Leaders Real Madrid host Valencia Saturday, while Barcelona are eager to make it two wins in a row as they travel (also Saturday) to play in-form Granada in the Spanish top-flight league. You can live-bet on La Liga by using our sportsbook.
Granada vs. Barcelona: Goal-fest
Barcelona kicked off 2022 with an important 1-0 win over Real Mallorca in La Liga. Xavi was without eight first-teamers due to Covid-19, had captain Sergio Busquets suspended and key players such as Ansu Fati, Pedri and Memphis Depay on the injured list. He was forced to put together a squad with a number of youngsters for the win over Mallorca. Barca’s unlikely hero was none other than Luuk de Jong, who has spent most of his time with the club derided for not being the typical Barcelona player.
Fati suffered a hamstring setback in November following his serious knee injury, while Memphis has been out with a hamstring issue since early November. Both are working well, and they might be fit to play Granada on Saturday. Barcelona enters this game as favorites being priced at -135 on the three-way moneyline according to the latest soccer odds.
In the reverse match, Barcelona were kept to a 1-1 draw at home by Granada and we expect them to suffer once again versus a stubborn team like Granada, unbeaten in their previous six La Liga games and winning three in the process. The hosts kicked off the new year with a goalless draw on the road against relegation-threatened Elche, but they were very unlucky not to win that game having five shots on target.
Granada won their previous three home games (against Atletico Madrid, Mallorca and Alaves) scoring eight goals. Barcelona are unbeaten in their last five road games, but they kept just two clean sheets in nine away games this season. They are in reconstruction, and they are missing many players. That’s why we don’t recommend you back them in your soccer picks and parlays. Instead, go for the goals market as we expect Granada to contribute on the scoresheet. Granada’s last four home games saw at least three goals, and the goals line for this clash is set at 2½.
Pick: Over 2½ goals (-125)
Real Madrid vs. Valencia
Carlo Ancelotti said Real Madrid were still on holiday in their shocking 1-0 loss to Getafe. Their defeat was their first in three months and gives fresh hope to Sevilla, just five points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.
Los Blancos had taken command of the La Liga title race after a superb run of form that included 10 consecutive wins and 15 matches without defeat. The was before before the improbable loss. They immediately bounced back winning their midweek cup match against Alcoyano, and they will be determined to bounce back in their domestic league against Valencia.
REal Madrid won three of their last four mutual encounters against Valencia, scoring at least twice in each game. They don’t have many injury issues as Ancelotti has the best players at his disposal. Despite their defeat to Getafe, Real Madrid remain one of the most consistent teams in Europe, and if you’re betting online, you should back them week in and week out.
Valencia are great going forward this season, but they suffered a shocking 2-1 loss to Espanyol in their last league match. Considering that Valencia often struggles on the road, we don’t believe Real Madrid will have a better chance than this to return to their winning ways. The hosts won the reverse match 2-1 on the road, but this time they should be able to cover the spread. Valencia’s striker, Hugo Duro, is banned for the match, while both Dimitri Foulquier and Antonio Latorre are out injured. For Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior is back, as well as Eduardo Camavinga, who missed the local derby through suspension.
Pick: Real Madrid -1½ at +110