FOOTBALL BETTING: Live On Sky Sports 1 18:00
Spain’s Big Two, Real Madrid & Barcelona face islanders Mallorca and Tenerife. The double pays 4/5. William Hill’s Jonathan Cordingley previews.
Real Madrid vs Mallorca – 18:00 Sky sports red button
(2nd half on Sky Sports 1 at 19:00)
The Real Madrid (3/10) squad watched Barcelona drop points against Villarreal and it’s argued that with the knowledge that a win would put Los Blancos ahead of their great Catalan rivals in the standings, the Real players put too much pressure on their millionaire mindsets and were lucky not to lose to Osasuna.
Surely pressure must be something they are used to? Most of the current squad won La Liga a couple of years ago and Ronaldo has plenty of experience of pressure through his trophy laden years at Manchester United.
Another theory is that like Barcelona, a lot of Real’s non Spanish players spent the festive period in their home respective homelands and endured long transatlantic flights that take their toll both mentally and physically.
Whatever the reason, Mallorca (8/1) currently occupy fourth position and must therefore be taken seriously.
Athletic Bilbao were extremely poor against the islanders last week and given their Basque only policy, cannot blame plane travel for their ineptitude. Mallorca did play well though and preserved their amazing 100% home record.
I would love to see an upset here, but Mallorca are a different proposition on their travels with a record of one win, three draws and four defeats. I have however enjoyed the pleasure of watching Mallorca beat Real on several occasions in previous years, so it is possible.
If you fancy a goal scorer, Aritz Aduriz is in good form for Mallorca and is priced at 9/1 to score the first goal and 10/3 to score at anytime. Higuain did not score last week and I will not be backing him again until he does. He could well prove me wrong and is priced at 10/11 as an anytime scorer to do just that.
Worth a punt: Mallorca + 2 goals (3/4)
Tenerife vs Barcelona – 20:00 Sky Sports 1
Barcelona (4/11) were lucky not to lose to Villarreal, but Pedro scored and is therefore worth serious consideration to make the net bulge against Tenerife (6/1) this weekend. He is 5/4 to score at anytime and 5/1 to score first. Scoring first is a feat he has achieved several times, so an each way bet (1st 5 goals at 1/3 the odds) would be more profitable than anytime if he does just that.
Barca fielded a weakened team against Sevilla midweek, but Messi, Iniesta and Ibrahimovic all played a part and you have to wonder if the stars are simply tired from their congested fixture list and lond distance travel over the festive period.
Pep Guardiola has yet to sign a new contract, but he’s stated he won’t sign one until the presidential elections are over and evidence of his influence and motivational skills can be found in the excellent performance of Thierry Henry at the weekend.
Prior to the Villarreal game,Henry had played poorly. With a point to prove he could be worth backing to score this weekend. He is 7/2 for the first goal and 10/11 to score at anytime.
Tenerife will struggle to stay in La Liga, but their results at home have been encouraging, with the Islanders winning four, losing two and drawing two. Away from home they have lost seven and draw one, so I back against them every week in this scenario!
Anything other than a Barca win will not be considered acceptable to the Catalan giants and they should have no trouble in beating Tenerife.
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