Spanish La Liga Preview

Atletico Madrid moved one step closer to their first Spanish league title in 18 years with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Valencia, Lionel Messi completed Barcelona's wild 3-2 comeback win at Villarreal to keep their chances alive while Cristiano did similar for Real Madrid.

Rayo Vallecano 28/10 draw 24/10 Athletic Bilbao 19/20
Vallecano eased to a 3-0 away win over Granada to move into ninth spot. It was Vallecano’s fourth game unbeaten, bagging three wins. Athletic Bilbao, who have a six-point lead in the race for fourth, can clinch a Champions League spot with a win here. What should have been a massive battle for fourth place turned into a one-sided affair as Bilbao defeated Sevilla 3-1 at home. Bilbao only won the reverse fixture 2-1 and have struggled for victories on the road so far, with just six wins in 17 travels. The draw is on the cards. 

Barcelona 1/14 draw 87/10 Getafe 27/1
Barcelona came back from 2-0 down to beat Villarreal 3-2 on Sunday night to keep their title hopes alive. They sit four points off leaders Atletico and will need maximum points again this weekend when they host a Getafe side who lie just two points off the relegation zone. Getafe managed to pull out an improbable 1-0 home win over Malaga on Saturday afternoon, earning three points and moving out of the relegation zone. Barcelona have won 16 of their 17 home matches, scoring a massive 61 goals and conceding just 12. The home win is a banker bet. Go with HT Win at 3/10 for a little more value. 

Malaga 11/10 draw 23/10 Elche 9/4
After a narrow away loss Malaga return to their home stadium that has served them well of late, beating Granada 4-1 and Villarreal 2-0 last month. Elche moved three points adrift of relegation with a 1-1 draw at home to Levante. Malaga managed a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture and look a good bet at 11/10 for the win again. 

Osasuna 1/1 draw 9/4 Celta Vigo 11/4
Osasuna suffered a 4-0 defeat at the Bernabeu to Real Madrid that leaves them just two points above the drop zone. They have drawn their last three home matches and face a Celta Vigo side who have nothing to play for. For the second consecutive game Celta scored 4 goals when they beat Valladolid 4-0 at home on Monday night. The win moved them into 10th place. The home win is on the cards.  

Valladolid 1/1 draw 24/10 Espanyol 27/10
Real Valladolid's relegation fears deepened on Monday night as they were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Celta Vigo. Espanyol were beaten 2-1 at home to Almeria. Although Valladolid have it all to play for, it’s difficult seeing them beat an Espanyol side who have just lost and won this reverse fixture 4-2. The draw is tipped.  

Almeria 13/20 draw 27/10 Betis 43/10
Almeria kept their survival hopes alive after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Espanyol. Espanyol had the lead at the end of the first-half, only for their scorer Stuani to get his marching orders, just after the second-half began. The second half saw the visitors more adventurous going forward and in the space of five minutes, they struck twice and sealed a priceless three points to move just two points away from safety. On the other hand their opponents this weekend, Real Betis, became the first side to be relegated from La Liga this season after falling to 13 points away from 17th place. Almeria won the first round meeting 1-0 and have it all to play for here. The home win is tipped.

Levante 11/1 draw 36/10 Atletico Madrid 3/10
Atletico Madrid closed in on the La Liga title after a narrow win 1-0 against Valencia. The log leaders lie four points ahead of Barcelona and six points ahead of Real Madrid who have a game in hand. Next up for Atletico is a trip to mid-table Levante who have won just once in their last eight. Atletico should fight for another victory en route to the La Liga title. 

Sevilla 15/20 draw 26/10 Villarreal 7/2
Sevilla dropped six points off Bilbao for a Champions League spot after losing 3-1 at Bilbao on Sunday. They play seventh place Villarreal looking to maintain fifth spot with Sociedad just two points off them. Villarreal will feel unfortunate to have lost their 2-0 lead to Barcelona, eventually going down 3-2 after two own goals. Sevilla won the reverse fixture 2-1 and will have the crucial home advantage that should see them nick it again. 

Real Madrid 2/11 draw 6/1 Valencia 11/1
Cristiano Ronaldo scored two scorching long-range goals to help Real Madrid beat Osasuna 4-0 and stay in the title chase while resting several first-choice players for their Champions League semi-final second leg at Bayern Munich. They come up against a Valencia side who could find no way to the back of the net against a solid Atletico Madrid backline last weekend. Madrid are a banker bet here. 

Real Sociedad 5/10 draw 32/10 Granada 5/1
Real Sociedad booked their place in the Europa League for next season as they rubbed in the misery for Real Betis, who learned of their relegation before kick-off. Sociedad were hardly at their best, but did enough to take advantage thanks to Carlos Vela's penalty early in the second half. Granada were beaten comprehensively at home against Vallecano going down 3-0. Sociedad beat Espanyol 2-1 in their last home game and should be backed to beat Granada here. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Vallecano DRAW 24/10
Barcelona WIN 1/14
Malaga WIN 11/10
Osasuna WIN 1/1
Valladolid DRAW 24/10
Almeria WIN 13/20
Atletico WIN 3/10
Sevilla WIN 15/20
Real Madrid WIN 2/11
Sociedad WIN 5/10