Granada vs Mallorca
Estadio Neuvo Los Carmenes, Granada
Granada’s last three La Liga matches have produced over 2.5 goals, with the same applying to three of their last four outings at Los Carmenes. All but one of Mallorca’s last eight top flight games have produced over 2.5 goals. Granada have won five of their nine fixtures at home this term, whilst Mallorca have lost seven of their eight away matches.
This fixture hardly leaps off the page on Matchday 19, but we could be set for an entertaining affair between two of last season’s promoted sides, who are both seeking to arrest their woeful pre-Christmas form.
Granada began their campaign superbly and briefly held top spot after a run of six wins from eight in September and October, but six defeats from their last eight matches has seen Nazaries drop down to 11th.
Diego Martinez’ men were nothing short of atrocious in their 3-0 defeat at Eibar last time out, and they will be hoping that a return to Los Carmenes can help them regain the winning thread after five victories from nine at home this term.
Meanwhile, Mallorca remain just one point above the relegation zone after a comprehensive 0-2 loss against Sevilla at Son Moix on Matchday 18. Vicente Moreno’s men have picked up just a single point from their last five La Liga matches and head to Andalusia having lost seven of their eight away matches so far.
The sides played out two close and fairly cagey games in Segunda last season, with Granada winning 1-0 in Andalusia before claiming a 1-1 draw towards the end of the campaign in Palma.
This Sunday’s fixture could play out a little differently though if recent results are anything to go by, whilst it’s likely both teams will be chasing all three points to stop the rot, making for an attacking encounter.
Whilst the majority of Granada’s home matches this term have been low scoring, three of their last four outings at Los Carmenes have produced over 2.5 goals, with the same applying to their last three La Liga games overall.
And it’s been a similar story for Mallorca in their matches of late, with all but one of their last eight La Liga games producing over 2.5 goals, including their last four on the road.
Real Sociedad vs Villarreal
Reale Arena, San Sebastian
Sunday, 05-01-2020 @4pm
Five of Real Sociedad’s last six La Liga home games have produced over 2.5 goals, with both teams scoring. Over 2.5 goals and both teams scoring has been a feature in six of Villarreal’s last seven away league matches.Real Sociedad have accrued 14 points from their eight home games this term (W4, D2 and L2), whilst Villarreal have lost six of their nine away matches.
Real Sociedad have been plagued by inconsistency for much of the season, but Txuri-urdinak assembled a decent run on the lead up Christmas to move within striking distance of the top four.
Victories against Eibar (4-1) and Osasuna (3-4) and draws against Valladolid (0-0) and Barcelona (2-2) have lifted Imanol Alguacil’s charges up to 5th in the standings, and they go into this weekend’s clash against Villarreal just a point behind 4th placed Atletico Madrid.
Sociedad were particularly impressive at the Reale Arena last time out when matching the champions and a repeat of that performance here may well be good enough to bank all three points against a Villarreal side who have largely struggled on the road this term.
Indeed, Villarreal have suffered six defeats from their nine away matches this season, but they pulled off a fantastic 1-2 win over high flying Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan when last on their travels in mid-December.
That result came in between a decent 0-0 draw at home to Atletico Madrid and a 2-1 victory over 6th placed Getafe at La Ceramica before Christmas, so it’s fair to say that Javier Calleja’s men are in equally strong form heading into Matchday 19.
They are now up to 10th where they sit six points behind this Sunday’s hosts, so a victory for El Submarino here would do much for their aspirations of qualifying for Europe this term.
Deportivo Alaves vs Real Betis
Estadio de Mendizerroza, Vitoria Gastiez
Sunday, 05-01-2020 @6pm
Alaves have scored at least once in each of their last six La Liga games at Mendizorroza, and in all but one of their last 11 league matches overall. Both teams have scored in Real Betis’ last six top flight fixtures, with Los Verdiblancos netting twice or more on four occasions. The hosts head into this contest on the back of just one win from their last five La Liga outings (W1, D1 and L3), whilst Betis have accrued ten points from their last five fixtures (W3, D1 and L1).
Real Betis’ four match unbeaten run may have ended on Matchday 18 as Atletico Madrid ran out 1-2 winners at Benito Villamarin, but it was a decent enough effort all told from Los Verdiblancos who have been flourishing in recent weeks under Rubi.
Prior to that defeat, Betis notched three La Liga victories on the spin against Valencia (2-1), Mallorca (1-2) and Athletic Bilbao (3-2), before sharing the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Espanyol at RCDE Stadium.
And the key to Betis’ upturn in form has undoubtedly been their improved efficiency in front of goal. They have played an expansive and at times risky style of football since Matchday 1 under Rubi, which often leaves them exposed at the back.
A tally of just 15 goals from their first 13 games wasn’t representative of the chances they created or enough to secure themselves points consistently, but ten goals netted in their last five outings has led to far greater reward. Los Verdiblancos will be confident this Sunday that they can hurt an Alaves defence that has shipped ten goals in their last four La Liga matches.
It’s no surprise that Alaves have yielded just a solitary point from their last four outings with such a high volume of goals conceded, and even that came against 19th placed Leganes (1-1) here on Matchday 17.
Whilst a 1-2 home defeat against 2nd placed Real Madrid at the end of November can be marked down as a fair effort all things considered, subsequent 3-0 and 4-1 drubbings away to Granada and Barcelona respectively have piled significant pressure onto the shoulders of boss Asier Garitano.
His side are now down to 15th in the table where they sit just four points clear of the relegation zone, and they desperately need something from this clash to stem the tide.
Garitano will hope that his side can maintain their decent scoring record at home having netted in their last matches at Mendizorroza, a trend which should continue against a Betis defence that have conceded in all of their last six La Liga games and in five of their last six on the road.
Celta Vigo vs Osasuna
Abanca Balaidos, Vigo
Sunday, 05-01-2020 @11pm
Seven of Celta Vigo’s nine home La Liga games this season have produced fewer than 2.5 goals, with the same applying to seven of Osasuna nine matches on the road. Celta’s 3-1 loss at Levante last time out marked their seventh defeat in ten La Liga matches. Osasuna have avoided defeat in six of their nine away La Liga games this term (W2, D4 and L3), with two of their three losses coming against Madrid giants Real and Atletico.
Celta Vigo were seeking their seventh straight victory over Levante at Ciutat de Valencia on Matchday 18, and things began promisingly for Celestes when top scorer Iago Aspas bundled in his seventh goal of the campaign 12 minutes in.
But Oscar Garcia’s ailing side fell apart in the second period, as Roger Marti hit a brace before Borja Mayoral’s stoppage time goal sealed a 3-1 success for Granotas. The result marked Celta’s sixth defeat from nine on the road this season, and a seventh defeat from their last ten La Liga matches overall.
It means Celestes are still languishing in the relegation zone going into this Matchday 19 clash against Osasuna, however, they could overhaul 17th placed Mallorca with a win over Los Rojillos here if Los Bermellones fail to beat Granada on Saturday.
Osasuna will be relatively pleased with their campaign so far after promotion from Segunda last term, and they sit fairly comfortably in 12th moving into the second half of the season.
Nonetheless, consecutive defeats against Atletico Madrid (2-0) and Real Sociedad (3-4) concluded a difficult end to 2019 for Los Rojillos, who have now won just one of their last six La Liga matches (W1, D2 and L3).
It’s important to acknowledge though that five of the six teams faced in that run are currently positioned in the top seven, so this weekend’s trip to Balaidos to face 18th placed Celta represents a significantly easier task for Jagoba Arrasate’s side, who have beaten the other two teams currently placed in the bottom three on their travels this term (0-1 vs Leganes, 2-4 vs Espanyol).