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Spanish La Liga – Sunday Picks – Matchweek 4

Spanish La Liga – Sunday Picks – Matchweek 4

The two-week break for international matches is finally over and it is time for Spanish La Liga to once again provide spectacular soccer action. This weekend is no different, as some interesting matchups will give us plenty of thrills and, for those who enjoy it, plenty of opportunities for sports betting.

Sunday, September 16th will see four matches take place, as Leganes host Villarreal at Estadio Municipal de Butarque in a clash of teams that are currently in the relegation zone. Espanyol will host Levante at RCDE Stadium in Barcelona, as they try to spoil Levante’s hot start to the season. Valladolid will welcome Alaves to Estadio Jose Zorrilla as they try to secure their first win of the season. Finally, Sevilla will face Getafe at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as they try to put behind them the loss to Betis in the Andalusian Derby.

I have prepared a blog that will outline some key storylines and news regarding each of the matchups, as well as provide some betting advice for each of the game. Read on!

Leganes vs Villarreal

This Sunday Leganes will host Villarreal in a Spanish La Liga matchup of teams that find themselves in unexpected circumstances, in the middle of the relegation zone. It is still early in the season, but neither of the sides have enjoyed a good start to the season and will look at this match as the opportunity to swing the momentum.

Hosts Leganes opened their season with a 2-1 loss away at Athletic Bilbao, followed it up with a 2-2 draw at home against Real Sociedad and got overrun by Real Madrid 4-1 in an away match. The early schedule has been brutal for Leganes as they have faced three quality sides to start the season, so their low standing in the league table might not tell the real story of Leganes’ quality.

Villarreal have had an even worse start to the season, as they dropped a home opener 1-2 to Real Sociedad, drew 0-0 away at Sevilla and, once again, lost at home 0-1 this time to Girona. It is quite unexpected for Villarreal to play so poorly at home, in one of the best home-field advantages in the Spanish La Liga.

While Leganes should be at full strength in this matchup, Villarreal are going to miss the services of the Argentinian midfielder Santiago Caseres who is out with a muscle injury. Two more Villarreal players are facing a fitness test before the game, Italian defender Daniele Bonera and Spanish midfielder Bruno who is expected to come back from a long-term injury.

Villarreal are known for their offensive approach to the game in the recent years, as they try to overwhelm the opponents through possession, offensive movement and intricate build up. We haven’t really had a chance to see these qualities in action this season though. Leganes are going with a more patient approach as they rely on counter-attacks and set pieces as their main offensive weapon in this matchup.

Leganes vs Villarreal Odds

  • Leganes            3.00
  • Villarreal        2.50
  • Draw            3.20
  • Over 2.5 Goals        2.25
  • Under 2.5 Goals        1.57

Leganes vs Villareal Pick

Since Leganes was promoted to the Spanish La Liga in 2015, they have met with Villarreal on 7 separate occasions, winning 3 of those, drawing one and Villarreal winning 3. It is an incredibly even matchup and most of the games have gone back and forth between the two sides.

5 out of those 7 games have ended up with more than 2.5 goals scored, while another 5 games have ended up with both teams scoring in the game, a true testament to the balance in this matchup. Neither of the sides has managed to steal a win in an away game, as each of the 3 wins that Leganes and Villarreal have were at home.

I think that this one could go either way and I find it hard to pick between the two teams. I do like the game to have a lot of goals, especially since Leganes matches this season have been high scoring affairs, with 12 goals scored in just 3 matches.

Pick = Over 2.5 Goals at 2.25 Odds

 

Espanyol vs Levante

Espanyol will host Levante this Sunday, in a matchup that might see some offensive fireworks. Both sides have started their Spanish La Liga seasons in mixed form and are currently occupying the middle of the table.

Espanyol kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo, followed it up with a 2-0 win against quality side Valencia, only to lose 2-1 at Alaves. Espanyol have been up and down in each of the 3 matches and will need more consistency if they are going to fight for a European qualification spot.

Similarly, Levante opened their season with an away demolishing 0-3 of Real Betis, but then went on to lose 1-2 at home to Celta Vigo and draw 2-2 at home versus Valencia. Levante have shown great attacking potential in their matches but their defensive discipline has been lacking.

Both teams are faced with some absences from their roster. Espanyol will miss the services of a young forward Javier Puado Diaz who has suffered a knee injury and will not play on Sunday. Levante will miss their important defender Coke who has received a red card in the last match, as well as midfielder Armando Sadiku who has suffered a knee injury.

Espanyol vs Levante Odds

  • Espanyol        1.75
  • Levante             4.75
  • Draw            3.75
  • Over 2.5 Goals      1.95
  • Under 2.5 Goals     1.75

Espanyol vs Levante Pick

Since 2010 Espanyol and Levante have met on 18 separate occasions, Espanyol winning 5 times, Levante winning 7 times and 6 draws. However, recently the most common outcome between the two sides has been a draw, with 5 out of the last 8 matches ending in one.

A testament to the balance in this matchup is the fact that in 8 out of their last 10 matches, both sides have scored a goal. In terms of the number of goals scored, there is also a balance as 5 games had more than 2.5 goals scored, while 5 ended up with up to 2 goals.

Last season Espanyol managed to win on the road 0-2 versus Levante but eventually drew with them at home. I believe that Espanyol currently have a better side than Levante and they have the advantage of playing at home. They are my pick to win in a high-scoring match.

Pick = Espanyol to Win at 1.75 Odds

 

Valladolid vs Alaves

Newly-promoted Valladolid will host Alaves this Sunday, as they try to register the first win of the season in the Spanish La Liga. Since gaining promotion from La Liga 2, Valladolid have struggled in the elite competition in Spain and find themselves near the relegation zone, while Alaves are having a solid start to the season.

Valladolid have not only failed to win a game in each of the 3 matches they have played, but they have also failed to score a goal. They opened the season with a 0-0 draw at Girona, followed it up with a respectable 0-1 loss to Barcelona at home, only to draw once again 0-0 at Getafe. To their credit, the defense has been stellar, since they have allowed only one goal in 3 matches and that was to the Catalan giants Barcelona.

Alaves, on the other hand, are having a great start to their season. Despite losing 3-0 to Barcelona in the season opener, Alaves have managed to tie 0-0 at home versus Real Betis and beat Espanyol 2-1 at home. With such a challenging early schedule, 4 points is an excellent haul for Alaves.

Valladolid have a number of players that are facing fitness tests in this one, but they all might end up playing. A list of nagging injuries is headed by midfielder Borja who has an ankle injury, midfielder Antonio Cotan who is expecting a return from a long-term knee injury, as well as midfielder Joaquin Moreno and forward Daniele Verde who have muscle injuries. The situation at Alaves is much clearer, as they will miss the services of midfielder Borja Baston who will miss the game due to a muscle injury.

Valladolid vs Alaves Odds

  • Valladolid        2.20
  • Alaves            3.75
  • Draw            3.00
  • Over 2.5 Goals    2.40
  • Under 2.5 Goals   1.50

Valladolid vs Alaves Pick

Valladolid and Alaves will play their first game in the Spanish La Liga since 2003 this Sunday. The two sides did meet in Spanish La Liga 2 in recent history though, and Valladolid has gotten the better of Alaves in those matchups.

The two sides have played 8 matches in the Spanish La Liga since 2004 and Valladolid have won 5 of those, Alaves have won 2 and there was 1 draw. The latest match between the two clubs was a friendly match in 2016, which Valladolid ended up winning 2-1.

Considering the defensive approach to the game that Valladolid has showcased in their 3 opening matches in Spanish La Liga, they will be a tough nut to crack in this one, despite being a newly promoted side. Alaves have more quality in this one, but still, have to prove they can do it on the road. My pick is for this match to be a low-scoring affair with less than 2.5 goals scored.

Pick = Under 2.5 Goals at 1.50 Odds

 

Sevilla vs Getafe

Sevilla will host Getafe at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this Sunday, in a matchup of two sides that play attractive soccer. Sevilla had a mixed start to the Spanish La Liga but they are a much-improved side compared to the last season, and they have proved it by demolishing opponents in 3 rounds of qualifying matches for the UEFA Europa League, scoring 17 goals and allowing only 1. Getafe have also started well, with their lone defeat of the season coming at the hands of Real Madrid.

Sevilla have opened their Spanish La Liga season with an away 1-4 win at Ray Vallecano, followed it up with a 0-0 draw versus Villarreal at home, only to lose 1-0 away at Real Betis in the Andalusian Derby. The reasons for the mixed form of Sevilla can be found in the fact that Sevilla had to play in the UEFA Europea League qualifiers as well, playing 6 matches within a month.

Getafe were defeated 2-0 in their away opener at Real Madrid, but have managed to get back on track by defeating Eibar 2-0 and drawing 0-0 against Valladolid at home. Getafe have played solid defense all season, despite allowing 2 goals to a vastly superior side in Real Madrid.

Sevilla will be missing 3 starters in this match, as defenders Sergio Escudero and Gabriel Mercado have arm injuries and midfielder Maxime Gonalons has suffered a broken leg in the game versus Real Betis and defender. Getafe, on the other hand, should be in full strength.

Sevilla vs Getafe Odds

  • Sevilla            1.57
  • Getafe            6.00
  • Draw            4.00
  • Over 2.5 Goals        1.85
  • Under 2.5 Goals        1.85

Sevilla vs Getafe Pick

Sevilla and Getafe have met in the Spanish La Liga on 26 separate occasions and each side has won 10 times, while 6 games have ended up in a draw. The recent history favors Sevilla though, as they have won 5 out of the last 10 matches, Getafe winning 2 and 3 ending up in a draw.

Sevilla are the favorites to win here as they rely on the home field advantage to secure another European qualification spot in this Spanish La Liga season as well. Although they are having a mixed start to the La Liga season, their fantastic form in the Europa League qualifiers where they scored 17 goals in 6 matches, and allowed only one.

This will be quite difficult to do, since Getafe were one of the best defensive teams in the Spanish La Liga last season, only Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have allowed fewer goals than them. In addition to that, in their last 10 matches in La Liga they have allowed only 5 goals. At the same time, an even more worrying stat for Sevilla is the fact that Getafe have won 4 out of their last 5 away matches in La Liga and 1 has ended up in a draw.

This match will be the clash of two contrasting styles of play and that usually doesn’t end up well for one of the sides. I find it hard to pick against Sevilla in this one, as they have more quality and they are playing at home. At the same time, they have qualified to UEFA Europa League Group Stage and now are completely focused on the Spanish La Liga.

Pick = Sevilla to Win at 1.57 Odds

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