Terry Gibson’s La Liga Betting: Expect more misery for Atletico with classy Las Palmas in town


Atletico Madrid v Las Palmas, Saturday 15.15

Last season this would have been an absolute banker of a home win, but unfortunately for Atletico in their current state, that is not the case here. 

Last Monday night’s result and performance away at Villarreal was a rude awakening for anyone still believing that Atletico could rapidly find some form and still somehow catch Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla to join the title race.

I believed they could due to the utmost faith that I have in Diego Simeone, but the level of intensity in that game was an all-time low since the first day he took charge. It really was that bad.

He recognised the signs after 10 minutes when he got out on the touchline to crack the whip. It worked for a few minutes, but no more than that and impressive Villarreal took full advantage to run home easy 3-0 winners.

That performance bore no resemblance to what we have become accustomed to from Atletico over the last five years and it is going to be really interesting to see how it all works out.

To rub salt into the wound, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak suffered a dislocated shoulder whilst making a mistake that led to Villarreal's second goal and is going to be missing for a while after having surgery.

My feeling on this particular game is that it could well be worth a bet on Las Palmas avoiding defeat.

Las Palmas are a breath of fresh air in La Liga. They play a unique style of football that stands out even in the progressively technical Spanish league.

It appears as if to score a goal there has to be a stepover, back heel and a Cruyff turn somewhere in the move and against Villarreal earlier this season they did all of those and Kevin Prince Boateng finished it off with a scissor kick. It was truly one of the best goals I have ever seen! 

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The big problem for Las Palmas in this game, though, is that they are much better at home back in Gran Canaria – 16 points this season at home and just five away.

Therefore, they will still go into this game as outsiders but are capable of taking something from the Vicente Calderon if Atletico play once again like they did at Villarreal. 

Simeone certainly needs Antoine Griezmann to start firing again up front – it is now eight La Liga games without a goal for the Frenchman.

If you are looking for an unlikely outsider, though, Las Palmas could well be worth a gamble at 10.00 for a win, but my big tip is the visitors to avoid defeat with a win or draw at 3.60.

An in-form Atletico would win this game, but they are anything but in form.

In other games on Saturday, improving Granada are now unbeaten in the last two games and could be surprise winners against high-flying Real Sociedad, who lost 5-1 to Deportivo in their last away game. 

Leicester City's future Champions League opponents Sevilla face plucky and determined Malaga at home in another Saturday match-up and should have enough to see them claim another home victory.