Spanish La Liga Preview

After a weekend where none of the top trio won, the La Liga title race looks set for an increasingly mouthwatering final day. Four teams are still facing the threat of relegation. Malaga, Espanyol, Elche and Getafe breathed a sigh of relief with their respective results, leaving Almería, Granada, Valladolid and Osasuna with work still to do.

Malaga 19/20 draw 9/4 Levante 3/1
Malaga are on a high after depriving Atletico Madrid the title earning a 1-1 draw at the Vicente Calderon. They will host another team who are safe from relegation but will be looking to possibly finish a place higher with a win in their final game. Levante are in excellent form, unbeaten in their last four games and coming off two consecutive home wins against Atletico Madrid and Valencia. Malaga haven’t performed well at home. Levante won the first round game 1-0 and the draw is tipped. 

Real Madrid 4/10 draw 38/10 Espanyol 58/10
Two horrendous mistakes by Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso destroyed Real Madrid’s hopes of winning the treble. To have a chance of lifting La Liga Madrid needed Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to stumble, which they did, but failed to keep their own part of the bargain. They put in a miserable display at Celta Vigo, creating little and handing Celta Vigo their goals on a silver platter to lose 2-0. This weekend they host an Espanyol side who have lost five of their last seven matches, drawing their other two. With the Champions League final in mind, Real will rest some key players. However, they should do enough to get the three points. They are unbeaten against Espanyol since 2007, winning 11 times and drawing on just three occasions. 

Barcelona 15/20 draw 27/10 Atletico Madrid 36/10
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Valencia 15/20 draw 27/10 Celta Vigo 36/10
Both sides will be going all out here as a win for Valencia will see them pass move a place above Celta Vigo on goal difference. These sdes are in opposite ends of the form table with Valencia winless in their last four games while Celta Vigo have climbed the table into eighth position after winning four in a row. Celta Vigo’s most impressive performance of those four wins was their 2-0 win at home to Real Madrid last weekend. However, Valencia can play some good football at home and are tipped to get the home win. 

Real Sociedad 19/20 draw 26/10 Villarreal 26/10
Real Sociedad will be looking to keep sixth spot with at least a draw against Villarreal who lie three points adrift in seventh place. Sociedad earned a 1-1 draw at Bilbao last time out to stretch their unbeaten run to five games. With a Europa league berth already secured, Villarreal rolled to a 4-0 win over 10-man Rayo Vallecano in their last home game of the league on Saturday. The Yellow Submarines won the reverse fixture 5-1 and are tipped at good value to pick up the away win. 

Almeria 13/10 draw 9/4 Athletic Bilbao 2/1
Almeria climbed out of the La Liga relegation zone with a 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Granada at the weekend. A penalty in each half saw Almería grab the crucial three points on the road that sees them three points clear of the relegation zone. This weekend they host Athletic Bilbao who have already secured their crucial fourth place finish. A draw will ensure Almeria another season in the top flight but even that result will be a difficult task considering the 6-1 thrashing they received from Bilbao in the reverse fixture. The away win is tipped at good value.  

Osasuna 4/10 draw 7/2 Betis 64/10
Osasuna’s crucial point earned at Espanyol last weekend means a win in their final game will could save them from relegation. They couldn’t have asked for a better fixture in this crucial final match as they host bottom of the table Betis. Betis have won just 1 away match out of 18, drawing just four. Betis came from behind three times to beat Real Valladolid 4-3 last weekend but those heroics are unlikely to feature again for the already relegated side. Osasuna won the first round encounter 2-1 and considering how much they have to play for, should manage to collect maximum points here.

Rayo Vallecano 27/10 draw 18/10 Getafe 5/4
Vallecano are coming off a 4-0thrashing at Villarreal but will be confident of finishing the season on a positive note when they return to their home stadium where they have picked up some crucial points of late. Getafe picked up an invaluable three points at home to Sevilla with a 1-0 win that will surely see them avoid relegation. Vallecano have beaten Getafe in the last five meetings and should make it six here. 

Valladolid 11/10 draw 21/10 Granada 27/10
The head-on clash between Valladolid and Granada will be the stage for the biggest drama along with the Barca vs Atletico clash. The loser is doomed to relegation. In the event of a draw, Valladolid will go down. Valladolid’s strongest attribute at home this season is their defensive record. They have conceded just 16 goals in 18 matches, scoring 20 goals. Granada have struggled on the road, conceding 34 goals in their 18 games, scoring just 13 goals. The home win is tipped.  

Sevilla 13/20 draw 26/10 Elche 42/10
Sevilla will look to keep a hold on their fifth position as they go into their final match against an Elche side who earned a valuable point at home to Barcelona which secured them their La Liga status. Elche also held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw at home but with home advantage with the Red and Whites, I predict a home win.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Malaga DRAW 9/4
Real Madrid WIN 4/10
Valencia WIN 15/20
Villarreal WIN 26/10
Bilbao WIN 2/1
Osasuna WIN 4/10
Vallecano WIN 27/10
Valladolid WIN 11/10
Sevilla WIN 13/20