Betis vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid looked frail in a 3-3 draw with Levante at the weekend, twice coming from behind to secure a point thanks to a classy Vinicius Jr. brace. They’ll face what should be a slightly tougher test in Real Betis this weekend as they look to avoid slipping further behind their city rivals at this early stage of the season.
Los Blancos look defensively suspect having conceded four times in their opening two fixtures, and much of that can be put down to the absence of Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane at the heart of the defence, so we’d be surprised if they were to keep a clean sheet here having been lucky to just concede the three at the weekend.
Betis have now gone unbeaten for 13 league games after a strong finish to last season saw them end up in sixth place and while nine of those outings ended all square, they’re proving extremely difficult to beat. They’ve scored in each of their last seven games now, and with Carlo Ancelotti’s men bagging seven in their opening two games, we’d expect both to find the net here even if the outcome is uncertain.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Barcelona v Getafe
Like Real Madrid, Barca slipped up at the weekend when coming up against Athletic Bilbao as they played out a 1-1 draw in what was ultimately a very fair result, if not generous on Barcelona. The game highlighted the issues that the Catalans have in the post-Messi era as creativity was certainly lacking and this looks like it may be a season of struggles for them.
Getafe have made a tame start being one of just two sides to lose to nil in both their outings so far. They won’t be too discouraged with both matches ending by a narrow 1-0 margin, though a lack of output against Barcelona is never going to end well.
Both sides have found the net in nine of Barca’s last 11 league outings as their defensive frailties continue to hamper them. However, Getafe have failed to score in six of their last seven and they’ll undoubtedly lack for opportunities here, so the home win looks the most likely outcome, though at half time we’d expect it to still be all square. Barca have seen that in five of their last seven while Getafe have done in 2/3rds of their last 12 league outings.
Atletico Madrid v Villarreal
It’s been a strong title defence so far from Atletico even at this embryonic stage of the season as they’ve gained maximum points from their two games and sit second to Sevilla on goal difference. They’ve got Angel Correa to thank for that too, with the Argentine forward netting all three of his side’s goals so far.
Villarreal have played out a brace of goalless draws to start off their campaign, while they also drew with Chelsea 1-1 in the Super Cup prior to the season starting. Unai Emery’s side withered away in the league slightly last year as they focussed on bringing home the Europa League trophy. Having lost just two of their opening 22 games of the season, they ended up losing half of their last 16.
Both meetings between these sides saw Under 2.5 goals land, with just two goals in total across the games. Atletico have a remarkable defensive home record, conceding a total of 40 league goals here in their 76 games. With Villarreal’s goalscoring prowess at the early stages of this competition we’d be surprised if they even managed it onto the scoresheet, and with Atletico looking heavily reliant on Correa for output an ‘unders’ game looks very much on the cards here.
UNDER 2.5 GOALS