Spanish La Liga Preview




Real Madrid and Barcelona both managed to win their gameweek 35 La Liga matches, ensuring that the race for the title remains as close as ever with just three matches remaining. Los Blancos beat Sevilla 3-2, while the Catalans romped to a massive 8-0 win over Cordoba, who are mathematically certain of relegation following the result. Real will host fourth placed Valencia as they look to keep up with Barca, while the Catalans will be expected to exact revenge when they host Real Sociedad. Six teams who lie above Cordoba will be fighting for their lives this weekend, which makes for some interesting betting.




Friday 

Eibar 16/10 | Draw 2/1 | Espanyol 19/10
After a fairytale first half of the season, Eibar miraculously find themselves fighting relegation. The Segunda champions have lost 14 of their 16 second round matches and head into this game off five straight defeats. They will host an Espanyol side whom they managed to beat 2-1 in the reverse tie. Their opponents don’t have much to play for as they safely lie in mid-table. They have won just one of their last four games and are coming off a 1-1 draw at home to Rayo Vallecano. Sixteenth place Eibar will want this more and are tipped to pull away from the relegation zone by picking up maximum points. 

Saturday

Granada 9/20 | Draw 33/10 | Cordoba 67/10
Granada and Cordoba will meet in a bottom of the table clash on Saturday with only the home team left with something to play for. Last placed Cordoba's relegation from La Liga was confirmed after Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ran riot in a humiliating 8-0 defeat by Barcelona. Granada grabbed a lifeline by overcoming Getafe 2-1 away from home and now lie just three points from safety. Cordoba are winless in their last 17 matches, losing 14 times. These sides met at this stadium in the cup with Granada winning 1-0. A similar result is tipped. 

Barcelona 1/16 | Draw 11/1 | Real Sociedad 30/1 
Messi scored his 40th league goal of the season and Suarez grabbed his first Barcelona hat-trick as the league leaders relegated Cordoba with an 8-0 thrashing to stay two points clear of Real Madrid with three games left to play. Ivan Rakitic, Gerard Pique and Neymar were the other goalscorers. Messi has now scored 51 goals in all competitions this season breaking the half-century mark for the fourth time in his career. Barca know they need maximum points and will look to win in similar style to last week as Real Sociedad managed to beat them 1-0 in the reverse fixture. Sociedad are coming off a comfortable 3-0 home win over Levante. However, their away form has been bad all season, racking up just one victory from 17 travels, losing eight times. Back Barca to be leading by halftime at 3/10 if you are looking for a banker bet. 



Athletic Bilbao 11/20 | Draw 31/10 | Deportivo 5/1

Athletic Bilbao continued on their impressive surge up the table by moving into seventh spot courtesy of holding the champions Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw away from home. They will face a Deportivo side who are looking likely to go back down where they came from. They are winless in their last 13 matches, losing seven times. Deportivo’s last away game ended in a 4-0 thumping from Elche and they will need to be at their best to gain even a point, yet alone three. Bilbao are unbeaten in their last four matches, winning twice and conceding just one goal. They are unbeaten in their last six home games, winning four times since Barca beat them. The home win is tipped.

Sunday

Levante 11/2 | Draw 28/10 | Atletico Madrid 11/20
Atletico Madrid could have secured third place if it had not been for some disastrous refereeing in their goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon. Not one, but two clearly good goals were ruled out for offside, while Fernando Torres also aggressively confronted the referee for failing to award him a clear penalty. The draw was not a disaster for Diego Simeone's men, who still lead Valencia by four points in the race for an automatic Champions League place. However, it could make for a nervous end to the campaign with Barcelona still to visit them. They will host a Levante side who are five points away from the relegation zone and need just one win to secure their top flight status for one more season. Levante are coming off a 3-0 humiliation from Real Sociedad and I expect Atletico to bounce back with a win here.  

Villarreal 4/10 | Draw 37/10 | Elche 7/1
Villarreal’s winless run stretched to nine games, after drawing 1-1 at home to relegation dwellers Deportivo. However, the point earned was valuable as the Yellow Submarines maintained their six point lead over Athletic Bilbao for a Europa League spot. They will host an Elche team that have won four of their last five matches to get out of the relegation scrap. Villarreal have managed 10 home wins from 17 this season and it’s only a matter of time before they break their bad form. The reverse fixture was drawn 2-2 and Villarreal are tipped to make full use of home advantage to claim three points. 

Almeria 31/20 | Draw 9/4 | Malaga 18/10
Almeria came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Celta Vigo and earn a potentially crucial point in their fight against relegation. Malaga’s woes continued last weekend as they failed to win for the eighth consecutive time, losing 2-1 at home to Elche. Los Boquerones (The Anchovies) have lost five of their last eight games due to their poor goalscoring form. Almeria need the points more as they lie just two points above the relegation zone. However, they have won just three times at home this season, drawing seven and losing seven. Almeria have managed just 17 goals in 17 home games while Malaga have only scored 13 away goals. Back Under 2.5 Goals available at 15/20.  

Celta Vigo 31/20 | Draw 26/10 | Sevilla 16/10 
Real Madrid broke Sevilla’s 10-match unbeaten run last weekend, also inflicting their first loss at home this season. This weekend they face another tough hurdle in their pursuit of Champions league football as they travel to a dangerous Celta Vigo. Sevilla lie fifth, three points off Valencia and much more to play for here than their opponents do. However, Sevilla have a Europa League semi-final against Fiorentina to contend with three days before this match and that could certainly have a negative effect on their star players. The reverse fixture ended 1-0 to the Sevillistas and I see the draw happening this time. 

Monday

Rayo Vallecano 1/1| Draw 26/10 | Getafe 26/10
Eleventh place Rayo Vallecano and 14th place Getafe make up the Monday night fixture. Vallecano are looking the better side and managed a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture. In their last seven home games they have won five times, losing only to Real Madrid and drawing with Valencia. Getafe are coming off four very disappointing losses. They have lost their last two home games to Levante and Granada and have suffered two humiliating defeats away from home, losing 4-0 to Athletic Bilbao and 6-0 to Barcelona. Back the home win. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s La Liga Picks
Eibar WIN 16/10
Granada WIN 9/20
Barcelona HT WIN 3/10
Real Madrid WIN 4/10
Athletic Bilbao WIN 11/20
Atletico Madrid WIN 11/20
Villarreal WIN 4/10
Almeria U-2.5 GOALS 15/20
Celta Vigo DRAW 26/10
Vallecano WIN 1/1