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Primera predictions: LaLiga 2017-18 week 37

LaLiga

Primera predictions: LaLiga 2017-18 week 37

Primera predictions: LaLiga 2017-18 week 37

MIGUEL ANGEL MORENATTI

DIARIO AS

Only the Europa League places remain to be decided and the Oracle foresees a half-strength Madrid struggling and Barça to extend their unbeaten season.

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

There isn’t much riding on the outcome of the early kick-off in Anoeta, other than the opportunity for La Real to end the season in the top 10. The Cucumber Growers are safe for another season in Primera and can be forgiven for turning up for this one in flip-flops. It is also Xabi Prieto’s final home game for the club he has served all his career, and Sociedad won’t want to let their captain go out on anything other than a high.

Alavés – Athletic (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: draw

There’s also not much at stake in Mendizorrotza, where the game will be overshadowed by Raúl García’s heart issue that caused the midfielder to undergo surgery this week. It’s 13th vs 14th and only one curious statistic stands out ahead of the game: Alavés have drawn only twice in the league all season. That may well change in Vitoria.

Deportivo – Villarreal (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: away win

Deportivo have perked up in recent weeks under Clarence Seedorf, who has probably done enough to earn a crack at bringing the Galicians back up at the first attempt next season. Nine points from 18 available in his last six games isn’t a bad return at all but too late to save Depor, who host a Villarreal side in need of three points as one of the few remaining teams with a goal for the season remaining.

Getafe – Atlético (18:30) Prediction: draw

Diego Simeone will have half an eye on the Europa League final and may ring several changes in the Coliseum, where Getafe have been solid at the back in recent weeks, conceding just three in their last four at home. The Azulones are also on a five-game unbeaten streak and two points behind Sevilla in the race for seventh. A final day trip to Málaga presents a fine opportunity for three points and the home side will be happy enough with one against their local rivals.

Girona – Valencia (18:30) Prediction: home win

Valencia have rather stumbled over the line to Champions League qualification and it was fitting that Marcelino’s side reached the land of milk and honey due to results elsewhere. Los Che haven’t won a game in their last five attempts and now that the job is done the players’ minds can be permitted to wander to European adventures next season. With their eyes off the ball in Montilivi, Girona can bring their own dodgy run to an end and go out on a high in front of their home fans after a season that can only be described as exceptional under Pablo Machín.

Betis – Sevilla (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: home win

The Seville derby is the pick of the weekend and if it reaps anything near as much fun as the previous encounter in the Sánchez Pizjuán then a treat is in store. Unfortunately for fans of a goal-fest, Joaquín Caparrós is a little more seasoned in organizing a back four than his predecessor Vincenzo Montella, whose first game in charge was the 5-3 thriller in Seville back in January. There may be less onion-bag bothering in the Villamarín but with Betis clinging on in fifth and Sevilla not so secure in seventh it will still be a corker.

Eibar – Las Palmas (Saturday 18:30) Prediction: home win

Las Palmas’ miserable campaign can’t end soon enough for the fans, board and presumably Paco Jémez, who has won two of his 19 games in charge since relieving caretaker Paco Ortíz in December. The Canary Islanders have gone through four coaches this season, sold their best player to China in January and really don’t deserve anything other than their one-way ticket to Segunda. Eibar meanwhile have shown again what a modest, well-run club with a miniscule budget can do and should finish comfortably in the top 10 after knocking off Jémez’s shambles in Ipurua.

Real Madrid – Celta (20:45) Prediction: draw

Zinedine Zidane’s side would probably prefer not to honour their final two league fixtures as they set their sights firmly on Kiev and will be without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo for the visit of Celta, who have Iago Aspas available again after a hamstring injury. Real have been held to nine draws in an underwhelming title defence and could struggle to carve out a victory at home in front of a half-full Bernabéu against a Celta side who have taken points off both Barcelona and Valencia in recent weeks.

Espanyol – Málaga (Sunday 16:15) Prediction: home win

The Parakeets have benefitted from new manager bounce since David Gallego took over from Quique Sánchez Pizjuán, winning two and drawing one under the reserve team boss, including a 2-0 victory over Atlético last weekend. There is little to suggest Málaga will add to their single away victory in 2017-18 in the RCDE as Gallego states his case for a more permanent arrangement at the helm of the senior side.

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

Paco López has worked wonders since taking over from Juan Muñiz, taking 22 points from nine games to ensure the Frogs’ safety and he has been rewarded with a contract to lead the side in Primera again next season. Barça though are on fire and stuck five past Villarreal in their last outing and are just two games away from an unbeaten season. A full-strength champion will probably be too much for Levante but that should take nothing away from López’s achievement.

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