Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 22 Preview

Álvaro Morata new Atletico Madrid signing
Barcelona's 2-0 win over Girona saw Lionel Messi extend his La Liga scoring streak to seven games. The Argentine superstar has now scored or assisted in every La Liga game he’s played in since September. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid cruised past Getafe and Espanyol respectively. Sevilla, who at some stage were the league’s highest scoring team, managed to find their scoring boots and thrashed Levante 5-0 to ensure they remain fourth heading to this round. Can Leo Messi continue with his goal scoring form? 

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Friday 1 February

Huesca 27/20 
Draw 43/20 
Real Valladolid 21/10 
(22:00)

Rock-bottomed Huesca will be looking for salvation points in the first game of gameweek 22 when they play host to Real Valladolid at the Estadio El Alcoraz. The hosts, however, have a mountain to climb to reach the safe zone which is currently as many as nine points away. Valladolid kicked away from the red zone when they beat Celta Vigo 2-1 last Sunday. The visitors are now 13th on the standings and avoiding defeat against any team that’s below them on the standings would be something they will want to achieve to ensure safety. This is a fixture Huesca can target as they were both playing in the Segunda Division last season. I don’t see Valladolid losing here, so I suggest backing them on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 11/20. 

Saturday 2 February 

Levante 15/10 
Draw 9/4 
Getafe 37/20 
(14:00)

Levante broke into the top half of the La Liga table after a 2-0 victory over Real Valladolid at home. That was short lived after the Frogs were brought back down to earth by Sevilla, thrashing them 5-0. Getafe saw their unbeaten run come to an end at the Wanda Metropolitan Stadium, losing 2-0 to Atetico Madrid. Head-to-head record suggests that Under 2.5 is the best bet in this fixture as they have scored less than three goals in their last five meetings. As the form suggests, get on Under 2.5 Goals at 15/20. 

Real Sociedad 5/4 
Draw 9/4 
Athletic Bilbao 23/10 
(17:15)

Real Sociedad dropped down to ninth place after yet another disappointing showing in a goalless draw at home to strugglers Huesca last time out. It was the third consecutive match which saw Imanol Alguacil’s men share the spoils. Any team would dream of the kind of form Athletic Bilbao are in. After the arrival of Quique Setien, the Lions are unbeaten in nine matches. This will be an interesting encounter yet very difficult to predict because you never know what to expect with Sociedad – they can beat Real Madrid 2-0 at the Bernabeu and two weeks later they fail to score against Huesca at home. Avoid a result here and get on Both Teams to Score at 17/20.

Barcelona 3/10 
Draw 47/10 
Valencia 7/1 
(19:30)

Barcelona will be the massive odds on favourites to continue their fantastic run in La Liga where they have been top of the league since August. Barca have won their last eight league games. At home they have a good record of eight wins, two draws and one defeat. With Messi and Suarez they are the highest scoring team in the league with 58 goals. Valencia will head into this in high spirits following last weekend’s 3-0 home win over Villarreal. Barcelona should still be too good even against a motivated Valencia side. Keep it simple and back the Catalans at 3/10.

Celta Vigo 47/20 
Draw 51/20 
Sevilla 11/10 
(21:45)

We have quite a game here on Saturday evening to get excited about when 17th-placed Celta Vigo entertain fourth-placed Sevilla. Celta are just one point from safety and can put some distance between themselves and Rayo Vallecano with a win here. In gameweek 22, Sevilla got a fantastic result when humiliating Levante 5-0. That was a good statement and a reminder to what this team is capable of. Celta Vigo have lost five consecutive league matches and I see Sevilla making it six. Get on the visitors at valuable 11/10.

Sunday 3 February

Villarreal 9/10 
Draw 26/10 
Espanyol 29/10 
(13:00)

Villarreal have been very poor this season with three wins, nine loses and nine defeats in 21 matches. The Yellow Submarine find themselves in the relegation zone as a consequence of their poor form. However, this is a good opportunity for the hosts to end their eight-match winless run. The visitors are just six points above their opponents. With one win from their last 10 La Liga matches, you can understand why they are priced up at 29/10 here. Espanyol have conceded 34 goals so far this season, only Huesca have conceded more (39). Take a chance and back the Yellow Submarine at 9/10.

Real Betis 24/10 
Draw 21/10 
Atletico Madrid 5/4 
(17:15)

Real Betis finally ended a streak of five successive matches without a win in gameweek 20 when they got a stoppage time penalty and beat Girona 3-2. Los Beticos failed to make back-to-back wins when they tackled Athletic Bilbao last weekend, losing the match 1-0. Atletico Madrid cruised past Getafe and sit five points behind leaders Barcelona. There is no room for error for Diego Simeone’s men as they can’t afford anymore slip ups. Atleti will be boosted by the arrival of Alvaro Morata, who completed his loan move from Chelsea early this week. Back Atleti to continue putting pressure on log leaders.

Eibar 7/10 
Draw 26/10 
Girona 39/10 
(19:30)

Eibar and Girona have been struggling badly in this term of La Liga coming into Sunday’s tie at the Municipal de Ipurua. This match has all the ingredients of a dull affair given both teams’ recent performances, with Eibar drawing six of their last eight and Girona winless in their last 10 matches. Head-to-head points in favour of the hosts after they have won all their three La Liga meetings. Back Eibar for a narrow win at 7/10.

Real Madrid 1/4 
Draw 5/1 
Deportivo Alaves 9/1 
(21:45)

Real Madrid’s season did not begin quite well as they lost their record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo and went on to lose a series of matches, including a 3-0 and 5-0 defeat against Sevilla and Barcelona respectively. Change of management was inevitable; Santiago Solari was called upon to save Los Blancos from the mess. The club is now winning games and they are back to third on the ladder, where they finished off last season. With the UEFA Champions League coming up in February, Real Madrid will want to build confidence by winning games like these. Back Real Madrid on the (-1) Handicap at 13/20. 

Monday 4 February 

Rayo Vallecano 5/4 
Draw 21/10 
Leganes 24/10 
(22:00)
Rayo Vallecano’s incredible form has seen the Reds move out of the bottom three for the first time since matchday five. Vallecano are in the form of their lives, they have revived the spirit that saw them win the Segunda Division. The hosts have won four of their last five matches, picking up 13 points. These sides are now level on 23 points and a win here can see either team move up to 10th depending on the head to head record. Leganes have struggled on their travels, losing seven and drawing three of their 11 matches on the road. Get on Rayo Vallecano to continue their sizzling hot form.

TREBLE @ 8/1
Rayo Vallecano Win 5/4
Atletico Madrid Win 5/4
Villarreal Win 9/10

Written by Banele Pikwa