One is not ready to declare Real Madrid has turned the corner and, as someone who advised laying the Meringues in Spanish Primera Division title betting before a ball was kicked one thinks they have little chance of winning the championship, but they represent the best bet on this weekend’s tricky card of Spanish top-flight matches.
Real Madrid sacked Julen Lopetegui following its 1-5 El Clasico catastrophe at Barcelona and Santiago Solari has since coached the Meringues to three wins from three games in three different competitions, including a 0-5 victory at UEFA Champions League Group G opponent Plzen on Wednesday. Real Madrid is seven points off the Barcelona-set pace in the Spanish Primera Division title race and, realistically, the championship is beyond the Meringues already. But according to expected points, Real Madrid should be second on the Spanish Primera Division ladder and only just behind its fiercest rival, Barcelona. Drill down into the Spanish Primera Division data and it is clear Real Madrid’s league flops have stemmed from its inability to convert its chances and that is what happens when you allow the goal-per-game talent of Cristiano Ronaldo to leave and not replace him.
Admittedly, Real Madrid’s three recent victories have been at the expense of relatively mediocre sides but they have enabled the Meringues to get back some confidence ahead of their Spanish Primera Division match at Celta on Sunday, so back them at -152 with Black Type.
Celta is 11th on the Spanish Primera Division ladder but, according to expected points, the Sky Blues ought to be in the relegation zone alongside Huesca and genuine crisis club Athletic. Celta’s defence is every bit as bad as it looks and the Sky Blues must thank their overachieving attackers for their current Spanish Primera Division ranking because they have scored seven or eight more goals than their play has merited. The last time Real Madrid and Celta met in Spanish Primera Division action the result was a 6-0 home win for the Meringues and that was just six months ago, while the 13-time European champions led last season’s corresponding fixture 2-1 going into the final 10 minutes.
TOP TIP! – Real Madrid to beat Celta @ -152
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TOP TIP! – Atletico Madrid to beat Athletic @ -217
Atletico Madrid has several players either out or doubtful for its Spanish Primera Division home game against Athletic on Saturday but is still worth backing at -217 with 188Bet. One cannot resist the opportunity to oppose the Lions because they have problems as well and their form, well, it is not befitting such a proud organisation as them.
According to expected points, Athletic should be bottom of the Spanish Primera Division ladder but the Lions are 17th having won only one of their 11 league matches. Atletico Madrid is the exception to the expected points rule – for example, it won the Spanish Primera Division title in 2013/14 without impressing subjective number crunchers – so one is not going to get too hung up on its data. Atletico defeated Dortmund 2-0 in UEFA Champions League A action on Tuesday and the Mattressmen have won each of their last three games versus Athletic and not lost any of the most recent 12 meetings.
TOP TIP! – Girona to draw versus Leganes @ +120
One’s third and final Spanish Primera Division selection this weekend is Girona and Leganes to share the spoils on Saturday at +120 with Black Type. Three rungs separate Girona and Leganes on the Spanish Primera Division ladder but, according to expected points, there is little to choose between them and, indeed, the White and Reds ought to be ahead of the Frogs instead of the other way round. Girona is forecast to be without Portu and Christian Stuani and those two absences would impact the White and Reds attack, plus Leganes boss Mauricio Pellegrino is setting up the Frogs to make them tough to break down.
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