Real Valladolid vs Leganes
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
Friday, 03-01-2020 @9pm
Valladolid head into this Friday’s fixture without a win in their last six La Liga games (D3, L3). Valladolid have failed to score from open play in six consecutive league outings. Leganes, meanwhile, have scored just four goals in eight away matches this season. Leganes have registered two wins and a draw from their last three league matches. The visitors have won the last four meetings between the sides, including a 4-2 success in last season’s corresponding fixture.
With seven points separating these sides in the table and Leganes winless on the road this term, Valladolid will fancy their chances in this one.
But recent form tells a completely different story, with Pucela now winless in six La Liga matches after their 1-1 home draw against Valencia last time out. While a point against Los Che is a fair result on paper, Sergio’s men were denied a much-needed victory deep into stoppage time, after Manu Vallejo’s scrambled finish cancelled out Sergi Guardiola’s earlier free-kick.
The late setback is likely to have further dented Valladolid’s confidence, following an abysmal prior run of five top-flight matches without a goal. Pucela’s toils up front make them instantly opposable for the win here, although it’s important to remember they have lost just one of their eight La Liga games at Jose Zorrilla this term.
Leganes have been stranded in the bottom three since the beginning of the season, but Los Pepineros finally have a chance to at least temporarily move out of the relegation zone this Friday, following some decent results leading up to Christmas. Goals from Martin Braithwaite and Youssef En-Nesyri sealed a comfortable 2-0 success for Javier Aguirre’s side in a crucial six-pointer at home to Espanyol last time out.
Lega have now bagged seven points from their last three outings after a 3-2 home win against Celta Vigo and a 1-1 draw at Alaves. Recent form and a league double over Valladolid last season means the visitors will be riding high going into this weekend’s clash, although Lega are still in search of their first away win of the campaign following three draws and five defeats on the road thus far.
Nonetheless, 1-1 draws against Real Sociedad and Alaves either side of a narrow 1-0 defeat to Sevilla represented much better efforts from Los Pepineros compared to their travels earlier in the season. A repeat of those performances here could see them over the line if Valladolid fails to improve.
Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Third-placed Sevilla have lost just one of their last 10 La Liga outings, winning six and drawing three. Los Palanganas have won four of their last six league matches at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao have won just one of their nine La Liga games on the road this season, drawing five and losing three.
Sevilla lost vital ground in the title race during December after a 1-1 draw at Osasuna and a surprise 1-2 home defeat against Villarreal. But they at least managed to sign off for Christmas with a victory, as goals from Diego Carlos and Ever Banega sealed a 2-0 win over Mallorca at Son Moix.
The result firmed up Sevilla’s position in the top four and they head into Matchday 19 five points behind leaders Barcelona and just three points behind second-placed Real Madrid. With a crucial fixture upcoming against Los Blancos at the Bernabeu later in January, Los Palanganas will feel they are only a couple of results away from getting right back into contention, although qualification for the Champions League remains the main aim for Julen Lopetegui’s side this term.
Sevilla will back themselves to pass this Friday’s test against seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao; although they were shocked 2-1 by Villarreal in their last outing at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, they had previously won four of their last five at home. With six wins and three draws posted in total from their last 10 top-flight matches, it’s easy to see why Los Palanganas have been installed as odds-on favourites for this important clash in Andalusia.
Athletic Bilbao have been tremendous at home this term, with 20 points bagged from nine fixtures (W6, D2, L1), but it’s been a different story for Los Leones away from the comforts of San Mames.
November’s 2-1 victory at Osasuna was Bilbao’s only success on the road from nine attempts thus far (D5, L3) and they have failed to beat the likes of Mallorca, Celta Vigo and Leganes on their travels – teams all currently languishing in and around the relegation zone.
Bilbao’s performance levels simply haven’t been up to scratch and they really struggle to make an impact in front of goal when on opposition soil, with just six goals netted in total. It’s no surprise with such a meagre tally they have failed to win all but one of their nine away matches; they are easily opposed in pursuit of all three points this Friday evening, despite an encouraging 0-0 stalemate against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last time out.
The other La Liga games this weekend
-Valencia vs Eibar @3pm
-Getafe vs Real Madrid @6pm
-Atletico Madrid vs Levante @8:30pm
-Espanyol vs Barcelona @11pm
-Granada vs Real Mallorca @2pm
-Real Sociedad vs Villarreal @4pm
-Deportivo Alaves vs Real Betis @6pm
-Celta Vigo vs Osasuna