Spanish La Liga: Gameweek 17 Preview


The circulating rumours of Atletico Madrid sacking head coach Diego Simeone are getting stronger as the Red and Whites continue to drop points in La Liga. Los Rojiblancos are now eight points behind joint-leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid who both have a game in hand. Sevilla are third in La Liga, three points behind the Spanish powerhouses.

Once again, we preview all of the action taking place in Spain’s top flight this weekend. 


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Friday 13 December 


Alaves 15/10 
Draw 39/20 
Leganes 43/20 
(22:00)

Leganes can slump no further down the table as they are level on nine points with rock bottom Espanyol. With Alaves losing their last two games and the visitors winning against fellow relegation strugglers Celta Vigo last week, one can fancy them in getting back-to-back wins. The hosts were in fine form prior to the two defeats and they are five points clear of the red zone. Playing a team that has lost five of their seven away games is a good opportunity to get back to winning ways and stretching away from the relegation zone. Because of home advantage, get on Alaves to clinch this one.


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Saturday 14 December 


Granada 1/1 
Draw 49/20 
Levante 26/10 
(14:00)  

After a difficult run of not tasting a victory in five matches, Granada thrashed Alaves 3-0 to end the horrendous run of four defeats and a draw. Diego Martinez’s men have spent most of the campaign in the top half and are dreaming of a top-six finish which is possible but they need to win home matches against bottom-half teams. Levante are capable of getting a result here, the visitors have been decent this season and they are not far off their opponents with only four points separating the two teams. Last week’s performance against Valencia is one they will want to forget after surrendering a two-goal lead and losing 4-2. Get on Granada to make it back-to-back wins. 

Real Sociedad 32/10 
Draw 3/1 
Barcelona 15/20 
(17:00) 

In-form Barcelona will play a testing game before the El Clasico. Travelling to Sociedad is not an easy task, especially with the players having their minds on the upcoming midweek Clasico. Barcelona can argue though as they have beaten Sociedad in each of their last meetings. With Lionel Messi in red-hot form, scoring a hat-trick straight after winning the Ballon d’Or, making him the first-ever player to win it six times. At the time of writing, the Catalan giants had won six consecutive matches. The hosts have improved this season and they will definitely challenge Barca as the want to cement the fourth spot. At home, Sociedad have won four and drawn once from their seven matches played. This game will definitely be closer than the previous fixtures so keep it simple and back Barcelona on a straight win. 

Athletic Bilbao 15/20 
Draw 49/20 
Eibar 17/4 
(19:30) 

Athletic Bilbao missed out on a very good opportunity in their quest for top four when they lost to relegation-fighting Real Betis 3-2 last Sunday. What was more disappointing was the slow start that saw them 3-0 down inside the first 20 minutes. Bilbao have an incredible record at home, winning six of the eight matches played at San Mames stadium, conceding only three goals in the process. Eibar have been nothing but poor this season and if it wasn’t for teams like Leganes and Espanyol, they would be in the relegation battle with this kind of form which has seen them lose each of their last five games. This is a banker, get on Athletic Bilbao and include in all multiples.

Atletico Madrid 4/10 
Draw 31/10 
Osasuna 17/2 
(22:00)

Atletico Madrid have been terrible lately and according to reports, the board is even considering letting go of Diego Simeone who’s been at the club since December 2011. That would be a massive call to sack someone who has achieved so much at the club. But this is a perfect opportunity for Simeone's men to end their winless run and climb up the ladder. Currently, Atletico are seventh on the log and that’s not good for a big club. Osasuna have been there about this season and a win here will see them leapfrog their opponents and possibly sack Atletico’s longest-serving coach. Atletico can’t be trusted at the moment especially with a 4/10 price. Get on the draw at 31/10.

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Sunday 15 December 

Getafe 7/10 
Draw 24/10 
Valladolid 47/10 
(13:00) 

Getafe are gifted with a favourable fixture this Sunday as they host Valladolid, looking to make it four wins on the bounce. The hosts are level on points with fourth-placed Sociedad, who host log leaders Barcelona. Victory for Getafe might be enough to take them back into fourth. Consistency is how we can describe Jose Bordalas’ men at the moment as they have lost just once at home this season. Valladolid can be a stubborn team but this is a really difficult match against a motivated Getafe and I do not see them getting anything here. Back Getafe at a good 7/10.

Celta De Vigo 15/20 
Draw 51/20 
Mallorca 38/10 
(15:00) 

Only one point separates the two relegation fighting teams and every point counts at the bottom of the table. This game has the capabilities of being a do-or-die as it’s incredibly important for both teams to get a result here. Celta Vigo are 18th on the log and as things stand they would be relegated to the Segunda Division, while Mallorca who started very well now occupy the 17th spot after a series of disappointing results which includes three consecutive defeats. It’s hard to separate the two teams but Celta Vigo should have the upper hand here. 

Espanyol 15/10 
Draw 23/10 
Real Betis 37/20 
(17:00)

Up next is another team that is desperate for points and as things stand Espanyol will be relegated unless a miracle happens. Participating in the Europa League and taking it seriously has really affected the hosts because they don’t have the needed depth to participate in the two competitions. Real Betis will fancy themselves against a team that has collected only nine points and will be looking to take full advantage of the fact that their opponents played on Thursday. Betis have won each of their three La Liga fixtures. The good form has seen Betis out of the relegation zone and they are now comfortable in 11th. Back the visitors to claim maximum points here. 

Sevilla 7/10 
Draw 3/1 
Villarreal 36/10 
(19:30)

Sevilla dropped two points last week when drawing 1-1 with Osasuna and they can’t afford to drop anymore points if they are serious about catching the big two. However, their unbeaten run remains intact and will be looking to stretch it to 12 matches here when they face a struggling Villarreal. Julen Lopetegui’s men are now three points behind the big two and a win here will put them in a good position as the two face each other in midweek. Villarreal have been poor and they haven’t tasted a victory in six La Liga matches and have lost six of their away encounters. Back Sevilla to come out tops in this one.

Valencia 22/10 
Draw 11/4 
Real Madrid 11/10 
(22:00) 

Valencia welcome Real Madrid to the Mestalla Stadium as we wrap up game week 17. This is a crucial game for Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane as they face Barcelona at the Camp Nou in midweek. This then means that Real Madrid have to win this game so it’s not a six-point gap should they lose midweek against their arch-rivals. Both teams were involved in Champions League action though for Madrid the game had little significance as they are through to the round of 16. Valencia have to win at all costs to stand a chance. Zidane would probably rest some of the key players for this important match so Madrid might have a fresher team than Valencia. Eden Hazard will miss this encounter due to injury and Ferland Mendy was sent off in the home win against Espanyol. Still, back Real Madrid to edge this one.

TREBLE @ 15/2
Alaves Win 15/10
Sevilla Win 7/10
Granada Win 1/1

Written by Banele Pikwa