Primera predictions: week 15
Chastened after scoring two on a 300,000/1 shot last weekend, the oracle has played it safe this week with Barça the only side down for an away win.
Málaga – Granada (Friday 20.45) Prediction: home win. Result 1-1
Málaga won their first game of the season last weekend, tripping up Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla in Los Cármenes. The morale boost that should give the Nazaríes should not be underestimated, and Juande Ramos will not, but expecting two on the bounce from the visitors is wishful thinking. Málaga have dropped just four points at La Rosaleda all season and logic dictates they won’t do so here.
Osasuna – Barcelona (Saturday 13.00) Prediction: away win. Result 0-3
Osasuna are rock bottom, have scored a measly four goals at home, and have been beaten in their last four games by teams currently in 13th, 15th and 18th. Things look pretty bleak at El Sadar at the moment and they aren’t likely to get much better when Barça, who stuffed four past Mönchengladbach in midweek, pay a visit. The visitors may be without Neymar, but the Brazilian and the net have become estranged recently anyway and Arda Turan bagged a hat-trick in his place in midweek.
Real Sociedad – Valencia (Saturday 16.15) Prediction: draw. Result 3-2
Real Sociedad continue to make mugs out of honest punters, one week beating Atlético or outplaying Barcelona, while conspiring to lose to the likes of Eibar or Depor, who thrashed Eusebio’s mob 5-1 last week at Riazor. So this is a bit of a coupon buster, what with Valencia looking good in recent weeks but just falling short against Celta, Sevilla and Málaga ,and La Real capable of the sublime or the ridiculous.
Las Palmas – Leganés (Saturday 18.30) Prediction: home win. Result 1-1
Las Palmas remain unbeaten at home this season, a record only matched by Real Madrid. Leganés raised an eyebrow or two in holding Villarreal last weekend and have a pretty decent record on the road, winning three and losing four, the same record as sixth-placed Sociedad. It certainly won’t be straightforward, but Las Palmas should be too strong for the visitors and home advantage in the case of Los Amarillos really is just that.
Real Madrid – Deportivo (Saturday 20.45) Prediction: home win. Result 3-2
You have to go back to 2008 for the last time Depor beat Real in the league, and the Galicians have only picked up one point in this fixture since, in 2011 and in Riazor. Real are huge favourites but this has been an odd season so far and Depor did stuff five past Real Sociedad last weekend, so nothing can be ruled out. There won’t be much other than 1s on the Quiniela for this though.
Eibar – Alavés (Sunday 12.00) Prediction: home win. Result 0-0
Sunday’s early kick-off has the potential to be a bit of a cracker. Alavés score more away from home they do at the Mendizorrotza and Eibar have boshed in 21 this season already, more than Athletic and Villarreal and only a handful fewer than Sevilla. Eibar have been tough customers at home, bizarrely only losing to Osasuna so far (to the backing tune of a million torn coupons) while accounting for Valencia, Sociedad, Villarreal and Celta.
Celta – Sevilla (Sunday 16.15) Prediction: draw
High-flying Sevilla have one of the best home records in the league but struggle a little away from the Sánchez Pizjuán, although Sampaoli has at least expunged Unai Emery’s unwanted and unfathomable record of not winning an away game in the entirety of 2015-16. Celta have won their last five home games, scoring 15 times in the process. Sampaoli likes to pack his midfield away from home and will seek to frustrate Celta, so a draw may be on the cards in Balaídos.
Espanyol – Sporting (18.30) Prediction: draw
Sporting’s away form has been awful this season, the Rojiblancos having picked up just two points on their travels. Espanyol meanwhile have fared a lot better away from home than in Cornellà and sit comfortably in mid-table as a result. Four home draws for Quique Sánchez Flores’ men will have Abelardo eyeing this one as a potential point-gainer and the Sporting coach may decide to play the percentages and concentrate on a clean sheet first and foremost.
Betis – Athletic (Sunday 20.45) Prediction: home win
Betis have improved considerably under Víctor Sánchez and his 3-5-2 system and could spring what would still be considered a surprise against an Athletic side who had a tough midweek game in Vienna. The Lions have hardly roared on the road this season, failing to win a game since September 21, and even with Aritz Aduriz back in the visiting side after suspension Betis will be eyeing this game as a chance to haul themselves up the table. Dani Ceballos and Rubén Castro were excellent in last week’s 3-3 draw against Celta and should make the difference in Seville.
Villarreal – Atlético (Monday 20.45) Prediction: draw
Atlético also need to get back to winning ways after dropping eight points in four league fixtures to leave Diego Simeone’s side in fourth. Another loss in El Madrigal coupled with wins for Villarreal, Sociedad and Athletic could see Atleti out of the European places by Monday morning. Atlético did the double over Villarreal in the 2011-12 season but since then it’s been incredibly even with two wins each and two draws and a miserly scoring sequence : 1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0,1, 0-0.
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