Spanish La Liga Preview




With international matches out the way, La Liga resumes with all eyes firmly on the race for the title. Barcelona’s 2-1 El Clasico win over rivals Real Madrid sees them four points clear at the top of the table. This weekend will see Barca travel to Celta Vigo who beat them 1-0 in the reverse fixture. Meanwhile, Real Madrid will be expected to return to winning ways when they host Granada. Elsewhere, Valencia have the task of claiming maximum points at home to Villarreal or risk losing third spot to Atletico Madrid.

Friday
Eibar 31/20 | Draw 22/10 | Rayo Vallecano 18/10
Eibar ended their eight match losing streak by picking up a point in a goalless draw at Granada last time out. They will host a Rayo Vallecano side who are coming off two home wins after being thrashed 6-1 at Camp Nou by Barcelona. They were also beaten 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao the weekend prior to that thrashing. Eibar managed a 3-2 win at Vallecano in the reverse fixture and with home advantage should be backed to end their 10 game winless streak.

Saturday
Sevilla 15/20 | Draw 27/10 | Athletic Bilbao 36/10
Both Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao are in red-hot form with five wins on the trot. Sevilla’s run includes two wins over Villarreal in the Europa League while Bilbao’s managed a 1-0 home win over Real Madrid last month. Sevilla come into the clash as clear favourites due to their impressive home form this season. Los Rojiblancos (The Red and Whites) are unbeaten at home with 10 wins and four draws. However, Bilbao are unbeaten in their last four travels, picking up three wins. They also won the reverse fixture and have beaten Sevilla in six of the last eight meetings, losing just once. The draw is tipped.  

Cordoba 77/10 | Draw 31/10 | Atletico Madrid 4/10
Bottom of the log Cordoba will host an Atletico Madrid side who are looking to reclaim third spot. An early red card in Cordoba’s last match against Real Sociedad meant they would eventually lose the game 3-1 and suffer two more players being sent off which will not help their cause. It was their ninth consecutive loss that sees them seven points off safety. After three draws in La Liga, Atletico got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home win against Getafe. Atleti claimed a 4-2 victory over Cordoba in the reverse fixture and should do enough to pull the double over them here. 

Almeria 11/10 | Draw 9/4 | Levante 26/10
Both these relegation scrappers are on 25 points occupying 17th and 18th position. Almeria are winless in their last six matches but have managed to keep a decent home record recently. They are unbeaten in their last three four home games, winning once and drawing three times. Levante have won just one away game all season and have lost their last six travels. Levante won the first round meeting between the sides but home advantage should see Almeria avenge that defeat. 

Malaga 19/20 | Draw 23/10 | Real Sociedad 3/1
Seventh place Malaga will host a Real Sociedad side that have moved up to ninth place after winning their last three matches. Malaga have been decent at home with eight wins, three draws and only three losses. Real Sociedad have been horrendous on the road having only picked up their first away win in their last travel. Malaga won the reverse fixture 1-0 and are tipped for another victory over Sociedad. 

Sunday
Real Madrid 1/12 | Draw 95/10 | Granada 23/1
Real Madrid fell four points off log leaders Barcelona after losing 2-1 at Camp Nou. Their fans will be expecting nothing less than a goal fest when they host relegation side Granada to the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid have won 11 of their 13 home games while Granada have won just once on the road all season. Real Madrid won this fixture 2-0 last season and won the first round meeting this season 4-0. With no value in the home win I’m going with Real Madrid to be the only team to score at 15/20. 

Valencia 21/20 | Draw 5/2 | Villarreal 5/2
Valencia kept up their momentum in the race for third spot by trouncing Elche 4-0 away from home last time out. Their opponents are looking poor after losing three times to Sevilla and drawing at Almeria in their last four matches. Valencia have the best home record in the league with 12 wins, one draw and just one loss. Villarreal have been inconsistent on the road, winning just four of their 14 games and drawing seven. Valencia won the reverse fixture 3-1 and won this match 2-1 last season. Valencia should continue their winning ways.

Getafe 11/10 | Draw 21/10 | Deportivo 26/10
Getafe are coming off two losses to Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid, and will be happy to be hosting Deportivo who are winless in their last six league matches, losing four times. Deportivo have been poor on the road and have managed to score just six goals in 13 travels. Getafe have picked up just five wins at home from 14 matches, netting a measly 11 goals. The under 2.5 goals market looks a solid bet at 11/20. 

Celta Vigo 6/1 | Draw 4/1 | Barcelona 4/10
Barcelona will host Celta Vigo on Sunday night with only one thing on their mind, revenge. Celta Vigo managed a 1-0 win at Camp Nou last year November. However, they have failed to show similar form since and have dropped down to 11th place after spending last year in the top half of the table. Celtic have claimed just five home wins from 14 home games, losing four times. Barca have done well on the road and won this fixture 3-0 last season. Back the away win. 

Monday 
Espanyol 6/10 | Draw 26/10 | Elche 5/1
Espanyol are coming off two goalless draws at home to Atletico Madrid and away at Deportivo. Their opponents have been poor on the road, losing seven of their 13 travels and winning just three times. Espanyol have blown hot and cold at home but have managed to rack up seven wins and lose only three times. The Barcelona based club won this fixture 3-1 last season and look strong favourites to repeat a similar result. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Eibar WIN 31/20
Sevilla DRAW 27/10
Atletico Madrid WIN 4/10
Almeria WIN 11/10
Malaga WIN 19/20
Real Madrid ONLY TEAM TO SCORE 15/20
Valencia WIN 21/20
Getafe U2.5 GOALS 11/20
Barcelona WIN 4/10
Espanyol WIN 6/10