La Liga Preview: Barcelona could get bloody nose in Coliseum

Barcelona must be prepared to fight against Getafe

Tito Vilanova's men are on the ropes after a busy week of internationals and Tobias Gourlay thinks Getafe have the nous to keep them right there

"Real Madrid have been ahead at half-time in 22/29 road games they've won under Mourinho"

Back Real Madrid/Real Madrid @ 2.608/5

Getafe v Barcelona
Saturday 19:00 BST (Live on Sky Sports 4)
Getafe 11.521/2 Barcelona 1.331/3 draw 6.05/1

Even Pep Guardiola couldn't shake the 'Fifa virus' that infects the build-up to club matches that immediately follow international breaks. Away from home in such games, the old boss ended up with more draws than wins (W5-D6-L0). For big clubs, then, international 'breaks' are no such thing: most members of the squad are called on to do arduous patriotic duty.

Players get an extra day to recover now that internationals take place on Tuesdays, but Spain had to go as far as Georgia this time. Iniesta went all the way there just to hurt his thigh and Jordi Alba too might now miss Barcelona's trip to Getafe this weekend. He has tonsillitis, while Chile's Alexis Sanchez has also been ruled out and Barca's other South Americans - Messi, Mascherano, Alves - have all dashed home and back in the last week or so.

Tito Vilanova is banished to the stands after a set-to with a linesman on Barca's last away trip, and his opposite number, Luis Garcia, knows exactly how to exploit the extra space on the touchline. The second part of this blog can fill you in, but, in summary, Garcia defied the odds keeping Levante in La Liga a couple of years ago and specialises in upset results against the division's biggest teams. Just last month Real Madrid came to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez and were beaten 2-1.

Barca lost the title on the road last season and it was in fixtures like this one - which they lost 1-0 -
that they struggled for motivation. In Pamplona last month, the result was right, but the performance was way off.

On Saturday they are fighting history too: Opta has noticed that Catalonia's finest have won their first four league games in only one of the last 14 seasons. Will Vilanova be able to gee them up from row Z? Possibly, but laying the favourites at 1.331/3 is still advised.

Recommended Bet
Lay Barcelona @ 1.331/3

Sevilla v Real Madrid
Saturday 21:00 BST
(Live on Sky Sports 4)
Sevilla 6.05/1 Real 1.654/6 draw 4.3100/30

Real Madrid appear to have an antidote to the Fifa virus. Their results in the aftermath of internationals are broadly similar to those in any other round of the season. This time, everyone's available apart from Fabio Coentrao, who is suspended.

Jose Mourinho has run up a tennis score on two previous trips to Sevilla with Real (6-2, 6-2) and there's something to cheer up Cristiano Ronaldo in particular: he scored seven of those 12 goals.

Alvaro Negredo's name is attached to three of Sevilla's four goals. The Beast of Vallecas spent three years as a young man in the Real Madrid B team, but never graduated. He's keen to do well, then, and has scored in two of the new season's first three rounds. (But for a missed penalty against his home-town club, Rayo Vallecano, that record would be 3/3.) Tack on the end of the last campaign and he's found the back of the net in nine of his last 12 league outings.

The beast might be roused, but he might also be too late. Under various managers, including the incumbent Michel, Sevilla have fallen behind before the interval in each of their last five home games with the Big Two. The combined half-time score from those matches is 0-11.

Real have been ahead at 45 minutes in 22 of the 29 road games they've won under Mourinho and backing the Real Madrid/Real Madrid double result is a good way of turning an odds-on win bet into something a little longer.

Recommended Bet
Back Real Madrid/Real Madrid @ 2.608/5

Granada v Deportivo La Coruna
Sunday 15:00 BST
Granada 2.35/4 Deportivo 3.613/5 draw 3.3512/5

Granada are part of a group of clubs that includes Udinese and Watford, and belongs to the Pozzo family. Loan deals abound within the group and none of the front four in Juan Antonio Anquela's 4-2-3-1 were playing for Granada last season.

They merit a little more time to get to know each other, but Opta's researchers are merciless and it was not going to be long before they noticed that striker Floro Flores has had more shots without scoring (13) than any other La Liga player this season.

Borja Gomez is suspended for Granada, which means a new partner for Inigo Lopez in central defence, and the value is on unbeaten Deportivo's side of the line.

Jose Luis Oltra's visitors are quite unlike the Miguel Angel Lotina outfit that disappeared around the U-bend and into the Segunda in 2011. Back then, 0-0 was the target result and any goal was a bewildering bonus. Oltra's lot are unbeaten after three rounds of the season, scoring six times. The draw in Valencia, where they recovered from 3-1 down, was impressive and the team has ample top-flight experience - Aranzubia, Marchena, Valeron - at least to match that result in Andalusia on Sunday.

The layers are generous enough to offer Deportivo 0&+0.5 at evens and you should not refuse them. On the Asian Handicap, this means you win in full if Depor win, and win on half your stake - the other half is returned - if the match is drawn.

Recommended Bet
Back Deportivo 0&+0.5 @ 2.01/1

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