fixture 2-0 last season and the last four meetings between these sides at Barcelona have all been under 2.5 goals. Osasuna will feel they can go and keep things tight again this evening as their hosts are not exactly in their best vein of form and they also played in Europe in midweek - something Osasuna have not.
Good odds are available for under 2.5 goals and I believe that once again this will be a tighter game than some people may think. Barcelona haven't 'opened up' Osasuna in recent times and I feel that they may have to settle for a tight victory here again this evening.
Selection: Under 2.5 goals 5/2 @ Betfred Result: FC Barcelona 8-0 CA Osasuna
The top two sides in Spain are taking on a similarity to that of both Manchester based clubs this season - who can score the most goals. Barcelona hit an astonishing eight goals against Osasuna and today it is the turn of Real Madrid to go out and show us what they have in response. They have hit ten goals in their last two games including a 0-6 win at Real Zaragoza in the opening round. Levante have a little bit more quality but I still expect Real Madrid to hit up another big score this evening.
At this early stage of the season it is always quite difficult to predict how some of the smaller teams are going to fare. Levante are one of these such sides and despite an excellent second-half to last season, I can't see them emulating this again this time round. Felipe Caicedo and Christian Stuani have left and the duo were responsible for 21 of Levante's 41 goals last term and although replacements have been bought in, it will be hard to tell if they can contribute in the same way this season.
Real Madrid look a side full of goals this season and will want to keep up the high tempo and return to the top of the league with another win. They have maximum points from their opening two games and will want to maintain their slender advantage over Barcelona. Gonzalo Higuain is back in the side and scored in the 4-2 win over Getafe in the last round. Karim Benzema is looking in fine form and there will always be a goal threat in Christiano Ronaldo.
With more goals coming from all over the pitch, Real Madrid look ready to take the fight to Barcelona this season and I fancy them to win by at least three goals this evening. Real Madrid are available at 19/16 on the -2 Asian Handicap market and over 3.5 goals looks like a good shout at 10/11 as with Real Madrid's first two games this season producing twelve goals, I can't see any reason why this game wouldn't cover the over 3.5 goals market.
Real Madrid CF -2 19/16 @ 32red
Over 3.5 goals 10/11 @ Boylesports
Result: Levante UD 1-0 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF -2: Lose
Over 3.5 goals: Lose _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
Last edited by Daz333 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:24 am; edited 2 times in total
As mentioned in my opening post, I decided to refrain from tipping in round 1. This due to the relative unknown element of most of the teams and I thought best to see the first set of results before making my first move on the round 2 matches.
My blog began with a good result in round 2 and that was the game between Malaga and Granada. I had predicted over 2.5 goals and thanks to Malaga's 4-0 win this bet was fulfilled after just 48 minutes and I had expected this considering the improvements that Malaga have made to their squad over the summer.
Start bank: £0
Round 2 profit/loss: £7.27
End bank: £7.27
Round 3 summary
However, it went bad in round 2 as both games involving Barcelona and Real Madrid went the opposite way to my tips, leaving me with a negative bank after just 3 rounds.
Barcelona destroyed Osasuna 8-0 at the Camp Nou to make my call on under 2.5 goals a big embarrassment. The result went against the stats which all pointed to a low scoring game after the same fixture ended 2-0 last season but Barcelona can be unpredictable at times in terms of how many goals they should, in theory, score.
I well and truly underestimated Levante and they took a 1-0 win against Real Madrid. I had tipped both Real Madrid -2 and over 3.5 goals but Levante are looking good this season and the result was a big surprise. Real Madrid don't often fail to score and I never expected such a close encounter.
Start bank: £7.27
Round 3 profit/loss: -£30
End bank: -£22.73 _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
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Villarreal are still reeling somewhat from their 1-0 defeat to Granada in the last round. They host a Mallorca side who have also started the season in a less than spectacular way and will see this as an opening to get three points and haul themselves out of the relegation zone. Juan Carlos Garrido will have his side fired up as they could really do with a win to boost their flagging confidence levels. The defeat to Granada was branded a shock by most of the media but the reality is that Granada are one of my favourite teams in Spain and I followed their progress last season. They are a very good side and the result just goes to show that they shouldn't be written off just yet.
Mallorca haven't done much to bolster their squad this season and I honestly feel they will be fighting to escape relegation this season. They narrowly missed out last season and could have gone down on the last day of the season. They have sold one of their best players, Jonathan De Guzman, to Villarreal and he was one of their best players last season. They will certainly miss his input and also, Pierre Webo was also sold. He provided a lot of their goals last season and from narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot at the end of the 2009/10 season, Mallorca have gone on a slide which could end up terminal if they don't start scoring points soon.
Villarreal haven't been playing bad football and the 0-2 loss to Bayern Munich would have not done much for confidence, but the side should get all three points at El Madrigal this evening and I just wonder, for Mallorca, where the points are going to come from. They lost 0-1 at home to Malaga in the last round and this time round they face a much stronger side, and they are away from their island which is always a big factor in their results. The head to head between these two sides is not good for the Islanders as they have only recorded victory here once in the last 11 visits and this was back in the 2002/03 season. Villarreal have won six of these and there have been four draws. Last season this ended 3-1 to the home side.
The odds on offer for Villarreal are very good and offer value at 8/11. This should be a straightforward win for the Yellow Submarine and despite the loss of Santi Cazorla to Malaga, their squad is still very strong and should challenge this season. As Mallorca are usually a side involved in a lot of under 2.5 goals matches and this season is no different. All three of their results so far this term have been 1-0 or 0-1. To contrast, Villarreal score a lot at home so I will reserve judgement on the goals market for this game.
Villarreal won their first game of the season 2-0 to push themselves up the league and after a three game winless streak, the Yellow Submarine will have been glad to get their first win. I had tipped the home win outright and odds of 8/11 helped to restore some of the damage done in the last round.
Start bank: -£22.73
Round 4 profit/loss: £7.27
End bank: -£15.46 _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
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Levante come into this game in excellent form and having already beaten Real Madrid 1-0 in their last home game they secured a fine 1-2 win at Rayo Vallecano in the midweek. The Valencian based side have improved considerably and after their excellent second half to last season, they continue their good form into the start of this season.
Espanyol had a good season last term and if it were not for a poor second half of the season they would have finished higher. Their away form is still their achilles heel and have already lost at Mallorca and Real Zaragoza in their only two away games this season. Mallorca and Real Zaragoza will more than likely finish in the bottom half of the table. Espanyol will have their work cut out this afternoon.
Levante's Arouna Kone is on loan from Sevilla and he proved the difference in the 1-0 game against Real Madrid. The Ivorian striker will be looking to help Levante gain three more points in this encounter and in Sergio Ballesteros and Gustavo Cabral, Levante have two very able defenders who have helped to keep the goals out this term.
Espanyol don't score many goals away from home and breaching the Levante defence will be a hard task indeed. Levante themselves don't score many goals and I can see this being settled by a single goal. With the form shown by the home side and the predictable indifference between excellence and home, and mediocrity on the road, I expect a low scoring home win. Espanyol have won just once at the Ciutat de Valencia in six league visits also.
Both these sides sit on six points from their opening five games and only goal difference separates them. Osasuna host Mallorca at the Reyno de Navarra and it has been their home form that has kept them in the top flight for the last few seasons. Today they welcome a manager less Mallorca side after Michael Laudrap resigned on Tuesday.
Mallorca only narrowly escaped relegation last season and it is no surprise that after losing a couple of their best players in Guzman and Webo that the start to this season has been far from spectacular. Despite winning two of their three home games on the Island there are big question marks and their away form this season will no doubt pull them down the league.
Osasuna don't give much away at home and this season they are unbeaten after their first two games. They held Sevilla in their last game in Pamplona and beat Sporting Gijon 2-1 the game before that. A typically shrewd team when playing on home soil, Osasuna don't score many but they concede even less and this is what makes it so hard for visiting teams. I just don't think Mallorca will be able to break them down today.
Mallorca have lost both their away games this season, conceding just three, but scoring none in the process. They have been to Villarreal and Betis but Villarreal are not in good form and Real Betis are a newly-promoted team. Osasuna will prove a tough game for them once more and I can see the home side winning this by the odd goal or two.
CA Osasuna 9/10 @ 32Red
Under 2.5 goals 5/6 @ 32Red
Result: CA Osasuna 2-2 RCD Mallorca
CA Osasuna: Lose
Under 2.5 goals: Lose _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
Last edited by Daz333 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
Two converted penalties for Mallorca ensured they left the Reyno de Navarra with a point despite being reduced to ten men in the second half. Osasuna went a goal down but two Raul Garcia goals either side of the break put the home side into a 2-1 lead. However, Tomer Hemad scored his second spot kick of the game to earn a hard fought point for the Islanders.
I had predicted an Osasuna win and a low scoring game but the result and the number of goals scored dissappointed me somewhat and ruined my tips on the home win and under 2.5 goals. Osasuna usually keep things tight at home and without scoring many goals I didn't expect there to be such a busy 90 minutes.
I failed to make any profit this round and as a result, my blog took a bit of a turn for the worse. I will look to reverse this trend in the coming round of fixtures.
Start bank: -£13.88
Round 6 profit/loss: -£20
End bank: -£33.88 _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
Last edited by Daz333 on Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
Two sides in La Liga who have not made great starts will meet at the San Mames this evening in a Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna. The home side are surprisingly still yet to win at home in the league from three attempts, but have drawn two of these games including a 1-1 stalemate against Villarreal. They lost 2-3 to high-flying Real Betis and tonight they will have an ideal oppurtunity to get their first home league win against an Osasuna side who tend to leak goals on the road.
Athletic Bilbao come into this game having recorded an excellent 1-2 win at Real Sociedad in the last round. This was also a derby against local rivals and the win would have done wonders for confidence. They also recorded a fine 2-0 win here against Paris St Germain in the Europa League at the end of September and are on a three game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Osasuna drew 1-1 at Granada in their last away outing and never play their best football away from Pamplona. They went down 8-0 in a total capitulation to Barcelona and although their opponents this evening are far from being as good, they still possess the danger to win this game comforatably should they play anywhere near their potential. Coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has steadied the Osasuna ship since their 8-0 defeat at the Camp Nou and with Bilbao's defence looking far from watertight, I fancy them to get on the scoresheet tonight.
I think the home side will edge this by a goal or two but as with a lot of Athletic Bilbao's home games, they score and concede regularly. The odds for a home win are 3/4 and I think this is about right given the situation of both sides. Both teams to score is available at 10/11 and I believe this offers good value. Fernando Llorente scored both goals in the 1-2 win at Real Sociedad and the Bilbao talisman could strike again this evening. He is available at 23/17 as anytime goalscorer.
Athletic Bilbao 3/4 @ Various
Both teams to score 10/11 @ Various
Fernando Llorente AGS 23/17 @ Unibet Result: Athletic Bilbao 3-1 CA Osasuna
Athletic Bilbao: Win
Both teams to score: Win
Fernando Llorente AGS: Lose _________________ Check out my Spanish La Liga Blog
Last edited by Daz333 on Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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