La Liga Real Madrid vs Sevilla: Los Hispalenses’ Strikers Can Test Los Blancos

Real Madrid vs Sevilla

La Liga’s game of the weekend is set to be played out in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu and it’s sure to be an epic battle. La Liga Real Madrid vs Sevilla is on!

Two of Spain’s biggest teams are neck and neck in the table, in third and fourth place, and Sevilla’s boss Pablo Machin will be happier. His team is locked on 33 points with Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid, and this is a game the hosts desperately need to win to keep their domestic season alive.

Los Blancos are at odds of 14.00 to win La Liga with us football, while Sevilla are at 55.00; but a more realistic objective is to hold off fifth-placed Alaves, just a point further back. Abelardo’s team opens the weekend’s football with a trip to Getafe, and a win will slot the underdogs into a top-four place. It won’t be easy as Getafe are riding high in sixth, but any positive result for the visitors will put pressure on Los Blancos and Sevilla.

Santiago’s team is beset by injury while Machin has already bolstered his attack, landing Barca’s Munir El Haddadi in a cut-price €1M deal. It’s a big game, a huge game, with plenty of intrigue, and you can get all the Real Madrid vs Sevilla news right here with us at us.      Â

Talking points

Is there a role for Isco at Madrid?

One of the mysteries of European football has been the fall from grace of Real Madrid’s Isco. The influential attacking midfielder has been frozen out since voicing his concern that Eden Hazard’s rumoured move to Madrid would push him further back in the pecking order.

But is Solari missing a trick? Since replacing the sacked Julen Lopetegui, the Argentine hasn’t set the world on fire at the Bernabeu but, in his defence, he has been beset by some injuries to key players. Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois are all on the list.

Can Isco impressed Real Madrid vs Sevilla betting tips?

Isco played in Real Madrid’s match at Copa Del Rey but is not impressed

And with Karim Benzema suffering a fractured finger, Isco played in the Copa del Rey second-leg defeat to Leganes on Wednesday; he didn’t impress, but surely a happy Isco would be an asset to any side, let alone a struggling one. Solari isn’t blessed with attacking options. Benzema is top-scoring with seven; and with Bale also likely to be out, centre-back Sergio Ramos could be Los Blancos’ top scorer on show, with four league goals…unthinkable in January!

Los Blancos may feel they have a better chance of defending their Champions League crown than winning La Liga at long odds, but they must make a show of intent against top-four rivals or the natives will start to get restless.

Sevilla’s striking options

The recent signing of Munir El Haddadi from Barcelona has given Machin more striking options. The Spain international has struggled for game time at the Camp Nou but he will provide Machin with top-class competition for his in-form strike partnership of Wissam Ben Yedder and Andre Silva. The attacking duo has 17 goals between them so far this season and scored the three, Silva two of them when Sevilla beat Real Madrid 3-0 earlier in the season.

Sevilla caught a cold in the Basque Country last weekend, losing to a resurgent Athletic Bilbao by two goals to nil. And last night, they lost again to Gaizka Garitano’s team in the Copa del Rey second leg by 1-0, but a two-goal first-leg lead was enough to see them through. Machin took the chance to rest key players including Pablo Sarabia, Ever Banega and Silva, with a trip to the Bernabeu clearly his focus.

You could say Sevilla are over-achieving: they were seventh on 29 points this time last season, so a third position with 33 points is an impressive return.

History

Los Blancos have won 35 of the 55 clashes between these two teams since 1993, with Sevilla picking up 16 victories and splitting the points four times. So our Real Madrid vs Sevilla betting tips will buck the trend if we went for a draw but, you know what…that might not be such a bad shout.

Home advantage has been key in recent exchanges, with Sevilla winning three of the last five, all in Seville, while Real Madrid handed out two spankings, 5-0 and 4-1, at the Bernabeu. When playing at home, Real Madrid have not lost to FC Sevilla in their last 11 encounters. Meanwhile, the visitors have lost just three away games this season, winning three and drawing four.

Betting tip

??
Real Madrid vs Sevilla Double Chance Sevilla or Draw @ 2.04 **
January 19 03:15 (GMT+8)

Home advantage may be key in this clash, and Los Blancos will expect to win at odds of 1.72. The draw is at 3.75 and Sevilla at 4.50; and while the visitors have lost their last two games, I think they’ll be right up for this match.

I suspect one of their three hot shots could well hit the target and if so, Los Blancos’ stretched attack will need to respond in kind. Step up, Sergio Ramos!

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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La Liga Real Madrid vs Sevilla: Los Hispalenses’ Strikers Can Test Los Blancos

Real Madrid vs Sevilla

La Liga’s game of the weekend is set to be played out in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu and it’s sure to be an epic battle. La Liga Real Madrid vs Sevilla is on!

Two of Spain’s biggest teams are neck and neck in the table, in third and fourth place, and Sevilla’s boss Pablo Machin will be happier. His team is locked on 33 points with Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid, and this is a game the hosts desperately need to win to keep their domestic season alive.

Los Blancos are at odds of 14.00 to win La Liga with us football, while Sevilla are at 55.00; but a more realistic objective is to hold off fifth-placed Alaves, just a point further back. Abelardo’s team opens the weekend’s football with a trip to Getafe, and a win will slot the underdogs into a top-four place. It won’t be easy as Getafe are riding high in sixth, but any positive result for the visitors will put pressure on Los Blancos and Sevilla.

Santiago’s team is beset by injury while Machin has already bolstered his attack, landing Barca’s Munir El Haddadi in a cut-price €1M deal. It’s a big game, a huge game, with plenty of intrigue, and you can get all the Real Madrid vs Sevilla news right here with us at us.

Talking points

Is there a role for Isco at Madrid?

One of the mysteries of European football has been the fall from grace of Real Madrid’s Isco. The influential attacking midfielder has been frozen out since voicing his concern that Eden Hazard’s rumoured move to Madrid would push him further back in the pecking order.

But is Solari missing a trick? Since replacing the sacked Julen Lopetegui, the Argentine hasn’t set the world on fire at the Bernabeu but, in his defence, he has been beset by some injuries to key players. Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio, Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois are all on the list.

And with Karim Benzema suffering a fractured finger, Isco played in the Copa del Rey second-leg defeat to Leganes on Wednesday; he didn’t impress, but surely a happy Isco would be an asset to any side, let alone a struggling one. Solari isn’t blessed with attacking options. Benzema is top-scoring with seven; and with Bale also likely to be out, centre-back Sergio Ramos could be Los Blancos’ top scorer on show, with four league goals…unthinkable in January!

Can Isco impressed Real Madrid vs Sevilla betting tips?

Isco played in Real Madrid’s match at Copa Del Rey but is not impressed

Los Blancos may feel they have a better chance of defending their Champions League crown than winning La Liga at long odds, but they must make a show of intent against top-four rivals or the natives will start to get restless.

Sevilla’s striking options

The recent signing of Munir El Haddadi from Barcelona has given Machin more striking options. The Spain international has struggled for game time at the Camp Nou but he will provide Machin with top-class competition for his in-form strike partnership of Wissam Ben Yedder and Andre Silva. The attacking duo has 17 goals between them so far this season and scored the three, Silva two of them when Sevilla beat Real Madrid 3-0 earlier in the season.

Sevilla caught a cold in the Basque Country last weekend, losing to a resurgent Athletic Bilbao by two goals to nil. And last night, they lost again to Gaizka Garitano’s team in the Copa del Rey second leg by 1-0, but a two-goal first-leg lead was enough to see them through. Machin took the chance to rest key players including Pablo Sarabia, Ever Banega and Silva, with a trip to the Bernabeu clearly his focus.

You could say Sevilla are over-achieving: they were seventh on 29 points this time last season, so a third position with 33 points is an impressive return.

History

Los Blancos have won 35 of the 55 clashes between these two teams since 1993, with Sevilla picking up 16 victories and splitting the points four times. So our Real Madrid vs Sevilla betting tips will buck the trend if we went for a draw but, you know what…that might not be such a bad shout.

Home advantage has been key in recent exchanges, with Sevilla winning three of the last five, all in Seville, while Real Madrid handed out two spankings, 5-0 and 4-1, at the Bernabeu. When playing at home, Real Madrid have not lost to FC Sevilla in their last 11 encounters. Meanwhile, the visitors have lost just three away games this season, winning three and drawing four.

Betting tip

??
Real Madrid vs Sevilla Double Chance Sevilla or Draw @ 1.98
January 19 03:15 (GMT+8)

Home advantage may be key in this clash, and Los Blancos will expect to win at odds of 1.72. The draw is at 3.75 and Sevilla at 4.50; and while the visitors have lost their last two games, I think they’ll be right up for this match.

I suspect one of their three hot shots could well hit the target and if so, Los Blancos’ stretched attack will need to respond in kind. Step up, Sergio Ramos!

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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La Liga: A Win is Still a Win For Struggling Real Madrid

Real Betis 1-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid got back to winning ways in the La Liga, but it wasn’t a performance they would be happy about.

Los Blancos almost dropped points once again after seeing a dominant Real Betis equalise late in the second half. Fortunately for the former champions, super-sub Dani Ceballos stepped up big time to fire them to victory.

Santiago Solari and his boys will take a win and all three points any day of the week; however, they know they have a lot to improve and issues to address if they want to keep their already slim chances of winning the title alive.

Highlights of the game

It wasn’t a vintage performance for the Madrid giants. Heck, it was even far from their best.

Nonetheless, it didn’t start that way as Real Madrid showed glimpses of what they are capable of doing when they find their stride.

Solari’s charges were given an early lead when Luka Modric scored on 13 minutes. The 2018 Golden Ball winner rebounded a loose ball from a Daniel Carvajal shot and lashed it from the top of the box, leaving Betis keeper Pau Lopez helpless.

Real Madrid failed to build from their brilliant start though, and while they were the more aggressive team on offence, they weren’t able to add more to their tally in the opening frame.

Real Betis—a team known for keeping the ball on long periods—stuck to their game plan throughout the first half, allowing them to limit Real Madrid’s opportunities to attack. And in the second period, the home team got a much-needed break.

Sergio Canales levelled matters for Real Betis on 67 minutes, thanks to Giovani Lo Celso who perfectly teed up the 27-year-old midfielder through the middle and past Nacho and Raphael Varane.

VAR is called upon for what was a suspected offside. Nevertheless, after a lengthy review, match officials confirmed Canales was onside during the play.

Sergio Canales has given Real Betis a good fight after scoring an equaliser against Real Madrid in recent La Liga game

Sergio Canales in action during Real Betis’ La Liga fixture against Real Madrid

What was seemingly a game heading to a draw took a major twist when Real Madrid got a lucky break just moments before the end of normal time.

Ceballos, who was introduced against his former team in the 74th minute, took advantage of a weak Betis wall to convert off a free-kick.

Casemiro received a free-kick after he was fouled by William Carvalho three minutes before time. Ceballos then took the ensuing shot from 45 yards out and fired straight into the net.

Ceballos probably would have loved to start, but he came on with a point to prove and made the most of his cameo.

“I had a lot of confidence and was eager to show what I can do,” shared Ceballos who joined Real Madrid from Betis on a six-year contract in the summer of 2017. “These three points are golden.”

Key statistics

Real Madrid needed the win. They haven’t won a La Liga match since mid-December 2018, even losing 0-2 to Real Sociedad last week.

However, they didn’t show they wanted the victory that bad and just got a little lucky against a Betis team that had plenty of lapses on the defensive end.

While the La Liga 2019 odds at us pointed to a close fight, the result was still a bit surprising. In fact, according to the post-match statistics, the Beticos had 74 percent possession compared to Los Blancos’ 26 percent.

To give a better perspective of that stat, that is the lowest possession percentage for Real Madrid since their El Clasico fight with Barcelona way back in 2011—during which Real Madrid had 23 percent.

Even more remarkable, Betis completed 713 passes in the game, with Real Madrid making just 254 passes.

Of course, the end result is what matters more. But the visitors know very well that they won’t get lucky next time. Not against better teams, anyway.

What’s next?

After the latest set of La Liga 2019 results, Real Madrid remain fourth but only behind third-placed Sevilla on goal difference. They are still 10 points behind league leaders and Clasico rivals Barcelona, though.

Real Madrid have a massive game against the Sevillistas next week, and that game is a real six-pointer as the two clubs battle it out for the third spot.

Santiago Solari eyes for another La Liga win this 2019 when Real Madrid battle with Sevilla for the third spot

Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari gestures towards his players during the Club World Cup against Al Ain

Sevilla are coming off a surprising defeat against Athletic Bilbao the last time out.

On the other hand, Real Betis will look to end a three-game winless run in La Liga when they play host to Girona. Eusebio Sacristan’s team is eighth in the Spanish top flight but is yet to win since November 2018.

 

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La Liga: This is Real Madrid’s Last Shot at Glory

Real Betis vs Real Madrid

Every Real Madrid fan is probably livid with the way the season has currently turned out for them.

The 2016/17 La Liga champions have experienced a bit of a freefall in terms of form, even seeing themselves outside of the European places during the first half of the season. While they now have a shot at the Champions League spots, they are definitely in no way threatening Barcelona for the top spot.

Los Blancos must find a semblance of stability and take the three points against Real Betis in order to get their second-half comeback underway. However, their hosts would be the last team in the Spanish top flight that I would describe as an easy opponent for the frustrated giants.

They can very much end Real Madrid’s hopes of winning a La Liga title here.

Talking Points

Can Madrid even win at all?

One would be compelled to question the form of a club of Real Madrid’s stature if you were to look at their performance over the past couple of months.

The winter window is far from finished and they have already tripped six times. The Madrid powerhouse has only experienced losing six games twice over two seasons: 2017/18 under Zinedine Zidane and 2014/15 under Carlo Ancelotti. One can even say that the white side of Madrid can kiss their La Liga hopes goodbye.

Moreover, many of these defeats happened in very frustrating circumstances. Their most painful defeat so far in the campaign was to Barcelona when Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick to a hapless and uninspired Madrid XI.

However, that doesn’t mean that their five other losses weren’t as painful. Their away defeats to Sevilla, Deportivo Alaves and Eibar are simply unacceptable for a side that is held to a standard the way Madrid are. And their home collapses versus sides such as Levante and Real Sociedad baffle even the most seasoned punters at us.

Moreover, Madrid are embroiled in interesting La Liga 2019 news that could distract the already-rattled locker room. Key midfield player Luka Modric is apparently on his way out of the club, and young star Vinicius Junior could also walk off the door if Florentino Perez could bring in a Kylian Mbappe or a Neymar.

However, the focus should be on the pitch and the players they currently have. Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos aren’t doing that bad, but they definitely need to inspire the team to perform better against a team that shouldn’t be even in their radar.

Betis look for another giant-killing

While the players with the Real Madrid crest on their chest feel the burden of the entire world on their shoulders, Real Betis are coming to this game with a desire to keep their fine run going.

A series of fantastic results and resilient draws saw the Verdiblancos end up in Real Madrid’s rearview mirror. It’s thanks to the superb performances of Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Tello that the team is competing for a Europa League spot.

Their most memorable triumph is easily their 3-4 victory against Barcelona at Camp Nou. They defied the odds and took down a team that featured Suarez, Lionel Messi and Malcom up front. This should help the team cheer up despite the recent run of form they have found themselves in.

Moreover, Quique Setien has a quiet confidence with his squad. He simply said ahead of this big clash that he will not change anything against the struggling Galacticos, sending a message of trust that his players can do the job.

“We will put all the energy possible into the game without thinking it’s against Madrid or any other side,” the 60-year-old said. He also said that Madrid will always be Madrid regardless of their current condition.

This may be playing down his team, but I believe that they have what it takes to pull off another stunning upset.

History

The two sides have played each other 44 times since 1995, and Madrid expectedly won the majority of those fixtures. Los Blancos won 23 of those games while the Beticos took eight of them. Interestingly, 13 of those fixtures were draws.

It seems that the majority of those draws happened during the past two decades, though, as Madrid crushed Betis in four of their last six meetings. This includes a 5-0 rout of Betis in August 2015 and a 1-6 stomp at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in October 2016.

Betting Tip

??
Real Betis vs Real Madrid Total Goal 2-3 @ 2.05
January 14, 03:45 (GMT+8)

Despite Betis’ victory over Barcelona in November, I still don’t see them easily crushing a squad that features Thibaut Courtois on goal and Benzema up front. I think Real Madrid still have too much quality in them to just lose another match in humiliating fashion.

With this being said, I imagine that both teams would be able to score at least once before Santiago Solari’s men manage a late winner from a dead ball. I reckon that the Total Goal market offers the best chances of winning.

However, the Asian Handicap and 1X2 markets offer very delectable La Liga 2019 betting odds. The Over-Under market is also intriguing when it comes to the offers they have at hand.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Diaz delighted with Real deal

Attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz says the opportunity to join Real Madrid from Manchester City was one that was quite simply too good to turn down.

The 19-year-old has signed a contract running until the summer of 2025 with the current Champions League holders, having made 15 first-team appearances for the Citizens in just over three years with the club.

And Spain Under-21 international Diaz is hoping to make a much bigger splash with Real, who he has described as the 'best team in the world'.

He told his new club's official website: "I didn't think twice when they told me about the possibility of coming here. I want to be successful, play a big part and contribute to the team.

"I'm very grateful to Manchester City because they valued me, but I'm very happy at the best club in the world and I want to play a big part here.

"Real Madrid is the best team in the world, it's a dream for every player to play at Real Madrid and the opportunity only comes once and you have to take it and take advantage of it.

"The chance to play is earned by working hard and I will try to give my best."

Real are currently down in fifth place in La Liga, some ten points off the pace being set by arch-rivals Barcelona.

Los Blancos are available at 14/1 to be crowned champions of Spain this season, with Barca 1/10 and Atletico Madrid 7/1.

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La Liga: Hard-to-Please Fans Exacerbate Madrid Struggle

Real Madrid 0-2 Real Sociedad

There are a handful of clubs in world football for which second place constitutes failure.

Real Madrid is one such example.

So, given they went into this La Liga weekend seven points off the pace – after only securing a point at lowly Villarreal – the reigning European and world champions needed a positive result in this one.

Highlights of the game

Recent results had showed dissatisfaction among some of their notoriously hard-to-please fans.

Los Blancos’ final home match of 2018 was played in front of 55,229 supporters and, the Madrid derby aside when 78,642 people attended, the other 11 matches this term had been far from this figure and on five occasions below 60,000.

This crowd of 53,412 was their third lowest of the season and that dissatisfaction was also evident in other ways from the outset as left-back Marcelo, out of form, was booed by sections of his own support.

It hardly helped their own team’s morale to hear one of their own being booed and, after two minutes, his fellow Brazilian Casemiro was adjudged to have fouled Mikel Merino and Willian Jose converted the penalty past Thibaut Courtois.

It was a disastrous start for Madrid.

With Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz all injured, coach Santiago Solari had handed a start to Vinicius Junior and the Brazilian was determined to make the most of the opportunity.

The teenager caused panic in the visiting box after 10 minutes but Karim Benzema couldn’t convert and then the 18 year-old saw his shot go past Sociedad shot-stopper Geronimo Rulli but lacked pace which allowed the defence to clear.

Casemiro, Daniel Carvajal, Benzema and Raphael Varane saw efforts blocked while Luka Modric twice called Rulli into action and Varane and Casemiro weren’t too far away with headers.

The one-way pressure continued but Real’s frustrations were evident as Toni Kroos found Lucas Vazquez whose cross cum shot was tipped onto the post by Rulli a minute before the break.

Into the second period, a combination of dogged defending and Rulli kept out Varane and Vinicius, while youngster Mikel Oyarzabal missed a good opportunity to draw the hosts level.

Former Man Utd man Adnan Januzaj was a constant threat on the counter for Sociedad who were close to doubling their lead through a David Zurutuza header.

Solari’s decision to leave out Isco in the Spanish capital, again named among the substitutes, grew stranger with every passing moment and when he finally did call upon the fans’ favourite, the expectation was short lived.

Almost immediately, Vazquez was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Merino and the hosts were down to 10 men.

As the home side had to go for broke, so chances increased on both sides.

Januzaj and Merino tested Courtois, while Modrc, Vinicius, skipper Sergio Ramos were all kept out by the increasingly impressive Rulli.

Januzaj and Isco also saw efforts blocked before the atmosphere inside the ground became even more toxic.

Real Sociedad upset La Liga 2019 betting odds after winning vs Real Madrid

Willian Jose celebrates victory with Real Sociedad in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Eight minutes were on the clock when Jose delivered a cross and substitute Ruben Pardo headed into the bottom right hand corner beyond Courtois.

Game over, a famous victory for Sociedad and a humbling for Real, not helped by sections of their own support.

There is no doubt that Real need strengthening.

The capture of former Malaga youngster, Brahim Diaz, in a deal that could be worth up to £22 million, is a start but most us followers of a Real persuasion will tell you more is required.

Porto’s promising Brazilian defender, Eder Militao, is the latest player to find himself on the club’s radar as he continues to impress in Portuguese football.

Yet after producing very few of the La Liga 2018 highlights, it will take more than a few players to turn this around.

This was the worst possible start to the new year as their La Liga 2019 betting odds seem a lost cause.

Real Madrid are officially out of the title race.

Key statistics

After seven straight defeats, this is the first time Sociedad have defeated Real since August 2014.

This is the first success in the Bernabeu since May 2004.

Vinicius Junior is the first player born in 2000 or later to start a La Liga game for Madrid.

No other La Liga team has hit the woodwork more times than Madrid this season (21 – level with Barcelona).

Real have a poor home record over the past 12 months.

Going into this contest, they finished 2018 with a winning percentage of 63% at the Bernabeu, meaning they did not win 37.04 percent of their matches, the worst percentage in 24 years.

What’s next?

A busy start to 2019 continues for Real who face Leganes in midweek in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 32 tie.

Before the second leg, they travel to Real Betis next weekend and then entertain Sevilla on January 19 in what could be a key contest for a top four berth.

Sociedad actually face Betis in the Spanish Cup with the two legs scheduled for January 10 and 17. They entertain Espanyol in La Liga a week tomorrow (January 14) and then travel to Rayo Vallecano on January 20.

 

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Solari issues Isco backing

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari says he has full confidence in Isco coming into the side as Los Blancos prepare to host Real Sociedad in La Liga on Sunday.

There has been some speculation surrounding the Spain international's future at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially after finding game time tougher to come by.

However, an injury to Wales star Gareth Bale in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal looks like it has provided Isco the perfect opportunity to have a run in the team.

Solari has been keen to dismiss speculation around Isco's future in the past and has now said he is looking forward to seeing what the playmaker can do ahead of the encounter with Real Sociedad.

"Isco is so good he can play wherever, in any position on the pitch," Solari said.

"Sometimes it´s not all about speed. You can be effective with your creativity, imagination and technical ability. Every player has different characteristics."

Meanwhile, Solari has played down the injury to Bale and feels the former Tottenham star should be back soon.

"We think the injury is not too serious," Solari said on Saturday. "He will go through tests today and we all hope he is back with us quickly."

Los Blancos are 8/1 to win La Liga, while arch rivals Barcelona are 1/4 to claim the title.

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La Liga: Real Need Quick Return to Winning Ways

Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad

It’s already been a troubled start to 2019 for Real Madrid.

After dropping points in their New Year opener to a side which was in the relegation zone, the European Champions can now ill afford to concede further ground on the title contenders.

With their post-Cristiano Ronaldo form suggesting a fourth successive Champions League title is unlikely, the importance of La Liga for Los Blancos is emphatically clear.

Talking Points

This position is nothing new of course.

us statisticians will tell you Madrid have only been Spanish champions twice in the last decade – with Jose Mourinho in 2011/12 and under Zinedine Zidane in 2016/17 – and it has become a tradition for Madrid to be out of the title race early on.

Yet, of their 17 league games this season, the European and world champions have won just nine, drawing three and losing five, meaning they have failed to win almost every other game this season and have already dropped 21 points.

That needs to be put right quickly if they are to mount a challenge.

Certainly, there is a far greater chance to catch up domestically than in Europe, even if they do trail leaders and arch-rivals Barcelona by seven points as domestic combat resumes after a brief winter hiatus.

The sacking of Julen Lopetegui was as ruthless as the announcement of his appointment was crass. The club is slowly but surely recovering, though, even if there are serious doubts whether replacement Santiago Solari’s tenure will extend beyond this summer.

He’s poised to make his first signing next week, and it’s one for the future with 19-year-old Brahim Diaz. The former Malaga youngster, set to join from Manchester City, is subject to a medical in a deal costing £15.5 million, rising to around £21 million with add-ons.

Madrid certainly need strengthening in the post-Cristiano era.

The trio of Luka Modric, skipper Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema are all over 30 and, in Solari, there is a suggestion the club hasn’t a figurehead established enough to attract top stars.

Gareth Bale will miss out La Liga clash against Real Sociedad after suffering an injury

Gareth Bale picks up an injury during their match against Villareal

With Gareth Bale also out for up to a fortnight after sustaining an injury in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal, Real are definitely lacking some of the star quality which has been sprinkled throughout their starting XI in recent seasons.

On saying all of that, this weekend’s opponents Real Sociedad would love to be in Madrid’s shoes.

Critics say Madrid have gone backwards but remember: this is still a side which claimed a 13th European Cup, the Club World Cup and Modric’s Ballon d’Or in what many perceive to be a troubled 2018.

Sociedad have seen Eusebio Sacristan and Asier Garitano leave the club which also bid an emotional farewell to Xabi Prieto and Imanol Agirretxe.

Meanwhile, Inigo Martinez’s departure for Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao – one of the La Liga 2019 news stories – marked one of the San Sebastian side’s worst moments in recent years.

One-time Arsenal man Carlos Vela was another who set off from La Real as he embarked on a new journey in Major League Soccer, having played in both the Champions League and Europa League at the club.

With Sociedad in 15th place, just three points clear of the drop zone, Madrid’s situation should be put in perspective.

One word of encouragement of Sociedad, though. Madrid have conceded one more goal in the league than them this term so, despite their limited attack – 18 goals scored in 17 league matches – this may be closer than many think.

History

Last season, Madrid secured a league double in comfortable fashion.

They won 3-1 at Sociedad in September, courtesy of goals from Borja Mayoral, Bale and an own goal.

They won this corresponding fixture, 5-2, in the Bernabeu when Ronaldo netted a hat-trick and was joined on the scoresheet by Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez.

Sociedad have lost their last seven meetings, last recording a victory in August 2014.

Betting Tip

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Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad Real Madrid Asian Handicap -1.75 @ 2.26
January 7 01:30 (GMT+8)

The La Liga 2019 betting odds make Real firm favourites.

They are priced 1X2 @ 1.36 with the draw offered @ 4.60, and Sociedad way out @ 8.50.

If there are to be plenty of goals, you can get odds on over 3.50 @ 2.14 and total goal 4-6 @ 2.45.

Sociedad have lost their last three matches while Real have still won six and drew one of their seven home league games this term.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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La Liga: Santi at the Double to Deny Los Blancos!

Villarreal 2-2 Real Madrid

Santi Cazorla scored twice tonight in front of 20,000 delighted fans at the Estadio de la Ceramica to grab a deserved draw for the Yellow Submarine.

It was the first La Liga game of 2019, and what a way to start! Title chasers Real Madrid came from behind to lead for over an hour before man-of-the-match Cazorla grabbed a late point. Villarreal returned from the winter break in relatively uncharted territory in the bottom three, but this point has lifted them out on goal difference.

More importantly, that’s three games unbeaten for Villarreal under Luis Garcia. To take a point from Santiago Solari’s Real Madrid will do wonders for the hosts’ confidence. Pre-match odds at us had the draw at 3.40, and it was a fair result.

Highlights of the game

The game began at breakneck speed with two goals in the opening seven minutes.  Villarreal gave Los Blancos a warning shot on just two minutes when Samuel Chukwueze forced Thibaut Courtois to save low in the right corner, but the visitors didn’t heed the warning shot. When Chukwueze found Santi Cazorla in space on the left side of the box, the former Arsenal midfielder fired low into the opposite corner to stun the Madrid fans.

Los Blancos were back on their feet just three minutes later when Lucas Vazquez crossed for Karim Benzema to head low into the corner for his seventh of the league season. The French striker has been in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo for much of his career at the Bernabeu, but he’s relishing his role this year and thriving as top scorer.

Benzema came close with another header from a Marcelo cross, but it wasn’t long before Los Blancos were ahead. Cazorla fouled Daniel Carvajal on the right wing, and from Toni Kroos’ perfect set-piece delivery, Raphael Varane planted his header home to make it 2-1 on 20 minutes. The centre-back had phoned the recently sacked coach Julen Lopetegui to apologise for his poor form, nice touch but the former boss could have done with a few more goals like that!

There wasn’t any let up in the frenetic pace of action as Cazorla crossed for Gerard Moreno, but his header was saved, and Cazorla was the supplier again for Chukwueze only to see his effort was blocked.

It was a cracking first half with shared possession and seven shots each, but Los Blancos had their noses in front.

Real Madrid failed to extend their La Liga winning streak to 4 games

Karim Benzema dribbling the ball past Villarreal defenders during the La Liga match at the Ceramica stadium

Benzema was on the hunt again early in the second half, coming close with a shot from distance and Cazorla continued to push the hosts on, crossing for Victor Ruiz, but his header was high and wide. Gerard Moreno then took a pot shot from distance which flew narrowly past the post.

Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo kept his side in the game, saving a sharp effort from Vazquez low in the corner. Cazorla kept plugging away at the other end, crossing this time for Alvaro Gonzalez to head wide of Courtois’ goal.

Cazorla eventually got his reward, meeting a Pablo Fornals cross to head home and send the crowd wild.

Key statistics

The first of all the La Liga 2019 results has lifted the Yellow Submarine out of the drop zone and ended Real Madrid’s three-match winning run.

The hosts belied their lowly position, pretty much matching their illustrious visitors by having 12 shots to 14 and 46 per cent possession.

This result matched the 2-2 draw here in the 2017/18 when Villarreal took four points from Los Blancos.

What’s next?

On Sunday, Villarreal has a trip to the Basque country to play Eibar in 13th. And on a run of three draws, it’s a good chance for Garcia’s team to keep their unbeaten run going with confidence on the up.

La Liga has started 2019 just as it did in 2018 with Barcelona on top. Santiago Solari will be determined to break the Catalans’ stranglehold.

The La Liga 2019 betting odds have Barca as odds-on to win again, with the two Madrid giants neck and neck in the chase, but the gap between Los Blancos and the leaders is now seven points.

Up next, Solari’s men have a home game against Real Sociedad, a team on the slide down to 15th after four consecutive defeats. That’s a great opportunity for Real to get back to winning ways.

 

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La Liga: Big Hopes For the New Year!

Villarreal vs Real Madrid

Two teams meet at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Friday desperate to get 2019 started on the right footing.

There is business to be done at either end of the table in the big La Liga clash between Villarreal and Real Madrid, as both teams will say goodbye to their 2018 league form without any regrets.

After qualifying for the Europa League last season, Villarreal have had a torrid time in the Spanish top-flight this 2018/19 campaign and are languishing in the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Los Blancos watched helplessly as Barcelona stormed to another title in 2018 and then started the current season in poor form.

Both sides have sacked their managers and are trying to sweep away the cobwebs with a new broom: Villarreal are looking for mid-table security while Real Madrid have far greater ambitions.

It all promises to be an exciting clash and you can get all the La Liga 2019 news about the Villarreal vs Real Madrid game right here at us.

Talking Points

Villarreal must replicate Cup form in the League

The Yellow Submarine are in relatively uncharted territory in the bottom three with plenty of work to be done, but life away from La Liga has provided a welcome distraction for Villarreal fans.

They are faring rather better in cup competitions, having finished top of Europa League Group G and have a winnable Round of 32 tie against Sporting to look forward to.

Villarreal also recently had a thumping 8-0 victory over Almeria in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey. However, it’s been a turbulent few months in Castellon, with head coach Javi Calleja falling on his sword early in December and getting replaced by former Villarreal B coach Luis Garcia.

It was tough on Calleja, who took over as coach in September 2017 and guided the Yellow Submarine to fifth. Villarreal are often touted as a successful and well-run small club, and Calleja certainly played his part last season. But it’s a results business and Garcia is now the man at the helm.

The former centre-back has made a decent start, inspiring his new team to a 2-0 Europa win over Spartak Moscow and a draw away to bottom club Huesca. The combative Mario Gaspar will be missing after receiving his marching orders in that game, picking up his sixth card of the campaign.

If Villarreal are to climb the table in good time, then the goals of talented strike partnership Carlos Bacca and Gerard Moreno will be pivotal. Both scored in that 2-2 draw and have four each for the campaign.

I expect both to reach double figures by the season end.

Stars unsettled at the Bernabeu

It’s been a difficult few months in Madrid too, the low point being an El Clasico humiliation which resulted in the departure of head coach Julen Lopetegui.

Los Blancos have recovered, to a degree, and are in fourth place, eight points behind Barca with a game in hand. But without Cristiano Ronaldo to work miracles, a La Liga triumph looks unlikely.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid continue to grind out results and sit second in the table, so Real’s main objective is to be the best team in Madrid. They also want to make a strong defence of their European crown, but Los Blancos will have a tough examination in the Champions League Round of 16 when they face a resurgent Ajax.

Santiago Solari has been promoted from his role as Real Madrid B coach and is tasked with guiding his stars to more success in 2019. Nonetheless, he’s struggling to keep them all happy as the transfer rumour mill sets into motion again.

Midfield maestro Luka Modric has just won another honour, ‘Balkan Athlete of the Year’, but he has been linked with a move away from Madrid by newspapers across Europe.

Recently-awarded player Luka Modric hopes to lead Real Madrid to victory against Villarreal in upcoming La Liga battle

Luka Modric looks focused during the Club World Cup semi-final match between Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers last December

And Isco is said to be unsettled by the constant speculation that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard could be on his way to the Bernabeu.

Los Blancos are in reasonable form though, with five wins in six and have just won the Club World Cup for the third consecutive year having beaten Al Ain 4-1 in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

History

Los Blancos have had the better of the head-to-heads, winning 21 of the 36 meetings since 1998 while Villarreal have managed just four victories with 11 ending in a draw.

Villarreal collected four points from Real Madrid last season, drawing this fixture 2-2 and winning 0-1 at the Bernabeu. But their home record is uninspiring, with one win, three draws and four defeats. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are on a winning streak of three matches, catapulting them to a record of nine wins, two draws and five losses (four of which are away from home).

Top scorer Karim Benzema will look to add to his six goals on Friday.

Betting Tip

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Villarreal vs Real Madrid Real Madrid 1×2 @1.86
January 04, 04:30 (GMT+8)

The La Liga 2019 betting odds point to a close enough tussle between these two teams, with Villarreal at 4.20 and 3.40 the draw.

The double chance Villarreal or Draw is at 1.87. But I think Los Blancos will have just too much quality on the night.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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