LaLiga predictions: gameweek 35

LALIGA

LaLiga predictions: gameweek 35

LaLiga predictions: gameweek 35

JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA

DIARIO AS

All of the predictions from gameweek 35 of Spain's top flight as the season winds down and the wheat continues to separate from the chaff.

Levante – Sevilla (Friday 21:00) Prediction: home win

Levante were excellent in their 3-1 victory at San Mamés and now stand on the cusp of a well-deserved place in Primera next season. Paco López won't win manager of the year but he should be credited with a stunning revival at the Ciutat de Valencia, taking 16 points from a possible 21 since taking over despite missing half of his first XI for the last month. Sevilla will still be reeling from their Copa humiliation and the Frogs are more than capable of doing a number on a demoralised visiting side on Friday evening.

Espanyol – Las Palmas (Saturday 13:00) Prediction: home win

Neither of these sides have anything left to play for but Gérard Moreno does - a place in Julen Lopetegui’s World Cup squad. The La Roja boss selects on form, not reputation, and Moreno added two to his tally for the season last weekend, both technically tricky and expertly dispatched. Behind only Iago Aspas and Rodrigo in eligible Liga scorers and with more goals overall than Álvaro Morata despite playing in a rotten Parakeets side, he is surely in with a shout. The visit of shambolic Las Palmas - who were thumped 4-0 at home by Alavés to hammer the final nail into their survival bid last time out - couldn't be better timed for Espanyol’s lethal challenger for Spain’s hotly disputed number nine shirt.

Real Sociedad – Athletic (Saturday 16:15) Prediction: home win

The chants of "Cuco out" ringing around La Catedral were inevitable: the patience of Athletic fans has been tested to the limit by a coach who is affable enough and a devoted servant of the club but clearly and painfully out of his depth. Home defeat against Levante wasn't the low point of this season for the Lions but hardly the best preparation for an away Basque derby against their fierce rivals in Anoeta. Iñigo Martínez is injured – which is probably just as well for the former Sociedad captain – and Aritz Aduriz a doubt. La Real have been reborn under Imanol, who has overseen a 5-0 drubbing of Girona and a 3-0 victory over Atleti in his two home games so far.

Real Madrid – Leganés (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: home win

Once again, it's time for Zinedine Zidane to shuffle his deck with Bayern looming so the likes of Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente and Borja Mayoral may get a look in on Saturday. Practically the last time Zidane entrusted his Plan B with anything other than cone detail was when Lega dumped them out of the cup. The Frenchman won't make the same mistake again as he needs to maintain momentum but the visitors won't be awed and will make life difficult for the European champions. Cristiano Ronaldo is normally only rested for draining away days but failed to find the net for the first time in Europe this season last Wednesday. And he won't have liked that at all.

Champions League - Real Madrid TrainingSoccer Football - Champions League - Real Madrid Training - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - April 24, 2018 Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Toni Kroos, Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos during training REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Villarreal – Celta (Saturday 20:45) Prediction: home win

Iago Aspas is missing for the trip to the Cerámica and that leaves the visitors’ hopes resting firmly on the shoulders of Maxi Gómez, who along with the Spain international is the only Celta player to have found the net more than four times this season. The Submarine have Barcelona, Valencia and Real Madrid in their final four games, making this a European duke-out between sixth and 10th, with six points separating the two sides. Villarreal haven’t strung two consecutive home wins together since January and need to snap that statistic this weekend.

Getafe – Girona (Sunday 12:00) Prediction: home win

It’s Euro-Geta against maybe Euro-Girona in the Coliseum with both sides pushing for an unlikely place in continental competition next season. Getafe probably want it more – with Girona looking to consolidate in Primera it’s possibly a bridge too far for the Catalans, who have been “doing a Pulis” since survival was ensured. Geta have won their last three on the trot and should be considered favourites to make that four in southern Madrid.

Alavés – Atlético (Sunday 16:15) Prediction: draw

Atleti’s threadbare squad will be tested to the limit with a double-header against Arsenal either side of a slog up to Vitoria to play an Alavés side who will be swinging at everything with survival now ensured. This is exactly the sort of game Diego Simeone would prefer to avoid at the moment with El Glorioso ranking second in LaLiga in terms of fouls and he'll pick a side accordingly.

Valencia – Eibar (Sunday 18:30) Prediction: draw

Eibar have won one of their last eight – against Espanyol, which while Quique Sánchez Flores was in charge barely counts – but have achieved their objective for the season anyway. As have Valencia, who Marcelino has guided to the promised land of the Champions League barring a balls-up of epic proportions in their last four games. Los Che have failed to score more than once in their last five though and Eibar’s taste for the valiant rearguard action could frustrate the home side again in Mestalla.

Deportivo – Barcelona (Sunday 20:45) Prediction: away win

It's a conundrum for Barcelona: a point in Riazor will secure the Liga title with four games remaining but failing to do so would mean all the fun of rubbing Madrid’s noses in it by claiming the title in next week's Clásico. However, with the prospect of an unbeaten season, the emotion of Andrés Iniesta’s announcement on Friday and the fact that Depor are fairly easy prey, the prospect of swapping boots for flip-flops as quickly as possible - giving the White Knight a few games of deserved homage into the bargain - and the amusement of a week of will they-won’t they regarding a Madrid honour guard in Camp Nou, Barça will finish the job on Sunday.

Betis – Málaga (Monday 21:00) Prediction: home win

Betis added to their unprecedented run of six straight victories in Primera by holding Atlético in the Metropolitano and now have the automatic Europa League spot well within their grasp – five points separate the Verdiblancos from Villarreal in sixth and the Submarine’s run-in is not very appetising at all. What is on the menu in the Villamarín is a marauding Betis to stuff an already relegated Málaga side who have scored a miserable eight times in 17 games on the road.

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