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LA LIGA | WEEK 33

LaLiga predictions and results: Week 33

Levante (20) - Espanyol (15) Prediction: home win. Result Levante 2-1 Espanyol (1/1)

Every game from here on in is a must-win for The Frogs, who are five points adrift of 17th-placed Granada. Levante have taken five points from their last five games, a dynamic that if repeated over the remaining six will mean goodbye for Rubí's strugglers and a fair few wet Tuesday nights in Segunda outposts next season. With Athletic, Atlético and Málaga still to come, victory is essential against an Espanyol side who have won just three on the road this season.

Photo: ALBERTO IRANZO DIARIO AS

Update:

Getafe (19) - Real Madrid (3) Prediction: away win. Result Getafe 1-5 Real Madrid (2/2)

Getafe are in serious trouble. And they have just sacked seasoned coach Fran Escriba and replaced him with Juan Esnaider, whose last managerial gig was at Córdoba in 2013. Like a kid with half a potato, this one does not pinta bien, as the Spanish saying goes. Real are on a roll after beating Barcelona and Wolfsburg and Zinedine Zidane's side slotted four past Eibar last week without breaking sweat.

Photo: Denis Doyle Getty Images

Update:

Las Palmas (10) - Sporting (18) Prediction: home win. Result Las Palmas 1-1 Sporting (2/3)

It wasn't that long ago that Las Palmas were precisely where Sporting currently find themselves. But Quique Setién has taken the Canary Islanders on an extraordinary run of six wins in seven games, their only loss coming against Real Madrid, when at least a point would have been a fair reflection of the match. Sporting were certainly the fairest of them all in the Calderón in beating Atlético 2-1 last month, but otherwise the image coming back from the mirror has been plain ugly: five defeats and a draw in their last seven games excluding the Calderón, with just two goals scored.

Photo: Carlos Diaz-Recio DIARIO AS

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Eibar (11) - Real Sociedad (9) Prediction: draw. Result Eibar 2-1 R. Sociedad (2/4)

The Basque mini-derby features two sides with neither relegation worries or European aspirations. It's a case of local pride and Eibar are due a win, having beaten only Levante since Valentine's day. The visitors' messy affair with David Moyes has been fully consigned to memory, Sociedad winning six of their last 11 and knocking Sevilla and Barça out of the park in the past two weeks. The loss of Iñigo Martínez to injury will be keenly felt by the visitors and Eibar will fancy their chances after Sociedad's recent heroics of at least sharing the spoils.

Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno Getty Images

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Celta (5) - Betis (13) Prediction: home win. Result Celta 1-1 Betis (2/5)

Celta have an outside chance of a Champions League finish and Villarreal's run-in is about as appealing as a week in a skunk-filled submarine. The possibility of Celta and Marcelino's side swapping places before the end of the season can't be ruled out and the hosts will aim to cut the gap to fourth against a Betis side meandering towards the end of the season in the hopes that Villarreal's European exertions will play into Rayo's hands on Sunday.

Photo: Lalo R Villar DIARIO AS

Update:

Málaga (8) - Athletic (6) Prediction: home win. Result: Málaga 0-1 Athletic (2/6)

Málaga have lost just four times since November while Athletic are starting to feel the pinch of an epic season that started in earnest in the Europa League qualifiers back in August. Top scorer Aritz Aduriz is out for The Lions after picking up an injury in Thursday's European loss to Sevilla and Iñaki Williams is unlikely to be passed fit for the trip to La Rosaleda, placing the ball firmly in Málaga's court as it's hard to see the visitors sticking it in the back of the net.

Photo: CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

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Sevilla (7) - Deportivo (12) Prediction: draw. Result Sevilla 1-1 Depor (3/7)

Sevilla expended a fair amount of effort in the penalty shoot-out victory over Athletic on Thursday and would probably have preferred the evening kick-off for the visit of draw specialists Depor. Unai Emery's men haven't shared the spoils in the Sánchez Pizjuán all season while Sunday's visitors have racked up an incredible 16 in total.

Photo: JORGE GUERRERO AFP

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Rayo (16) - Villarreal (4) Prediction: draw. Result: Rayo 2-1 Villarreal (3/8)

Villarreal will be suitably shot after their 4-2 victory in Prague on Thursday night that secured a glamour Europa League semi-final against Herr Klopp's Liverpool and may feel that their position in the league is comfortable enough to rest a few players against Rayo. Paco Jémez's swashbuckling style has provided a white-knuckle ride for the Rayo faithful this season but it is away form that has the Madrid side three points above the relegation mire. At home, Rayo can give anyone a game and Jémez will send his side out to take advantage of any heavy legs among the visitors.

Photo: JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

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Atlético (2) - Granada (17) Prediction: home win. Result: Atleti 3-0 Granada (4/9)

Granada coach José González has performed miracles since replacing José Ramón Sandoval in February, picking up two wins and four draws from seven matches. Sporting showed the way against Atlético a few weeks ago, attacking on the break in numbers with speed and incisiveness. Granada have the tools to do the same but Atlético suddenly find themselves three points off the Liga leaders and won't be holding back any of the big guns on Sunday.

Photo: CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

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Barcelona (1) - Valencia (14) Prediction: draw. Result: Barcelona 1-2 Valencia (4/10)

Ay, Barcelona. A few weeks ago Luis Enrique's side were nailed on for the treble. Now even unofficial club spokesman Gerard Piqué has admitted doubts have started to creep in after one win in five matches -- and that one, against Atlético, pointless in the greater scheme of things. Also a few weeks ago, Valencia's chances of getting anything out of a trip to Camp Nou would have been up there with Jason Statham bothering the Oscars. Similarly hard-looking, Pako Ayestaran is another man who doesn't need to check hair dryer availability when booking a hotel. Whether or not he uses one in the dressing room, Fergie-style, is unrecorded, but he's injected some spine into Valencia and Los Che could go all Guevara on a Barça side reeling against the ropes.

Photo: David Ramos Getty Images

Update:

Final score: 4/10

Not our best week at the old predictions, getting just 4 out of 10. And getting Real Madrid to win away to a woeful Getafe and Atleti to do the business at home to Granada was hardly difficult stuff. We did spot Barça were going drop points against Valencia... but didn't expect them to get beaten. And guessed correctly that Rayo in their desperation would take something off Villarreal, again just not all three points. But overall we had a bad time of it, failing to spot Athletic heading south to Málaga to win, not realising Eibar were indeed due a victory (over Real Sociedad) and not spotting Sporting's desire taking them to a point against in-form Las Palmas. Must try harder, and we will!

Photo: LLUIS GENE AFP

Update:

11 / 11