Backing both teams to score in the match between Villarreal and Barcelona is the standout play on the Spanish Primera Division coupon for the second round of games.
Several bookmakers, including 888sport , Bet365 and Unibet , are offering generous odds of -161 about both Villareal and Barcelona scoring at least one goal in what is the pick of the 10 matches taking place between Friday and Sunday.
A both-sides-to-score bet would have paid dividends in both of last season’s Spanish Primera Division matches between Villarreal and Barcelona. The first game resulted in a 2-1 home win for Barcelona and the second match was a thriller, Barca fighting back from 0-2 with 25 minutes remaining to win 3-2, Lionel Messi scoring the tie-breaking goal.
Villarreal’s pre-season campaign went brilliantly – as far as one can tell it did not lose a game – and it kicked off its Spanish Primera Division schedule with a 2-0 away win over Levante. One fancies it chance of scoring at home to a Barcelona team that, while it has bought reinforcements for its defence, may take time to gel as a defensive unit.
Barcelona is odds on to beat Villarreal and, therefore, it is not a lot of Barca for them to score at least one goal. Barcelona kicked off its Spanish Primera Division title quest with a 3-0 home win over Elche, which was a mighty fine effort when one considers that Barca led only 1-0 at half time and played the entire second half with 10 men. Barcelona scored in 32 of its 38 Spanish Primera Division matches last term and its six blanks coincided with the magical Messi either being out of form or out of action.
An altogether much less inspiring Spanish Primera Division fixture is the one between Elche and Granada, two of the sides that were painful to watch throughout last season.
Elche’s 38 Spanish Primera Division games last term had an average of 2.11 goals – only Levante matches featured fewer goals – and 24 of them went under the two-and-a-half-goals line. Elche was the only Spanish Primera Division team not to feature in a game that generated more than four goals.
Granada was almost as dull as Elche. Granada’s 38 Spanish Primera Division matches last season had an average of 2.32 goals and 22 of them went under two and a half goals.
Both Elche and Granada went over two and a half goals in their first Spanish Primera Division games this term but Elche played Barcelona away and Granada hosted promoted Deportivo at home. One is expecting that Elche and Granada will resume normal service when they clash on Sunday.
Bwin is quoting odds of -167 that Elche and Granada do what they have done on each of the last four occasions that they have met – go under two and a half goals. Granada won both of last season’s Spanish Primera Division fixtures 1-0.
Finally, Real Madrid smashed Sociedad home and away in the Spanish Primera Division last term so there is no reason to steer away from the UEFA Champions League title holder at odds of -227 with Coral and Sky Bet to win in San Sebastian.
Real Madrid did not give Sociedad as much as a sniff last season. Real Madrid was up 4-0 inside 36 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu in November and ending up winning 5-1. It took Real Madrid a little bit longer to get going at the Anoeta in April but it broke the deadlock just before the half-time break and ran out convincing 4-0 winners.
Sociedad has not beaten Real Madrid since May 2004, with its winless run standing at three draws and 11 losses in matches that matter. The odds on its hoodoo continuing are fine.
Elche v Granada Under 2.5 goals
31st August 22:00 GMT
Where to Bet: Bwin
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