Spanish La Liga Week 28 Preview

Lionel Messi celebrates his 600th career goal

Just 11 fixtures remain in the Spanish La Liga with high-flying Barcelona looking to claim their first ever ‘Invincible’ title, going the entire season without tasting defeat. After last weekend’s 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, Ernesto Valverde’s men lead the standings by eight points. Elsewhere, the battle for top four is wide open, making this weekend’s tie between Sevilla and Valencia all the more exciting.
Lastly, the battle for the UEFA Europa League places are heating up with Girona now just one point behind the qualification spots after beating Villarreal 2-0 away from home. Let’s see what gameweek 28 has in store for us.

Friday 9 March 

Girona 6/10  
Draw 3/1 
Deportivo 17/4

Girona have been the surprise package and they’re the team of the season for me. The hosts have confounded their expectations as they’re just one point behind Villarreal, who they beat 2-0 away from home last weekend. The Girona fans will definitely come out in numbers as they start to believe they can earn a spot in Europe next season. Deportivo finally scored a goal under new coach, Clarence Seedorf, after failing to find the net in five straight league games. The visitors are desperate for points, but I don’t see them getting anything here. Girona are tipped confidently at 6/10.

Saturday 10 March

Eibar 9/2 
Draw 34/10 
Real Madrid 11/20

This is not the kind of fixture the home fans will be looking forward to. Eibar have had no luck against Real Madrid in their previous meetings, failing to win in all seven attempts, scoring just twice in that run. Los Blancos have shown how vulnerable they can be when playing away from the Bernabeu, winning just seven of their 13 matches played. Both teams are in a similar phase of form, with the hosts also winning seven of their home games. This will be a tough game for either side, but I expect Los Blancos to continue their superb form against the hosts.

Sevilla 21/20  
Draw 26/10 
Valencia 24/10

Sevilla come into this match looking to make it three wins a row when they host Valencia. At home, Vincenzo Montella’s side have played 13 games and conceded 14 goals. Surprisingly, 10 of those came against two teams – losing 5-2 to Atletico Madrid and 5-3 to Real Betis. Valencia returned to winning ways after beating Betis 2-0, extending their unbeaten run to five league matches. The hosts are still some way off the top four, with their opponents holding an eight point advantage over them in fourth place. A fiery affair is expected with Over 2.5 Goals tipped at 7/10.

Draw 5/2 
Levante 9/2 

Getafe will be hoping to cement their place in the top half of the table when they host Levante this Saturday. The hosts come into this fixture in superb form, boasting a record of 10 games without defeat at home, drawing just three times in that run. Meanwhile, the visitors are stuck in a four-way battle for the relegation spots, but sit in 17th place, just a point above the red zone. They’re also winless in 12 league matches, which doesn’t bode too well for their chances here. Back the home win and include in all multiples.

Malaga 8/1  
Draw 9/2 
Barcelona 3/10

It’s a David vs Goliath matchup when bottom-placed Malaga host log-leaders, Barcelona. There’s never a great time to play Barcelona, but if there ever was, this is certainly not it for Malaga. The hosts come into this game on a losing streak of six league matches, while no team has managed to better the Catalans this season. Barca are likely to rest players for their crucial UEFA Champions League encounter coming up against Chelsea, however, they should still have enough class for Malaga. Back the visitors to Win to Nil at 21/20.

Sunday 11 March

Espanyol 15/10  
Draw 9/4 
Real Sociedad 19/10 

Espanyol and Real Sociedad lock horns in one of this weekend’s most thrilling encounters. Both sides are languishing in the bottom half of the table, but a win for either team would see them challenging for a top half finish. The hosts are unbeaten in six league matches, however, they’ve shared the spoils on five occasions in that run. After being knocked out of the UEFA Europa League, Sociedad have been one of the division’s most inconsistent teams. In their last three encounters, they’ve won, drawn and lost one apiece, proving just how unpredictable they can be. Take Espanyol on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 4/10.

Atletico Madrid 4/10 
Draw 34/10 
Celta Vigo 13/2

Atletico Madrid seek a return to winning ways after suffering a demoralising 1-0 defeat at Barcelona, which puts them eight points behind the leaders in second place. Diego Simeone’s men are still guaranteed a spot in the Champions League, though, boasting a seven point lead over local-rivals, Real Madrid. Celta Vigo moved into the top half of the table with a hard-fought victory at home to Las Palmas, beating the strugglers 2-1. Atletico won this fixture 1-0 in the reverse tie in what proved to be a feisty affair in which eight yellow cards were given out. The hosts should do enough to win here – get on at 4/10!

Las Palmas 22/10  
Draw 24/10 
Villarreal 12/10

Las Palmas failed to move out the relegation zone, falling to yet another defeat – their 17th of the campaign. They took the lead on Monday night through a fine finish from Erik Exposito, but failed to build on that as they conceded in the 89th minute to lose 2-1. Villarreal will be looking to avoid three straight defeats in what has suddenly become a dismal season for the Yellow Submarine. They were knocked out of the Europa League and now find themselves in sixth spot, jeopardising their chance of qualifying for next year’s tournament. Go with Under 2.5 Goals for this match at 17/20.

Athletic Bilbao 8/10  
Draw 23/10 
Leganes 39/10

Athletic Bilbao have had a disappointing season thus far. They’re well clear of the relegation zone, but find themselves too far adrift to challenge in the top half. Leganes returned to winning ways after a dreadful run of six games without a victory. The visitors will be hoping to emulate their 1-0 win that they managed over Bilbao in the reverse fixture, which will move them closer to the top half. In all three of the clubs’ head-to-head meetings, the Under 2.5 Goals market has come into play. Nothing should change this Sunday. At 5/10, the Under 2.5 Goals market seems the best bet here.

Monday 12 March

Alaves 11/10 
Draw 24/10 
Real Betis 5/2 

Alaves will look to continue their superb run of form at home when they welcome Real Betis to the Mendizorrotza Stadium. The hosts are unbeaten in seven encounters at home, winning six of those matches, keeping five clean sheets in that run. Real Betis, despite challenging in the top half of the table, find themselves in a bit of a slump. The travellers have won just one of their last four matches, and haven’t scored in 180 minutes of play. They’ve also conceded 24 times away from home this season – only three teams have shipped in more. Back the home win.

QUAD @ 7/1
Girona Win 6/10
Getafe Win 7/10
Atletico Madrid Win 4/10
Alaves Win 11/10

Written by Jesse Nagel