La Liga Betting Tips: Best Bets for Matchday 19

 | January 01 | 

6 mins read

2024 starts with a midweek round in La Liga and as always, our Spanish Football expert Mark Sochon is on hand to pass-on his three Best Bets from the top-tier in Spain...

La Liga Betting Tips:

  • Back Getafe to win vs Rayo Vallecano @ 7/5
  • Back Over 2.5 Goals in Valencia vs Villarreal @ 5/6
  • Back the Draw in Celta Vigo vs Real Betis @ 23/10

La Liga returns from a short festive break for a full midweek fixture list which will take us to the midway point in the season with all sides having played 19 games by Thursday night.

There are local derbies in Madrid, the Basque Country, Andalusia and the Valencian region of Spain this week while it's 2nd vs 3rd as Girona entertain Atletico Madrid in a key game at the top.

Getafe vs Rayo Vallecano (Tuesday 16:00)

La Liga opens its doors for 2024 at the Coliseum where Rayo Vallecano are the visitors, making the short trip across the Spanish capital.

These sides started the season with relatively similar expectation levels and are relatively evenly matched in most areas with one big exception right now. That’s in attack where Getafe have shunned their defensive reputation in recent weeks, firing three goals past Sevilla and three more past Atletico Madrid in successive away games.

Getafe boss Pepe Bordalas was unexpectedly bold at the Civitas Metropolitano last time out, effectively naming four forwards in his starting eleven in the shape of Jaime Mata, Juanmi Latasa, Borja Mayoral and Mason Greenwood. While the system is very much a 4-4-2 rather than a 4-2-4, it’s an approach that is really delivering right now for Getafe and they had 29 attempts against the ten men of Atleti in a game they should have won.

Mayoral is in stunning form with 12 for the season in La Liga, a tally that only Jude Bellingham can better. Getafe’s attacking options are increasing too with Enes Unal, by far their most convincing striker in recent seasons, fit again after a long injury lay-off that saw him miss most of 2023.

While Getafe have been busy reinventing themselves as the unlikeliest of entertainers, things have been heading in a very different direction for Rayo Vallecano. After a solid start under new boss Francisco, they are now without a win in eight league games and without a goal in four.

Wingers Alavaro Garcia and Isi Palazon ensure they continue to ask questions of opposing teams, but it’s not much use when their strikers seem to have all forgotten where the back of the net is.

Raul De Tomas is the most obvious option for the number nine role but Rayo’s record signing is yet to score in 14 appearances in La Liga this term. Youngster Sergio Camello is the alternative but is also without a goal in 14. That leaves 37 year old Radamel Falcao as the only Rayo striker to have scored this term but it’s safe to say the Colombian, who is yet to start a game, is well past his prime.

Up against a misfiring Rayo forward line, backing in-form Getafe to win at 7/5 is surely the way to go here.

Valencia vs Villarreal (Tuesday 20:30)

These sides have jostled for regional supremacy since the turn of the century, with Villarreal more often than not outshining their neighbours from the big city.

That hasn’t been the case this season though. Villarreal are three places and four points worse off than Valencia at the turn of the year and serious defensive issues have been the main cause of that.

They’ve already sacked two managers and any hope that Marcelino could at least instill some discipline and defensive organisation into this team has so far been relatively unfounded. Results have improved under his leadership, but they’ve conceded nine times in their last three league matches and are still missing their most dependable defender Juan Foyth to injury.

They have four centre-backs, none of whom appear totally comfortable playing alongside one another and it seems as though Marcelino, who comes up against his old team here, has decided that attack is the best form of defence for now. Former Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly has already agreed a January return to the Ceramica which may help, but it will take time for him to build up match fitness.

This game stands a good chance of following the pattern of recent Villarreal matches in that it should be open. Valencia are missing two defenders with Mouctar Diakhaby and Thierry Correia suspended and that should also help the visitors, who are expected to have top scorer Gerard Moreno available again.

Valencia are boosted by the return to fitness of Jose Gaya and the return from suspension of Javi Guerra though and that should help them get good supply to their forward players who’ll surely be relishing the prospect of lining up against La Liga’s third worst defence.

As a result, I’m backing Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6 here, a bet that has landed in seven of Villarreal’s last eight league games.

Celta Vigo vs Real Betis (Wednesday 18:15)

Making sense of Celta Vigo this season has been no easy task for punters. They’ve frequently played well and rank favourably in terms of xG and a host of other metrics, with the exception of the ones that really matter.

It’s just two wins and only 13 points from 18 games for Rafa Benitez’s side who find themselves in the relegation zone and with plenty of work to do to ensure they aren’t there at the end of the season.

Whether Rafa even makes it that far remains a matter of doubt and big changes are possible in January for a club that should have money to spend having cashed in on star midfielder Gabri Veiga late in the summer transfer window.

In recent weeks, they’ve had the feel of a side that has become content to accumulate points and make sure they are in touch with the sides above them with fresh blood likely to be imminent. Their two wins have come against the only two teams below them in the table and it’s hard to make a case for a Celta win against a Real Betis side that has only lost twice in La Liga.

After a five-goal mauling in Barcelona in September, Manuel Pellegrini has set about trying to make Betis tougher to play against and despite a major shortage of fit centre-backs, they’ve gone 13 without defeat in the league since that trip to the Estadi Olimpic.

German Pezzella fired in a late leveller against high-flying Girona last time out to preserve that run, but its four draws on the spin and 10 of their 18 league matches this term have finished level.

They are still missing key midfielder Guido Rodriguez to injury and I can certainly see this one ending in another Draw which can be backed at 23/10.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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