Punters do not have to wait very long for the best bet of the Spanish Primera Division first round because it is Malaga to beat Osasuna in Friday’s season curtain raiser.
Malaga wrapped up last season’s Spanish Primera Division competition with a 4-1 home victory over Las Palmas and the Anchovies, now under the control of Juande Ramos for the second time, have had an almost perfect preparation for their latest top-flight campaign. Ramos has returned to Malaga 12 years after his first spell in charge of the Anchovies and since then he has, among other teams, led Sevilla, Tottenham and Real Madrid, winning two editions of the UEFA Europa League, one Spanish Copa del Rey and one English Carling Cup. Ramos has inherited a Malaga side that finished last season’s Spanish Primera Division in eighth position after posting 12 wins, 12 draws and 14 losses.
Osasuna is back in the Spanish Primera Division after two terms in Spain’s second tier, securing promotion via the play-offs after placing sixth at the end of the regular season. Osasuna, therefore, kicks off the Spanish Primera Division as its lowest ranked team and, having lost Spain U19 midfielder Mikel Merino to Dortmund, one thinks that its roster is weaker than the one that played at a lower level last term. Osasuna’s pre-season results have been very poor, including a recent 1-5 loss to relegated Vallecano.
Many bookmakers, including Bet365, BoyleSports and William Hill, are offering odds of -149 about Malaga pocketing three Spanish Primera Division points at the expense of Osasuna. Ramos has been active in the transfer recruit in his second spell as Malaga manager and a home match against the wooden spoon favourite shapes as the ideal way for the Anchovies to kick off their Spanish Primera Division campaign.
Villarreal may be one of the Spanish Primera Division sides that regresses this term following the departure of several influential players, most notably Eric Bailly to Manchester United and Denis Suarez to Barcelona. Villarreal had lost back-to-back-to-back friendlies versus Porto, Deportivo and Leganes heading into its UEFA Champions League home match against Monaco, a crunch clash that it lost 1-2. Villarreal is odds on to end up in the second-rate UEFA Europa League and, after experiencing significant upheaval off the pitch as well as on it, the Yellow Submarine is a team to oppose.
First up for Villarreal in the Spanish Primera Division is a trip to Granada on Saturday and the wager that appeals in that game is draw no bet on the host at odds of -122 with several bookmakers, including 888Sport and Unibet.
Granada ought to be fun to watch because it new boss, Paco Jemez, was behind the enterprising football that Vallecano played for four years. Jemez could not agree terms with Vallecano to lead it in the Spanish Segunda Division so Granada, which rallied in the second half of last season to avoid relegation by the slimmest of margins, made him a counter offer. Granada had a Spanish Primera Division home record last term similar to Villarreal’s away one so it is fully entitled to be the odds that bookmakers are listing.
Finally, Atletico Madrid should fancy its chance of leading Spanish Primera Division newcomer Alaves at both half time and full time of the Vicente Calderon fixture on Sunday.
Coral is quoting odds of -120 about Atletico Madrid, which has held on to Diego Simeone and strengthened its squad to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for domestic honours once again, putting Alaves to the sword before the break.
Malaga to beat Osasuna
Friday 19th August, 19:45 GMT
Granada Draw no Bet
Saturday 20th August, 19:15 GMT
Atletico Madrid HT/FT
Sunday 21st August, 21:15 GMT
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