Granada vs Levante
Estadio Nuevo los Carmenes, Granada
Saturday, 14-12-2019 @3pm
After last week’s 3-0 home victory against Alaves, Granada boast a strong record of five wins, one draw and two defeats at Los Carmenes this season. Levante have lost three of their last four games heading into this Saturday’s encounter and have suffered six defeats from eight away matches this term.
Survival was undoubtedly the key aim for Granada at the start of this season following their promotion from Segunda last term, so boss Diego Martinez will be delighted that his side are more than holding their own in the top half of the table 16 games into the campaign.
Granada unsurprisingly fell away after briefly topping the standings in September, but last weekend’s 3-0 success over Alaves at Los Carmenes inched Nazaries back up to 9th, and boosted their home return this season to five wins, one draw and two defeats from eight outings.
Amongst those results, Granada have claimed four points from home fixtures against Atletico Madrid and champions Barcelona – proof that travelling teams need to treat them with upmost respect on their own turf.
Sitting just two points behind the top six, a sixth home win of the campaign this weekend could see Martinez’ charges close in on the European places as Christmas approaches and they will be confident about dispatching a Levante side who have struggled on the road this term.
Levante began the month of November in tremendous fashion with a 3-1 home triumph against Barca, but Granotas have been in dire form since, save for a scrappy 2-1 home victory on Matchday 14 against a Mallorca side who have lost seven from seven away this season.
Following last weekend’s 2-4 reverse against city rivals Valencia, Paco Lopez’ men have lost three from their last four and were hammered 4-0 at Getafe when last on the road a fortnight ago.
That result took Levante’s away record this season to two wins and six defeats from eight outings, so with Granada showing up so well at home and being four points ahead in the standings, it’s easy to see why they are clear underdogs for this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Los Carmenes.
Real Sociedad vs Barcelona
Reale Arena, San Sebastian
Saturday, 14-12-2019 @6pm
Barcelona had already qualified for the Last 16 of the Champions League as Group F winners and turned out a much changed side for Tuesday night’s final game against Internazionale, but they still ran out 1-2 victors at San Siro thanks to goals from Carles Perez and teenage Ansu Fati.
The fact that Barca’s second string were good enough to beat a full strength Inter in their own back yard typifies the depth of quality that Ernesto Valverde has at his disposal, and his side are now on a six match winning streak in all competitions since drawing a blank away to Slavia Prague in early November.
The Catalans secured a crucial 0-1 success over Atletico Madrid when last on the road in La Liga a fortnight ago and their issues on the road appear to have gone following three defeats from their first six away La Liga games this season.
Last weekend’s facile 5-2 home win against Mallorca kept Barca in a share of the lead at the top of the table with arch rivals Real Madrid and Valverde’s side will be extremely keen to keep their winning run in tact this Saturday, ahead of next week’s all important El Clasico showdown with Los Blancos at Camp Nou.
It’s been a good season overall thus far for Real Sociedad who find themselves in 4th going into Matchday 17, although they are just four points clear of 10th placed Osasuna in a congested top half.
They have done just enough to keep their noses in front in the race for Champions League football; however they will likely need to achieve greater consistency to maintain their position as we move deeper into the campaign, after posting eight wins, three draws and five defeats from their 16 matches.
And several of their results to date suggest that Txuri-urdinak are likely to come up short this weekend. Whilst Imanol Alguacil’s men have largely take care of mid / lower table opposition, they have lost to 2nd placed Real Madrid (3-1), 3rd placed Sevilla (3-2), 5th placed Getafe (1-2) and 6th placed Athletic Bilbao (2-0).
Those results emphatically display that Sociedad have something to find with the teams around them in the table and indicate that their current position could be a false one. With plenty of quality in their side, we can be sure that Sociedad will be competitive this Saturday but Barca will fancy that Alguacil’s charges are there for the taking.
Barcelona will be seeking their eighth consecutive victory over Real Sociedad when the sides clash in San Sebastian this Saturday. Barca have lost three of their eight away matches in La Liga this season, but have triumphed in their last three on the road in all competitions including wins against Atletico Madrid and Internazionale. Real Sociedad head into this weekend’s game 4th in the table; however they have won just two of their last six matches and have lost two of their last five at Real Arena.
Athletic Bilbao vs Eibar
San Mames Barria, Bilbao
Saturday, 14-12-2019 @8:30pm
Athletic Bilbao have notched six wins and a draw from their eight home matches this term. Los Leones have lost just one of their last 22 La Liga games at San Mames. Last weekend’s 0-1 home loss against Getafe was Eibar’s fourth consecutive league defeat on the spin. The visitors have won just one of their eight away league games this term, drawing three and losing four.
Athletic Bilbao went into last weekend’s fixture against Real Betis with the best defensive record in La Liga after conceding just nine goals in their first 15 matches of the campaign, so it was something of a surprise to see Los Verdiblancos race into a 3-0 lead after just 20 minutes at Benito Villamarin.
Los Leones were undone by an inspired hat-trick from veteran winger Joaquin and despite their best efforts, goals from Inaki Williams and Yuri weren’t quite enough to salvage a point for Gaizka Garitano’s side.
The defeat brought an end to a three match winning streak for Bilbao and they will be keen to hit back immediately in this Saturday’s all-Basque affair against Eibar to stay within touching distance of the top four. The host’s haven’t lost in their last six home encounters against Los Armeros and go into Matchday 17 having notched six wins and a draw from their eight outings at San Mames this term.
Last week’s 0-1 reverse against Getafe marked Eibar’s fourth La Liga defeat in a row, so this is far from the ideal time for Los Armeros to travel to a side who boast one of the best home records in Spain.
Jose Luis Mendilibar’s charges have been gradually sucked into the relegation picture over the past few weeks and sit 16th going into Saturday’s contest, just two points ahead of 18th placed Celta Vigo.
Any kind of positive result will do for Eibar this weekend to stop the rot, but that looks highly unlikely based on recent form and their overall away record this season. Los Armeros have only beaten second bottom Leganes on the road (1-2) and have registered three draws and four defeats in their other seven away matches.
Atletico Madrid vs Osasuna
Estadio Wanda Metrapolitano, Madrid
Saturday, 14-12-2019 @11pm
Atletico Madrid head into this weekend’s fixture having won just two of their last nine La Liga games, drawing six. The hosts drawn three of their eight domestic outings at Wanda Metropolitano this season. Osasuna have lost just one of their last seven La Liga matches and have been beaten in just two of their eight starts on the road this term.
A 2-0 success over Lokomotiv Moscow at Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night clinched Atletico Madrid’s place in the Last 16 of the Champions League, but domestically they have fallen well off the pace in recent weeks after winning just two of their last nine outings in La Liga.
Last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Villarreal was Atleti’s sixth draw amidst that run and they go into this Saturday’s home clash against Osasuna eight points behind joint leaders Barcelona and Real Madrid, who both also have a game in hand.
Whilst there are still 22 rounds of the season to go, it’s highly unlikely that Diego Simeone’s men will be able to bridge such a significant gap and a top four berth may now be the best that Los Rojiblancos can hope for.
Atleti desperately need a victory against Osasuna here to start moving back in the right direction after dropping to 7th in the table, but Simeone’s side look far too short in the betting at around the 2/5 mark.
Osasuna clung on for a 1-1 draw against 3rd placed Sevilla at El Sadar last Sunday despite being reduced to ten men 30 minutes from time when Oler saw red, and the performance typified how tough and tenacious Los Rojillos have been since returning to the top flight.
Jagoba Arrasate’s side have lost just three games all season and one from their last seven, whilst they head to Wanda Metropolitano having lost just twice from their eight outings on the road.
With Atleti losing just two of their last 28 La Liga matches at home, it will clearly be a tall order for Osasuna to secure all three points this Saturday considering they have won just five from 16, but their low ratio of defeats this term certainly suggests that they can get something – especially after the number of stalemates posted by the hosts over the past couple of months.
The other La Liga games this weekend
-Getafe vs Real Valladolid @2pm
-Celta Vigo vs Real Mallorca @4pm
-Espanyol vs Real Betis @6pm
-Sevilla vs Villarreal @8:30pm
-Valencia vs Real Madrid @11pm
-Deportivo Alaves 1-1 Leganes