Levante vs Leganes
Estadio Cuidad de Valencia, Valencia
Saturday, 08-02-2020 @3pm
Ref: Jose Gonzalez
Following last week’s 2-1 home win against Real Sociedad, Leganes have now lost just one of their last seven La Liga games (W3, D3 and L1). However, Los Pepineros remain winless on the road this season after five draws and five defeats from ten away fixtures. Levante head into this Matchday 23 contest on the back of four straight league defeats, after last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Levante only lost by a 2-1 scoreline against Barcelona at Camp Nou last weekend, but it was a result that arguably flattered Paco Lopez’ side. The champions took their foot off the gas somewhat following Ansu Fati’s 90 second double salvo in the first half, and Granotas eventually managed to reduce their arrears in stoppage time after crafting a handful of opportunities.
Nevertheless, it was certainly an improved showing from Levante after defeats to nil against Osasuna (2-0) and Alaves (0-1), and their four match losing run reads less worryingly when you consider that it’s been book-ended by narrow away reversals against Barca and Atletico Madrid (2-1).
But with difficult matches upcoming against in-form Villarreal and league leaders Real Madrid, Levante seriously need to get their act together this Saturday when they entertain 18th placed Leganes.
Granotas still look relatively safe in 13th where they sit eight points clear of the bottom three, but that picture could soon change over the next few weeks.
Anything from those games against Villarreal and Real Madrid would be considered a bonus, so the host’s will feel like they have to bag three points from this Matchday 23 encounter to stop the rot.
On the face of it, Levante should fancy their chances this weekend against relegation threatened Lega, who haven’t won on the road this season in ten outings (D5, L5).
However, recent form undoubtedly suggests that the visitors will be hard to beat here, after losing just one of their last seven top flight matches. Last weekend’s superb 2-1 success over Real Sociedad at Butarque backed up a fine 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano the week prior, and Los Pepineros have now hauled themselves level with 17th placed Mallorca.
Lega’s turnaround over the last couple of months cannot be underestimated, and boss Javier Aguirre is getting a serious tune out of his squad, who look more than capable of easing themselves to safety in the coming weeks.
And despite still seeking their first away win of the campaign, it’s important to note that Lega have lost just one of their last five outings on the road – a narrow 1-0 defeat to fourth placed Sevilla in early December
Getafe vs Valencia
Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe
Saturday, 08-02-2020 @6pm
Ref: Ricardo De Burgos
Getafe posted their third consecutive La Liga win and clean sheet last weekend, when beating Athletic Bilbao 0-2 at San Mames. Pepe Bordalas’ side have lost just two of their last 16 home league games, winning five of their last seven.
Valencia have a poor away record this term with three wins, two draws and five defeats from ten, including a 4-1 thumping at the hands of 17th placed Mallorca when last on their travels three weeks ago.
Athletic Bilbao had suffered just one defeat from their last 24 home matches prior to last weekend, but Getafe made light of that statistic as they ran out impressive 0-2 winners at San Mames.
After taking control ten minutes before the break thanks to a rasping shot from Damian Suarez, Jaime Mata sealed the deal via the penalty spot early in the second period to land Getafe’s third straight victory and clean sheet in La Liga.
The result moved the Madrilenians into third ahead of Sevilla after Los Palanganas failed to beat Alaves at home, and Pepe Bordalas’ side look in great shape as they seek to better last season’s fifth place finish and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Getafe face another test this Saturday against a Valencia side who have worked their way up to fifth in recent weeks, and a defeat here to Los Che would see them usurped by their opponents in the top four.
But based on current form and five wins from their last seven at home, Getafe will be confident that they can extend their winning streak to four matches at the expense of Albert Celades’ side.
And Getafe’s own form isn’t the only reason why a home win appears most likely this weekend. Valencia have beaten Barcelona (2-0) and Celta Vigo (1-0) at Mestalla in their last two league outings to propel themselves to within touching distance of the top four, however they still have major questions to answer in terms of their away form.
Los Che have lost five of their ten away matches in La Liga this season, including a dismal 4-1 beating against Mallorca at Son Moix three weeks ago. It was as though they never travelled at all to Saudi Arabia when losing 1-3 to Real Madrid in the Supercopa last month, and they head into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a 2-1 away defeat to Granada in the Copa Del Rey.
Los Che snatched a 0-1 win when the sides met at Coliseum Alfonso Perez in the league last term, but a repeat looks highly unlikely this time around, based on the majority of what we’ve seen from Valencia outside of Mestalla this season.
Valladolid vs Villarreal
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, Valladolid
Saturday, 08-02-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Alejandro Hernandez
Villarreal go into this Saturday’s fixture at Jose Zorrilla having won five of their last six in La Liga, including their last three games on the road. Valladolid’s 0-1 success at Mallorca last weekend was their first win in ten La Liga matches.
Pucela have failed to win any of their last five at home, however they have only been beaten twice in ten outings at Jose Zorrilla this season (W2, D6 and L2). Those defeats were narrow 0-1 reversals against fourth placed Sevilla and leaders Real Madrid.
Villarreal are top of the La Liga form standings after five wins from their last six, and Javier Calleja’s side will be gunning to make up further ground on the top four this Saturday when they take on Valladolid at Jose Zorrilla.
Following a 14th place finish last term, El Submarino Amarillo looked set for another disappointing campaign this time around after slumping to four defeats from five in October and November, but a battling 0-0 draw at home to Atletico Madrid on Matchday 16 marked the start of a major turnaround for El Submarino Amarillo.
Villarreal have since posted victories against Sevilla (1-2), Getafe (1-0), Real Sociedad (2-1) and Alaves (1-2) to make giant strides up the a Liga table, and they moved up to 7th last weekend with a comfortable 3-1 home win against Osasuna at La Ceramica, thanks to goals from Paco Alcacer, Ruben Pena and Santi Cazorla.
Calleja’s side are now just five points adrift of the top four, and they have a real chance to cut that gap further over the next fortnight. They square off here against a Valladolid side that have won just one of their last ten La Liga matches, before welcoming struggling Levante to La Ceramica on Matchday 24.
The important thing for Valladolid heading into this Saturday’s game is that they gained their sole win in ten last week, as Enes Unal’s fourth goal of the campaign proved enough to see off Mallorca in a relegation six-pointer at Son Moix.
After such a lengthy winless run, the result will have undoubtedly restored a degree of confidence in Pucela’s ranks and eased their relegation concerns, with seven points now separating themselves from the drop zone.
Valladolid have only been beaten twice in ten outings at Jose Zorrilla this season (W2, D6 and L2) which is why the in-form visitors are only lukewarm favourites here at around the 11/8 mark, despite winning their last three La Liga matches on the road.
And Valladolid’s home defeats were narrow 0-1 reversals against fourth placed Sevilla and leaders Real Madrid, emphasising just how difficult Sergio’s side are to break down in their own backyard.
Atletico Madrid vs Granada
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Saturday, 08-02-2020 @11pm
Ref: Cesar Soto
Atletico Madrid have lost just one of their 11 home league games this season (W6, D4 and L1), keeping six clean sheets. Despite their poor recent run of form, Los Colchoneros have still won four of their last six league matches at Wanda, keeping clean sheets in three of those games. Granada have lost their last seven La Liga matches on the road, failing to score in each of their last five away outings.
As is usually the case between cross-city rivals Real and Atleti, there was little to choose between the two sides in last weekend’s Madrid derby at Santiago Bernabeu, but it was Los Blancos who ultimately emerged victorious after Karim Benzema buried Ferland Mendy’s pinpoint cross ten minutes into the second half.
It marked another frustrating night for Atleti who lost the Supercopa De Espana Final against their main adversaries just last month, and they have since failed to win in La Liga following a 2-0 defeat at Eibar and a 0-0 stalemate at home to Leganes.
It’s simply not good enough for Atleti to be 13 points behind the leaders and effectively beaten out of sight in the title race with 15 games left to play, but Los Colchoneros have only got themselves to blame for coming up short.
They have persistently struggled to score goals and make their dominance count, particularly on the road where they have won just three from 11, netting only eight goals in total.
Nevertheless, it’s probably important for punters not to overreact in the context of this Saturday’s clash at home to Granada. Atleti have still won four from their last six at Wanda and have lost just once at home in La Liga this season, so Diego Simeone’s side are rightful odds-on favourites to land the spoils here on Matchday 23.
And this certainly looks like the ideal fixture for Atleti to rediscover the winning thread. Granada have won their last three matches in all competitions, including a 2-1 Copa Del Rey success over holders Valencia at Los Carmenes in midweek, however their away form has been atrocious throughout the past few months.
Granted, Nazaries have had to endure a mightily tough run of fixtures on the road, with games against the current top five played since October. But they have now lost seven straight matches on their travels following a 2-0 defeat at Sevilla a fortnight ago – the fifth consecutive away game in which Diego Martinez’ charges have failed to score.
That doesn’t bode well for Granada here considering that Atleti have kept clean sheets in six of their 11 home matches this season, and the hosts have conceded just half a dozen goals in total at Wanda.
-Espanyol vs Mallorca @2pm
-Sociedad vs Bilbao @4pm
-Osasuna vs Real Madrid @6pm
-Celta Vigo vs Sevilla @8:30pm
-Real Betis vs Barcelona @11pm
-Alaves 2-0 Eibar