The Spanish league season gets underway as Valencia play host to Las Palmas in La Liga. Valencia are the betting favourites here, although we wouldn’t back them to win. Las Palmas have the better recent form in meetings between the two and have looked good in pre-season.
Spanish La Liga Friday 18th August – 21:15 UK Time
Best Odd of: 3/4 at Ladbrokes
Best Odd of: 3 at Betfred
Best Odd of: 13/4 at Paddy
Valencia are a frustrating team to follow. They have often been on the cusp of establishing themselves as genuine title contenders, only to fall down and have to pick themselves up again. Between 2009/10 and 11/12, they finished third in the table for three consecutive seasons. Since then, they have finished in the top four just once and last season was their second consecutive 12th place finish.
Marcelino Garcia Toral leads the team in his first season in charge, with a solid pre-season giving them good preparation. The summer saw them win five of their seven friendlies, including victories over Sporting, Bournemouth, and Werder Bremen.
If they can carry some of that pre-season form into their La Liga campaign, they may be able to once again climb up the table and challenge for a place in Europe.
Las Palmas had spent all but two seasons of the last twenty-seven outside the top flight, until promotion in 2014/15. In 2005/06, they were playing in the third tier of Spanish football.
They have slowly built themselves back up and are hoping to establish themselves as a permanent fixture in La Liga, as they were in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Finishing 11th in their first season back in the top tier, in 2015/16, was a great achievement and that was followed with a 14th place finish last season.
Preparations for the new campaign has gone well with a fantastic pre-season that saw them unbeaten after seven friendlies. Five of those were victories, with the other two finishing level.
Head to Head
Since October 2000, these sides have met ten times. Valencia have five victories, Las Palmas three, and two have been drawn. Between 2000 and 2002, Valencia won four consecutive meetings, but they have won just once in six since. In fact, their last league victory over Las Palmas came in 2002.
Las Palmas’ three wins out of the ten have been the most recent meetings. They did a league double over Valencia last season, with a 4-2 away win and a 3-1 victory at home. So, although Valencia have a better overall head to head record, Las Palmas have the advantage when it comes to recent meetings.
Betting Odds and Predictions
Ladbrokes have the home side priced at 17/20, Las Palmas are 7/2, and the draw is 5/2.
With us not being confident enough either way to predict a result here, we have looked elsewhere for potential profit-making bets.
There have been thirteen goals in the past three meetings, with both teams scoring in each. Both teams have scored in five of the last six, so the Over/Under and BTTS markets are where we think a profit is to be made.
Firstly, Over 2.5 Goals is priced at 7/10. With an average of over four goals a game in the last three meetings, this bet looks a banker at a reasonable price.
Both Teams to Score is 8/13 and another fantastic looking bet, with both teams netting in 83% of the last six meetings.
Combining the two, with a BTTS & Over 2.5 Goals bet is 1/1 and gives slightly better value than backing these bets individually.
There have also been eight first half goals in the last three meetings, so the Half Time Over/Under market could also be a way of making profit here.
Over 1.5 First Half Goals is priced at 6/4, with Over 2.5 Goals before the break being priced at 5/1. The second of those looks too much of a risk, but the first looks more than tempting.
Top Betting Tip
Our top betting tip for this match is BTTS & Over 2.5 Goals, priced at 1/1 with Ladbrokes.