Real Madrid vs Espanyol
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Saturday, 07-12-2019 @3pm
Real Madrid were far from convincing in the opening weeks of the campaign, but boss Zinedine Zidane has really turned things around since his side’s shock 1-0 defeat at Mallorca in mid-October. It appears the Frenchman is now much clearer on his best starting XI and Los Blancos have returned to playing the fast, free-flowing football we’ve become so accustomed to in recent years.
Since losing in Palma, Real have gone on to post four wins and a draw from five La Liga matches, a run which has kept them level at the top of the table with El Clasico rivals Barcelona. On the European front, Los Blancos recovered from their heavy 3-0 beating at PSG to record victories against Galatasaray and Club Brugge, and their 2-2 draw at home to PSG last week ensured progress to the Last 16 of the Champions League.
So with six wins and two draws from their last eight overall and five wins and two draws from seven home games in La Liga this term, Zidane’s side really do go into this Saturday’s fixture in fine fettle.
Like Madrid, Espanyol have secured progress to the latter stages of European competition but it’s come at a serious cost. Three wins and two draws from five matches means Periquitos sail through to the Last 32 of the Europa League as Group H winners, but they’re enduring a nightmare domestically this season following an excellent seventh-place finish in 2018/19.
Last weekend’s 2-4 reverse at home to Osasuna was Espanyol’s seventh defeat from eight at RCDE Stadium in La Liga and they have lost 10 of their 15 games overall, shipping 28 goals in the process.
Pablo Machin’s men have performed better on the road, with eight points accrued from seven matches, but they have won just one of their last 11 league games overall and are firmly entrenched in the relegation zone heading into this weekend’s daunting trip to the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have posted five wins and two draws from their seven home matches in La Liga this term, netting 18 goals in the process. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions, winning six and drawing two. Real Madrid have bagged 23 goals during this period but have conceded in their last three matches. Espanyol have lost 10 of their 15 La Liga games this season, conceding 28 goals in total. Periquitos have won just one of their last 11 domestic fixtures, but have managed to score in their last four outings.
Granada vs Alaves
Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes, Granada
Saturday, 07-12-2019 @6pm
Newly promoted Granada temporarily held a share of the lead in La Liga after a run of six wins from eight games earlier in the campaign; however Nazaries have dropped like a stone since the end of October, drawing one and losing four of their last five La Liga games including last weekend’s 2-0 defeat away to Athletic Bilbao.
Diego Martinez’ side have now fallen to 10th in the table as a result and desperately need a win over Alaves here on Matchday 16 to stop the rot.
Despite their poor recent form, last season’s Segunda runners-up will be optimistic that they can get the better of Alaves this Saturday, having accrued a total of 13 points from seven games at Los Carmenes this term including a highly respectable 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid a fortnight ago.
And they welcome an Alaves side who have largely toiled on the road this season despite a 0-2 victory at Eibar on Matchday 14.
Alaves’ success against Eibar was definitely a huge step in the right direction for Asier Garitano’s men, although they still rate as a team to avoid on their travels after picking up just a single point from their six previous away matches this term.
Babazorros have been in good nick of late with a comprehensive 3-0 home triumph over Valladolid also posted in November and they were only narrowly edged out 1-2 by joint league leaders Real Madrid at Mendizorroza last week.
Nonetheless, they can’t be fancied at the prices to collect all three points here this Saturday despite Granada’s recent problems, and with 16 goals conceded Alaves hold the joint worst away defensive record in the league which is a major concern.
Granada head into this Saturday’s game having picked up just a single point from their last five La Liga matches. Alaves have claimed just four points from their seven games on the road this term. Granada have managed to score in 12 of their 15 matches this season, including in six from seven fixtures at Los Carmenes. Alaves have netted in 11 of their 15 games this term, including in five from seven outings away from home.
Levante vs Valencia
Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, Valencia
Saturday, 08-12-2019 @8:30pm
A run of three wins from four including a tremendous 3-1 home success against Barcelona on Matchday 12 steered Levante well clear of the relegation zone after a poor start to the campaign; however Paco Lopez’ charges were brought back down to earth last weekend as they suffered a 4-0 walloping at the hands of Getafe at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
The result marked Granotas’ sixth defeat from eight on the road this term – a record which will need improving upon fast if Levante are to achieve more than a mid-table finish this season.
Levante dropped a place to 11th on Matchday 15, but they go into this Saturday’s fixture just three points behind their cross-city rivals. With four wins and two draws posted from seven outings at Ciudad de Valencia so far this term, they will be confident about getting a result here against Los Che, who they haven’t lost to in the last six meeting between the teams at this venue.
After a largely indifferent start to season, Valencia have crept into contention throughout November with three wins in four, including a 2-1 triumph against Villarreal in the Derbi de la Comunitat at Mestalla last week.
Los Che are now just three points behind the Champions League qualification spots, although they will need to get better on the road if they are to bridge that gap on the run up to Christmas.
Albert Celades’ men have lost four of their seven away fixtures in La Liga this term including a 2-1 defeat against Real Betis at Benito Villamarin a fortnight ago and they have conceded 13 goals in total across those matches.
Considering Los Che are unbeaten at Mestalla in the league this season with four wins and four draws posted from eight, it’s clear that they are struggling to put their best foot forward on their travels.
Valencia are up to 8th in the table after winning three of their last four La Liga games, including a 2-1 success over Villarreal in the Derbi de la Comunitat on Matchday 15. However, Los Che head into this Saturday’s game having lost four of their seven away fixtures in the league this term. Both teams have scored in five of those matches. Levante have accrued 14 points in total from seven outings at Ciudad de Valencia this season, with both teams netting in four of those games. Both teams have scored in the last four meetings between the sides.
Barcelona vs Mallorca
Estadio Camp Nou, Barcelona
Saturday, 07-12-2019 @11pm
It remains neck and neck between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but the champions put clear daylight between themselves and last season’s runners-up Atletico Madrid last weekend with a 0-1 success at Wanda Metropolitano.
In a true top of the table six pointer, both sides crafted and blew several good opportunities to win the game, but it was the Catalan giants who emerged victorious thanks to a typically brilliant solo effort from Lionel Messi four minutes from time.
The result moves Barcelona onto 31 points from 14 matches and they are in a great position despite losing three away matches this term. It’s been a different story at Camp Nou though where Ernesto Valverde’s men have secured a perfect six wins from six, smashing in 25 goals in total.
It’s not surprising then that the champions are heavy odds-on favourites to bank another three points this Saturday night when they host a Mallorca side who are pointless on the road this term.
Mallorca have performed admirably overall at Son Moix since returning to the top flight and managed to beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Palma a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, Vicente Moreno’s side are just a point above the relegation zone in 17th and that’s largely due to their dismal results away from home. Los Bermellones weren’t expected to pick up too many results on their travels this season after losing nine times on the road in Segunda last term; however they don’t even have a point to their name from six outings.
The Balearic Islanders have scored just three times outside of Palma and have conceded at a rate of over two goals per game, so you have to fear for them this Saturday against a Barcelona outfit who are slowly moving through the gears.
Leaders Barcelona have a perfect home record in La Liga this season, winning six from six at Camp Nou and scoring 25 goals in the process. 17th placed Mallorca have yet to claim an away point this term, losing all six of their matches on the road. Los Bermellones have scored in just two of their away games and have conceded 14 goals in total.
Eibar vs Getafe
Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Eibar
Sunday, 08-12-2019 @2pm
Getafe head to Ipurua this Sunday 7th in La Liga and just two points behind the top four after three wins and two draws from their last five outings. Hosts Eibar are 16th and just two points clear of the relegation zone following three straight defeats. Getafe are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Eibar, winning twice and drawing on three occasions. The visitors have lost just one of their last six league matches on the road, whilst Eibar have lost three of their last four fixtures at home.
Goals from Cabrera, Jorge Molina, Angel and Timor sealed a facile 4-0 success for Getafe at home to Levante on Matchday 15, and the Madrid based outfit are homing in on the top four after accruing 11 points from their last five games.
Whilst they remain 7th heading into this Sunday morning’s encounter against Eibar, Pepe Bordalas’ men are just two points shy of the Champions League spots and could easily be occupying a top four position over the Christmas period with winnable fixtures against Valladolid and Villarreal following this Matchday 16 contest at Ipurua.
After a shaky start to the campaign, Getafe have now lost just two of their last 14 in La Liga and one from their last six away, so they look well priced to get something here despite the possibility that they’ll have one eye on Thursday’s crunch Europa League game at home to Krasnodar – a winner takes all scenario for a place in the Last 32.
Eibar are notoriously one of the worst travelling sides in La Liga with just three wins claimed from their last 28 top flight matches on the road, but they have fallen back on solid home form in recent seasons to secure mid-table finishes.
That has not been the case though so far this term, with Los Armeros losing four of their seven outings at Ipurua including three of their last four. Last weekend’s comprehensive 4-1 beating against Real Sociedad at Reale Arena made it three consecutive defeats for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side and they are now just two points clear of the danger zone in 16th.
The Basque outfit could easily find themselves in the bottom three come the end of Matchday 16 if they are turned over here and results go against them elsewhere, so there’s likely to be a lot of pressure on the hosts to perform and put right their dismal recent performances.
Real Betis vs Athletic Bilbao
Estadio Benito Villamarín, Seville
Sunday, 08-12-2019 @4pm
Real Betis were flirting with the possibility of a relegation dogfight this season after losing five and winning just two of their first ten matches; however Los Verdiblancos have picked up markedly since the end of October with three wins and a draw from their last five including a 2-1 success over Valencia when last at Benito Villamarin a fortnight ago.
Last weekend’s win by the same scoreline away to Mallorca lifted Rubi’s charges up to 12th in the table and they are now a comfortable six points clear of the bottom three going into this Sunday’s clash with Athletic Bilbao.
It’s still perhaps a little optimistic to expect great things from Los Verdiblancos this season, but things certainly look a lot more promising for the Andalusian’s after such a dreadful start to Rubi’s tenure at the club.
Athletic Bilbao endured a five match winless run in September / October after a strong start to the campaign, but the Basque giants have been right back on song over the past few weeks with four wins and a draw posted from their last five games.
A confidence-boosting 3-0 success at home to struggling Espanyol was a major catalyst for Gaizka Garitano’s side at the end of October, and following a decent 0-0 stalemate away to Villarreal next time out, Los Leones have gone onto beat Levante (2-1), Osasuna (1-2) and Granada (2-0).
Bilbao have surged up to 5th in the table as a result and head into Sunday’s clash at Benito Villamarin level on points with main rivals Real Sociedad (4th) and just five adrift of joint leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid. Nonetheless, Garitano’s side are rated as underdogs by the bookmakers and that’s largely due to the fact that their aforementioned win against Osasuna is their only triumph from seven outings on the road this season (W1, D4, and L2).
Athletic Bilbao travel to Benito Villamarin on the back of three straight league wins. Gaizka Garitano’s side are 5th in the table, 13 places and 12 points better off than they were at this stage last term. However, Los Leones have won just one of their seven away matches this term, drawing four and losing two. Real Betis have posted four wins, two draws and two defeats from their eight home matches this season. All of Los Verdiblancos’ games at Benito Villamarin this term have seen both teams score.
Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
Sunday, 08-12-2019 @6pm
Real Sociedad had endured a frustrating couple of weeks with a 1-1 home draw against bottom side Leganes and a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu, but Imanol Alguacil’s side put themselves firmly back on track on Matchday 15 with a resounding 4-1 victory over Eibar at Reale Arena.
Similar to their draw with Lega, Txuri-urdinak were pegged back ten minutes from the break after taking the lead 25 minutes in through Le Normand, but this time they turned things up a notch in the second half and powered their way to victory thanks to goals from Odegaard, Oyarzabal and Willian San Jose.
The result lifted Sociedad back into the top four, but they desperately need another win this Sunday to hold their position as they face a huge home clash against champions Barcelona next week.
Valladolid had a really solid start to the campaign with just two defeats suffered in their first ten matches, but they have since lost three of their last five. A 0-0 stalemate against Celta Vigo at Balaidos last week wasn’t enough to prevent a further drop in the table and Pucela now sit 15th heading into this weekend’s fixture at Jose Zorrilla.
Fortunately for Valladolid, they still hold a five point buffer over the relegation zone, but this Sunday’s clash with Sociedad kicks-off a tricky run in to the Christmas break with matches against Getafe and Valencia upcoming.
Pucela have lost just one of their six outings at Jose Zorrilla this season which is an obvious positive for them here, although you sense they are a team on the wane after failing to score in their last three games and could soon be sucked into a relegation dogfight.
Real Sociedad travel to Jose Zorrilla 4th in the La Liga standings after beating Eibar 4-1 on Matchday 15. Valladolid have now dropped to 15th after claiming just four points from their last five games. Real Sociedad have won four from eight on the road this term. The three games they have lost came against teams currently in the top five.
Leganes vs Celta Vigo
Estádio Municipal de Butarque, Leganes
Sunday, 08-12-2019 @8:30pm
Celta Vigo have won just one of their seven away games this season; however that was a 1-3 success over Villarreal when last on the road a fortnight ago. Leganes are rock bottom of La Liga on just six points after losing 11 of their 15 matches so far. They go into this Sunday’s game eight points detached from safety. Celta Vigo are seven points better off than Los Pepineros in 18th and can move out of the relegation zone this weekend if they win here and 17th placed Mallorca fail to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou. All six previous meetings between the teams have produced fewer than 2.5 goals. That’s also been the case in 66% matches played by the sides in La Liga this season.
Celta Vigo will have been disappointed to come away with just a point last weekend following their 0-0 stalemate against Valladolid at Balaidos, although the result did inch Oscar Garcia’s side closer to safety.
And a win over Leganes at Butarque this weekend should be enough to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, with 17th placed Mallorca unfancied to claim anything against Barcelona at Camp Nou. A point here could also prove enough for Celestes if Los Bermellones are beaten heavily by the champions and they should be extremely fired up to get the positive result they need.
Celta have won just once on the road from seven outings this term; however that was an impressive 1-3 triumph over Villarreal at la Ceramica two weeks ago. A reproduction of that effort on Sunday should be good enough to dispatch a Leganes side who are rooted to the foot of the table.
Single goal margin defeats against Sevilla (1-0) and Barcelona (1-2) over the past fortnight demonstrated a modicum of progress for Leganes under new boss Javier Aguirre; however tenacious displays count for nothing in their current position if they come away from games empty handed.
Los Pepineros have now lost 11 of their 15 La Liga matches this season including six from eight outings at Butarque and head into this Matchday 16 fixture eight points adrift of 17th placed Mallorca.
Whilst recent performances will give hope to Lega supporters, their only victory this term was ultimately a scrappy 1-0 home win against Mallorca (who have lost every game on the road this season) and there’s little to recommend them here at around the 11/8 mark despite Celta’s obvious weaknesses and eight defeats from 15.
Osasuna vs Sevilla
Estadio El Sadar, Irunea
Sunday, 08-12-2019 @11pm
Sevilla head to El Sadar this Sunday unbeaten in their last ten games across all competitions, winning eight. They face a tough test though against an Osasuna side that has lost just three from 15 this term and just one of their seven matches at El Sadar. Both teams have scored in five of Osasuna’s last six games and in four of their last five home fixtures.
Sevilla were heavy favourites to beat bottom side Leganes at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last weekend, but that had to earn victory the hard way once again.
Diego Carlos’ goal just past the hour mark eventually proved enough to secure Sevillistas third La Liga success on the spin and their third consecutive win via a single goal margin.
Unlike the often flashy but vulnerable Sevilla sides of recent seasons, Julen Lopetegui’s charges are proving themselves to be a tough and efficient outfit who keep grinding results out week after week. Sevillistas are now unbeaten in ten matches across all competitions and sit 3rd in the La Liga table, just a point behind joint leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Sevilla have won nine of their 15 league matches this term including five from eight on the road, and confidence is clearly growing as their unbeaten run continues.
After a 1-2 reverse to Athletic Bilbao on Matchday 14 which ended their unbeaten start to the campaign at home, Osasuna hit back well last weekend to claim what turned out to be a straightforward 2-4 win over strugglers Espanyol at RCDE Stadium.
Los Rojillos went behind 20 minutes in to a Marc Roja penalty, but overran Periquitos in the second half as Ruben Garcia, Avila and Moncayola all struck, before Roberto Torres put the gloss on the three points via the penalty spot in injury time.
The result lifted Jagoba Arrasate’s charges up to 9th in the standings and overall it’s been an excellent campaign thus far for last season’s Segunda winners. They have lost just three of their 15 matches and look sure to avoid any potential relegation scuffles in their first year back in the top flight.