LaLiga predictions: LaLiga 2017-18 week 34
There are less games this week as Barcelona and Sevilla play in the Copa final so that improves our chances of getting this thing right for once.
Leganés – Deportivo (Friday 21:00) Prediction: home win
Leganés have essentially ensured their Primera survival for another season and sit 12 points clear of 17th-placed Depor with five games to go. A draw on Friday night will be enough to ensure they stay up and although the visitors have a bit of wind in their sails after picking up seven points from their last three games, Depor’s inability to put a half-strength Sevilla to the sword in midweek blunted their slim chances of doing the same. With the shackles off and three wins in their last four at Butarque, Lega can push themselves over the line with a victory here.
Eibar – Getafe (Saturday 13:00) Prediction: draw
Both sides picked up notable away wins in midweek, Getafe’s 2-1 victory over Valencia moving them to within three points of the European places. With Sevilla otherwise engaged this weekend another three points would move them level with the current occupiers of seventh place but Eibar will be a tough nut to crack at home after ensuring their top-flight status in Vitoria and with the visitors missing second top-scorer Jorge Molina through suspension honours even sounds about right in Ipurua.
Celta – Valencia (Saturday 16:15) Prediction: draw
Valencia remain one win away from claiming the final Champions League spot and look likely to limp over the line rather than crash through the tape after back-to-back defeats. Losing to Barça in Camp Nou is one thing; being beaten at home by Getafe quite another. The visitors are without captain Dani Parejo and the home side are missing top scorer and talisman Iago Aspas, while Valencia’s stand-out performer of the season Rodrigo is a caution away from a booking and may fancy next week’s home game against Eibar more than this one to stake his claim to a World Cup spot with Spain. Sans goals in Riazor, then.
Atlético – Betis (Sunday 20:45) Prediction: away win
Betis are on their finest run in Primera since BC became AD, winning six on the bounce and going 450 minutes without conceding. Atlético may have secured Champions League football through the traditional route already but Diego Simeone will be looking to next week’s Europa League semi-final against Arsenal and scrolling down his threadbare squad list to see who he can spare for this one. Betis could just take advantage in the Metropolitano after Real Sociedad stuck three past Atleti on Thursday.
Girona – Espanyol (Sunday 12:00) Prediction: home win
Espanyol are sleepwalking towards the end of the season and Quique Sanchez Flores has been sacked as a result, finally losing his rag in his last press conference, which surely didn't help. Girona have more spirit in their little finger than Espanyol could muster in a moonshine factory and should heap more misery on a club who are only staying up because there are at least three teams who have made poorer decisions this season than the honchos at the RCDE. Given Levante’s momentum, a 17th-placed finish is on the cards for the Parakeets and deservedly so. There have been few sides more wretched to behold this season and Gerard Moreno should be handed a lifetime contract and the keys to the city after single-handedly preventing disaster.
Malaga – Real Sociedad (Sunday 16:15) Prediction: away win
Málaga are down already with five games to go and sides can react in two ways to such a blow: Play with freedom and go out with a bang, or post pictures of their new Mercedes after a 6-0 drubbing and blame it on a “pocket text” before inevitable unemployment. Most of Málaga’s players will now be thinking of their next destination as well. Few have a genuine affinity with the club and the shop window is their best chance of escaping Segunda individually with the collective already doomed. That won’t help them against a resurgent Sociedad though, with Imanol guiding his side to three straight wins with nine scored and none conceded, culminating in trouncing Atleti 3-0 in midweek.
Las Palmas – Alavés (Sunday 18:30) Prediction: away win
Another mid-season appointment that backfired spectacularly; do the Las Palmas board not read the Mexican press? Hiring Paco Jémez was the Spanish version of calling in Pards because he’s got a cheeky grin and “knows the league.” Jémez has not been smiling of late. Four straight defeats with a single goal scored and with the dressing room in open rebellion, Las Palmas must be wishing they’d hired Abelardo instead. One more win should do it for Alavés and there’s little to suggest they won’t get it in the Canaries against a side who are playing in flip-flops already and whose manager is surely in the final pointless throes of his last top-flight gig.
Athletic – Levante (Monday 21:00) Prediction: home win
Cuco Ziganda’s side were moments and a Cristiano Ronaldo flick away from a first win in 13 years in the Bernabéu on Wednesday and if that side turns up in San Mamés, Levante could be in trouble. Paco López has probably done enough to keep The Frogs up during his brief tenure but a colossal injury and suspension list hands the advantage to The Lions in Bilbao.
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