Happy New Year and welcome to WhereToWatch.com’s first ever Quiniela. Every week I will use my super awesome psychic abilities to predict the winners, losers and inbetweeners in La Liga, Spain’s top flight football league. For those of you who have never seen or heard of a Quiniela it is common way of betting on football (soccer) across the globe.
Here is how it works: La Liga has 20 teams in the top flight which means that there are 10 games every week. I will cover each game and assign a ‘1’ for a home team win, an ‘x’ for a draw, and a ‘2’ for an away team win. Please feel free to post your own Quiniela in the comments section. At the end of the season if you have a better winning percentage than I do Todd will buy you a steak dinner at the restaurant of your choosing. Let’s get started!
1. Racing de Santander (19th) – Zaragoza (20th): 1.
Two teams at the bottom of the table. I am simply going with the home team here.
2. Levante (4th) – Mallorca (14th): 1.
Levante had an unprecedented run the first half of the season and find themselves in an excellent 4th place to start the new year. It is going to be interesting to see if they can keep it up as Levante doesn’t have much depth and that may prove to be its undoing in the next couple of months. Nevertheless, I don’t see Mallorca as up to the challenge.
3. Real Sociedad (15th) – Osasuna (5th): 1.
Real Sociedad has been so difficult to measure this season. Manager Phillip Montanier has been changing things all season long and the lack of stability does take its toll. I’m still going with Real Sociedad for home win.
4. Real Madrid (1st) – Granada (13th): 1.
Easy, easy 1. The Special One, Jose Mourinho, threatened earlier this week that he would have benched all of his players at half-time of last week’s Copa Del Rey match at home against Malaga as the Merengues were down two-nil. Granada is unlucky to face what will surely be a hyped up Madrid.
5. Málaga (7th) – Atletico de Madrid (10th): 1.
Málaga’s mind will most likely be on its forthcoming tie with Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, which they actually have a shot at winning. This is a perfect time for Atletico de Madrid to come in and steal a game but with a new manager it may take some time to adjust. Malaga at home.
6. Rayo Vallecano (16th) – Sevilla (6th): 2.
Jose Antonio Reyes comes home to Sevilla after shuffling between five teams over the last nine years. Not exactly Cesc Fabregas back to Barcelona but I still like Sevilla’s chances.
7. Getafe (12th) – Athletic de Bilbao (9th): X.
I have no idea what is going to happen here so I opt to take the coward’s way out and predict a tie.
8. Villarreal (17th) – Valencia (3rd): 2.
Villarreal, once a pillar of excellent Spanish football has been having a very disappointing season. Injuries, budget issues have all been factors in their decline and I see Valencia sinking the ‘yellow submarine’ this weekend.
9. Betis (11th) – Sporting de Gijón (18th): 1.
Betis has been playing well this season and will be looking to maintain its comfortable position in the middle of the table.
10. Espanyol (8th) – Barcelona (2nd): 2.
The Catalan derby! Espanyol can from time to time give Barcelona fits, but Barcelona simply looks great over the last month since beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Please note, dear reader, that there will probably be lots of uninspired writing in this column about Barcelona as there simply is not much to say that hasn’t been said about their dominance in the last few years.
By: Ryan Moore