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Espanyol have the capability of halting Barcelona’s run

| 18.12.2010

Espanyol have won all seven of their La Liga home games to date this season, but they arguably face their toughest test next as they prepare to host current table toppers Barcelona.

Barcelona have been on fire in the league of late, scoring 27 goals in their last six league games and winning nine on the bounce in La Liga.

This shows the nature of the task facing Espanyol, but they definitely have the capabilities of keeping things much tighter than many other teams have managed against Barcelona of late.

Pep Guardiola’s team are 2/7 to beat Espanyol in the La Liga betting odds, but have not scored more than two goals against the opposition in a single game since the 2003/04 season.

Espanyol have matched Barcelona in terms of dominance in their home games, maintaining a 100 per cent record through seven games and conceding just two goals.

They are 10/1 to beat Barcelona, but the best betting opportunity could lie in the game featuring under 2.5 goals, which can be backed at 6/4.

The other televised Saturday La Liga game sees Real Sociedad host Valencia, with the recent history between the pair pointing towards the visitors leaving with the three points.

Valencia have triumphed in both of their last two away games with Sociedad and are 11/8 in the La Liga betting market to do so this season.

The opening 15 minutes could have a major bearing on the result, with Sociedad having a massive chance of winning if they manage to keep things tight.

Valencia have already netted six times in the opening 15 minutes of games this season, while Sociedad have not won in their seven home games where they have failed to keep a clean sheet.

Real Sociedad are 15/8 to beat Valencia, with the draw priced at 23/10.

A £10 bet on Espanyol and Barcelona grinding out a 0-0 draw could lead to a payout of £120. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.