Live on Skysports 4: Sat 19.00 & 21.00: With Barca just 1/14 (Totesport) to beat Racing Santander, we search for some other value.
As the victories continue to pile up for Barcelona, it gets harder and harder to find value in their matches. Bookies have cottoned on to the fact that Pep Guardiola’s side can’t stop scoring and win pretty much every week and subsequently, the Catalans giants are virtually unbackable in most markets.
A change of tack and some counter-intuitive betting could therefore be the way forward, although that doesn’t mean we’re recommending a flutter on Racing Santander at 33/1 with Paddy Power to come out on top at the Camp Nou.
Given Barca’s recent results in La Liga, the Montañeses will probably settle for avoiding a hammering and that’s the way punters should go, despite the rampant scoring record of the hosts, Totesport’s 1/14 favourites.
Santander have conceded just three goals in their last five outings and can boast three clean sheets in that time so they have shored things up at the back since the 4-1 reverse at Malaga in December. Juan Carlos Mandia will also send his side out to keep things tight and restrict the hosts, who suffered a rare defeat in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Contrary to the statistics surrounding Guardiola’s charges then, there’s some appeal in a modest flutter on a relatively low-scoring affair and the good news is that big prices are available as bookies anticipate another goal glut.
for example, post 11/8 against a match tally of fewer than 3.5 goals and for the bold the clash is 3/1 (Betfred) to produce no more than two. A 2-0 Barcelona win meanwhile, is available at 8/1 with William Hill.
Ambitious Malaga seem to have plenty of money to spend since they were taken over last summer by Sheikh Abdullah ben Nasser Al Thani but the cash-rich Costa del Sol outfit have thus far been unable to stem the flow of goals and they head to Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium sporting La Liga’s worst defensive record by some distance.
Beaten 4-1 at Barca last weekend, it’s hard to see Manuel Pellegrini’s charges emerging with anything from a clash with Los Che, who are worthy favourites at 8/15 (Stan James). Indeed, the rate at which the visitors leak goals suggests that the hosts can register a relatively comfortable success and they’re worth considering in bet365’s handicaps where they start a goal in arrears at 5/4.
Under 3.5 goals in Barcelona v Racing Santander – 11/8 ()
Valencia (-1) to beat Malaga in the handicaps – 5/4 (bet365)
Sunday 23 January
Getafe v Espanyol (16:00)
Real Sporting de Gijon v Atlético Madrid (16:00)
Real Zaragoza v Deportivo La Coruña (16:00)
UD Almería v Osasuna (16:00)
Real Madrid v Real Mallorca (18:00)
Villarreal v Real Sociedad (20:00)
Monday 24 January
Athletic Bilbao v Hercules CF (20:00)