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We’re heading down the homestretch of the La Liga season with just under a month of action left. With a full card of games this weekend, we’ve circled three favorites that we like to win by more than a goal. Here’s a look at our options:
Celta Vigo vs. Barcelona
Odds: Celta Vigo +440, Draw +310, Barcelona -165
Coming to the end of the season, both teams are currently involved in fights at their respective ends of the table. With Barcelona locked in a fierce battle with rivals Real Madrid for the title, Celta Vigo is just two places above the drop zone. That means both sides will have some motivation to win this one.
Barcelona is posted as the clear-cut favorite because they have the need for points and the squad quality which to score them. Despite this, the Catalan giants have already dropped points since the restart of football, albeit in a 0-0 draw with fourth-place Sevilla. That was a surprise. Dropping points here would be catastrophic.
Celta Vigo will hope to continue their good form post-lockdown as the Sky Blues have gained seven of a possible twelve points since returning from football’s impromptu hiatus, including a 6-0 victory over Alavés, who are currently sitting in 14th place.
Overall, despite Celta Vigo’s impressive recent form, it seems that Barcelona will continue their strong results of late.
Atlético Madrid vs. Alavés
Odds: Madrid -310, Draw +380, Alaves +950
Atlético Madrid will face Alavés this weekend in a fairly important clash. Both sides have opportunities at their respective ends of the table and will hope to pounce upon them.
Although Atletico needs a miracle to ignite their title hopes, they also have to stay on their toes for Champions League qualification. Getafe, Villareal, Real Sociedad, and Valencia are all below fourth place, yet they’re all within ten points of Atleti. And with Sevilla just two points behind, it’s necessary that they can pick up all the points possible — especially when playing against mid-to-low-table sides. Since the restart, they have been solid, drawing with Athletic Club in their only drop of points. Atletico Madrid will want to continue this on the weekend with a win.
Alavés, unlike the Red and Whites, are in poor form. The Glorious One has earned just three points from a possible twelve since returning from the break, with their losses including a 6-0 defeat to Celta Vigo. Despite this, their only win came when up against the best-ranked team they’ve played so far — seventh-place Real Sociedad. Because of their otherwise bad form, it will be a challenge to overcome the prospect of a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Ultimately, considering form, squad quality, and the slight home advantage that Atletico may have, it seems that they will go on to win this. That said, I don’t see Alavés going down without a fight.
Espanyol vs. Real Madrid
Odds: Espanyol +600, Draw +390, Real Madrid -260
The top team plays the bottom this Sunday. Real Madrid are currently top of the table, neck-and-neck with Barcelona, while Espanyol sit rock bottom, showing no signs of a miraculous escape.
Los Blancos have been in superb form since returning to play. Before the suspension of football, they had lost two of their final three games in all competitions despite a victory in El Classico against Barcelona. They had even suffered a shock loss to Real Betis, so a three-month rest from football came at a good time for them. Now, having scored 10 goals in their four games back, Real Madrid will try to keep their winning streak alive.
In contrast to Real, Espanyol are certainly not hitting their stride. For a team that has spent just one season in Spain’s second division since La Liga started in 1928, Espanyol have been poor this season – especially considering that they spent much of this campaign fighting in the Europa League. Currently, they are winless in their last three, and being eight points adrift of safety doesn’t help.
Real Madrid is loaded with talent like Eden Hazar, Karim Benzem, James Rodriguez, and more, and they should lead them to an easy win here.