La Liga returns after week filled with Copa del Rey clashes, and this weekend should not disappoint with matches. I’m back once again to attempt to make correct predictions, but we’ll see how that goes given my track record.
Let’s start with the predictions.
Getafe vs. Alavés
Getafe come into this match vying to be the third Madrid-based team to secure European football next term. They are currently in a fine run of form as they have only lost once in their last five, and currently sit in sixth which would see them qualify for the Europa League Final Qualifying Round. Alavés are another surprise team this term, and for most of the first three months of the season, occupied a Champions League place. Recently, they have come crashing back to earth, but they also have gotten encouraging results lately which should set this clash up nicely. I foresee an entertaining draw between these two sides who are very similar.
Prediction: Getafe 2-2 Alavés
Real Madrid vs. Sevilla
Real Madrid come into this game rested after their Copa del Rey triumph allowed them to rest key members of their squad with an eye on this match. Things have turned around under caretaker manager Santiago Solari, but this could be his sternest test yet against third-place Sevilla. Sevilla lost their last league game against relegation candidates Athletic Club Bilbao, but have been one of the best sides in Spain this season. They should be worried by their drop in form over their last three league matches, but they will surely be ready to fight for everything against Real Madrid. Sevilla have fared better when this fixture is at home for them which is why I’m taking Real Madrid.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Sevilla
SD Huesca vs. Atlético Madrid
Huesca find themselves firmly entrenched in the bottom spot of La Liga as they have the worst defense in La Liga. Their recent form has been mixed with a win in their second to last match. Atlético have used their tried and true formula of defensive excellence once again this season, and find themselves perched in second, five behind Barcelona. The one thing Atlético may be wary of is the potential for a draw which they will hope to avoid if they want to remain in the title chase.
Prediction: Atlético Madrid 1-0 SD Huesca
Celta Vigo vs. Valencia
Celta Vigo enter this fixture in alarming form as they have only taken four points out of their last fifteen, and they currently sit one spot above the relegation places. Celta have been effective in scoring goals, but they will have to better at keeping them out if they hope to survive this season in La Liga. Valencia have been inconsistent this year as their squad struggles with the strain of competitions on three fronts. Their form still hasn’t been great, and they are a far cry from the solid team that nicked a Champions League place last term. I foresee a very cagey affair between two sides that desperately need points, but I am going to take the home team in this one.
Prediction: Celta Vigo 2-1 Valencia
Real Betis vs. Girona
Real Betis enter this match following their Copa del Rey triumph where they went through on away goals. The league has been crueler to them lately as they have not won a league game in over a month when they defeated Espanyol 3-1. Girona have been the kings of the draw lately as they have drawn all five of their previous five matches. Coming off of their triumph over Atlético Madrid in the Copa del Rey because of away goals, they may have the confidence needed to get a win. What do I think? A draw.
Prediction: Real Betis 2-2 Girona
Villarreal vs. Athletic Club Bilbao
Villarreal have had a season to forget as they currently languish in 19th place in the league with their only success coming in the Europa League. The only real thing that jumps out has been a series of unfortunate results domestically and an inability to convert draws into wins. Athletic Club recently climbed out of the relegation places, but they have sorely missed Kepa who departed for Chelsea over the summer. They would be in a similar position to Villarreal had they not gotten a crucial victory last weekend, but cannot count themselves as safe yet. These are two nearly identical teams and a draw makes too much sense. I am taking the away side.
Prediction: Athletic Club 2-1 Villarreal
Levante vs. Real Valladolid
Levante enter the match on a negative run of form that has seen them lose two of their last three league games with the other result being a draw. Unlike other teams in the bottom half of the table, Levante has been able to score goals, but they have not been as great at keeping them out. Real Valladolid are a similar story, but their form has been slightly more concerning across all competitions with two draws being their most positive results in their last five matches. Valladolid are slightly better defensively, but would prefer to score more frequently if they hope to pull away from the relegation pack. I see goals in this one with a draw being a fair result.
Prediction: Levante 2-2 Real Valladolid
Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Sociedad
Don’t let the recent positive form fool you into believing that Rayo Vallecano are in a desirable position. They currently sit on 19 points which is good enough for 18th place and has them firmly locked in the relegation battle in La Liga. Real Sociedad find themselves just outside of the European places and only have La Liga to focus on after being knocked out of the Copa del Rey. They should come into this match committed, and will hope to take all three points in order to stay within striking distance of the European places. I see the away side getting a gritty, but needed result.
Prediction: Real Sociedad 2-0 Rayo Vallecano
Barcelona vs. Leganes
Barcelona have had an interesting week after fielding an ineligible player in their Copa del Rey tie against Levante, but were allowed to stay in after it was deemed that the complaint arrived too late. Regardless, they come into the match in peak form and are in the driver’s seat for the La Liga title. Leganes are in a battle to avoid relegation, but have been a solid side all season. Their recent form has been encouraging, but they will have to be at their best in order to topple the leaders of La Liga. The only result is a comfortable win for Barcelona, but I expect some consolation for the visitors.
Prediction: Barcelona 4-1 Leganes
Eibar vs. Espanyol
Eibar’s catastrophic form over their last five matches has seen them plummet into the thick of a relegation scrap. Their numbers indicate that they might be able to survive the drop, but it doesn’t bode well against opposition from the middle of the table. Espanyol have been solid, if unspectacular, in their recent matches and will hope to improve their goal difference with a positive result in this match. I expect Espanyol to emerge victorious in the final match of the La Liga weekend.
Prediction: Espanyol 1-0 Eibar