Barcelona (9/4 Champions League outright with bet365) striker David Villa believes he is now physically strong enough to play a major part in his side’s quest for La Liga glory this season.
After a sparkling first year at the Nou Camp, the Spanish international suffered an horrific broken leg last December, which saw him miss almost nine months of action.
The Blaugrana struggled without his direct style, eventually surrendering the title to bitter rivals Real Madrid and their lack of cutting edge also added to their downfall in the Champions League.
However, he is now back to full fitness and has already had a positive impact on the side, scoring four goals in his 10 appearances this season, including the opener in Saturday’s 5-0 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Villa (125/1 Primera Liga top scorer with bet365) is understandably delighted by his recent form and believes he is now ready to play a major role in Barca’s bid to reclaim both the domestic title and the Champions League.
“I’m in great shape, and I am very happy to return to playing football again. I am delighted at helping my team win by getting a goal,” the striker told AS. “It’s just great to be back and I’m confident I can help the side win trophies this season.”
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has moved to remind the supporters there are only three points at stake when they face Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico (Barca 5/6, Real 14/5, draw 3/1 – match betting with bet365).
The two giants of Spanish football meet for the first time in the Primera Division this season at the Nou Camp, with Real already playing catch up.
The defending champions have endured a shocking start to the campaign and find themselves eight points behind rivals Barcelona, who have a 100 per cent record so far.
Defeat to Barcelona would see Madrid slip 11 points off the pace and leave them with a mountain to climb after the international break.
Real (7/2 Champions League outright) have shown signs of recovery recently and put five past Deportivo in the league last weekend before recording a 4-1 win at Ajax in the Champions League in midweek.
Mourinho is now looking to get back in the title race with a win in Catalonia but says no matter what the result, fans need to look at the big picture rather than just focus on El Clasico.
“Real Madrid-Barca is a match that we love to play. They probably do too,” he told American channel beIN Sport TV.
“That means that a Clasico is a little more than other normal league matches. Football lovers all over the world stop when Barcelona play against Real Madrid.
“But our goal is to win the championship. El Clasico is only worth three points.”
Mourinho will be able to field his strongest team against Barcelona after his squad was given a clean bill of health.
Meanwhile, Barca are facing up to a defensive crisis with Carles Puyol out and Gerard Pique struggling for fitness.
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La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | October 7, 2012 12:39 |
Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova admits the absence of Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique for the Clasico showdown with Real Madrid is far from ideal (Barcelona 5/6, draw 3/1, Real Madrid 11/4 – Full Time Result with bet365).
The two bitter rivals will lock horns again at the Nou Camp on Sunday in a clash where no love is ever lost.
Barca have won all six games in La Liga so far this season to top the table, while champions Real have been far from imperious in losing twice already to slip eight points off the pace.
The Spanish league’s reliance on head-to-head records to decide placings should sides finish on the same points makes the outcome of the Clasicos all the more important – but Vilanova goes into this weekend without two key defenders.
He said: “I think we’re coming into the match on form, at the moment we’re playing at a good level, even though I would like to be able to call on all of my players for a match like this.”
Real Madrid warmed up for the game by thrashing Ajax 4-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Bernabeu chief Jose Mourinho said: “The team was focused (against Ajax), playing at their best with good individual movement and as a team. We played a very good match and we have to keep going.
“We cannot win every match but with this attitude, commitment, and approach to matches, individual quality becomes collective quality and it is normal that the results start to come and that the team improves.”
Sunday also sees another big game at the top of the table as Atletico Madrid welcome Malaga to the Vicente Calderon for a second-versus-third clash (Atletico Madrid 8/11, draw 11/4, Malaga 7/2 – Full Time Result with bet365).
Tags: athletico madrid, Barcelona, carlos puyol, Champions League, football betting, football odds, Gerard Pique, Jose Mourinho, La Liga (Spain), Malaga, nou camp, real madrid, tito vilanova
La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | October 5, 2012 15:37 |
Real Madrid (9/2 Champions League outright with bet365) striker Gonzalo Higuain says his side’s recent Super Cup win over bitter rivals Barcelona will mean nothing if they fail to retain their La Liga title.
After losing the first-leg 3-2 at the Nou Camp, Los Blancos dominated Tito Vilanova‘s men at the Bernabeu on Wednesday and deservedly came away with their first piece of silverware of the season.
However, Jose Mourinho‘s side already have ground to make up on their great rivals in the league, after collecting just a single point from their opening two fixtures of the season.
Madrid upset the odds to win the title last term and have recently found themselves in the unfamiliar position as La Liga favourites over the summer.
Los Blancos have the perfect chance to record their first domestic win of the campaign against Granada on Sunday night (Match Betting – Real 1/12, draw 9/1, Granada 25/1 with bet365) and Higuain admits their recent success will mean nothing if they don’t retain their league crown.
“These matches are always very close and we are happy because we won,” he said. “What is a shame is that we were not able to score more goals.
“Now we must continue along the same path and win on Sunday because the league has just started.”
Tags: Barcelona, Champions League, football betting, football odds, gonzalo higuain, Granada, Jose Mourinho, La Liga (Spain), real madrid, tito vilanova
La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | September 2, 2012 14:21 |
Carles Puyol will return to training with Barcelona on Tuesday and could yet play against bitter rivals Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday (Real Madrid 13/8 draw 13/5 Barcelona 6/4 – 90 minutes bet365).
Barca confirmed the Spain defender fractured his right cheekbone in a challenge with Lamah in the 2-1 away win against Osasuna on Sunday.
It was feared the 34-year-old could be sidelined because of the injury but the deposed La Liga champions have refused to rule him out of the trip to the Spanish capital.
A club statement read: “The captain will maintain a conservative recovery plan, but he will join his team-mates for tomorrow’s training session. His recovery will mark his availability for the return leg of the Spanish Supercup against Madrid on Wednesday.”
Barca hold a 3-2 first-leg advantage from the Camp Nou last week but Jose Mourinho’s title winners are strengthened by the £30m signing of Luka Modric from Tottenham.
The Croatia midfielder, 26, passed a medical on Monday before signing a five-year contract with the capital giants and could make his debut against Barca (Real Madrid 7/4 – to lift the trophy bet365).
Real Madrid (7/2 to win the Champions League with bet365) manager Jose Mourinho has said that Brazilian star Kaka can leave the Bernabeu, but only at the right price.
The midfielder has been at the centre of much transfer speculation this summer, linked with a move to former club AC Milan who are 11/4 to win the Italian Serie A with bet365).
With the current Spanish champions looking to bolster their midfield, Tottenham’s Luka Modric being hotly tipped to move to Spain, and Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil seemingly preferred to the 30-year-old in the central roles, it appears Kaka may be surplus to requirements.
“If Kaka stays I would be happy and I am happy if he wants to go. In football it is normal that the players play where they want,” said the Portuguese coach.
“He is a very good footballer and prepared to be at his maximum level. If he decides to stay, then perfect. If he goes, that’s perfect too but we are not going to give him away for free. Those that want him have to pay for him.”
Kaka featured in a friendly against AC Milan on Wednesday night, where as a player he notched up 70 goals at the San Siro-based club.
Tags: ac milan, bet on football, Champions League, Champions League betting, england, football bet, football bets, football betting, football betting odds, football betting tips, football odds, free football bet, Jose Mourinho, kaka, Luka Modric, online betting football, online football bet, online football betting, online football odds, Serie A odds, Tottenham
La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | August 9, 2012 14:21 |
Real Madrid remain favourites at 8/15 with bet365 to win La Liga despite being held to a goalless draw by Valencia at the Bernabeu on Sunday night, but defender Alvaro Arbeloa has demanded the team gets back to winning ways in the derby on Wednesday.
Real’s lead at the top of the standings has been slashed to just four points from 10 over recent weeks with Valencia ‘inflicting’ the first goalless draw at the Bernabeu in five years.
Los Blancos failed to beat Malaga last month at home while they were also held to a 1-1 draw at strugglers Villarreal, with Barcelona cutting down the deficit after a 4-1 win at Real Zaragoza.
Arbeloa is confident that the four-point lead will prove decisive come the end of the season, but admits that the team needs to bounce back against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday (Atletico 5/1, draw 16/5, Real 8/15 – Match Betting with bet365).
“We always think we’re going to win our games, but there is a lot at stake for all teams right now and Valencia gave a good performance,” Arbeloa said.
“We’re aware of how many games we have to play in the season. We would have settled for having a four-point lead right now at the start of the campaign.
“We have to do our best to win every match, starting with the ones against Atletico Madrid and Sporting. We have to win on Wednesday, but Atletico are a strong side that’s changed a lot with [Diego] Simeone.”
Barcelona could have closed the gap to just a point ahead of the Madrid derby as they play host to Getafe on Tuesday night, while it has also been confirmed that El Clasico at the Nou Camp has been brought forward a day to April 21 ahead of the Champions League semi-finals.
Tags: alvaro arbeloa, atletico madrid, Barcelona, bernabeu, bet on football, el clasico odds and betting, football bet, football bets, football betting, football betting odds, football betting tips, free football bet, La Liga betting, La Liga odds, online betting football, online football bet, online football betting, online football odds, real madrid, real zaragoza, valencia, vicente calderon, villarreal
La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | April 9, 2012 15:54 |
With Real Madrid opening up a ten point lead at the top of La Liga over rivals Barcelona just a few weeks ago, the La Liga title looked all but settled, but after a couple of draws, Pep Guardiola’s men a right back in the hunt.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Barca boss Pep Guardiola as he is yet to sign a contract extension for next season. He only ever signs one-year deals with the club but this time round he is questioning his own motivation to continue in a job that requires such intense attention. He acknowledges that after 4 years of being top of the World game and setting incredibly high standards, that level of performance is difficult to maintain and he knows that he has to work even harder to create another cycle of success for the club. Those looking for football betting tips need to remember this.
The Barcelona legend has been linked with Chelsea over recent weeks but has also ruled himself out. Such is his association with the club and his loyalty and passion towards it; he will surely find it difficult to walk away.
After a few uncharacteristic like performances which let Real create the ten point lead, Barca are seemingly getting back into their side and the tempo of their games is increasing. Real Madrid and Mourinho may have got a little bit complacent with their position at the top but now the pressure is on them. Those who bet on football should bear this in mind.
Only six points separates the Spanish giants now, which means should Real lose a game while Barca win theirs, Aprils El Classico will give Barca a chance to go top on head to head points, and bag their fourth La Liga Championship in as many years.
Jose Luis Mendilibar has called on his Osasuna (11/10 in Match Betting with bet365) players to be mentally strong enough to fight off any fatigue from playing twice in four days as they prepare to face Getafe (13/5, Draw 11/5) on Tuesday.
Osasuna salvaged a point at Real Zaragoza on Saturday thanks to Roversio Rodrigues’ 88th-minute header and could, temporarily at least, move into fourth spot with a win over the Madrid-based club, who went 11th with a 1-0 home win over Real Sociedad.
But Mendilibar is playing down any suggestions of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
He told his club’s website: “We need to play strongly from the start and not think about the fact that we are going to tire, we are a side that to win has to run a lot and, moreover, we aren’t used to playing Saturday and then Tuesday.
“Every time we talk about the Champions we play the fool. We are only focusing on the three points, Getafe are a solid team that are difficult to beat and who don’t need to do much to great things to make it a difficult match for us.”
Mendilibar has been boosted by the return to fitness of Dejan Lekic just three weeks after he broke a bone in his forearm.
Sergio Fernandez has been rested so Roversio will continue at centre-back alongside Miguel Flano who returns from suspension.
Getafe boss Luis Garcia is worried about Osasuna’s threat from set-pieces and is expecting a typically intense fixture in Pamplona.
Tags: both teams to score, correct score, Getafe, Jose Luis Mendilibar, La Liga (Spain), Osasuna, outright winner, score anytime, to be relegated, top 4 finish, total goals
Football, La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | March 19, 2012 18:30 |
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola says although he will not give up on winning La Liga, he is now more concerned with retaining the Champions League (Barca 6/5 – Champions League outright with bet365).
Following Saturday’s 2-0 win away to Sevilla, the Catalans currently sit seven points behind their great rivals Real Madrid, but Jose Mourinho’s men have the perfect opportunity to extend their lead when they face Malaga at the Bernabeu on Sunday night.
Despite beating Real before the Christmas break, Guardiola’s side have fallen behind Los Blancos due to a number of sloppy performances, most notably the away defeats to Getafe and more recently Osasuna.
However, Barca have continued to impress in the cup competitions, qualifying for both the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the final of the Copa del Rey in May, where they willll face the ever improving Athletic Bilbao (Barca – 1/6 Copa del Rey outright).
The Blaugrana boss says he’s more worried about winning these two competitions as he cannot see his side’s deadly rivals Real slipping up.
“We’re just here to do our job and win what we can” he said. “You already know my opinion on the league – we’d love to compete for the league right until the end, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.”
Tags: athletic bilbao, Champions League, soccer betting, valencia, Barcelona, Copa del Rey, Jose Mourinho, Malaga, pep guardiola, real madrid, soccer bet, soccer odds
La Liga (Spain) | Football Betting News | March 18, 2012 17:06 |