Back in November, Barcelona put 8 past Almeria in a ruthless visit to La Liga' s minnows, and surely it will only be a matter of how many for Real. Mourinho has no new injury worries and it seems he will go with the same front 4 that beat Villarreal with Kaka likely to come off the bench again. It seems worth hanging on to the Brazilian (market 11.78, bought at 10.38) whose value is only going to go up, and the same should apply to Karim Benzema (m 12.81, b 11.69) with Mourinho, sort of backing the Frenchman this week.
Barcelona (1st) v Malaga (16th) (Sun)
And surely another routine win and a record for Barca against the recently moneyed Malaga. The Boquerones have added Julio Baptista, Ignacio Camacho, Sergio Asenjo, Enzo Maresca and Martin Demichelis, but this surely will not be enough to resist Messi et al. Unsurprisingly, in fantasy terms there are no great bargains to be had. Of the front three - Messi (45.83), David Villa (28.14), Rodriguez (21.14) - only the latter looks great value. Villa averages 13 but even when he scored last week, he only got 12.5. In midfield, it is tempting to take a punt on new signing Ibrahim Affellay (4.07), who was on the bench for the past two games and is surely due a first team opportunity soon.
Villarreal (3rd) v Osasuna (15th) (sat)
Surely a home win for the Submarine, who by many accounts gave Real a run for their money, despite losing 4-2 last week. With Ruben starting and scoring in that game in the place of the long term injured Nilmar, this unknown quantity looks set to continue up front with Rossi and looks a bargain at 6.55. In midfield, the attacking options of Cani (10.71), Carzola (15.26, averaging 8.03) or Valero (11.77) appeal. Also, Diego Lopez has to come into the fantasy goal, his price having sank to 11.26 thanks to his conceding 4 at Real. But the yellows can take nothing for granted; Osasuna's Ricardo was the top scoring goalkeeper last week at home to Getafe. Although, this may also say a lot about Osasuna's defensive short comings.
|Ruben "Warpath" Villarreal, not to be confused with Ruben, Villarreal|
Valencia 4th v Deportivo 13th (Sun)
Valencia have to be clear favourites, cruising into the game on a great run of form, while Deportivo will still be recovering from the 4-0 battering at home to Barca last week. Valencia's Juan Mata scored the only goal last week in their one nil win at Levante and, with the striker penning a new deal this week, looks a safe pick. Although, priced at 18.38, there may be some better bargains around (e.g. Ruben).
Sevilla 10th v Espanyol 5th (Sat)
This is the most closely matched tie of the round with both sides in fantastic form heading into this game. Sevilla have won 4 on the trot and in Kanoute and Fabiano have an in form, dangerous strike force. But, Espanyol have one of the best keepers in the league at the moment in Carles Kameni.
Athl Madrid 6th v Mallorca 8th (Mon)
This should be one of the games of the week but both teams are likely to cancel each other out. Forlan is tempting at 17 but the Uruguayan hasn't scored in La Liga for 6 weeks. Likewise, Aguero (20), is unlikey to have a great time against a decent Mallorca defence.
And the rest...
Getafe 7th v Real Sociedad 12th
Zaragoza 20th v LEV 17th
Sporting 18th v Hercules 11th
Athl Bilbao 9th v Racing 14th