La Liga Weekend Preview & Picks for Feb 1st – 3rd 2013

by Scott on January 31, 2013

There is a bumper weekend of La Liga action taking place this time out and once again, there is plenty to play for throughout the league.

As ever, the games are spread out across the weekend and you can enjoy fixtures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

So, let’s have a look at what teams are going head to head this weekend.

Real Valladolid v Athletic Bilbao – Friday 8.30PM – Pick: Athletic Bilbao @ 21/10

Susaeta-Feb1As mentioned, the action gets underway on Friday evening and it is set to be a cracking encounter between Real Valladolid and Athletic Bilbao.

Valladolid still sit in the top half of the table, but would been disappointed to go down to Levante last time out.

Bilbao have the chance to draw level with their opponents in this one, but their poor goal difference means they cannot overhaul them.

The away side are sure to come into this one full of confidence after a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid last time out. It was a result that showed that on their day, they can compete with the best sides in this division.

Inconsistency has been the trouble for Bilbao though and if they follow up a superb performance with a poor one here, it is back to square one.

Whatever happens, it should be a great game.

Osasuna v Celta Vigo – Saturday 3PM – Pick: Draw @ 9/4

Osasuna have the chance to move level with Celta Vigo with a victory when these two sides meet on Saturday afternoon.

The home team were dumped 5-1 by Barcelona last time out, so have to put that behind them and focus on this six-pointer at the bottom of the table.

Osasuna currently occupy the final relegation place and will be desperate to end the weekend out of the bottom three.

Celta Vigo have performed well recently and have lost just once in their last four league matches. They have however, drawn their last two, so know that a win needs to come soon.

They can come to Osasuna confident of claiming all three points though as they do have the players capable of causing problems.

It might be a fairly nervy 90 minutes with so much at stake, but that makes for an interesting watch.

Getafe v Deportivo La Coruna – Saturday 5PM – Pick: Getafe @ 19/20

Riki-Feb1Getafe are bottom of the form table in the league and on a bit of a downward spiral right now. They know that if results don’t improve, then they could find themselves in a relegation battle this campaign.

That makes a win on home soil to the bottom team in the Spanish top flight, Deportivo La Coruna, all the more vital.

Deportivo are now four points adrift of safety and have the worst defence record in the league at the moment, so they simply have to sharpen up at the back.

The home team must come out and attack as a defeat would leave fans worried about what the next few months have in store.

If they can return to the kind of form they showed at the start of the campaign, then they should win this one comfortably.

Extra Tip – Getafe to win 2-0 @ 9/1

Espanyol v Levante – Saturday 7PM – Pick: Levante @ 13/5

Espanyol are another side in the fight to stay in the league right now and they must be at their best when they take on Levante this weekend.

Their recent performances have given them a bit of breathing space though as they have now gone three games unbeaten.

When you’re in form though, you have to keep that up for as long as possible as results can soon start going against you, so this will be the time of the season where Espanyol will look to all but secure safety.

Levante are in eighth position and returned to winning ways last time out, keeping them in contention of a Champions League spot this season.

Although their opponents are in good form, the away team should still pick up at least a point here. In truth, a draw might suit both sides.

Granada v Real Madrid – Saturday 9PM – Pick: Real Madrid at 1/3

Ronaldo-Feb1Real Madrid have found form in La Liga in recent weeks and are sure to come into their game against Granada confident of picking up yet another comfortable victory.

Cristinao Ronaldo scored a hat-trick last time out and is looking unstoppable right now. If given the chance, he is sure to be scoring yet again this weekend.

Real have moved to within four points of Atletico Madrid and can make that just one point with another win here – so that is just what they are after.

Granada might feel as though they are taking on the La Liga champions at the wrong time and they could even be in the bottom three by the time this one kicks-off, so the pressure might be on.

As they are on home soil though, they should fancy their chances of claiming a result, especially if they start quickly.

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

Malaga v Real Zaragoza – Sunday 11AM – Pick: Malaga @ 8/17

Malaga won at Mallorca last time out and it was a result which moved them back into the top four of La Liga, which they will be delighted about.

Now, they take on a Real Zaragoza side that haven’t won in four league matches, so know that another three points is what they need.

The home outfit can really pile the pressure on the teams around them playing later in the day with a win here and if they perform how we know they can, then this will be a straight forward 90 minutes.

Zaragoza have been dragged into the relegation battle in recent weeks and another defeat could really leave them in trouble.

They must come to Malaga and remain disciplined throughout the game, remaining defensively savvy and then seeing what they can do on the counter-attack.

Extra Tip: Malaga to win 2-1 @ 6/1

Sevilla v Rayo Vallecano – Sunday 4PM – Pick: Draw @ 10/3

Jose-Carlos-Feb1Sevilla just can’t get any sort of consistency going at the moment and although they come into this one on the back of a win, you wouldn’t say they are in great form.

They haven’t won back-to-back games since September, which shows you where the problem is for the hosts.

With the squad they have, Sevilla should be challenging for European places, but at the moment, they sit in mid-table and don’t look like going on a run to climb up La Liga.

Real Vallecano are just one point off the Champions League places and have won four of their last give league matches, so this is a match they will look to be winning.

They come to Sevilla knowing they are the underdogs, but with how both sides have performed, you might say Vallecano are the more likely for the win, despite what the bookies say.

It is all set for another fantastic 90 minutes of action.

Valencia v Barcelona – Sunday 6PM – Pick: Barcelona @ 4/9

There is no doubt that this is the pick of the fixtures in La Liga this weekend as Valencia, who currently sit in seventh place take on league-leaders Barcelona.

The home side are better than what the table says though and they are now finally showing a bit of form after a tough start to the campaign.

They have taken twelve points from a possible 15 and look like making a challenge for the top four. Valencia have beaten Barcelona in the past and won’t fear their opponents on Sunday evening.

The Catalan club expect all three points here though, as they do in any match they play. It will of course require a big performance, but there is no doubt that Barcelona have more than enough quality to come out on top.

It should be a scintillating 90 minutes of attacking football and goals are all but guaranteed.

Extra Tip – Barcelona to win 3-1 @ 10/1

Atletico Madrid v Real Betis – Sunday 8PM – Pick: Atletico Madrid @ 4/9

Diego-Godin-Feb1Atletico Madrid have to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at the hands of Bilbao last time out with all three points at home to Real Betis.

In truth, the side from the capital know that their chances of winning the title have all but disappeared, so they must focus on securing second place.

Radamel Falcao hasn’t been at his prolific best in recent weeks and he must be on top of his game this weekend if Atletico are to take anything.

Real Betis were also defeated last time out and it saw them move out of the top four. They know that there are not many tougher places to go in the league that Atletico Madrid at the moment, but have to try and get a result.

With the attacking football that these two play, it is tough to see anything but a cracking match here.

Extra Tip – Atletico Madrid to win 2-0 @ 6/1

Real Sociedad v Mallorca – Sunday 8PM – Pick: Draw @ 11/1

The final game to look as sees struggling Mallorca make the journey to Real Sociedad.

Sociedad sit comfortably in the mid-table at the moment and know they can look up the division rather than over their shoulders.

The home team will be looking to this encounter as one they should win comfortably, but they know that Mallorca are desperate for the points.

The visiting outfit are fighting for their lives right now and are currently three points adrift of safety.

That could of course be more by the time they kick-off, so the pressure might be on.

It might not be the best looking game in La Liga this weekend, but there is certainly plenty at stake in this one.

It could prove to be a cracking encounter, as you never know in this Spanish top flight.

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Scott primarily focuses on the US sports at Tips and Picks and he spends most of his time analyzing the betting markets to ensure bettors always get the best odds