THE league leaders face the current holders in the pick of Wednesday night's action in La Liga – and with the country's two top scorers going head to head, we're expecting goals at the rowdy Mestalla.

Unai Emery's side will be hoping to continue their 100 per cent start to the season and they've shown a real rugged, determined edge in their games to suggest an upset may be on the cards.

Lionel Messi is, rather unsurprisingly, the bookies' favourite to score first at 13-5 with Paddy Power and Bluesquare but Los Che's Roberto Soldado, who has been on prolific form in La Liga with five goals so far, is a good alternative pick at 8-1 with Paddy Power.

Keeping the focus on the division's leading scorers, Messi is 4-6 (Stan James) to score anytime – which seems rather likely – and Soldado has best odds of 11-4 with William Hill and bet365. Messi is also a tempting 5-2 (Boylesports) to score two or more and considering the Argentine genius has scored twice (or netted a hat-trick) in three of his last four domestic games.

Valencia are riding high and have seven goals in four games, so the both teams to score market (4-5, bet365) is worthy of a look, especially if Barcelona turn off again like they had earlier in the season.

I still believe Barca will sneak a win in this one (4-9, Bluesq, Stan James, Paddy Power) but a draw isn't a bad bet. A scoring draw is even better and pays at 4-1 with Coral.

Barcelona have scored in both halves of every game apart from the opening leg of the Spanish Super Cup and the dozy draw with Real Sociedad the other week, when they were already 2-0 up in 11 minutes. I'd back the Catalans to score either side of the break again at 6-5 (totesport).

Coral are also offering great odds on a draw via the handicap market.  For it to end all square, with Barca -2 goals, they'll pay out at 16-1.

Bonkers bet: Messi to hit a hat-trick is 14-1 at Betfred.


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