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LaLiga match-day 5: AS English predictions and scorecard

With the ten midweek games concluded, we look back and assess our ability to provide a sound guide for results in the Spanish top flight.


With all 10 midweek matches now complete our focus switches almost immediately to the next round of games - starting tonight as Betis welcome Málaga. However, before we do, let's take a quick look at our scorecard. As you can see below, we correctly predicted five out of the ten results and of the five we got wrong, we didn't once pick a team to win that then lost. We live for these slivers of silver linings...

Málaga - Eibar

The home side are without a win so far this season and Juande Ramos' employers were probably expecting a better return from the new coach's first four games than two draws, two losses and three goals scored. Defeats to Villarreal and Las Palmas in his last two games are not a black mark against Juande -- both are in the top six and unbeaten. However, lose to Eibar and it will be accompanied by the sound of sardine skewers being sharpened. Eibar will be happy with a point in this week's opener. So will Juande.

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AS English Prediction: draw -- Result: Home win (2-1) WRONG

Sevilla - Betis

For football purists there is nothing quite like the Seville derby. For the red and white and green and white halves of the city, beating the other is traditionally the pinnacle of the season. That has been more the case for Betis than Sevilla of late, what with Unai Emery leading the Rojiblancos to European glory and such. Betis won the Sanchez Pizjuán fixture in their first season back in the top flight after a couple in Segunda in 2011-12 but it's been all Sevilla since then; three home wins added to two draws and a victory on the other side of town. Betis have failed to score in the last four Liga derbies and even verdiblancos will be putting a furtive 1 on their Quinielas for this.

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AS English prediction: home win Result: Home win (1-0) CORRECT

Celta - Sporting

Celta have been awful so far this season and it cannot be purely blamed on the effect of losing Nolito -- the tricky forward had half a foot out the door for most of last season and a lengthy injury layoff. Something else is rotten in the state of Balaídos and Eduardo Berizzo needs to figure out what it is quick smart or his side's season will be over before it has begun. Celta have only scored once in the league via Fabio Orellana, who is out with a hamstring injury. There are goals in the side: new signing Pione Sisto arrived to much fanfare, Giuseppe Rossi has done it all before and Iago Aspas and John Guidetti were a force to be reckoned with last season. Sporting's visit is the perfect opportunity for some combination of the four to find the back of the net against a side that have made very little go a long way up to now.

Spanish club Celta de Vigo's Italian head coach Eduardo Berizzo
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Spanish club Celta de Vigo's Italian head coach Eduardo BerizzoNICOLAS LAMBERTAFP

AS English prediction: home win -- Result: Home win (2-1) CORRECT

Real Madrid - Villarreal

Real have managed pretty well without their injury absences this season and remain the only side with a perfect record. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale should be available for selection but James Rodríguez and Karim Benzema proved yet again on a far from straightforward trip to Espanyol that Zinedine Zidane's side has plenty of goals in them. Villarreal have been coping well in the absence of Roberto Soldado and Cédric Bakambu, summer signings Alexandre Pato and Nicola Sansone picking up the slack in front of goal. It would be a close one at El Madrigal, but it just looks like too much of a stretch for the Yellow Submarine in the Bernabeu.

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AS English prediction: home win -- Result: draw (1-1) WRONG

Barcelona - Atlético

Since Barcelona's surprise home defeat by Alavés two weekends ago, Luis Suárez, Leo Messi and Neymar have banged in 10 goals and assisted nine in two games -- a 7-0 thrashing of an out-of-their depth Celtic and a 5-1 drubbing of a so-far decent Leganés in Butarque. Diego Simeone will have to draw deep from his tactical well to keep Barça's rampant strike force at bay but the Argentinean's side have scored 10 themselves in the same time frame. Will El Cholo, whose side have conceded only once this season, try and rope a dope? it will be a bold tactic but maybe the difference between a points decision and a knock-out.

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AS English prediction: home win -- Result: draw (1-1) WRONG

Real Sociedad - Las Palmas

AS English's resident La Real expert always draws air sharply through his teeth in the manner of a plumber examining a leaky u-bend when the pick for Sociedad comes in (and he's often right) but this week, we're going with the Txuriurdin. Las Palmas have been excellent so far this season but three games in a week, the not inconsiderable distance between Gran Canaria and San Sebastián and Quique Setién probably wanting to keep plenty in the tank to take on Real Madrid at the weekend gives this one the distinct whiff of a home win.

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AS English prediction: home win -- Result: home win (4-1) CORRECT

Granada - Athletic

Athletic have won their last two on the spin and while Ernesto Valverde's side have struggled for goals, they have also conceded fewer than the majority of sides. There won't be much in the way of onion bag action in Los Cármenes but what there is will likely add to the current woes of Granada boss Paco Jémez, who will be without suspended 11th-hour summer signing from Valencia, Rubén Vezo, at the back.

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AS English prediction: away win -- Result: away win (1-2) CORRECT

Deportivo - Leganés

Deportivo have failed to find the back of the net since the opening weekend but Gaizka Garitano has done at Riazor what he achieved at Ipurua and shored up the back line to the extent that his side have the joint second-best defensive record in the league so far this season. Leganés, despite their eyebrow raising bow in Primera, have only managed three themselves so far and the suspicion is that the Madrid side will happily settle for a draw in A Coruña.

Gaizka Garitano
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Gaizka GaritanoAdrián Ruiz de HierroEFE

AS English Prediction: draw -- Result: away win (1-2) WRONG

Osasuna - Espanyol

Espanyol set the bar high for going down swinging on the opening weekend in a 6-4 loss at the Sánchez Pizjuán but in Seville pretty much everything Quique Sánchez Flores' side hit at least troubled the keeper: 10 attempts, seven on target. Since then 22 attempts against Málaga, Real Sociedad and Real Madrid have reaped just five shots on target. Three of those have hit the back of the net. If Espanyol create enough chances in Pamplona the visitors can add to their measly haul of two points from four games but doing that against Osasuna's five-man back line may be a tall order.

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OsasunaMikel SaizDIARIO AS

AS English Prediction: draw -- Result: away win (1-2) WRONG

Valencia - Alavés

Any Spanish station that cheekily signed up either Gary or Phil Neville for a few thoughts on Valencia this season would be guaranteed half a chuckle. Rock bottom of La Liga, Los Che are the only Liga club with zero points at this stage and the idea that Pako Ayestarán would provide a magic wand to make the Neville era disappear has been proven a cheap conjurer's trick on the part of the Mestalla ownership. Valencia are a huge, historic club who could have lured any number of marquee managers in the summer. Ayestarán has to get something out of newly promoted Alavés and Leganés before he squares up to Atleti before the international break. Go into that in his current position and Peter Lim will be left with little choice.

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AS English prediction: home win -- Result: home win (2-1) CORRECT


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