Getafe – Athletic (Friday 21:00) Prediction: draw
Getafe’s home form continues to impress, the Azulones having conceded only seven in the Coliseum where they are unbeaten since October. Athletic are also on an eye-catching run, the Lions’ last Liga defeat coming in November and Cuco Ziganda’s side racked up their highest tally of shots on goal two weeks ago in their victory away at Betis. Neither side have any reason not to apply hammer and tongs to this one and a lively score draw could be on the cards in southern Madrid.
Espanyol – Sevilla (Saturday 13:00) Prediction: away win
Espanyol brought a spectacular halt to Barcelona’s unbeaten run in all competitions in the Copa and Quique Sánchez Flores, who will be pretty pleased with his decision not to swap Catalonia for the Potteries, will have half an eye on finishing what would be an historic job on the league leaders next midweek. Sevilla also profited from their trip to the Metropolitano and are a little light at the back heading up to Cornellà, which may persuade Vincenzo Montella to approach this one on the front foot from the word go.
Atlético – Girona (Saturday 16:15) Prediction: home win
Girona will be without top scorer Cristhian Stuani for the trip to the capital and it is no exaggeration to say that the Uruguayan has been the difference this season for the newly promoted side, scoring twice against Atlético on the opening day, equalising in the victory over Real Madrid and hitting winners against Levante and Getafe. Pablo Machín’s side knocked six past Las Palmas last weekend but may struggle to break down Atlético’s solid back line even in the absence of Diego Godín and potentially Filipe Luis.
Villarreal – Levante (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: home win
Levante have been pretty rotten on the road this season, winning just once in eight attempts and scoring five times. Villarreal have a lengthy list of absentees for this one, including strikers Carlos Bacca and Nicola Sansone, but The Frogs are equally hamstrung and although there won’t be many goals in the Céramica, the home side should sneak a 1-0 win.
Las Palmas – Valencia (Saturday 20:45) Prediction: away win
Paco Jémez is the very embodiment of a man who could pick a fight in an empty room and has wasted little time in making his peculiar presence felt in his native Canaries, banishing one of two half-decent strikers he possesses, Loic Remy, and then banging on about how many balls he’s got. It’s worth remembering that Jémez’s last gig in LaLiga lasted six games at Granada, where he oversaw their worst start to a season in 70 years. Girona put Las Palmas to the sword last time out and there’s little reason to assume Valencia, even with one eye on the Copa, won’t do exactly the same.
Alavés – Leganés (Sunday 12:00) Prediction: draw
Alavés are missing four first-team regulars for the visit of Leganés, who are also without four of their preferred starting XI. Both sides have a one-goal deficit to make up in the Copa del Rey quarters next week and the Sunday midday kick-off has delivered three 0-0 draws in the last six weeks: X marks the spot in Mendizorrotza.
Real Madrid – Deportivo (Sunday 16:15) Prediction: home win
Real Madrid’s loss to Villarreal last weekend now means the Zinedine Zidane’s side have been beaten more times in half of 2017-18 than they were in the whole of last season and the reigning champions are without a win in their last three Liga outings. Depor are in the bottom three with just one win on the road this season and should provide just the tonic Madrid need to get back to winning ways in the Bernabéu before they travel to Mestalla next weekend for a game that could extent their misery further.
Real Sociedad – Celta (Sunday 18:30) Prediction: draw
Real Sociedad have drawn little comfort from home this season, conceding 21 times at Anoeta: only rock bottom Las Palmas have shipped the same amount at home and only the basement club and 18th-placed Depor have let in more in total. On the other hand, only Barça and Madrid have scored more than the txuri-urdin and Celta have banged in exactly the same amount, 33, while conceding more than all but four of the sides in the bottom three. That suggests a few goals in Anoeta: let’s say four of them, shared equally.
Betis – Barcelona (Sunday 20:45) Prediction: away win
Which Betis will turn up to host the league leaders, who tasted defeat for the first time in all competitions in the Copa Catalan derby last Wednesday? The side that put five past Sevilla for the first time in the history of the derby or the one that was thumped 5-0 by Eibar? Barcelona finally ended their Anoeta hoodoo last weekend and will be firm favourites for the win in Seville but this could be the game of the weekend if both sides go at from the outset and worth a punt for five goals or more on the Quinigol.
Eibar – Málaga (Monday 21:00) Prediction: home win
Like Las Palmas, Málaga are five points adrift of Depor in 18th and have won once on the road this season, losing the other nine and managing just four goals. Incoming manager José González pulled off a remarkable recue job at Granada in 2015-16 but he has his work cut out to salvage anything from the shipwreck Míchel left behind him at La Rosaleda. Eibar have won four of their last five at home, scoring five, four, three and two in those victories. Málaga haven’t scored at all in their last four.