- Matchday 13 in Spain’s La Liga kicks off on Friday, and this week is all about railing against the league’s bottom teams
- Real Sociedad (-147) host last-place Leganes (+438) at Anoeta in the opening game of the matchday
- Atletico Madrid (-208) and Barcelona (-455) both favorites at home against relegation zone occupants Espanyol (+580) and Celta Vigo (+1250) respectively
Spain’s La Liga chugs into Matchday 13 this weekend, with the big three expected to earn confident wins over bottom-half opposition and a number of mid-table matches offering bettors some unseen value.
Here are our two anchor plays, along with potential options to round out a three- or four-play parlay.
Real Sociedad vs. Leganes Odds
|Real Sociedad||-0.5, -1 (-116)||-147||O 2.5 (-102)|
|Leganes||+0.5, +1 (-104)||+438||U 2.5 (-118)|
All odds taken November 8, 2019
Matchday 13 kicks off in San Sebastian, where co-leaders Real Sociedad (7-1-4) entertain last-place Leganes (1-2-9) in what ought to be a no-brainer matchup.
But given the year it’s been in La Liga — first place being shared by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sociedad, and Granada in the European mix, etc. — bookmakers are being careful with their lines. A first-vs-last matchup would normally see shorter odds for Sociedad, but this isn’t a normal year in Spain.
Imanol’s club has also dropped two of its last three at home, including a 2-1 defeat to a very average Levante outfit last time out.
With that said, Leganes has done little to imply they are capable of the same; the club has managed a paltry six goals in 12 games this season while conceding a Liga-worst 21.
This will be Mexican manager Javier Aguirre’s first game in charge of the visitors, who fired Mauricio Pellegrino on October 21 and handed the reins to assistant Luis Cembranos in the short term. Digging the club out of a six-point hole in the relegation zone could be a tall task.
Pick: Real Sociedad (-147)
Barcelona vs. Celta Vigo Odds
|Barcelona||-2 (-104)||-455||O 3.5 (+100)|
|Celta Vigo||+2 (-116)||+1250||U 3.5 (-120)|
Times are uneasy for both Barcelona (7-1-3) and Celta Vigo (2-3-7) ahead of their meeting on Saturday, though for very different reasons.
Barça’s offense has seemingly dried up, with a shock 3-1 loss at Levante last weekend compounded by a disappointing 0-0 draw midweek vs. Slavia Prague in European play. Ernesto Valverde’s side remains tied for first with a game in-hand, but the critics have been out in force over the last week.
In Vigo, Celta have accrued the fewest points (9) to this point of a season in the club’s history and it was not a surprise to see manager Fran Escriba given his marching orders. The well-traveled Oscar Garcia takes over, hoping his first foray into La Liga will end with Celta safely out of the drop zone — or else.
Reality says: Barça has a point to prove, while Celta has struggled for goals home or away.
The visitors will also be without Barça loanee Rafinha and attacking creator Santi Mina for Saturday’s clash.
Pick: Barcelona -2 (-104)
Atletico Madrid (-208) vs. Espanyol | We understand it’s been a weird year in La Liga, but Atleti (5-6-1) should probably be a heavier favorite than what they are at home against a 19th-place Espanyol (2-2-8) team that can’t score or defend properly in league play. Take Diego Simeone’s side at home to strengthen your card.
Sevilla (+114) at Real Betis | The Sevilla derby’s always a special affair, and Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla (6-3-3) ought to be up for a trip across town to face struggling rivals Real Betis (3-4-5). While Sunday’s hosts have been a bit better (1-1-0) as of late, Sevilla still has a clear talent advantage and will see this as a must-have three points.
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