Barcelona vs Sporting Gijón coverage | LaLiga Santander
Real Sociedad – Eibar (Tuesday 19:30) Prediction: home win
Real Sociedad have the smell of Europe in their nostrils and local bragging rights at stake when Eibar visit Anoeta. The txuri-urdin are breathing down Atlético’s neck and have put daylight between themselves and Villarreal and will not be at home to any slip-ups against an Eibar side whose own lofty position of seventh is based almost entirely on their home form.
Málaga – Betis (Tuesday 21:30) Prediction: draw
Rubén Castro was a surprise omission from the Betis squad for the trip to Málaga but the evergreen Joaquín will be back for the verdiblancos, who could do with a result to prevent their boots getting stuck in the relegation mire. Málaga are only one place and two points ahead of Betis and were hammered by Eibar at the weekend. El Gato Romero has masterminded just one win and two draws in eight games in charge and will keep this one tight from the outset: Málaga have conceded 25 of 40 goals this season in the first half.
Valencia – Leganés (Tuesday 21:30) Prediction: home win
Valencia have already beaten Leganés three times this season and although Voro is likely to rotate the in-form Simone Zaza will start up top. The Italian has netted twice in his last three appearances and can expect support from Munir and Zakaria Bakkali on the wings, two players with a point to prove to their coach. Leganés thumped a woeful Depor side 4-0 last time out to arrest a run of 11 games without a win but the Cucumber Growers haven’t won on the road since October 1.
Barcelona – Sporting (Wednesday 19:30) Prediction home win
Sporting are in dire straits and Granada’s recent resurgence – two wins in four games having one just once all season before February – means that the Cantabrians can only really be assured of Osasuna finishing below them. Points are needed but the chances of picking any up at Camp Nou are extremely thin and in all likelihood Rubi will set up to avoid a drubbing. How many Barcelona win by is the only question to be answered in the Ciudad Condal.
Osasuna – Villarreal (Wednesday 19:30) Prediction: away win
Villarreal were on the cusp of a famous victory against Madrid on Sunday and if the visitors can drum up the kind of motivation they displayed in the Estádio de la Ceramica this could get ugly for Osasuna, who are rock bottom of the league with one win from their 24 games so far this season.
Celta – Espanyol (Wednesday 21:30) Prediction: home win
Espanyol have missed four of the last five penalties awarded to them, which cost them a point at home against Sporting and sealed their Copa exit at the hands of Alcorcón. That will come as a relief to Celta, who have conceded more goals from the spot (8) than any side in LaLiga this season. Celta and Espanyol are neck and neck on the fringes of the top 10 and the hosts remain the only team not to have drawn a game at home this season.
Real Madrid – Las Palmas (Wednesday 21:30) Prediction: home win
Las Palmas have played Real Madrid in the Bernabéu 32 times in the league and have never won, managing only four draws in a sequence that doesn’t bode very well for Quique Setién’s side. However, the wily tactician will have noted that the home side can’t defend in the opening moments of either half at the moment and may try a smash-and-grab job. Real are heavy favourites though after their stirring comeback in Vila-real kept their title challenge on course.
Granada – Alavés (Wednesday 21:30) Prediction: draw
Granada have thrown themselves a lifeline in recent weeks, picking up six points from their last four games to pull to within one more win of Deportivo in the lush uplands of 17th. If the Andalusian are to sidestep the trap door it will be achieved at Los Cármenes, where they have picked up 13 of their 16 points this season. Three home wins on the trot for a side with only three victories all season may be pushing it but a draw will be welcome enough against Alavés, who have won their last two away games and five all season – three more than the current bottom four combined.
Deportivo – Atlético (Thursday 20:45) Prediction: away win
Atlético have suffered seven defeats in their last 13 visits to Riazor since 2000 but play a Depor side in free fall after going seven games without a win. That was enough for Depor to pull the trigger on Gaizka Garitano and bring in a fireman in the shape of Pepe Mel. It may be too soon for the former Betis and West Brom coach to get his ideas across as he arrived on Tuesday morning and Atlético should run out comfortable winners even allowing for the effects of new-coach bounce.
Sevilla – Athletic (Thursday 21:30) Prediction: home win
Sevilla’s 2-1 derby victory was met with raucous celebration not just because Betis had been bested but Jorge Sampaoli’s side came from behind to keep their title challenge alive. Athletic are without veteran onion bag-botherer Aritz Aduriz, who is out with a hamstring injury, but managed to stick three past Granada at home last weekend. The visitors will find goals a more precious currency against a side who have only conceded 11 at home and dropped just five points in the Sánchez Pizjuán all season.
Follow the coverage match of the week 29 of the Liga Santander between: Real Madrid-Alavés