With the aid of Football Form Lab’s player analysis tool have come up with a few great value bets.
Villarreal v Alaves, Saturday 12:00
Rodri (DM), Villarreal
Rodri has played 1239 successful passes this season – that’s 371 more than any of his teammates. Furthermore, no player has made more interceptions or blocked more shots for the Yellow Submarine. The only La Liga match he’s failed to complete the full 90 in this season was when he came off injured early in the second half at home against Sevilla in November and Sevilla promptly scored three times. He was left out of the starting XI for two Copa del Rey ties which both resulted in defeats, against Leganes and lower league Ponferradina, while in Europe he was left out for a home draw with Slavia Prague and a home defeat against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Essentially, most of Villarreal’s worst performances this season have come in his absence. With Alaves winning five of eight La Liga matches since the start of December – five in six if excluding games against the top two – they look well placed to take advantage of a weak Villarreal midfield and are worth chancing to score at least twice.
VfB Stuttgart v B. Monchengladbach, Sunday 14:30
Raffael (FW) and Oscar Wendt (LB), Monchengladbach
Both teams come into this game in poor form, B. Monchengladbach losing all their last four games on the road and Stuttgart losing three of their last four at home. However, the Swabians’ three losses were against top-five sides Schalke, Bayern and Leverkusen and excluding the top-six they’ve won five of their six games at home while conceding only one goal. The Foals, meanwhile, are struggling on the road and will be without their joint top scorer Raffael for this one. The travelling side have lost just 25% of their 16 games with Raffael in the side this season compared to four of five without him, including three defeats to nil.
Barcelona v Getafe, Sunday 15:15
Gerard Pique (CB), Samuel Umtiti (CB) and Thomas Vermaelen (CB), Barcelona
Barcelona remain unbeaten having won 18 of their 22 games so far this season and are nine points clear at the top. Their defence has been particularly impressive and since the start of last season Barcelona have had either Samuel Umtiti or Gerard Pique in all but three of their league games. However, both are absent here and in those previous three the pair have both missed, all against unfancied sides, they kept just one clean sheet and were even beaten at home by 30/1 shots Alaves. Furthermore, Thomas Vermaelen, Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu were available to fill in during those matches and none will be playing here. The key man must be Umtiti who is arguably the best defender in the world at the moment and over this season and last Barcelona have won just 59% of their games without him compared to a staggering 87% with him. So we’re going to go against the odds and back Getafe to score.