La Liga Week 19 Betting Odds, Match Previews & Tips

by Thomas

La Liga certainly started 2013 with a bang as we were treated to some cracking encounters and lots of goals.

In fact, only two teams out of the 20 that were in action failed to find the net, so let’s hope we are in for a similar few days in the Spanish top flight this weekend.

At the top of the table, Barcelona are running away with the title, but the Champions League, Europa League and relegation places look like being very close battles.

So, here are the teams locking horns on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Athletic Bilbao v Rayo Vallecano – Friday 8.30PM – Pick: Athletic Bilbao @ 4/5

Aduriz-Week19Athletic Bilbao did not start 2013 the way they would have liked to as they went down 3-1 at Levante, which left them just six points clear of the bottom three.

Whenever Bilbao look like going on a run that will move them up the table, they seem to suffer a couple of defeats that leaves them in a dangerous position.

The team from the Basque country must be at their best to win this one on Friday night as well as they take on Rayo Vallecano, who have won their last three encounters.

Vallecano have been one of the surprise packages in La Liga this season and have moved up to seventh place.

If they can claim a win on Friday night, they will move level with the team sitting in fourth, so can really pile the pressure on the sides around them.

Extra Tip – Athletic Bilbao to win 3-1 @ 14/1

Real Valladolid v Mallorca – Saturday 3PM – Pick: Draw @ 12/5

Mallorca are trying to extend their unbeaten run to three matches this weekend when they travel to a Real Valladolid side who haven’t tasted victory in their last four.

Valladolid have managed to win games at vital parts of the season, just when people are tipping them as relegation candidates and make no doubt about it, they need all three points here.

As they are on home soil to a team just above the bottom three, a win is expected and the onus will be on them to come and attack.

It is not going to be easy though as Mallorca managed a draw with the very impressive Atletico Madrid last time out.

This performance should have given the side a lot of confidence and showed them that on their day, they are a match for anyone in this league.

They might be in decent form, but Mallorca are in a relegation battle, so cannot take their foot off the gas.

Espanyol v Celta Vigo – Saturday 5PM – Pick: Celta Vigo @ 11/5

Iago-Aspas-Week19This encounter between Espanyol and Celta Vigo is certainly a six-pointer at the bottom of the table as Espanyol currently sit in the bottom three, whereas Celta are in fifteenth.

However, a win for the home side would move them level on points with their opponents and bring them right back into the relegation battle, so it is a huge game for both sides.

Espanyol went down 4-0 to Barcelona last time out, which you would consider as a thrashing if they were up against any other side. As it was Barca though, they will not have too many complaints.

As for Celta, they should be full of confidence after a good win against Valladolid over the weekend, which showed they are ready to claw their way out of trouble this year.

With both sides desperate for the points, we should be in for a good game here and you can be sure that they will each attack and go for the win.

Osasuna v Real Madrid – Saturday 7PM – Pick: Real Madrid @ 4/9

Real Madrid started 2013 win a win, but it was far from straight forward as they beat Real Sociedad 4-3 at the Bernabeu. They played the majority of the encounter with ten men and had Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace in the 68th and 70th minute to thank for all three points.

This weekend, Jose Mourinho takes his men to Osasuna, where as ever, a comfortable win will be expected but it remains to be seen whether that is what will happen.

Last season you knew just what you were going to get with Real, but this campaign they are incredibly inconsistent and although their opponents are at the bottom of the table, it is a tough one to call.

Osasuna will of course come into this one as the big underdogs and if Real are at their best, then it will be a heavy defeat for the home side.

However, they must try and pounce on any early nerves that they have and try and claim a famous result.

Extra Tip – Real Madrid to win 3-0 @ 10/1

Valencia v Sevilla – Saturday 9PM – Pick: Draw @ 12/5

Emir-Spahic-Week19Valencia host Sevilla in the final game on Saturday evening and it has the makings of being a cracker between two sides who are looking to make their way up the La Liga table in the second half of the
season.

Both won their first game of the year and it move Valencia to within just four points of a Champions League place, which is their aim this season.

As they are at home, the Spanish giants will be expected to win here, but know they face a tough test as Sevilla can be a superb side on their day.

The away team are still in the bottom half of the table, but if they manage to show a bit of consistency, then they can challenge for a European spot.

When on top of their game, these two play some outstanding football, so this should be a cracker.

Real Betis v Levante – Sunday 11AM – Pick: Real Betis @ Evens

Sunday looks like getting of to a great start as Real Betis and Levante, two sides that have been very impressive this season, lock horns.

Betis are in fifth at the moment, but Levante are just a point behind them in sixth, so this should be an evenly matched encounter.

Both know just what a win would do for their hopes of breaking into the top four, but Levante would surly be happy to take a point back with them.

They also each won their last encounter, so this is a very tough one to call and is likely to be decided by the odd goal.

If the home side can come out and play at their best, then they should just edge this one. Any opportunity they get though, Levante are sure to take.

Extra Tip – Betis to win 2-1 @ 7/1

Real Sociedad v Deportivo La Coruna – Sunday 4PM – Pick: Real Sociedad @ 4/7

Xabi-Prieto-Week19These two teams certainly have different ambitions for the campaign as Deportivo La Coruna are in the bottom three, whereas Real Sociedad sit comfortably in the top half of the table.

As we have seen a number of times this campaign though, surprises can happen and Sociedad cannot afford to be complacent.

If they show the same fight and spirit as they did against Real, then this should be a comfortable win for the hosts.

Deportivo come into this one with a bit of confidence though after a hard-fought, but impressive 1-0 win over Malaga last weekend.

It was the sort of performance that has been missing for a while and should put them in good shape for Sunday’s match.

Extra Tip – Real Sociedad to win 1-0 @ 6/1

Atletico Madrid v Real Zaragoza – Sunday 6PM – Pick: Atletico Madrid @ 2/7

Atletico Madrid were held to a draw last time out, with means they are now eleven points behind Barcelona, so any title hopes might have gone.

But, they have to keep on fighting as Real Madrid are hot on their heels and second place has to be a priority.

Atletico take on Real Zaragoza this weekend, a match that they should be winning comfortably.

Zaragoza might be wary of a reaction from their opponents after a disappointing result over the weekend, but have to come here and be confident of a result.

If they are well organised and defensively savvy, then there could be another upset on the cards here.

As always, Radamel Falcao will play a big part in this one for the home team and if he is on form, then expect the side from the capital to claim all three points.

It should be a very interesting 90 minutes of action.

Extra Tip – Atletico Madrid to win 3-0 @ 7/1

Malaga v Barcelona – Sunday 8PM – Pick: Barcelona @ 4/9

Pedro-Week19Malaga face Barcelona on Sunday evening knowing it is going to take their best performance of the season to manage a result.

They currently sit in fourth, despite losing their last fixture and in truth, this is not the game they would have wanted after a defeat as Barca are quite simply the best side in this league by a mile right now.

The Catalan club scored four goals last weekend and didn’t really need to get out of first gear. They are turning teams over at ease and will expect more of the same this weekend.

Lionel Messi comes into this one full of confidence after winning his fourth straight Ballon d’Or trophy and he is sure to be amongst the goals once more.

It might not be an easy match for the league-leaders as Malaga are a very good side, but they will be in high spirits and fancy their chances of another three points.

Extra Tip – Barcelona to win 3-2 @ 20/1

Getafe v Granada – Monday 7PM – Pick: Draw @ 5/2

The final game in La Liga takes place on Monday evening and sees Getafe and Granada lock horns in what should be a very interesting encounter.

Getafe are having a decent season as they currently sit in the middle of the La Liga table, but have gone four games without a win, so need to be taking something from this one.

They will be the favourites to claim all three points as well as they take on a Granada side that are hovering just above the bottom three right now.

The visitors need to take a result back with them as they could be in the drop zone by kick-off on Monday evening.

Both teams are after the points for very different reasons, but it should be a good game that rounds off the weekend’s action.

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has written 61 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Thomas is a sports journalist residing in Norwich, UK and focusses on all things football here at tipsandpicks.com