Villarreal vs Deportivo Alaves
Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal
Friday, 25-10-2019 @10pm
Following a 2-1 away defeat to newly-promoted Osasuna before the international break, Villarreal needed to respond against Espanyol on Matchday 9 and they didn’t disappoint, grinding out an important three points at RCDE Stadium 0-1 thanks to an early strike from Karl Toko Ekambi and a number of fine saves from keeper Asenjo.
El Submarino Amarillo crept up to 7th in the La Liga table as a result where they sit just a couple of points behind the Champions League places, and they can move into the top four this Friday evening, albeit temporarily, if they can follow up at home to Alaves. Javier Calleja’s side are solid favourites with the bookies to do just that – and it’s easy to see why based on their excellent form at Estadio de la Ceramica and Alaves’ prolonged struggles on the road.
Villarreal’s first home game of the season was a sloppy affair as they tossed away a two goal advantage to draw 4-4 with Granada, but Javier Calleja’s men haven’t put a foot wrong since at Ceramica.
Following a credible 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Matchday 3, Villarreal have gone onto comprehensive victories against Valladolid (2-0) and Real Betis (5-1), extending their unbeaten home run in La Liga to nine matches.
2nd March was the last time that Villarreal tasted defeat in front of their own supporters and ironically, that reversal came against this Friday’s opponents Alaves, who have enjoyed success in the last three league meetings between the pair, via a 2-1 scoreline on each occasion.
It’s perhaps unwise to read too much into last season’s two encounters though. After all, Villarreal endured a pretty miserable campaign in 2018/19 and have clearly improved this term, whilst Alaves can’t buy a win on their travels at present.
Babazorros have picked up just a single point from their four away matches this season (1-1 vs Getafe) and are now without a win in eight on the road, losing six of those outings and conceding 16 goals in total.
Whilst Alaves will be in good spirits after securing a second consecutive 2-0 home victory against Celta Vigo at the weekend, which inched them up to 14th in the standings, it’s unlikely that Asier Garitano’s side will match that level of performance here if recent away performances are anything to go by.
And the hosts would be difficult to oppose at Ceramica against most teams at the moment. After smashing in 13 goals in their four home games so far this season, they should relish the task this Friday against an Alaves back line who are playing with zero confidence or cohesion away from Mendizorroza.
Leganes vs Mallorca
Estadio Municipal de Burtarque, Leganes
Saturday, 26-10-2019 @2pm
Junior Lago was the early hero for Mallorca on Matchday 9 as Los Bermellones overcame Real Madrid 1-0 at Son Moix. The Ivorian netted a tremendous low curling shot just seven minutes in to the contest and it proved enough as the Balearic Islanders held on to inflict a huge upset – and in turn move out of the La Liga relegation zone.
It’s now two victories and two clean sheets on the spin for Mallorca following a 2-0 home success over Espanyol before the international break, and Vicente Moreno’s side have an excellent chance to make it three wins in a row this weekend when they face bottom club Leganes at Butarque.
Lega are rooted to the foot of La Liga and seven points behind the safety line after a 2-0 loss at Getafe on Matchday 9 – their seventh reverse already of what has been a miserable campaign to date.
The result led to Mauricio Pellegrino’s resignation on Monday and Los Pepineros find themselves in complete disarray heading into this weekend’s clash. Fans will hope that a change in management provokes an immediate response as can often be the case in football, but that doesn’t justify why the hosts have been chalked up as odds-on favourites for this encounter.
Mallorca have of course lost all three of their away games since returning to the Spanish top flight and each defeat has been by a comprehensive two goal margin.
Nonetheless, Leganes are by far the worst team they are set to face on their travels so far and confidence in the Mallorca camp will be sky high after beating Los Blancos at the weekend.
Stretching back to last season which ended with a whimper for the hosts, Lega have now won just one of their last 17 La Liga matches, losing 11, and they are without a victory in nine outings at Butarque, losing six.
Real Valladolid vs Eibar
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
Saturday, 26-10-2019 @7:30pm
The fact that keeper Jordi Masip won man of the match at the weekend tells you that Valladolid had to ride their luck to earn a point against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames, but the result extended what has been an extremely solid start to the campaign for Pucela who have lost just twice in their opening nine matches.
Sergio’s side deservedly avoided the drop in 2018/19 and will be looking to achieve a mid-table finish this time around, a feat well within their grasp based on their tenacious displays so far.
Valladolid will be keen to start turning some of their draws into wins though and this weekend’s fixture against Eibar presents the Castile and Leon outfit with a decent opportunity to bag their first home victory of the season after three consecutive stalemates at Jose Zorrilla.
Valladolid’s effort at home last time out was easily their best as they grafted their way to a 0-0 scoreline against giants Atletico Madrid, and Pucela should appreciate the drop in quality of opposition on Matchday 10 as they welcome an Eibar side who have been toiling on the road for some time.
With three draws and two defeats from five away outings this season, Los Armeros continue firing blanks on their travels and they have now won just one of their last 20 La Liga away matches, losing nine.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have also failed to score in four of their last eight away and, for the obvious reasons outlined, rate as atrocious value for this Saturday’s encounter at around the 2/1 mark. A comprehensive 0-3 home defeat to Barcelona last weekend will have done little for Eibar’s morale either, as they drop to 16th in the table, two points behind the 12th placed hosts.
Of course, Valladolid have to prove that they are more than just draw specialists and a meagre tally of eight goals scored this season (including two from three outings at home) is slightly off-putting.
Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilabo
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Saturday, 26-10-2019 @10pm
Saturday night’s clash at Wanda Metropolitano brings together the two sides who share the best defensive record in La Liga so far this season.
Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have conceded just five goals apiece in their nine matches played, but both are struggling to capitalise going forward with each registering just eight times in total.
Unsurprisingly, the teams have each posted four draws already this term due to their lack of cutting edge, and a similar result would not surprise this weekend with another low scoring affair anticipated.
It’s the hosts though who are undoubtedly in better shape form-wise, and they go into Saturday’s game defending a lengthy unbeaten run at Wanda and a dominant head to head record against Athletic Club from the sides’ recent meetings in Madrid.
Tuesday’s slender 1-0 home victory in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen epitomised how unconvincing Atleti have been this season and how they generally seem to make hard work of most things compared to the other top teams in Spain.
Nonetheless, Diego Simeone’s men got the job done to put themselves in a commanding position to qualify for the knockout phase and the result extended Los Rojiblancos’ unbeaten stretch at Wanda to 15 matches in all competitions (W 10, D5).
In terms of domestic matters, Simeone’s side have been frustrated by their four draws so far (including stalemates in their last three home outings) however four wins and just one defeat from their other five fixtures mean they are still well placed in 5th, just three points behind leaders Barcelona.
Atleti have to start winning more consistently if they are going to seriously challenge the defending champions this season, but they’ll fancy their chances of moving onto Barca’s coattails with a victory over Bilbao on Saturday night. Madrid have won nine and drawn one of their last ten home matches against Bilbao, including a cosy 2-0 success at Wanda last term.
With the visitors failing to win any of their four away matches this season (D3, L1) and now without a victory in their last four games overall (D2, L2), there’s little to suggest that this will be a successful trip for Gaizka Garitano’s charges, who have now slipped to 8th after their promising start in the opening weeks of the campaign.
Celta Vigo vs Valencia
Sunday, 27-10-2019 @2pm
Real Sociedad responded brilliantly to consecutive defeats with a 3-1 home victory against Real Betis last weekend, the result lifting Txuri-urdinak back into the top four in the table. Imanol Alguacil’s side will be keen to strengthen their healthy early position when they visit Balaidos this weekend, to take on a Celta Vigo outfit whose 2018/19 struggles have continued into the new campaign.
Strikes from Willian San Jose, Portu and an own goal from Raul Garcia comfortably turned things around for Sociedad last weekend after they fell behind early to Betis at Anoeta, and Txuri-urdinak will now be confident that they can string a good run together in the coming weeks, with fixtures against Granada, Levante and bottom side Leganes following up this Matchday 10 clash against Celta.
Sociedad finished the 2018/19 season really strongly under Imanol Alguacil, so it’s not exactly surprising that the Basque outfit have got five wins under their belt already this term as they seek to challenge for the European places once again.
With seven points and 13 places separating these teams, early season form clearly indicates that the visitors are the most likely to come away with all three points from this clash, although their record at Balaidos is slightly off-putting.
Sociedad have won just three of their last 25 trips to Vigo, losing 11, and that’s perhaps why Alguacil’s charges only edge favouritism with the bookies here at just under the 6/4 mark.
Celta finished out with the washing in 17th last season which is the exact position they occupy at the moment after picking up just nine points from nine games.
Fran Escriba’s men have now won just one of their last seven La Liga fixtures following a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to Alaves on Matchday 9 and could easily find themselves in the relegation zone at the end of this weekend if they are unable to at least share the spoils.
Nonetheless, Celta’s home results this term don’t actually read too badly compared to most of the other teams in the bottom half. Seven of their nine points have been gained in Galicia, with notable 1-0 victories posted over Valencia and Athletic Bilbao alongside a 1-1 draw with Espanyol.
Their 0-2 defeat to Granada in mid-September was largely due to ill-discipline as opposed to poor performance after they had two men sent off in the first period, whilst their other reversal was an excusable one against Real Madrid (1-3) on the opening weekend.
Granada vs Real Betis
Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes, Granada
Sunday, 27-10-2019 @4pm
It’s been some return to La Liga thus far for Granada. Many predicted that clear-cut Segunda champions Osasuna were best placed to compete in the top flight out of the newly promoted teams, but it’s Nazaries who have been creating all the headlines.
Diego Martinez’ side moved up to 3rd and within two points of leaders Barcelona after beating Los Rojillos last weekend, and they will be going all out on Matchday 10 to sink a Real Betis side who are toiling in the bottom three.
It was a tight affair as anticipated at Los Carmenes on Matchday 9 between last season’s top two in Segunda, but it was Granada who got the better Osasuna 1-0 thanks to a clinical set-piece seven minutes before the break, converted by the head of towering Portuguese centre-back Domingos Duarte.
The win marked Granada’s third successive home victory without concession following 2-0 and 1-0 triumphs over Barcelona and Leganes at Los Carmenes, and Diego Martinez’ men are currently in dreamland sitting 3rd heading into this weekend’s action.
All five of Granada’s victories this term have been registered in their most recent seven games, with their only defeat in that run coming away to Real Madrid (4-2) before the international break. Whilst it’s early days, results and performances over the last few weeks fully justify Granada’s lofty position in the table and it’s likely they will be sticking around for the foreseeable future at least.
Teams won’t be fancying the trip to Los Carmenes right now based on Granada’s aforementioned string of home wins and clean sheets, but it’s Real Betis who have to face the music this weekend amidst a dismal run of results.
Los Verdiblancos suffered their fourth defeat of the campaign against Real Sociedad on Matchday 9, and the 3-1 result marked Betis’ third comprehensive loss from four outings on the road so far this term, following 5-2 ad 5-1 beatings against Barcelona and Villarreal respectively.
The Andalusians have shown glimpses of quality going forward this season but have been hopeless at the back since Rubi took charge in the summer, and with 19 goals conceded across their nine matches they hold the worst defensive record in La Liga.
13 of those goals have been shipped on the road, whilst they have only managed to score four times on their travels compared to eight goals netted at Benito Villamarin.
Levante vs Espanyol
Estadio Cuidad de Valencia, Valencia
Sunday, 27-10-2019 @6pm
Pablo Machin’s first game in charge of Espanyol ended in defeat last weekend as Villarreal ran out 0-1 victors at RCDE Stadium, however Periquitos did manage to return to winning ways on Thursday night with a decent 0-1 success away to Ludogorets Razgrad in the Europa League.
Espanyol top Group H with seven points from a possible nine and are in prime position to qualify for the knockout stages, but they desperately need to transfer their Europa League form and consistency to the domestic front. Periquitos are in real peril after losing six of their opening nine league matches, and head to Valencia this weekend lying second bottom and four points adrift of the safety line.
It represents a dreadful start to the campaign by most teams’ standards but especially for a side that finished 7th last term, and it’s not hard to argue that the Barcelona based club are suffering for their Europa League participation, which began weeks before the La Liga season commenced.
Espanyol are currently second favourites with most bookmakers to be relegated and it’s easy to see why, with five straight league defeats suffered at RCDE Stadium where they have scored just once and conceded 11 times.
Periquitos will probably be glad to be on the road again this weekend although they take on a Levante side with one of the most solid home records in La Liga at present. Granotas have won two and drawn two at Cuitat de Valencia so far this season and are unbeaten in their last ten top flight games at home, winning four.
Four away defeats from five including a 1-0 loss at Sevilla on Matchday 9 have somewhat evened out Levante’s start to the campaign as they sit 11th going into the weekend, but their consistency and strong defensive displays at home mean they should be kept on side here at around even money.
Levante have conceded just twice this term in their four matches at Ciutat de Valencia and shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping out the visitors who have netted just four league goals, failing to score in six of their nine La Liga outings overall.
Whilst Espanyol have been more solid on their travels with five points gained from four matches and just four goals conceded, they face a real task to keep this Levante side at bay, who had scored at least twice in eight consecutive home games prior to recent draws against Eibar (0-0) and Osasuna (1-1).
Sevilla vs Getafe
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Sunday, 27-10-2019 @8:30pm
Details to follow shortly
Osasuna vs Valencia
Estadio El Sadar, Irunea
Sunday, 27-09-2019 @11pm
Segunda champions Osasuna blew the chance to move level on points with fellow promoted side Granada last week after suffering a 1-0 loss at Los Carmenes, and Los Rojillos’ solid start to the campaign now looks somewhat underwhelming compared to Nazaries who are six points and ten places ahead of them in 3rd.
Considering that Osasuna were far superior in finishing eight points clear of Granada in the second tier last term, the result will have greatly disappointed boss Jagoba Arrasate who must now rally his troops ahead of Valencia’s visit to El Sadar this Sunday.
Osasuna should be fully focused for this clash though as they continue to defend a tremendous unbeaten record in league action at El Sadar. It’s now 31 home league games since Osasuna were toppled in front of their own supporters, a run dating back to April 2018 which includes a 2-2 draw against Barcelona and 2-1 success over Villarreal this season.
So Los Che will be taking nothing for granted as they head for Pamplona this weekend, even though confidence is gradually starting to rebuild in the Valencia camp following the dismissal of Marcelino and immediate appointment of Albert Celades in September.
Valencia are slowly working themselves through what has been a difficult period of transition, and performances have been largely improving week to week. A 1-1 away draw to Atletico Madrid on Matchday 9 marked further progress, and Los Che will be hopeful that they can move northwards from their current 10th place whilst also securing qualification for the Champions League knockout phase.
A late Lille equaliser in midweek was definitely a setback for Los Che on that front, but Celades would have probably taken a draw before his side’s trip to France. A similar result here would be just enough to keep momentum ticking over, and we think a stalemate is the most likely result between these two sides on Sunday as the teams have drawn nine games between them from 18 league outings thus far.
So we’re predicting a 1-1 correct score for Sunday’s encounter at El Sadar, but we feel that under 2.5 goals is a much more solid proposition for our main tip instead of poking at the draw.
Goals have generally been at a premium in contests involving the pair this term, with fewer than three netted in 13 of the sides’ combined 18 league games. Osasuna have impressively conceded just eight times and Valencia would boast the same defensive record save for their 5-2 drubbing at Barcelona last month, which came just a couple of days after Marcelino left the club.