Sevilla – Granada (Friday 20:45) Prediction: home win. Result 2-0
The sight of Tony Adams in the Granada dug-out is a rather incongruous one and the Arsenal and England legend has his work cut out for him in his first managerial gig with his side in 19th and on a run of six defeats and a draw in seven games. Sevilla have been beaten at home just once all season, by Barcelona last November, and should make light work of the visitors.
Málaga – Valencia (Saturday 13:00) Prediction: away win. Result 0-2
Valencia have had the better of this fixture historically, winning 19 and drawing eight times in 31 games at La Rosaleda, and Los Che are on a four-game unbeaten streak having scored three times on three occasions in victories over Granada, Celta and Depor. Málaga’s 2-0 victory over Barcelona was a bit of an anomaly in a forgettable season for the Anchovies and although Míchel has tightened things up at the back, Valencia have enough quality up front to nick a win on the south coast.
Villarreal – Leganés (Saturday 16:15) Prediction: home win. Result 2-0
Leganés have hit a barren run with three straight defeats in recent weeks and are without a win since an early March success over Granada at home. On the road the Cucumber Growers are without a win since October and have taken just four points in their last 12 outside Butarque. Anything other than a home win will be a huge surprise.
Osasuna – Sporting (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: draw. Result 2-2
Defeat for either side in El Sadar would be a disaster and both sides favour variations of five at the back, a packed midfield and lone striker approach, so goals will be at a premium. Osasuna have thrown themselves an unlikely lifeline with two wins in their last three after a single victory this season before that but the home side will not go all out against their most direct rival with winnable games against Depor and Granada still to come.
Espanyol – Atlético (Saturday 20:45) Prediction: away win. Result 1-0
Espanyol often profit from the visit of Atlético, with 37 home victories to 26 away wins over the course of history, but Diego Simeone’s side haven’t lost on the road since before Christmas and have Kevin Gameiro available to partner Antoine Griezmann in attack. Pablo Piatti is the fourth-highest assist-maker in the league and has bagged 10 goals and Atlético will be caused a few problems by an attack of Felipe Caicedo and top scorer Gerard Moreno but a 1-0 victory for the visitors is worth a punt.
Sociedad – Deportivo (Sunday 12:00) Prediction: home win. Result 1-0
Pepe Mel has shored things up at Riazor and managed his side to three wins and three draws in nine games but it is home form that is keeping Depor out of the relegation schtuck. Away from home the Galicians have won just once all season, conceding more goals than all but three other Liga sides and shipped three at Valencia and four at Sevilla in their last two outings. Sociedad’s home for has slipped in recent weeks, leaving them out of the European places, and the txuri-urdin will see this as the perfect opportunity to get back on track with fifth just two points away.
Celta – Betis (Sunday 16:15) Prediction: home win. Result 0-1
Celta have not suffered from the effects of Europa League action domestically this season and have administered some proper spankings after their Thursday night fixtures, including a 4-3 defeat of Barcelona and a 4-1 thrashing of Depor in the Derbi Gallego. Betis haven’t managed a clean sheet on the road this season and Iago Aspas and company will fancy their chances of picking up three points in Balaídos after reaching the semi-finals of Europe’s ugly sister competition for the first time in their history.
Las Palmas – Alavés (Sunday 18:30) Prediction: away win. Result 1-1
Las Palmas have plummeted like a stone after occupying a top-10 place for the first half of the season and there is a distinct aroma of bronzing oil and margaritas about the place with Quique Setién on his farewell tour and the side in no danger of relegation and out of contention for anything more glamorous at the other end of the table. Alavés have won more games away this season than at home and could take advantage of Las Palmas’ indifference if Marcos Llorente can put a lid on the league’s most accurate passer, Roque Mesa.
Real Madrid – Barcelona (Sunday 20:45) Prediction: home win. Result 2-3
If Barcelona lose in the Bernabéu the league title will practically be in Real Madrid’s cupboard. The home side have failed to keep a clean sheet in 12 of their last 13 games and the visitors will come out firing after the disappointment of Champions League failure, even if they will have to do without Neymar. There will be a few goals in this one but we fancy Madrid to edge it 3-2.
Eibar – Athletic (Monday 20:45) Prediction: draw
The other Basque derby takes place in the much-maligned Monday night slot and in fairness deserves higher billing. Eibar and Athletic top the table for balls slung into the mixer this season and the visitors are also leading both the balls lost and balls recovered charts. Throw in the fact that no side has been awarded more penalties than Eibar and the ingredients are there for a bit of a ding-dong in Mendizorrotza and an entertaining score draw.
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