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Celta has carried its fine pre-season form over into the Spanish Primera Division season and it is worth supporting at odds of 3/5 1.60 -167 0.60 -1.67 0.60 with several bookmakers, including 888sport, BetVictor and Ladbrokes, to beat Deportivo in round five.
The jury was out as to whether Celta would sink or swim in the Spanish Primera Division following the departure of its manager, Luis Enrique, to coach Barcelona. Well, the jury has returned with a swim verdict after encouraging warm-up results and an undefeated start to the Spanish Primera Division for Celta under its new boss, Eduardo Berizzo.
Celta proved itself worthy of respect by drawing 2-2 away to defending Spanish Primera Division champion Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Celta is eighth on the Spanish Primera Division ladder following four rounds and it will be itching to have a crack at a Deportivo team that must be shellshocked after losing 2-8 at home to Real Madrid in its previous match.
Back in the big time following its runner-up finish in last term’s Spanish Segunda Division, Deportivo felt the full force of Real Madrid’s latest batch of Galacticos, with Cristiano Ronaldo (three goals), Gareth Bale (two goals), Javier Hernandez (two goals) and James Rodriguez (one goal) combining for eight goals in a 61-minute spell. Deportivo’s confidence must be shattered heading into one of its most important games, a road derby against fierce rival Celta.
Normally one would shy away from nominating a derby match as having the best bet of a round but Celta is in decent form, it beat Deportivo 2-0 in a pre-season friendly and, well, it is going to take great mental strength for the away side to bounce back from one of its heaviest home losses ever. One cannot think of a worse way to prepare for a derby game.
Barcelona and Valencia are the other two teams that leap off the Spanish Primera Division coupon, albeit at short odds.
Enrique is enjoying a dream start to managing Barcelona, a side for which he played with distinction. Barcelona has won each of its five competitive matches under Enrique without conceding a goal, with its latest victory being a 5-0 away victory over Spanish Primera Division rival Levante.
Barcelona remains on the road for its fifth Spanish Primera Division game, travelling to Malaga on Wednesday. As luck would have it, Barcelona and Malaga have had two common opponents in the opening four Spanish Primera Division rounds, making direct comparisons easy. Barcelona beat Bilbao 2-0 at home, whereas Malaga beat Bilbao 1-0 at home. Barcelona beat Levante 5-0 away, whereas Malaga drew 0-0 with Levante at home. However, it is worth noting that Levante was only trailing 0-1 to Barcelona when Loukas Vyntra received his marching order in the 41st minute.
BetVictor is offering odds of 2/5 1.40 -250 0.40 -2.50 0.40 that Barcelona maintains its 100 per cent record under Enrique by beating Malaga but backing Barca at odds of 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67 with the same bookmakers to win to nil makes more appeal. Malaga has scored just three goals in its four Spanish Primera Division matches and one of them was in stoppage time versus Espanyol on Saturday.
Valencia against Cordoba is the final game of the Spanish Primera Division round and one that the home team should win. Only Spanish Primera Division title winner Atletico Madrid kept Valencia scoreless at home last term and the Mestalla men have defeated Espanyol (3-1) and Malaga (3-0) with consummate ease since the new season kicked off.
Poor old Cordoba is finding life in the Spanish Primera Division tough. Extremely lucky to gain promotion via the Spanish Segunda Division play-offs, Cordoba is one rung off the foot of the Spanish Primera Division ladder and its last match resulted in a 1-3 home loss to local rival Sevilla. Back Valencia at 2/5 1.40 -250 0.40 -2.50 0.40 with Boylesports.
Barcelona to beat Malaga / win to nil
24thSeptember 21:00 GMT
Odds: 3/5 1.60 -167 0.60 -1.67 0.60 / 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67
Where to Bet: BetVictor
Valencia to beat Cordoba
25th September 21:00 GMT
Odds: 2/5 1.40 -250 0.40 -2.50 0.40
Where to Bet: Boylesports