Real Madrid v Levante
Saturday 17:00 (Live on Sky Sports 4)
Real 1.17 Levante 21.0 draw 10.0
Real have had just a couple of days to recover from their Champions League exertions but Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Galatasaray takes the pressure off next week’s second leg.
Jose Mourinho has an injury-free squad that should cope with the quicker turnarounds and a record at the Bernabeu that destroys any thoughts of an upset.
Levante have taken three points from 21 on the road and look comfortably settled in to mid-table for the rest of the season.
The Frogs have conceded before half-time in each of their last six on the road and, driven by Cristiano Ronaldo’s fierce desire to make a name for himself in Messi’s absence, Real should score on both sides of the interval, just as they have done in 11/14 at the Bernabeu.
Back Real Madrid To Score in Both Halves @ 1.6
Deportivo La Coruna v Real Zaragoza
Saturday 19:00 (Live on Sky Sports 4)
Deportivo 2.06 Zaragoza 4.0 draw 3.65
In 2013 Zaragoza have earned fewer points than anyone else in a major European league. Their winless streak is 12 – the worst run by anyone in Spain this season.
Deportivo have scored three times and won three points from each of their last two games. So we fancy them.
Riki and Juan Carlos Valeron (amen to this lovely piece) could get the job done early: Zaragoza have been behind at half-time in 12/15 away defeats under Manolo Jimenez and conceded before the break in 10/12 since they last won.
Deportivo/Deportivo is 3.3 in the Half Time/Full Time market.
Back Deportivo @ 2.06
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich
Sat 14:30 BST, Live on Betfair Live Video
Match odds: Eintracht 6.2, Bayern 1.61, the draw 4.3
Bayern Munich are on the brink of securing their 22nd Bundesliga title and they could smash a clutch of records this season. If Bayern do win at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday to confirm themselves as champions, they will have wrapped up the title more quickly than any other side in Bundesliga history.
No team has ever won the title by more than 16 points (Bayern are already 20 clear), and Bayern are on course to smash Borussia Dortmund’s record points total of 81. The Bavarian giants are also chasing what would be a record 11th consecutive Bundesliga victory.
Bayern’s away form this season has been terrifyingly good – they have won 12 and drawn one of their 13 road games, scoring 30 goals and conceding just two. No team has gone a whole Bundesliga season unbeaten on their travels since the Bayern team of 1987 and no side has collected more points on the road in a campaign than Bayern already have in the bag (37).
There was no sign of Bayern being complacent or easing off last weekend, as they humiliated Hamburg 9-2 at the Allianz Arena. It’s worth noting Bayern destroyed the Redshorts despite resting Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery. Claudio Pizarro helped himself to four goals on what was only his third Bundesliga start of the campaign. Bayern followed that victory up with an excellent 2-0 Champions League victory against Juventus.
So can Eintracht Frankfurt stop the Bayern juggernaut? Recent evidence would suggest the answer is no. The Eagles are only outside the top four on goals scored, but they have struggled for momentum since Christmas.
Last week’s 3-2 win at the bottom side Greuther Furth was welcome but unconvincing, and Armin Veh’s men have taken just a solitary point from their last three home games. In the second half of the season Eintracht have collected just 12 points from an available 30 and they have failed to score in five of their last 10 matches.
Even though Bayern will have an eye on next week’s Champions League return at Juve, they have proven their squad is strong enough to cope with any eventuality. Eintracht have punched above their weight all season but this is a fight they surely can’t win.
Back Bayern -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 1.97
Sochaux v Ajaccio (17th v 14th)
Sat, 19:00 GMT
Giovanni Sio is turning out to be a smart signing for Sochaux. The former France youth international moved from Augsburg to France on loan in the January window and has scored three goals in six games for Sochaux (a goal every 171 minutes).
They’ve been crucial goals, too – after netting in the 3-2 win over PSG and 2-2 draw at Rennes he was on the mark in Sochaux’s 2-1 win at Lyon last weekend.
With Sio in the side Sochaux’s scoring rate has improved but defensively they remain vulnerable, especially at home. They have conceded in 14 of 15 matches at Stade Bonal, with their only clean sheet coming against Reims, a side with the joint-worst scoring record on the road.
That poor defensive record makes Both teams to Score the smart pick, especially as Ajaccio’s defensive record away from home is unimpressive – they have conceded in 13 of 14 games since the opening day of the season.
Sochaux v Ajaccio Both teams to Score @ 1.92
Vitesse v Breda
Second up on Saturday the camera’s are in the Netherlands as Betfair Live Video brings you the chance to see one of the hottest strikers in Europe; high flying Vitesse Arnhem and their star man Wilfried Bony host struggling NAC Breda.
Vitesse are in scintillating form, they’ve won six in a row and are now level pegging with PSV, only Ajax have more points and the gap is only three. They’ve never really been recognised as genuine title contenders but this season the boys from Arnhem can’t be ignored.
Merab Jordania, Vitesse’s controversial wealthy Georgian owner has lofty ambitions. He recruited manager Fred Rutten from PSV in the summer and under his excellent stewardship the side have flourished. They have won more games then any other team in the division and have only been turned over once at home, by Ajax.
A lot of their success has been down to the clever use of the loan market and a fruitful relationship with Chelsea. Gael Kakuta, Tomas Kalas and Patrick Van Aanholt have all spent the season on loan at Vitesse and started most games. Another big performer has been the impressive Marco Van Ginkel, the elegant midfielder has been a regular scorer and has been rewarded with recognition from the national team.
However there is no doubting who the star of the show is. Wilfried Bony, the Iviorian striker has been unstoppable, he has crashed in 27 goals in 25 games so far this campaign. It’s no wonder that there is always a host of scouts at the GelreDome watching his progression, numerous Premiership clubs have registered an interest already.
The visitors are NAC Breda who despite looking comfortable in mid table will still be looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone. They’ll probably only need a few more points to guarantee survival and will be hoping to avoid defeat on Saturday.
Bosnian manager Nebojsa Gudelj has done enough and considering the limited budget he’s had to work with the ‘Rats’ as they are affectionately known will be content for another year in the top flight with the potential to improve next year.
Their most influential player is known well to the manager, it’s his son Nemanja, the midfielder has had a fine season, he’s their leading scorer with five.
NAC have only lost one in seven on their travels and will be tricky opponents for Vitesse but considering the reverse fixture went the way of Vitesse by a three goal margin it’s hard to see beyond a home win.
Back Vitesse to win @ 1.48
Back over 3.5 Goals @ 2.72