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Real Madrid seek solace as La Liga resumes

Celta Vigo vs Leganes

Estadio Abanca-Balaidos, Vigo

Friday, 14-12-2018 @11:00 pm

Referee: Jose Munuera

Celta are showing signs of starting to respond to Miguel Cardoso’s demands following back to back wins. They have also scored in each of their last six league games and will be keen on building on the win over Huesca last time out. For Leganes, they are unbeaten in their last seven competitive match and will prove a tough game to negotiate.

Fran Beltran has made two substitute appearances this month after recovering from injury and could slot back into the starting XI here by Cardoso. Stanislav Lobotka has recovered from an ankle problem but is unlikely to feature from the off this weekend. No big changes are expected from Miguel Cardoso.

Jonathan Silva returns from a ban and will slot straight back in at left wing-back. Allan Nyom and Ruben Perez are both out due to bans, though Leganes will be appealing the latter until the last possible moment. Juanfran will start at right-back, while Unai Bustinza could be preferred to Rodri Tarin at centre-back.

Celta Vigo are undefeated in 17 of their last 19 home matches

Getafe vs Real Sociedad

Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe

Saturday, 15-12-2018 @03: 00 pm

Referee: Santiago Jaime

Getafe are unbeaten in their last four competitive fixtures, winning their last two at home in the process. One defeat in 9 is a good record for Jose Bordalas’s side who will be confident of ending the year in a strong position. For Sociedad, they have already picked up four wins on the road this season but are continously undone by their home form.

Jaime Mata is suspended for the home side, so Angel Rodriguez will partner Jorge Molina up top. Amath is sidelined until May with ligament damage, meaning that Francisco Portillo will likely feature on the left wing. Antunes, Damian Suarez and Mauro Arambarri are all one booking away from a ban.

Robin Le Normand is expected to continue at centre-back despite Diego Llorente’s return from injury. Joseba Zaldua is a doubt, which could see Andoni Gorosabel feature at right-back. Igor Zubeldia is expected to come back into the base of midfield.

Getafe have won their last 3 matches against Real Sociedad in all competitions.

Real Valladolid vs Atletico Madrid

Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid

Saturday, 15-12-2018 @06: 15 pm

Referee: Alberto Undiano

Midfielder, Koke is back after a ban and should slot straight back into the Atletico midfield. Lucas Hernandez and Jose Gimenez are both sidelined with injury problems. Filipe Luis is fit to feature at left-back, while Thomas Lemar has a minor ankle problem and is a doubt.

For the home side, Javi Moyano is fit and will feature at right-back. Antonito is expected to retain his place on the right-hand side for Real Valladolid at Daniele Verdi and Keko’s expense. Sergio has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s action.

Real Valladolid have recorded back to back win, though one was in the cup. They have only won one of their last six in the league. For Atletico, they go into Saturday’s game unbeaten in their last 11 games and turned in a very strong performance against Alaves last time out. They will be disappointed to have conceded top spot in the Champions League but will hope to bounce back with victory away to Valladolid.

Atletico have won their last 6 matches against Real Valladolid in all competitions.

Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

Saturday, 15-12-2018 @08:30 pm

Referee: Ricardo de Burgos

Real Madrid suffered their biggest ever loss in a champions league home game, losing 3-0 to CSKA Moscow. Nothing else other than a victory on Saturday will suffice the weekend. The visitors have won just one away game this season and will surely struggle to get anything out of the fixture.

Gareth Bale should be fit to start after an injury scare in the Champions League in midweek. Toni Kroos is back available after injury but may start on the bench for a second game in a row. Marcos Llorente is expected to continue to anchor the midfield in Casemiro’s absence.

Jordi Amat is suspended for the away side, so Emiliano Velazquez should feature at centre-back. Tito and Luis Advincula are expected to double up down the right-hand side. Star striker Raul de Tomas is unavailable due to a clause in his loan deal from Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have won their last 13 matches against Rayo Vallecano in all competitions.

Eiber vs Valencia

Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Eibar

Saturday, 15-12-2018 @10:45 pm

Referee: Adrian Codero

Eibar are winless in their last three games after losing on the road against Rayo, drawing with Sporting in the Copa del Rey and taking part in a 4-4 thriller vs Levante last weekend. However, they are unbeaten in their last four at home. For Valencia, they have failed to win their last two away games although they gvcame at Madrid and Juventus. The win over Man Nuited in the mid week should boost their confidence going into the visit to Eibar.

Ivan Ramis is expected to start for the home side, despite picking up a recent knock. Joan Jordan is available once again for the hosts and should replace Pape Diop in central midfield. Charles is expected to get the nod up top, with Kike Garcia to be named on the bench.

Gabriel is a doubt with a hamstring problem, so Mouctar Diakhaby should partner Ezequiel Garay at centre-back once again for Valencia. Jose Gaya is fresh to start at left-back after serving a Champions League suspension in midweek. Daniel Wass should be named at right-back, while Goncalo Guedes is out until February after going under the knife.

Eibar have scored at least 2 goals in their last three home La Liga games.

Sevilla vs Girona

Estadio Sanchez Ramon Pizjuan, Seville

Sunday, 16-12-2018 @02:00 pm

Referee: Guillermo Cuadra

Sevilla have picked up just one win in their last four attempts as form has started deteriorating for Machini’s men. However, they have won their last 8 games at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in all competitions. For Girona, they have been strng on the road since the season started but their form was blemished by Athletic Bilbao on Monday in the 1-0 loss.

Franco Vazquez is sidelined due to suspension for Sevilla, so Roque Mesa should feature in central midfield. Pablo Sarabia, Roque Mesa, Ever Banega, Daniel Carrico and Gabriel Mercado are all one booking away from a ban. Jesus Navas should return at right wing-back, with Pablo Sarabia starting from the off.

Alex Granell is expected to feature at left wing-back, as Carles Planas and Marc Muniesa are still recovering. Gorka Iraizoz is expected to continue in goal, as Yassine Bono is still not fully fit. Eusebio has no fresh injury concerns heading into the weekend.

Sevilla have won their last 3 matches against Girona in all competitions.

Espanyol vs Real Betis

RCDE Stadium, Barcelona

Sunday, 16-12-2018 @06:15 pm

Referee: Jose Sanchez

Espanyol have won just two of their last eight games in all competitions, as Rubi’s side have lost all of their early-season momentum. At home, Espanyol have recently suffered defeats against Barcelona and Girona, but otherwise they have been strong.

Didac Vila is suspended for the home side, which should see Adria Pedrosa feature at left-back. Mario Hermoso is out with a sprained ankle, so Oscar Duarte should feature at centre-back. Sergio Garcia will be deployed out on the left flank once more.

Andres Guardado is Quique Setien’s only injury concern heading into the weekend. Antonio Barragan should be preferred to Francis on the right wing once again. Loren is expected to start up top, with Joaquin in support, rather than two strikers.

Espanyol have lost their last 4 matches (La Liga).

Huesca vs Villareal

Estadio El Alcoraz, Huesca

Sunday, 16-12-2018 @08:30 pm

Referee: David Medie

Huesca ran Real Madrid close last time out in a 1-0 defeat and their manager Francisco is still looking for his first big result as boss. The home side are still winless since opening day and have not managed to take win a game at the Alcoraz either. For Villareal, they have not picked up a win on ther road in all competitions during their last eight games.

Jorge Pulido is expected to feature at left-back for the home side. Pablo Insua should feature at centre-back, while Ruben Semedo continues to recover from an ankle problem. Christian Rivera should anchor the midfield, with Gonzalo Melero sat ahead of him.

Javi Calleja was sacked last week, with Luis Garcia Plaza coming in to replace him. Jaume Costa should be preferred to Alfonso Pedraza at left-back. Carlos Bacca should partner Gerard Moreno up top, with Samuel Chukwueze expected to feature on the right wing.

SD Huesca have failed to win in any of their last 14 league games.

Levante vs Barcelona

Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia

Sunday, 16-12-2018 @10:45 pm

Referee: Jose Gonzalez

Arturo Vidal is expected to get the nod in midfield ahead of Arthur. Ousmane Dembele should feature on the left wing ahead of Philippe Coutinho after some good recent form. Nelson Semedo will continue at right-back, as Sergi Roberto still isn’t fully fit.

Jose Luis Morales is a doubt for the home side this weekend. If Morales is not fit to start, Borja Mayoral is expected to start up top alongside Roger Marti. No big changes are expected from Paco Lopez, with no fresh injury concerns

Levante are unbeaten in their last four games and have taken two comfortable wins against Lugo and Bilbao recently at home. One defeat in their last 11 games in all competitions hsows the good form they are currently enjoying going into Sunday’s rubber. For Barca, they take on a side that ended their unbeaten run last season. Valvade had a chance to rest players in Barca’s 1-1 draw with Spurs in the Champions League so he should have a fresh squad.

Barcelona are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 La Liga matches.

Deportivo Alaves vs Athletic Bilbao

Estadio de Mendizorroza, Gasteiz

Monday, 17-12-2018 @11:00 pm

Referee: Antonio Mateu

Alaves are winless in their last four competitive games, going on the boli of late. However, they are still unbeaten at the Mendizorroza. For Bilbao, new head coach Gaizka Garitano started his tenure with a win over Girona on Monday and will be eyeing to amke it two in two on Monday night.

No surprises are expected from Abelardo, despite Alaves’ downturn in fortunes. Martin is expected to start at right-back, with Ximo Navarro in at centre-back ahead of Guillermo Maripan. The hosts could switch to a 4-4-2 formation, should Abelardo want to include Ruben Sobrino alongside Jonathan Calleri.

Yuri will return from suspension and slot in at left-back for the away side. Oscar De Marcos will revert back to right-back, which will see Ander Capa drop to the bench. Inigo Martinez is also available after a ban and should replace Unai Nunez in the starting XI.

Athletic Bilbao have failed to win any of their last 10 away La Liga games.

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