Atletico Madrid vs Leganes
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Sunday, 26-01-2020 @2pm
Atletico Madrid have amassed 21 points from their ten home La Liga matches this season (W6, D3 and L1), keeping clean sheets in five of those games. Leganes are without a league win on the road this term (D4, L5). Los Pepineros have failed to hit the net in four of those games, scoring just six goals in total on their travels. Atleti have won three of the last four league meetings between the teams (W3, D1) without conceding a goal, including a 0-1 victory in August’s reverse fixture at Butarque.
A distinctly off-colour Atletico Madrid suffered their third league defeat of the campaign against Eibar last weekend, as goals from Esteban Burgos and Edu Exposito sealed a well-deserved 2-0 success for Los Armeros at Ipurua.
Atleti’s flat performance in the Basque Country can perhaps be attributed to their recent Supercopa exertions in Saudi Arabia, but it was a result that Diego Simeone’s side could ill-afford in the context of the title race.
Los Colchoneros are now eight points behind joint leaders Real Madrid and Barcelona who both managed to grind out three points on Matchday 20, and their outright odds of around 50/1 for the La Liga title strongly imply that Atleti are set to come up short once again this season.
Simeone must now look to solidify Atleti’s place in the top four, and this weekend’s fixture against second bottom Leganes offers his side an excellent chance to return to winning ways, after they were also beaten 2-1 AET on Thursday night by Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey (several changes made).
Leganes ended 2019 in fine form after collecting seven points form their fixtures against Celta Vigo (3-2), Alaves (1-1) and Espanyol (2-0), but the New Year hasn’t started quite so well for Javier Aguirre’s charges.
Los Pepineros blew a lead late in the day to draw 2-2 at Valladolid on Matchday 19, and they were comprehensively swept aside 0-3 by Getafe at Butarque last weekend.
The manner of that defeat could be a real momentum killer for Lega who had been making giant strides under their new manager, and they must now travel to Wanda Metropolitano to face their more illustrious city rivals, having failed to win any of their nine away league matches so far this season (D4, L5).
Unlike Atleti, Leganes did manage cup success in midweek as they fended off Ebro 0-1 to reach the Last 16, but there’s nothing to suggest that Los Pepineros can follow up this Sunday, with Atleti losing out only to Barcelona in front of their own supporters this season.
Celta Vigo vs Eibar
Abanca Balaidos, Vigo
Sunday, 26-01-2020 @4pm
Eight of Celta Vigo’s ten home La Liga games this term have produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with Celestes failing to score in four of those fixtures. Six of Eibar’s ten away league matches have also produced fewer than 2.5 goals. Los Armeros have failed to score in four of those matches and have netted just seven goals on their travels in total his season. Four of the last five meetings between the sides have also been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals netted.
Celta Vigo are without a win in six La Liga games heading into this Sunday’s important clash against Eibar at Balaidos; however Oscar Garcia’s side produced a much improved display at San Mames last weekend to earn a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.
Celta undoubtedly benefitted from Los Leones’ wasteful attack and also had keeper Ruben Blanco to thank for a couple of tremendous saves, but it was ultimately a well-deserved point for Celestes, who will feel that they possess the quality and right characteristics to escape their current plight.
As it turned out, Celta fell two points behind safety despite their strong effort due to Mallorca’s shock 4-1 demolition of Valencia at Son Moix, so there’s plenty of work ahead for Garcia’s side, beginning with this Matchday 21 clash against an Eibar side that stepped up markedly to get the better of 3rd placed Atletico Madrid last Sunday.
It was certainly a weekend of upsets in La Liga on Matchday 20, but Eibar’s triumph over Los Colchoneros was arguably the most impressive, as goals from Esteban Burgos and Edu Exposito wrapped up a fine 2-0 win at Ipurua.
The victory will go down as the best result of the campaign so far for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s charges, which moved them six points clear of the relegation zone and their opponents this Sunday afternoon. It brings welcome breathing space for a side that suffered four straight league defeats in November / December, but the gap will obviously be halved should Celta come out best at Balaidos.
Eibar’s superb performance against Atleti and their 2-0 win over Celta in September’s reverse fixture will naturally give them plenty of confidence for their trip to Galicia this weekend, although it’s worth remembering that Los Armeros are seldom a team to trust on the road. The visitors have won just one of their ten away games in La Liga this season, drawing four and losing five.
Getafe vs Real Betis
Colisium Alfonso Perez, Getafe
Sunday, 26-01-2020 @6pm
Getafe have won four out of their last six home matches in La Liga, securing all victories by at least a two goal margin. Real Betis have won just one of their nine league outings on the road this season (W1, D4 and L4). However, the visitors have scored five goals in their last three away games, and have found the net at least once in their last eight La Liga fixtures.
Getafe kicked off 2020 in the worst possible way with a 0-3 derby defeat at home to Real Madrid, but the subsequent break for the Supercopa de Espana clearly did Pepe Bordalas and his side the world of good as they sought to regroup.
They faced another all-Madrid clash away to Leganes last weekend and came out firing at Butarque, netting three times in just over half an hour to seal the points well before half time.
With 3rd placed Atletico Madrid and 4th placed Sevilla losing against Eibar and Barcelona respectively, the result propelled Getafe right back into contention in their hunt for a top four finish this term, and they will look to mount further pressure on the teams above them this weekend with a win against Real Betis at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Prior to their comprehensive defeat against Los Blancos here on Matchday 19, Bordalas’ men had won four from five at home by at least a two goal margin, so this Sunday’s game shapes up to be an extremely difficult trip for Betis, who have largely struggled on the road this term.
Like Getafe, Real Betis also posted a resounding success on Matchday 20, as goals from Borja Iglesias, Joaquin and Sergio Canales spearheaded a 3-0 hammering of Real Sociedad at Benito Villamarin.
Los Verdiblancos were celebrating one of their best performances and results of the campaign against a Sociedad side who were in the top four just a few weeks ago, and Betis are now up to 11th in the table where they sit just four points behind the Europa League places.
Qualification for that competition would have been boss Rubi’s main target at the start of the season after achieving the same with previous club Espanyol in 2018/19; however his side need to start putting their best foot forward on the road to match their decent record at Benito Villamarin.
Betis have won just one of their nine away games in La Liga so far this term (W1, D4 and L4), and their lack of points is largely attributed to shoddy defending, with 18 goals conceded in total on their travels.
Real Sociedad vs Mallorca
Reale Arena, San Sebastian
Sunday, 26-01-2020 @8:30pm
Real Sociedad have scored an average of two goals per game at home in La Liga this season. Seven of Sociedad’s last eight home La Liga matches have generated over 2.5 goals, with the same applying to four of Mallorca’s last five away games. Mallorca have lost eight of their nine away league fixtures this season, conceding an average of 2.4 goals per game on their travels.
Real Sociedad clung onto a top four spot over the Christmas period after finishing 2019 strongly with two wins and two draws; however Txuri-urdinak have now dropped to 6th following a dire start to the New Year.
Imanol Alguacil’s side were turned over 1-2 by Villarreal at Reale Arena on Matchday 19, and last week they succumbed to an inspired Real Betis side, who ran out convincing 3-0 winners at Benito Villamarin.
From looking like possible contenders for the Champions League places this season, one win in five means Sociedad are now hanging onto the final Europa League position, with the likes of Valencia and Athletic Bilbao hot on their heels in behind.
With key fixtures against both of those sides coming up in February, Sociedad simply have to get themselves back on track over the next couple of weeks, with a trip to face second bottom Leganes next on the menu after this weekend’s home clash against 17th placed Mallorca.
This Sunday’s visitors claimed one of their best results of the campaign on Matchday 20, as a brace from Ante Budemir spearheaded a sensational 4-1 success over Valencia at Son Moix.
It’s fair to say that Los Che never turned up in Palma, but Mallorca took full advantage to ease themselves two points clear of the relegation zone. Los Bermellones have claimed some decent scalps on home soil this season after also beating the likes of Real Madrid (1-0) and Villarreal (3-1) at Son Moix, but they simply can’t replicate their home performances on their travels.
A 1-0 defeat to Granada at Los Carmenes on Matchday 19 made it one draw and eight losses for Mallorca on the road this term, and that’s why they are 13/2 underdogs for this Sunday’s clash despite Sociedad’s recent problems. Mallorca also head into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a 3-1 away defeat to Segunda outfit Real Zaragoza in the Copa Del Rey.
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions (W13, D5), including their 11 La Liga fixtures (W7, D4). Valladolid are without a league win in eight (D5, L3) following last week’s 0-0 stalemate against Osasuna at Estadio El Sadar. Valladolid’s home games this season have generally been low scoring affairs, with fewer than 2.5 goals netted in seven of their nine outings at Jose Zorrilla. Five of Real’s ten away matches have also produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with fewer than 3.5 scored in seven of their ten games on the road.
Following their Supercopa de Espana triumph in Saudi Arabia, Real Madrid made a successful return to La Liga action against Sevilla last weekend, grinding out a vital 2-1 win at Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a double salvo from Casemiro.
The result bolstered Real’s unbeaten run in La Liga to 11 matches (W7, D4), and ensured that they, along with El Clasico rivals Barcelona, surged eight points of the chasing pack at the top of the table.
It looks like a two horse race now between the pair, and Los Blancos will be hoping that they can edge their noses in front this weekend, with Barca facing a potentially tough trip to Mestalla to take on Valencia.
Real should certainly uphold their end of the bargain based on all recent form and their strong record on the road this term (W5, D4 and L1), with host’s Valladolid continuing to toil.
Valladolid avoided defeat once again on Matchday 20 after playing out a dull 0-0 stalemate against Osasuna at Estadio El Sadar, but the result means it’s now eight games since Pucela last tasted success in La Liga (D5, L3).
Sergio’s side slid a further place down the table to 15th following Alaves’ 0-1 win at Levante, but the gap between themselves and the relegation zone remains at six points going into this weekend’s clash at Jose Zorrilla.
Valladolid produced arguably their best performance of the campaign to claim a point when these two teams met at the Bernabeu in late August, and the bare stats suggest that Pucela have a chance of holding Los Blancos again this Sunday after losing just one of their nine home games in La Liga this season.
Nonetheless, Real have moved through the gears since the reverse fixture, and should have enough class to see off the limited hosts, who have failed to score in six of their last eight league matches