Celta - Girona (Fri 21:00) Prediction: home win - Result: 3-3
Since the opening weekend of the season, when Girona held Atlético to a 2-2 draw in the Montilivi, Pablo Machín's side have scored just once, in the subsequent 1-0 home victory over Málaga courtesy of right back Pedro Alcalá. Girona's arrangement with Manchester City may yet bear fruit but so far only Larry Kayode has chipped in any meaningful way up top, essentially leaving Machín with one senior striker in Cristhian Stuani. Whether that will be sufficient to stay up is open to question and Girona may well be on the phone to City again in January if they remain in or around the relegation places. In the meantime, Celta popped four past Eibar last week as they finally found some form and should be too strong for the visitors in Balaídos.
Deportivo - Getafe (Sat 13:00) Prediction: away win - Result 2-1
Getafe moved up into the top 10 with a 4-0 drubbing of Villarreal that cost Fran Escribà his job and have been exceptionally efficient in front of goal this season, scoring eight times from just 14 shots on goal. That is bad news for Depor, who would find it hard to keep a clean sheet against their under-16s at the moment. Pepe Mel's side have conceded more than any other Liga club (15) and allowed more shots on goal than anybody other than rock bottom Alavés. Mel's resurrection was brief, a 1-0 victory over the Basques being wiped out by a 4-1 defeat at Espanyol and Getafe are yet to lose a game away from the Coliseum.
Sevilla - Málaga (Sat 16:15) Prediction: home win - Result: 2-0
Málaga snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat against Athletic in La Rosaleda but were aided by some amateurish defending and looked second best throughout that game. However, three goals went some way to quelling unrest in the stands and almost certainly bought Míchel at least another game's grace in the eyes of his paymaster. A return of one point from six games is not a rosy outlook though and the odds on a Málaga victory in the Sánchez Pizjuán are suitably long for a side that has conceded 14 already this season and are rooted in the relegation zone up against one sitting comfortably in third.
Levante - Alavés (Sat 18:30) Prediction: home win - Result: 0-2
Levante finally got off the mark last weekend, against Real Madrid no less, and could have reaped greater reward for a spirited showing against the champions were it not for the intervention of the woodwork twice late on. That will give the visitors something to build on in the Ciutat de Valencia after a woeful start to the season that produced zero goals in five games, as will Levante getting thrashed 4-0 by Betis last weekend. Levante though have been in fine form other than that defeat and are unbeaten at home, where The Frogs turned Real Sociedad over 3-0 in their last game in Valencia.
Leganés - Atlético (Sat 20:45) Prediction: away win - Result 0-0
Leganés have been extremely solid at the back this season - only Barcelona have conceded fewer - but have hardly been banging them in with just five in the goals for column. In their last home game the Cucumber Growers managed just a single shot on target and have scored only two of those five in front of their home fans, a pattern that mirrors that of the opening exchanges of last season, when this fixture ended 0-0 to the surprise of many. It will be tight again in Butarque - a pre-season friendly produced just a single goal in Atlético's favour - but with Atlético at more or less full strength and back in scoring form Diego Simeone's side should be expected to edge out their near neighbours.
Real Sociedad - Betis (Sun 12:00) Prediction: home win - Result 4-4
This week's coupon buster and no mistake. Sociedad won their first three and have beaten three times in their last six while Betis lost two of their first three and have now picked up a hat-trick of consecutive victories including a first triumph in the Bernabéu in 20 years and last week's 4-0 demolition of Levante. La Real have won five of the last six Liga meetings between the sides and haven't lost to Betis in Anoeta since 2003, and in the absence of any pointers from above that's basically good enough for us.
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Barcelona - Las Palmas (Sun 16:15) Prediction: home win - Result 3-0
Las Palmas pulled the plug on Manolo Márquez's brief tenure after last weekend's 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Leganés and appointed Pako Ayestarán, whose last managerial tenure at Valencia lasted little longer than his predecessor in the hotseat in Gran Canaria with Los Che bottom of the table a few games into 2016-17. A trip to Camp Nou in his first game is hardly an ideal situation but at least their will be few expectations riding on this one. Ayestarán will be given time to implant his ideas on a squad who have looked devoid of confidence and cohesion but against Barcelona, who are six for six and have scored 20 already for two conceded, a winning start for the incoming Las Palmas boss seems unlikely.
Valencia - Athletic (Sun 18:30) Prediction: home win - Result 3-2
Athletic have lost Iker Muniain to another long-term injury, which is a significant blow to a club built on such tight-knit identity and team spirit and one to Athletic's creative department, the 24-year-old having provided all three assists in the 3-3 draw at Málaga. Valencia remain unbeaten this season and hammered Málaga 5-0 in their last game at Mestalla as Marcelino imposes his tactical nous on a side who have desperately missed a clear game plan in recent seasons. Consistency has always been Marcelino's byword and Valencia are showing signs of achieving that in the early exchanges, taking points off Atlético and Real Madrid. More of the same is likely on Sunday with Athletic having been in European action in a 1-0 defeat to Zorya Luhansk midweek.
Villarreal - Eibar (Sun 18:30) Prediction: home win - Result 3-0
Villarreal have also decided to move swiftly in the face of early season expectations coming a cropper and gave Fran Escribà the boot before the weekend's games, bringing in reserve team coach Javier Calleja to steady a listing Submarine. The former Madrigal midfielder will be happy enough with his initial opposition: Eibar have shipped 10 in their last two games and look ripe for the plucking on the east coast in the absence of several first team regulars and there is always a little bit of stock in new manager bounce, particularly when that manager is a well-respected figure within the club.
Real Madrid - Espanyol (Sun 20:45) Prediction: home win - Result 2-0
Gareth Bale is a doubt for Madrid after his encouraging display against Dortmund in the Champions League and despite Zinedine Zidane being without a few key players squad depth is hardly an issue at the Bernabéu. Cristiano Ronaldo will be eager to open his Liga account against a club he has banged in 15 goals against during his Liga career. Real have failed to win any of their opening three home domestic fixtures and the suspicion is that someone, somewhere is going to find themselves on the end of a hiding. Last season the result in this one was 2-0. The season before it was 6-0. We'd punt on something in between.