Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 17 Preview

Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 17 Preview

Lionel Messi netted yet another hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Levante and cemented their place at the top of La Liga. Barca romped to a 5-0 victory to ensure they remain three points clear at the top of the table. Sevilla continue to breathe down Barca’s necks as they overcame an in-form Girona side to win 2-0 in an entertaining game last Sunday. Real Madrid were booed at the Bernabeu after only managing to beat strugglers Rayo Vallecano 1-0, while their rivals, Atletico Madrid narrowly beat Real Valladolid away as Antoine Griezmann scored a brace. This is the last fixture of the year and there are some enticing match-ups to look forward to.


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore


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Friday 21 December
Girona 33/20  
Draw 19/10 
Getafe 39/20 
(20:30)

Girona and Getafe are set to raise the curtain on Friday’s affairs in La Liga in what could be a very entertaining football match at the Estadi Montilivi. The Catalan side were handed their second defeat on the road last Sunday when losing 2-0 against in-form Sevilla. Just like the previous campaign, Girona have been one of the most pleasant surprises. The hosts are 10th on the log and a win here will put them within touching distance from Europa qualification zone. Gefate come into this game off a good win against Sociedad, stretching their unbeaten run to five games. The hosts won this fixture last season and they will have to bring their A-game if they are to repeat that feat. This is not an easy fixture to call, so I suggest backing Both Teams to Score at 23/20.

Real Sociedad 8/10 
Draw 49/20 
Deportivo Alaves 36/10 
(22:00)


The famed Anoeta hosts out-of-form Alaves in this low-key affair. Sociedad will want to use this game as something to celebrate going into the Christmas break as the team has been disappointing this season. The hosts are 15th on the table with five wins from 16 matches and come into this game off three consecutive league defeats. Alaves started the season brightly and looked like a team that will qualify for the Europa League next season. However, recent form has left a lot of questions asked, with just two wins from their last seven. The visitors will fancy their chances against a Sociedad team that has a terrible home record, with only one win at the Anoeta. This is a fixture that usually produces goals, so back Over 2.5 Goals at 23/20.

Saturday 22 December

Real Betis 15/20 
Draw 26/10 
Eibar 7/2 
(14:00)

Real Betis and Eibar will come into their 17th round tie in completely opposite moods. The hosts come into this game in high spirits after winning four consecutive domestic matches, scoring eight goals – including three at Espanyol last Saturday. Meanwhile, Eibar are winless in four matches with three consecutive draws. The visitors started the season brightly but are dropping points each and every week. Back in-form Real Betis and include them in all multiples.

Atletico Madrid 4/10 
Draw 32/10 
Espanyol 9/1 
(17:15)

After the inconsistent start, Atletico Madrid have turned things around and come into this fixture unbeaten in 12 matches. In that run, Diego Simeone’s men managed to keep five clean sheets and one can fancy them against this struggling Espanyol. The hosts are unbeaten at home this season and it is unlikely that they’re a team like Espanyol can break that record. Back Atletico Madrid to Win to Nil at 15/20.

Barcelona 1/8 
Draw 17/2 
Celta Vigo 17/1 
(19:30)

Barcelona are currently one of the hottest teams in Europe. They continued from right where they left last season. The Blaugrana don’t seem to have any intentions of slowing down any time soon. Celta Vigo are desperate to recreate the magic they had a few seasons back. It’s true that they lost some valuable players, but passion and hunger remain. Back Barcelona to end the year on a winning note.

Athletic Bilbao 7/10 
Draw 51/20 
Real Valladolid 4/1 
(21:45)

Athletic Bilbao opened the new season in a poor fashion, but now they seem to have found the right form. The Lions head into this match carrying an unbeaten record of three games, including two wins. A win here will mean they finish the year out of the relegation zone, something they will be hoping for at the San Mames on Saturday. Real Valladolid will be happy with what they have achieved so far this season regardless of the outcome here. The newcomers sit at a comfortable 12th position on the log and are far away from the red zone. Back these sides to share the spoils.

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Sunday 23 December

Valencia 7/20 
Draw 38/10 
Huesca 15/2 
(13:00)

Valencia host Huesca in what is expected to be an entirely one-sided affair to kick-off the Sunday fixtures at the Mestalla. The hosts were brilliant last week against Manchester United in their last UEFA Champions League home fixture. Los Che had a bad year so finishing 2018 with a thrashing would be something the home fans can celebrate. Back Valencia on the (-1) Handicap at 9/10.

Leganes 22/10 
Draw 9/4 
Sevilla 13/10 
(17:15)

Leganes are one of the teams that are unbeaten on their turf this season. Mauricio Pellegrino’s men have pretty much made Estadio Municipal de Butarque a fortress, winning three and drawing two of the five home games – picking up 11 points. Sevilla, on the other hand, will be desperate to close the gap on Barcelona but their away record is not convincing with just one win on the road so far this season. Tricky game to call, so I suggest backing Both Teams to Score at 8/10.

Rayo Vallecano 23/20 
Draw 26/10 
Levante 21/10 
(19:30)

Levante visit one of the worst teams in the entire league, in their last La Liga fixture in 2018. The match takes place at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, on Sunday. The Vallecans occupy the 19th spot in the table and has just 10 points on their name. Their record reads: two wins, four draws and 10 losses. The team managed to score 15 goals and conceded 31 in return and many pundits feel that this team will definitely go down. Levante have been decent this year with some memorable victories. A win for them will put behind the 5-0 thrashing from Barcelona and they can move as high as sixth on the log. Back the visitors here to put more pressure on the Vallecans.

TREBLE @ 84/10
Atletico Madrid Win To Nil 15/20
Levante Win 21/10
Real Betis Win 15/20

Written by Banele Pikwa