AFTER the international break La Liga resumes today with Real Madrid and Barcelona in action early on as Atletico Madrid continue life without Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero.

Barcelona are becoming tougher to back with any real returns such is the regularity of large victories for the Catalan men so looking at the handicap market is getting more important by the week.

They travel to Real Sociedad, one of only two teams to beat them last season, without Gerard Pique but boosted by the return of Carles Puyol and a fully-fit Ibrahim Afellay, Adriano and Maxwell.

Paddy Power offer 13-10 on Barcelona to win with a handicap of -2 while Thiago is 12-5 to score at any point for the Blaugrana.

Alvaro Negredo is the man to watch as Villarreal host Sevilla. The Spanish striker has been in great form, bagging twice for his country in the 6-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein after a double against Malaga, Sevilla running out surprise 2-1 winners.

Villarreal, who pipped Sevilla to fourth place last season and a Champions League berth, suffered an embarrassing 5-0 defeat at the Nou Camp in their opener.

Negredo is 2-1 with Paddy Power to net at any point and 16-1 to hit two or more. Both teams to score seems likely and your best odds are 3-4 with Stan James but it's still too early to put any weight on form, so picking a winner might be tricky.

Real Madrid strolled to a 6-0 win over Real Zaragoza last time out and they should be heading for an equally comfortable victory over Getafe tonight. The little side in the Bernabeu's shadow have only one recognised centre-back, Cate Diaz, fit and their on-loan Real Madrid winger Pedro Leon is forced to sit this one out.

Leon crossed the city to sign for Jose Mourinho's men in a £10million deal last summer but has returned to the Alfonso Perez just 12 months on and he's a highly important player for “Team Dubai”.

Cristiano Ronaldo is 8-1 with Coral to score another hat-trick while Mourinho’s side have won their last five league meetings with the Azulones with an average of three goals per game.

Madrid on the handicap at -3 is a good start ( 13-10, bet365) while going to -5 pays 13-2 with William Hill and there's no reason why we can't see another half a dozen goals.

The game of the weekend, though, is at the Mestalla as Valencia play Atletico Madrid. Atleti are boosted by the news that former Porto hero Radamel Falcao's international clearance has come through in time to make the trip and the Colombian star is 9-4 to find a debut goal at Stan James.

He's a real aerial threat and a scrappy Los Che defence could struggle with his aerial prowess.

I'm expecting goals in this one and Ladbrokes offer 2-1 that there will be at least four goals. Both teams to score is a good follow on at 4-6 (Bluesquare, Sky Bet, Stan James and others).

Roberto Soldado grabbed a double as Valencia squeaked through 4-3 winners over Racing Santander and he's 11-8 with Boylesports to find the net again.




Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid

Pays 17-1 at boylesports


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