Primera predictions: week 13 and scorecard
After being tripped up by Juventus and Rostov in midweek, the AS Oracle turned his attention to LaLiga's domestic fixtures. A not too shabby 7/10.
Eibar – Betis (Friday 20.45) Prediction: home win. Result 3-1
Having finally discovered why Betis always play on Friday night (none of the European sides are permitted to be shown on free view, while Valencia have a no thanks clause in their TV deal, leaving Betis as the next best-supported club in Spain) it now remains to be seen if new Betis coach Víctor Sánchez can do any better than Gus Poyet. A home win heralded the start of Sánchez’s reign but Eibar won at home last weekend to continue their solid home form, which has reaped four wins, a draw and a loss so far.
Málaga – Deportivo (Saturday 13.00) Prediction: home win. Result 4-3
Málaga are going to be feeling pretty pleased with themselves after holding mighty Barcelona at bay in Camp Nou last week and should be too strong for a Depor side languishing in 17th and without a win on the road this season. Depor have shipped four, four and three goals in recent weeks and haven’t managed a clean sheet since September 19.
Real Madrid – Sporting (Saturday 16.15) Prediction: home win. Result 2-1
Despite Real’s mounting injury crisis, this is more a dress rehearsal for the Clásico than anything for the home side. Sporting have the second-worst away record in the division and you suspect Zidane could pick a few punters from the crowd to fill in for the likes of Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale and still win by three or four. Adding to Zidane’s list of problems, Sergio Ramos is a yellow card away from missing the game against Barcelona, which will give Sporting something to aim for.
Espanyol – Leganés (Saturday 18.30) Prediction: draw. Result 3-0
Leganés are one of only three sides not to have drawn a game on the road this season and travel to Espanyol on the back of an historic first-ever home win in Primera against Osasuna last week. Espanyol have been profiting more away from Cornellà of late, where Quique Sánchez Flores’ unfathomable mob have drawn their last three on the trot. Both sides have been struggling for goals and this has a no-score draw written all over it.
Sevilla – Valencia (Saturday 20.45) Prediction: home win. Result 2-1
Sevilla cost the Oracle -- and half of Spain it transpired when the Quiniela count came in -- a few bob midweek in failing to beat a Juventus side so lacking in senior forwards that 16-year old Moise Kean got a game for the Old Lady. Jorge Sampaoli got himself sent off in that one along with striker Franco Vázquez and the home side will be eager to redress that 3-1 defeat against Valencia, who are without a win in four and somehow contrived to share the points with Granada in Mestalla last time out.
Villarreal – Alavés (Sunday 12.00) Prediction: home win. Result 0-2
Villarreal are La Liga’s form side at home having taken 16 points from a possible 18 in El Madrigal. Those two meagre points dropped were against Sevilla back in week two. Fran Escribá may not have been what submarine fans were dreaming of when Marcelino was mutual consented but the former Getafe and Elche boss has shown his mettle in guiding the team to within one home win of the Europa League knock out stages and to the Champions League spots domestically. Alavés may have shocked Barcelona at Camp Nou but the Basques have picked up just one further win away this season, at Osasuna.
Osasuna – Atlético (Sunday 16.15) Prediction: away win. Result 0-3
You know a team is in trouble when their away form is keeping them in touching distance at the foot of the pile. Osasuna have been simply shocking at home this season, picking up just two points from six games, and if we at AS Towers have any betting luck this weekend rest assured we'll offer a free pint to anyone who can produce a season ticket for El Sadar. You need a stiff drink to sit through an Osasuna game at the moment and we firmly fancy home fans to be needing something medicinal by half time against an Atlético side who have shown several times this season that they can dish out a hiding if they're up for it.
Celta – Granada (Sunday 18.30) Prediction: home win. Result 3-1
Celta will be smarting after failing to overturn a one-goal deficit over 82 minutes against Eibar last weekend and could well take out their frustration at failing to leapfrog the Basques to within touching distance of the European places on Granada, who are in awful shape and propping up the division having failed to win a single game yet this season.
Real Sociedad – Barcelona (Sunday 20.45) Prediction: draw. Result 1-1
The recent history of this fixture is quite remarkable: La Real lay claim to the title of the only side in Europe to have defeated Barcelona in all of their last four meetings at home. Anoeta is kryptonite to Leo Messi and company, who have not won in San Sebastián since May 2007. Since then, Barça have been beaten five times on La Real’s turf, with one 2-2 draw their only point gained in six attempts since the txuri-urdin returned to the top flight. That is an amazing run on the part of La Real, and surely it has to come to an end at some stage, but we fancy it won’t be this season after Barça struggled to break down Celtic in midweek and failed to find the back of the net against Málaga last weekend at home.
Las Palmas – Athletic (Monday 20.45) Prediction: draw. Result 3-1
The Monday night slot could be one of the games of the weekend, if it was at the weekend, as in-form Athletic visit Las Palmas, who have dropped off horribly since the opening two weeks when talk was of the chances of the Canary Islanders doing a Leicester. In a sense they are, the problem being they are more like this season’s Leicester than last year’s Premier League winners with one win in their last eight. Athletic beat Villarreal last weekend, have scalped Valencia and Sevilla and deserved more from narrow losses to Real Madrid and Barça.
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