Reasons for avoiding most of the Spanish superpowers


Betting coupons do not come much tougher than that of the 33rd round of the Spanish Primera Division, with everyday punters lining up to back the top five teams at short odds but one holding reservations about each of those sides.

Spanish Primera Division leader Barcelona is on derby duty when it visits Espanyol on Saturday, backing up from a UEFA Champions League home match against Paris Saint-Germain and trying to extend its championship lead to five points before Real Madrid kicks off versus Celta more than 24 hours later.

Barcelona has an excellent derby record – it has won each of its last six Spanish Primera Division games against Espanyol and Barca have gone 11 league matches versus the Parakeets since tasting defeat back in February 2009 but one’s gut feeling is that odds of -333  with many bookmakers, including Ladbrokes and SkyBet, is too short for an away win.

Real Madrid is available at odds of -161  with BetVictor to accrue three Spanish Primera Division points from its visit to Celta on Sunday and, at first glance, one can see those odds being too big for many punters to ignore. One accepts that a Real Madrid win is the most likely result and one accepts that a Real Madrid win deserves to be odds on but one looks at Real Madrid’s league away record versus the competition’s top teams and one loses one’s enthusiasm. Remember, Real Madrid has lost 1-2 at Barcelona, 0-4 at Atletico Madrid and 1-2 at Valencia, plus it lost 0-2 at Celta near the end of last season. Food for thought, eh?

Atletico Madrid ought to bank three Spanish Primera Division points from its home game against Elche on Saturday but one is not going to get rich backing Atleti at odds of -500  with Betfred and SkyBet. Atletico Madrid beat Elche 2-0 in the reverse Spanish Primera Division fixture and the Green-Striped Ones have a bad record versus the league’s heavyweights – zero points from their nine matches against Atleti, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia.

One has seen many Valencia performances this term and one is somewhat surprised that it is flying as high as it is in the Spanish Primera Division. Valencia hosts Granada on Monday and, in light of 15 positions separating the sides on the ladder, Bwin will do plenty of business at odds of -250  about a home victory. But the fact that Valencia has made hard work of many of its 13 league home wins is sufficient for one not to get overly excited about it at cramped odds.

And then there is Sevilla, which will welcome free-spirited Vallecano to its Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan ground on Sunday and look to justify odds of -227 with Ladbrokes. The key to this Spanish Primera Division game is that it will take place fewer than 72 hours after Sevilla plays Zenit in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on the other side of Europe. Sevilla’s results in domestic matches off the back of continental matches have been very hit and miss – for example, it has won at Villareal but failed to get the better of either Eibar or Levante in home assignments.

In summary, the Spanish Primera Division card is one to give a miss, with the exception being to include Atletico Madrid in any short-priced accumulators because, when all is said and done, Atleti should beat Elche with something to spare.

Tips Summary (with caution!)

Real Madrid to beat Celta
26th April 20:00 GMT
Odds:  -161
Where to Bet: BetVictor

Atletico to beat Elche
25th April 17:00 GMT
Odds:  -500
Where to Bet: BetfredSkyBet

Atletico Madrid
Green-Striped Ones
Ramon Sanchez Pizjua
Real Madrid
Spanish Primera Division

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