LA LIGA kicks off this week with Valencia's trip to Sporting Gijon with Los Che expecting to continue their flawless start to the season against the struggling El Molinon men.
The basement boys have endured a horrible start to the campaign and this should be a comfortable Valencia victory. A rested squad returning to action and with a trip to Barcelona coming in mid-week, it's the perfect opportunity to put pressure on the title holders.
Roberto Soldado is in the form of his life with four goals in two Primera clashes and 12 in his last 14 matches, including international duty.He's still 6-4 to score at any time and 17-2 to net two or more with bet365.
Valencia are my pick at 5-4 with Victor Chandler to win.
Malaga finally got their season off the ground last Tuesday with a clinical 4-0 victory over Granada and the freshly minted Andalusians have already stated their intentions are Champions League football next season. That, however, will only be achieved on the back of a fairly flawless campaign and after a mixed start they face an interesting test in Mallorca.
Michael Laudrup's squad has undoubtedly been weakened over the summer with the departure of Jonathan de Guzman, their stand-out player last season, but his side are continuing to grow and possess a lot of potential.
They have, however, only won one of their last six meetings with Malaga in what's come to be a bit of a bogey fixture. I think that trend will continue and I think Malaga will win this one (13-10, William Hill)
Santi Cazorla is hoping to make the scoresheet for a third game in a row and with his late runs causing havoc and set-piece expertise always a threat, he's good value at 3-1 (to score anytime, Paddy Power). Julio Baptista could ensure a bruising night for the hosts and if Mallorca fail to deal with his physicality he'll make them pay. The Brazilian is best 2-1 with bwin.
Barcelona will look to bounce back from two frustrating draws against Real Sociedad and Milan with a patchwork defence set to be replaced by the steady partnership of Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol for Osasuna's visit.
Cesc Fabregas will be asked to step up to the mark in the absence of injured Andres Iniesta. He's a massive loss to the Catalans but it's perhaps the first wave of true pressure the former Arsenal man will experience since his return.
He's scored a surprising amount of goals from midfield already this season and seems more confident and willing to simply have a go when in dangerous positions. He's still 13-10 with Victor Chandler to net but other bookies have strangled the odds from a fortnight ago. Lionel Messi is a likely 1-2 with Skybet to score while David Villa follows at 5-6 at Victor Chandler.
Barca to win is, as usual, barely worth the effort unless you're laying down big figures but to win on a handicap of -3 pays at 7-4 with bet365.
La Liga Treble: Valencia, Malaga and Barcelona all to win pays just under 6-1 at William Hill.