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Spanish La Liga Preview

Real Madrid did their local rivals a favour by beating Barcelona 2-1 in the El Clasico last weekend, which will provide Atletico Madrid some faint hope in La Liga’s title race. Colchoneros hammered Real Betis 5-1 last weekend and now trail the Catalan giants by six points in the table. On Saturday, Los Blancos will play host to strugglers Eibar, while Diego Simeone’s side travel to Espanyol who have proven tough to beat in recent weeks. Shortly after, Barcelona will be hoping to return to winning ways when they travel to Real Sociedad. Each week seems to get more exciting as teams look to finish the season off in style.

Friday 8 April

29/20 Granada | Draw 21/10 | Malaga 2/1 (20:30)

Adalberto Penaranda’s 76th minute strike saw Granada earn a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao last Sunday to stay a point above the relegation zone. That was their fourth straight draw and Jose Gonzalez will be desperate to return winning ways. Granada are unbeaten at home since the arrival of Gonzalez which will give the fans reason to be optimistic. Malaga also come into the match off a 1-1 draw, theirs at home to Espanyol. Javi Gracia’s side are unbeaten in four matches and beat Real Betis 1-0 in their last away game. These sides played out to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season and I’m going with Both Teams To Score at 17/20.

Saturday 9 April

1/5 Real Madrid | 62/10 | Eibar 11/1 (16:00)

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid ended Barcelona's 39-match unbeaten run with a 2-1 win in the El Clasico. That was Madrid’s sixth successive win in all competitions. Three of those games have come at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium where they’ve scored 13 goals and conceded just once. Their opponents, Eibar, are winless in six matches with four defeats, including last Sunday’s 2-1 loss at home to Villarreal. Jose Mendilibar’s side have won just one away game in 2016 having lost five times from eight games. Los Blancos will be high on confidence following last weekend’s El Clasico and are tipped to make easy pickings of the Basque side. Take them to Win By Three Or More Goals at 11/10.

34/10 Espanyol | 9/4 | Atletico Madrid 9/10 (18:15)

Espanyol are on a four-game unbeaten streak with consecutive home wins against Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao. The Catalonia club will be looking to build on that record but will face a stern test against Atletico Madrid. Simeone’s side recorded an emphatic 5-1 thrashing of Real Betis, their biggest league win of the season. Goals by Fernando Torres, Juanfran, Thomas Partey and a brace from Antoine Griezmann earned a fifth win in six league games. Atleti are six points behind leaders Barcelona and with still seven games to go, Colchoneros will not surrender the La Liga title without a fight. Atleti have won six of their last eight meetings against Espanyol and are unbeaten against them in their last four. Take the away win at 9/10.

9/2 Real Sociedad | 33/10 | Barcelona 11/20 (20:30)

Barcelona will be looking to bounce back strongly after losing 2-1 at home to 10-man Real Madrid in the El Clasico at the Camp Nou stadium. That defeat inflicted Barca’s first home loss of the season and ended their 39-match unbeaten streak. Luis Enrique will demand a much better performance from his players as they look to claim their second successive league title. Real Sociedad recorded a shocking 2-1 victory away to Sevilla, ending Unai Emery’s side’s 17-game winning streak (13 in La Liga) at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Prior to that result, Sociedad were winless in five matches with three losses. Back Barca at 11/20 and include in all multiple bets.

1/1 Real Betis | 23/10 | Levante 11/4 (22:05)

Real Betis suffered a 5-1 thrashing by a rampant Atletico Madrid side last weekend, their third straight defeat. Betis will be happy to be back on home soil where they’ve fared much better, losing just once in their previous six matches. Juan Merino’s side will see this as a perfect opportunity to bounce back as they take on bottom-placed Levante. Rubi’s side played to a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Sporting Gijon on Monday and now face a real struggle to avoid the drop. Levante have won just once on the road this season, losing 11 of their 15 travels. Betis have some quality players in Charly Musonda, Leandro Damiao and Ruben Castro who can spark them into life. The home win is tipped at even money.

Sunday 10 April

2/1 Sporting Gijon | 23/10 | Celta Vigo 27/20 (12:00)

Sporting Gijon failed to get out of the relegation zone as they played to a goalless draw away to Levante on Monday. Gijon will welcome the return to the El Molinon stadium where they recorded a shocking 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in their last home tie. Abelardo Fernandez’s side will be hoping to emulate that performance as they battle to stay in the top flight. Their opponents, Celta Vigo, are unbeaten in three matches following their 1-1 draw at home to Deportivo last weekend. Prior to that result, Eduardo Berizzo’s side won back-to-back games against Real Sociedad and Valencia. Celta won the reverse tie 2-1 and are tipped to come away with maximum points as they continue their battle for fourth place.

14/10 Valencia | 24/10 | Sevilla 19/10 (16:00)

Valencia lost their fourth game in a row after Las Palmas came from behind to win 2-1 in the club's first match since Gary Neville left the Mestalla. The former Manchester United defender was sacked after just three wins from 16 La Liga games, leaving the club six points above the relegation zone. Pako Ayestaran was appointed in his place shortly after but he struggled to make an instant impact as Los Che lost again. Sevilla's incredible run at home finally came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by 10-man Real Sociedad, halting a run of 13 straight league wins. Now, the Europa League champions will be hoping to return to winning ways, but their away form is a huge concern. Los Rojiblancos are still searching for their first away win of the season, but given Valencia’s dreadful campaign, Sevilla are well worth a punt at 19/10.

5/10 Villarreal | 3/1 | Getafe 57/10 (18:15)

Villarreal took another step towards a return to the Champions League next season as they came from behind to beat Eibar 2-1 last Sunday thanks to goals from Adrian Lopez and Roberto Soldado. The victory extended Villarreal's lead over Celta Vigo to eight points with just seven games remaining in the battle for fourth place. The Yellow Submarine will be hoping to build on that performance after going the whole of March without a win. Getafe’s miserable run continued as their winless run extended to 11 matches. They lost 2-0 away to Rayo Vallecano last weekend which was their 17th loss of the season. They’ve lost their last six away games and have failed to score in their previous five. The home win is tipped at 5/10.

6/10 Athletic Bilbao | 3/1 | Rayo Vallecano 42/10 (20:30)

Athletic Bilbao's hopes of challenging Villarreal for the fourth Champions League spot were derailed as they conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with relegation-threatened Granada. The Lions are winless in three matches in all competitions and Ernesto Valverde will be hoping that changes against Rayo Vallecano. Bilbao will rely on striker Aritz Aduriz who was named La Liga's Player of the Month for March. Prior to their draw with Granada, Bilbao had won back-to-back games at home. Vallecano come into the clash unbeaten in three matches with 2-0 victory over strugglers Getafe last time out. Away from home, they’ve only managed to win once from 15 games, losing eight times. Take Bilbao to win at 6/10.

Monday 11 April

11/10 Dep. La Coruna | 23/10 | Las Palmas 26/10 (20:30)

Ten-man Deportivo La Coruna hung on to claim a point in the Galician derby at rivals Celta Vigo, surviving a late onslaught to draw 1-1. Deportivo beat Levante 2-1 before the international break to pick up a first win in 2016 and Victor Sanchez will be hoping his side can emulate that result. Las Palmas have won five of their last six matches, with the exception of the 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid on gameweek 29. In those games, they’ve scored 10 goals and Quique Setien’s side will be hoping to extend their impressive form. However, their record against Deportivo does not bode well for their chances. Depor have beaten Las Palmas six times in their last seven meetings. I’m going for Deportivo to Win + Both Teams To Score at 33/10.

La Liga Picks
Granada BTTS 17/20
Atletico Madrid WIN 9/10
Barcelona WIN 11/20
Real Betis WIN 1/1
Celta Vigo WIN 27/20
Sevilla WIN 19/10
Villarreal WIN 5/10 
Athletic Bilbao WIN 6/10
Deportivo WIN + BTTS 33/10

Written by Chadley Nagel