- Real Madrid (-312) host Granada (+800) in a battle of La Liga’s top two teams
- Relegation zone battle pits Mallorca (+151) against Espanyol (+191), who have struggled with Europa League fixture congestion to begin the campaign.
- Real Sociedad (-109) host struggling Getafe (+290) in a game worth keeping an eye on.
As the sun sets on the first two months of La Liga’s 2019-20 campaign, there have been pleasant surprises, stunning disappointments and a fair few upsets.
Atop the list of pleasant surprises is Granada, who have earned four victories from their opening seven games — including a signature 2-0 win over Barcelona on Sep. 21.
Their next six (at Real, v. Osasuna, v. Betis, at Getafe, v. Sociedad and at Valencia) are much more difficult than their last six, but if they can pull off some results they may just be in for a special season.
Barcelona has shown uncharacteristic cracks in the proverbial armor, with losses to Bilbao (0-1) and Granada (0-2), but remains within striking distance at the top of the table.
Towards the bottom, 16th-place Getafe and 19th-place Espanyol have seen serious European campaigns impact the start of their respective domestic seasons.
Real Madrid vs. Granada Odds
|Real Madrid||-1.5 (-117)||-312||O 3.5 (-107)|
|Granada||+1.5 (-103)||+800||U 3.5 (-113)|
*All odds taken 10/04/19
Two of La Liga’s hottest teams collide at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, as first-place Real Madrid (4-2-1) hosts co-runners up Granada (4-2-1) in an unexpected battle for first.
Though Real have hardly impressed in Europe — a humbling 3-0 loss to PSG and 2-2 draw vs. Club Brugge have left them adrift in Group A — and been hit and miss in La Liga, they remain undefeated in domestic play. Zidane, at least for the time being, has stayed the executioner’s blade.
Granada, meanwhile, are off to a flying start thanks to a combination of solid attack (13 GF) and a respectable back line (6 GA).
With Saturday’s visitors looking defensively stout, and Real Madrid coming off a disappointing mid-week draw in the Champions League, keep an eye on Granada.
PICK: GRANADA +1.5 (-103) or U 3.5 (-113)
Mallorca vs. Espanyol Odds
|Mallorca||-0.5 (+104)||+151||O 2 (-126)|
|Espanyol||+0.5 (-124)||+190||U 2 (+106)|
While many likely had Mallorca (1-1-5), last year’s promotion playoff winners in Spain, pencilled in for the relegation battle, few expected Espanyol (1-2-4) to begin the year as poorly as they have.
Since beating Eibar 2-1 back on Matchday 1, Mallorca has managed just a single point from its last six outings; similarly, Espanyol has claimed a solitary point from its last three La Liga outings — despite credible European results against Ferencvaros (1-1) and CSKA Moscow (2-1).
Both have conceded often (12 GA each) and rarely scored (4 GF each) this season. Therefore, expect a defensive contest as both teams look to claim a share of the points.
Our main question: Can Espanyol shake off a mid-week trip to Russia and show their class away from home against a Mallorca team that ought to be relegated?
PICK: ESPANYOL +0.5 (-124)
Real Sociedad vs. Getafe Odds
|Real Sociedad||-0.5 (-109)||-109||O 2 (-126)|
|Getafe||+0.5 (-111)||+290||U 2 (+106)|
If there’s a team to watch entering the month of October in La Liga, it’s Real Sociedad (4-1-2) under manager Imanol. Playing an interesting brand of soccer and getting results in goal-filled affairs, La Real host struggling Getafe (1-4-2) this Sunday in an intriguing matchup.
The visitors are in an odd position, having drawn the majority of their league matches and sitting down near the drop zone despite a perfect 2-0-0 start to their European campaign.
We have a nagging feeling, however, that a midweek trip to Krasnodar — despite being a win — might be felt by Getafe come Sunday in San Sebastian.
PICK: REAL SOCIEDAD (-109)
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