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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

La Liga Betting: Barca will continue fight and relegate rivals

La Liga Betting: Barca will continue fight and relegate rivals

Barcelona are still fighting for the title and Dan Fitch thinks they will beat rock bottom Espanyol, as he previews Wednesday's La Liga games...

New formation inspires Griezmann

Barcelona 1.16 v Espanyol 25.00; The Draw 9.00
Wednesday 8 July, 21:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
It may seem as if the La Liga title is headed to Madrid, but Barcelona proved at the weekend that they haven't given up hope of retaining it.
Real Madrid's victory at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday afternoon put a huge amount of pressure on Barcelona. Quique Setien's team found themselves seven points behind Real Madrid, ahead of a daunting away match later in the evening. Barcelona's away form has been poor all season and in Villarreal they were facing opponents who had been unbeaten post-lockdown.
It looked like a match in which Barcelona might falter, but instead they ran out as 4-1 winners. Setien shifted his formation to play Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez together as a front two, with Lionel Messi just behind them. It worked well, with Griezmann looking much more comfortable and involved than has been the case when he's played alone centrally, or wide.
Griezmann and Suarez scored stunning goals, while Messi assisting on both occasions. It will be interesting to see whether Setien continues with this strategy, which could give Griezmann the opportunity to secure his future at Barcelona, having been the subject of transfer speculation all season.
With Barcelona's derby with Espanyol taking place two days before Real Madrid next play, they can cut the gap to a single point. As if that wasn't motivation enough, a victory would confirm Espanyol's relegation.
Espanyol looked like they might be able to stage a recovery when the season resumed, but a run of five straight defeats has ended such hopes. Bottom of La Liga, they are eleven points from safety.
Barca's price is so short that it's hard to find much value. Backing them to win both halves at 2.20, as they did against Villarreal is one option. Another is to place faith in Griezmann scoring again at 2.88, which looks far more likely in his new role.

Osasuna can avoid defeat

Real Betis 2.20 v Osasuna 3.60; The Draw 3.50
Wednesday 8 July, 19:30
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
Based on recent form, Betis look too short here. They've only won one of their seven matches since the season restarted and that was against rock bottom Espanyol (D2 L4).
The appointment of Alexis Trujillo as interim manager has not greatly improved results, with his side drawing 1-1 at Celta Vigo over the weekend. Osasuna are unbeaten in four (W3 D1) and look value at 1.78 to avoid defeat in the Double Chance market.

Back draw between European contenders

Getafe 2.60 v Villarreal 3.20; The Draw 3.20
Wednesday 8 July, 19:30
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video
Getafe's Champions League dreams are fading, as they could only draw 0-0 with Osasuna on Sunday. That result leaves them a point behind fifth placed Villarreal, with both teams hoping that fourth placed Sevilla drop points in the coming weeks.
Villarreal have been in the better form of the two teams, but Getafe have remained hard to beat and have frequently drawn. Another draw looks the sensible bet and should provide a trading opportunity, with the game likely to be tight even if there is a winner.
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