Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 37 Preview

Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 37 Preview
Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions on gameweek 35 when they beat Levante 1-0 at the Camp Nou. As expected the Catalan giants rested all their stars last week as they lost 2-0 at Celta Vigo. Runners-up Atletico Madrid were also on the losing end, suffering a shocking 3-0 defeat at Espanyol. With the top three already confirmed, there’s still a lot to fight for in the relegation battle with teams like Girona, Valladolid, Levante, and Villarreal fighting for survival. We need to take full advantage of the fact that teams are resting stars and some have nothing to play for.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Sunday 12 May

Athletic Bilbao 23/20 
Draw 9/4 
Celta Vigo 5/2 
(18:30)

Athletic Bilbao’s 1-0 loss to Valladolid means they will miss out on competing in Europe next season. They are taking on relegation-battlers, with just two match-days remaining, and are the seventh while Celta are 14th on the table. Celta Vigo took full advantage of the fact that league champions Barcelona rested players for their UEFA Champions League match. The Celtics have picked up form at the right time, losing just once in their last eight matches. With Bilbao now out of the Europa League qualification and Celta fighting for their lives, I see this match ending in a draw.

Atletico Madrid 12/10 
Draw 47/20 
Sevilla 23/10 
(18:30)

Atletico Madrid led a brave pursuit for the league title, but Barcelona were just too good this season. The hosts were thrashed 3-0 last Saturday, a week after Barcelona were crowned champions. This is a big sign that the players have given up and have accepted to be the runners-up in the league. Sevilla have missed out on Champions League football after suffering back-to-back defeats against Getafe and leganes. Get on Atletico Madrid to win their last home game of the season.

Leganes 29/20 
Draw 23/10 
Espanyol 19/10 
(18:30)

Leganes and Espanyol have built quite a bit of confidence after thrashing Sevilla and Atletico Madrid respectively. The momentum is with the visitors though as they have lost just twice in their last 15 league matches – one of those games was against Barcelona. Leganes shocked everyone when they caused the biggest upset last Friday, beating Sevilla 3-0 in Seville. Both these sides are more dangerous on their home ground and have been dropping points cheaply on the road. Because of that, I’ll back Leganes to claim maximum points at home.

Valencia 9/20 
Draw 15/4 
Alaves 11/2 
(18:30)

Valencia have a crucial match on Thursday where they have to overturn a 3-1 deficit against Arsenal in what seems to be their only hope of returning to the Champions League. Los Che fought hard at Huesca last week, winning 6-2. Alaves can’t wait for the season to end as the visitors are laying in mid table with nothing to play for. They come into this match with a horrendous winless streak of eight league matches. Get on Valencia to add more misery on the visitors.

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Villarreal 9/20
Draw 28/10 
Eibar 3/1 
(18:30)

Villarreal’s ambitions of escaping the red zone suffered a massive blow with a 3-2 defeat to third-placed Real Madrid in the previous round of La Liga. The Yellow Submarine are now three points shy of Levante in the safe zone and need a win here to avoid the drop to second division with just two games left to play. Eibar registered back-to-back 1-0 wins over Valencia and Real Betis, meaning the visitors are now safe from the axe. There’s plenty at stake for the hosts and I expect them to give a good fight in their last home game of the season. Villarreal should win this match and survive relegation.

Barcelona 11/20 
Draw 34/10 
Getafe 9/2
(18:30)

Barcelona have the league wrapped up and are now three games away from winning the treble. The Catalans are very much of a risk in the league as they are resting players for the two remaining competitions. Getafe need just one win to secure a top four finish and complete their best ever season. Nobody gave Getafe a chance to even challenge for top four but here they are now. Coach Pepe Bordalas has done an amazing job and the champagne will be on ice in their last game of the season which so happens to be at home. Get on Getafe to upset Barcelona on 9/2.

Girona 13/10 
Draw 5/2 
Levante 39/20 
(18:30)

Girona managed to fool the whole footballing world last season when they were challenging for Europa League in their debut season. After their long series of losses this season, the Catalans now find themselves in the relegation battle and two defeats would send them straight to the Segunda Division. Get on Girona to win this important encounter.

Rayo Vallecano 5/2 
Draw 26/10 
Real Valladolid 1/1 
(18:30)

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Valladolid is a fixture we won’t be seeing in La Liga next season as one of the sides if not both will play second tier football. Both teams had their own glimpses of form midway through the season but lost form terribly towards the end of the campaign and that is why they are in this position. Valladolid’s task is simple, win their last two games and they are safe. Get on the visitors to claim a narrow win.

Real Betis 11/20 
Draw 34/10 
Huesca 4/1 
(18:30)

Real Betis and Huesca meet in a low-profile encounter with nothing but pride to play for. Real Betis are 13th on the log, meaning they are safe from relegation and they will not get any European football. On the other hand, it was a good experience for a small team like Huesca to play professional football and they will come back stronger next season. Real Betis should be too strong for Huesca.

Real Sociedad 17/10 
Draw 26/10 
Real Madrid 29/20 
(18:30)

Real Madrid have nothing but pride left to play for. They were booted out of all cup competitions, and their archrivals Barcelona have already secured the league. Zinedine Zidane, who returned as the manager has quite a task at hand. Against Sociedad, a team that beat them 2-0 at home, has no option but to deliver, despite standing safe in the points table. Real Sociedad will be looking for their third win and make history by collecting six points from Spanish giants Real Madrid. At 17/10, take a chance and back Real Sociedad to win this match.


TREBLE @ 54/10
Real Betis Win 11/20
Villarreal Win 8/10
Girona Win 13/10

Written by Banele Pikwa

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