Celta Vigo vs Real Valladolid
Friday, 29-11-2019 @11pm
Celta Vigo remain in the bottom three going into Matchday 15, but they will be in buoyant mood ahead of Valladolid’s visit to Balaidos following their tremendous 1-3 success away to Villarreal last weekend.
Registering easily their best result of the campaign so far, Celestes cut the gap to safety to just two points following Mallorca’s 2-1 defeat at Levante, and they can move out of the relegation zone this Friday with another win. With that incentive set to drive the hosts on and their opponents reeling after a third defeat in four last Sunday, we fancy Celta to come out best in this clash via a 2-1 scoreline.
Celta were huge underdogs heading to Estadio de la Ceramica on Matchday 14 and it was easy to see why. Celestes had picked up just two points from their opening six games on the road and faced a Villarreal side unbeaten at home following three wins and three draws at Ceramica so far this term.
They were unsurprisingly under the pump for most of the first half but managed to go in level at half-time, before taking a shock lead on the counter ten minutes into the second half through Pione Sisto. Sam Chukwueze hit back almost immediately for Villarreal and the tide appeared to be turning in their favour, but it was Celta who emerged victorious after Iago Aspas turned in a free kick ten minutes from time before sealing the deal on the break deep into stoppage time.
The result marked Oscar Garcia’s first win as Celta manager and it may well prove to be the turning point in Celestes’ season following a demoralising run of four straight defeats.
Momentum will definitely be on their side this Friday evening, as they take on a Valladolid outfit who have been struggling in recent weeks after a decent start to the campaign. Sunday’s 0-1 defeat against Sevilla at Jose Zorrilla was their third reversal in four La Liga matches and it also brought an end to Pucela’s unbeaten start to the season at home.
Sergio’s men travel to Balaidos having lost four of their last six away including a 3-0 hammering at Alaves before the international break and their only victory on the road since mid-August came against second bottom Espanyol on Matchday 7 – a team who have claimed just one point from seven home games this term.
Deportivo Alaves vs Real Madrid
Estádio de Mendizorroza, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Saturday, 30-11-2019 @3pm
A 2-2 draw against PSG in midweek extended Real Madrid’s unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches and crucially secured their place in the Last 16 of the Champions League; however, the result was bittersweet considering Los Blancos were 2-0 up at Santiago Bernabeu with 10 minutes to play.
Quick-fire goals from Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia denied Zinedine Zidane’s side the revenge they craved after a 3-0 humiliation in the reverse fixture, but will they halt Real’s recent momentum? We don’t think so and we’re expecting Los Blancos to get the better of Alaves this weekend at Mendizorroza – albeit after a tight opening period.
Letting a two-goal lead slip on Tuesday night was an obvious disappointment for Real Madrid, although they performed extremely well for the majority of the contest and a damn sight better than they did when going down 3-0 in Paris at the start of their Champions League campaign. While Real still have their final Group A fixture to fulfil against Club Brugge in a fortnight’s time, Zidane can effectively put Europe’s premier club competition to bed now for a couple of months with progress to the next round confirmed.
That’s an obvious plus considering Real are currently toe-to-toe with arch rivals Barcelona at the top of La Liga and everything will now build towards the rescheduled El Clasico at Camp Nou on 18th December. Madrid’s recent domestic form has been strong since their shock 1-0 defeat at Mallorca in mid-October and they have amassed 10 points from their last four games – a 0-0 home draw against Real Betis the only blip amid comprehensive victories against Leganes (5-0), Eibar (0-4) and Real Sociedad (3-1) last time out.
A repeat of those displays should make Los Blancos far too strong for Alaves this Saturday lunchtime, even though the hosts go into this one on a high after consecutive wins against Valladolid (3-0) and Eibar (0-2). Those results have done much to ease the pressure on manager Asier Garitano and have bumped Babazorros up to 13th place, six points clear of the relegation zone.
The hosts will be confident of getting something from this match after ousting Real 1-0 here last term and they have a decent record at Mendizorroza this season, with four wins and two draws posted from seven. Nevertheless, Levante (9th) are the highest-placed team Alaves have beaten on their own turf and we simply think Real will have too much quality for them here as the games goes on.
It’s interesting that Alaves have been level at the break in five of their seven home matches this season and in half of their 14 overall, with the same applying to three of Madrid’s six on the road and six of their 13 fixtures in total.
Real Sociedad vs Eibar
Reale Arena, San Sebastian
Saturday, 30-11-2019 @6pm
Real Sociedad were outgunned 3-1 by Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu last weekend, a result which marked a fourth defeat in eight outings for Txuri-urdinak.
Nonetheless, their strong form in the opening weeks of the campaign means they are still 6th and in the mix for European qualification, and we expect Imanol Alguacil’s charges to strengthen their position this Saturday afternoon when they host an Eibar side who have lost four of their last six and posted just one win from seven on the road this term.
Aside from a 2-0 loss against arch-rivals Athletic Bilbao in the Basque Derby at San Mames on Matchday 3, Real Sociedad enjoyed a dream start to the new campaign with four wins and 13 points accrued from their first six matches.
Results briefly gave Txuri-urdinak a share of the lead at the top of La Liga; however they have soon dropped off the pace with inconsistency setting in over the past two months.
Following reversals against Sevilla (3-2) and Getafe (1-2) in late September / early October, Sociedad hit back with consecutive wins against Real Betis (3-1) and Celta Vigo (0-1) but have since managed just four points from their last four fixtures.
The key difference for Sociedad has been defensively as they have struggled to contain teams of late. They conceded just four goals and kept three clean sheets in their opening half dozen games, but have gone on to keep just one clean sheet in their last eight, shipping 13 goals in total.
It’s a problem that boss Alguacil will have to address fast if Sociedad are to remain in the hunt for a return to Europe this term, but we envisage this Saturday’s clash with Eibar being a good starting point for Txuri-urdinak to begin turning things around.
Sociedad haven’t lost to Eibar in the last seven encounters between the teams at Reale Arena and the visitors travel to San Sebastian this weekend looking to avoid a third straight league defeat after 0-4 and 0-2 home losses against Real Madrid and Alaves respectively.
Mallorca vs Real Betis
Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca
Saturday, 30-11-2019 @8:30pm
Saturday’s tea-time action in La Liga brings together two sides currently languishing in the bottom six, as Mallorca host Real Betis at Son Moix.
Mallorca’s position in the lower reaches of the table was perhaps expected following their promotion via the Segunda Play-offs last term; however Betis would have hoped for better at this stage of the season after the appointment of Rubi and a busy summer in the transfer market.
With just two points separating the teams heading into this Matchday 15 contest we can certainly anticipate a closely run affair, but we’re siding with Mallorca to bank the three points on the strength of their home form this term and Betis’ growing problems on the road.
Mallorca fell agonisingly short of claiming their first away point in La Liga against Levante last weekend, but Granotas managed to hold out for a 2-1 win following the late dismissal of Jose Campana at Ciutat de Valencia.
Los Bermellones arguably deserved a draw after turning in a markedly improved display compared to previous efforts on their travels, but their away record now ultimately stands at a pitiful six defeats from six. Their form outside of Palma is keeping them down at the wrong end of the standings and they are just two points ahead of the drop zone going into this Saturday’s game.
Mallorca will head into this clash full of optimism though, as they have been impressive at Son Moix so far this term.
Vicente Moreno’s men have posted four wins and two draws from their eight matches in Palma, including a wonderful 1-0 triumph over Real Madrid a few weeks ago. Los Bermellones notched a cosy 3-1 victory against Villarreal in their last home fixture on Matchday 13, which was further evidence that they are a match for anyone in La Liga on their own turf.
Valencia vs Villarreal
Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
Saturday, 30-11-2019 @11pm
This Saturday’s action in La Liga draws to a close at Mestalla, as Valencia entertain Villarreal in the Derbi de la Comunitat. Sitting in 10th and 12th respectively, these sides are clearly underachieving at present and both desperately need three points here to reignite their campaigns.
Just two points separate the pair heading into matchday 15 and both suffered disappointing defeats last weekend. But it’s Valencia who look best placed to emerge victorious based on their home record this term and the recent head-to-head between the teams.
Valencia were expected to get involved in the title argument this season, finishing fourth and lifting the Copa Del Rey in 2018/19; but it just hasn’t happened thus far for Los Che. Albert Celades’ men have struggled for consistency in La Liga alongside their Champions League commitments and last weekend’s stoppage-time goal from Sergio Canales condemned them to their fourth league reverse of the campaign, Real Betis ran out 2-1 winners at Benito Villamarin.
The result saw Valencia slip back down to 10th, where they sit eight points behind leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid. To all intents and purposes it seems as though another fourth-placed finish is the best Los Che can probably hope for this term.
Valencia didn’t let their late disappointment against Los Verdiblancos hurt them too much in midweek, though, and they battled to force a 2-2 draw against in-form Chelsea at Mestalla in the Champions League, which just about keeps them in the running to qualify for the Last 16.
Overall, their home form has been solid this season, with Ajax being the only team to oust them at Mestalla across both competitions. Valencia have won three and drawn four in front of their own supporters in La Liga, so they rate as the most likely winners in this Saturday’s contest, considering Villarreal have lost three of their last four and four of their last five games on the road.
Javier Calleja’s side were pretty shambolic defensively in their 3-1 defeat against struggling Celta Vigo at La Ceramica last week. They have now shipped six goals in their last two matches following a 3-1 defeat at Mallorca before the international break.
That loss at Son Moix was their fifth from seven on the road this term and the two away wins they have achieved came against Leganes (0-3) and Espanyol (0-1), who are currently occupying the bottom two places in the table.
Sevilla vs leganes
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Sunday, 01-12-2019 @2pm
The limitations of this new look Sevilla side were seemingly exposed on 6th October when they were pounded 4-0 by Barcelona at Camp Nou; however that lesson now looks like a blessing in disguise as Julen Lopetegui’s charges have taken themselves to a completely different level in recent weeks.
Sevillistas have won seven and drawn two of their last nine matches in all competitions including four wins and two draws from their six La Liga outings, and they consequently sit just a point behind Barca and Real Madrid in 3rd heading into Matchday 15. They square off against bottom side Leganes at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this Sunday morning and we’re forecasting a facile success for the Andalusian giants.
It was easy to think that this Sevilla side looked set to replicate the inconsistent and often toothless version that we witnessed during the last campaign after they lost three La Liga games from four in late September / early October, however they have gelled together superbly over the past two months and answered their critics in style.
Sevilla look sturdier, sharper and a far more complete outfit than we’ve seen over the last couple of years and they’re in the midst of one of their best runs for a very long time. They’re finding a way to grind out wins as typified by their 0-1 success at Valladolid last week thanks to an early Ever Banega penalty, a result which backed up a tenacious 1-2 victory away to Real Betis before the international break.
Four wins and two draws from six in La Liga have given Lopetegui’s side a four point buffer within the Champions League qualification spots and they will now seek to keep tabs on joint leaders Barca and Real Madrid with their Europa League business taken care of for the time being.
Sevilla’s 2-0 midweek win against Qarabag at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan was their fifth consecutive triumph in the Group Phase and they can now put that competition to one side until the knockout stages begin in February.
And with fixtures against Osasuna, Villarreal and Mallorca to come before the Christmas break, it’s distinctly possible that Sevilla could be at the summit of La Liga over the festive period with either or both of Barca and Real set to drop points in El Clasico on 18th December.
Sevilla last four league games at home have consisted of wins against Real Sociedad (3-2), Levante (1-0) and Getafe (2-0) alongside a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid, so there’s no reason to think they are going to slip up this Sunday morning against a Leganes side that have lost ten of their 14 league matches this term.
Athletic Bilbao vs Granada
San mames Barria, Bilbao
Sunday, 01-12-2019 @4pm
The current league table clearly demonstrates just how important home advantage can be in La Liga these days and 4th placed Athletic Bilbao are one of the most reliable teams in their own backyard.
Los Leones have five wins and a draw on the board from their seven outings at San Mames this season, with their sole defeat to Valencia (0-1) also being the only blot in their last 21 games in front of their own supporters. With that superb record hard to ignore and ten points gained from their last four top flight matches, Bilbao rate as a solid bet this weekend to overcome a Granada side who have claimed just one draw from their last four La Liga fixtures.
In fairness to Granada, that point was a pretty decent one against Atletico Madrid at Los Carmenes last weekend as German Sanchez cancelled out Renan Lodi’s first ever goal for Los Rojiblancos, but the overall trend of Nazaries’ form in recent weeks has been one of sharp decline.
Diego Martinez’ side lost three on the spin prior to Matchday 14 against Getafe (3-1), Real Sociedad (1-2) and Valencia (2-0) and they head to San Mames this Sunday on the back of three straight away defeats.
Last season’s Segunda runners-up have to be commended for their decent start to the campaign and for holding Diego Simeone’s side to keep themselves in 8th place, but overall they have little going for them ahead of Sunday’s contest at San Mames against a Bilbao side who are clearly thriving at present.
Goals from Inaki Williams and Kenan Kodro secured a 1-2 win at El Sadar to inflict Osasuna’s first home defeat of the campaign last weekend, and Bilbao also have also posted back to back home wins since the end of October against Espanyol (3-0) and Levante (2-1).
With four clean sheets recorded and just three goals conceded in their seven matches at San Mames this term, Bilbao have the defensive strength and nous to cope with a Granada side that have been fairly prolific scorers since their promotion (20 goals netted in 14 games) and they can also expose Nazaries frail backline (14 conceded in seven away) with goals of their own beginning to flow steadily in recent matches.
Espanyol vs Osasuna
RCDE Stadium, Barcelona
Sunday, 01-12-2019 @6pm
Espanyol remain second bottom and in deep trouble following their 1-1 draw at home to Getafe last weekend, but the result was at least a small step in the right direction after six consecutive La Liga defeats at RCDE Stadium. Periquitos will hope to go one better on Matchday 15 when they entertain Osasuna; however we feel backing the visitors in the double chance market looks the safest option for punters this Sunday afternoon.
Espanyol appeared doomed for further failure after Mata’s goal just three minutes in for Getafe at RCDE Stadium last weekend, but Periquitos found a way back into the contest thanks to Wu Lei’s strike on the brink of half time. Pablo Machin’s side grew in confidence during the second half and were the better team for large parts of the final 45 minutes, but they failed to break through again meaning the spoils were shared at full time.
It’s a point and performance that may have just saved Pablo Machin’s job despite the 44 year-old’s only recent appointment, but Machin knows that his side need to start winning soon in front of their own supporters if they are to force their way out of the relegation zone.
Periquitos are five points adrift of the safety line heading into this Sunday’s match against Osasuna and the hosts will definitely view this contest as a decent chance to get their first home win on the board considering Los Rojillos have won just one of their seven matches on the road this season.
Nevertheless, last season’s Segunda champions have lost just twice on their travels after grinding out four draws and we’re anticipating a similar outcome this weekend despite their 1-2 defeat at home to Athletic Bilbao last weekend, which brought an end to their unbeaten start to the campaign at El Sadar.
Prior to the international break, Osasuna had accrued eight points from four games including credible away draws against Mallorca (2-2) and Getafe (0-0) – two sides who have been incredibly strong on their own turf this term.
With just three losses suffered in total from 14 La Liga matches, the 11th placed visitors have shown themselves to be highly tenacious and dogged outfit since being promoted and look set to easily avoid any potential relegation scrap in their first season back in the top flight.
Getafe vs Levante
Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe
Sunday, 01-12-2019 @8:30pm
Getafe’s midweek 0-1 victory over Trabzonspor has put qualification for the Last 32 of the Europa League firmly in their own hands, and Pepe Bordalas’ side should be in a good place heading into this weekend’s La Liga encounter against Levante, providing the trip to Turkey hasn’t left its mark.
The Madrid based outfit are unbeaten in four outings domestically and have lost just one league game from seven at Coliseum Alfonso Perez this term, so it’s no surprise that the bookies have them down as odds-on favourites to overcome a Levante side who have lost five of their seven away matches this season.
Overall, Getafe fans should be delighted with how their team’s campaign is progressing and they will secure their place in the Europa League knockout stages if able to beat Krasnodar at home in a fortnight’s time.
Whilst managing progress in that competition, Pepe Bordalas’ charges have latched onto the leading bunch in La Liga following a shaky start and go into Sunday’s game 7th and just two points behind the European spots. You sense that Getafe will start making some real headway once they can put Europa League matters aside for the winter months, but four points from their last four fixtures is still a healthy return.
They were second best for large parts of the contest in last week’s 1-1 draw away to strugglers Espanyol, although Periquitos really got their tails up after cancelling out Mata’s early strike. Getafe are a far more formidable and consistent team at home, and they will fancy their chances of beating Levante here despite losing 0-1 in the last two meetings between the sides in Madrid.
The recent had to head will undoubtedly spur Levante on this weekend and Granotas have been in great form overall of late, winning three of their last four La Liga matches including a superb 3-1 home triumph over champions Barcelona before the international break and a 2-1 victory against Mallorca at Ciutat de Valencia on Matchday 14.
Those results have bumped Paco Lopez’ charges up to 9th in the table where they sit just a point behind Getafe, however their away results this term read extremely poorly in the context of this fixture, bar an excellent 1-2 win against Real Sociedad at Anoeta in October.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Sunday, 01-12-2019 @11pm
With just one win from their last six matches in all competitions, these are nervy times for Atletico Madrid who face the ultimate test this Sunday night at Wanda Metropolitano in the shape of champions Barcelona.
Despite their poor run of form, a win for Los Rojiblancos here would see them draw level on points with Barca in the La Liga table; however a defeat would leave them six points adrift in the title race. With so much at stake, we’re predicting a tense, low scoring encounter in the final fixture on Matchday 15.
We’re only at the end of November, but it already feels like make or break time for Diego Simeone and his revamped Atletico Madrid side. A win against Barca this weekend puts them firmly back in the title hunt, but a defeat almost certainly leaves them with too much to find even at this early stage.
On the European front, Atleti’s midweek 1-0 loss against Juventus in Turin means they need to beat Locomotiv Moscow at Wanda in a fortnight’s time to guarantee their progress to the Last 16 of the Champions League – a feat they should manage although the circumstances will inevitably heap plenty of pressure on Simeone’s men.
After a tough trip to Italy and a poor 1-1 draw at Granada last weekend, the host’s simply don’t look well placed at all to take on Barca this weekend, especially considering that the Catalan giants have found their mojo again.
Ernesto Valverde’s side began November with a woeful 3-1 defeat at Levante and a dull 0-0 stalemate away to Slavia Prague, but they have since posted three straight wins against Celta Vigo (4-1), Leganes (1-2) and Borussia Dortmund (3-1). Barca are comfortably through to the knockout stages of the Champions League which means they can fully focus on La Liga over the next couple of months, with everything building towards El Clasico on 18th December.
Barca lead the way with Real Madrid at present but know they will probably need three points here to stay on top with Los Blancos fancied to get the better of Alaves on Saturday. They are arguably the most likely winners on Sunday night based on current form and the recent head to head (W4, D4 from last eight meetings) however it’s also important to remember that Atleti are unbeaten in their last 17 matches at Wanda.