Eibar vs Real Mallorca
Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Eiber
Saturday, 07-03-2020 @3pm
Poor away results (W1, D5 and L7) have kept Eibar hovering over the relegation zone for the majority of the campaign, but Los Armeros are now on the verge of breaking clear of trouble following a fine run of three wins and a draw from their last four matches at Ipurua.
A double salvo from Brazilian veteran Charles spearheaded a comprehensive 3-0 success against Levante last Saturday, building upon recent wins and clean sheets against Granada (3-0) and Atletico Madrid (2-0).
The result opened up a five point gap between Eibar and the bottom three after 18th placed Mallorca lost at home to Getafe, so Los Armeros can effectively guarantee their safety when they square off against Los Bermellones here on Matchday 27.
Another win for Eibar will put them eight points clear of the Balearic Islanders with a game in hand, however a victory for Mallorca will close the gap to just two points. The latter scenario looks unlikely though, based on Eibar’s recent form at home and Mallorca’s ongoing problems on the road.
Mallorca picked up a decent point in a 3-3 thriller at Real Betis when last on their travels a fortnight ago, but their overall away record this term makes for miserable reading.
Their struggles on the mainland have not surprised considering they lost a glut of away games in Segunda last season, but Los Bermellones would have surely hoped for a better return than the two draws and ten defeats that they have posted from a dozen outings outside of Palma thus far.
It’s been evident for a long time now that Mallorca’s survival chances seemingly rest on their ability to pick up results at home, however the points have also started to dry up for Vicente Moreno’s side at Son Moix, with four defeats suffered in their last six.
Mallorca will take heart from their 2-1 victory against Eibar in August’s reverse fixture going into this Saturday’s contest, but everything points to a different outcome this time around unless Mallorca can build upon their performance against Real Betis at Benito Villamarin on Matchday 25.
A win here for Eibar will take them eight points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand. Los Armeros have been in tremendous form at home recently, winning three and drawing one of their last four outings at Ipurua including a 3-0 success over Levante last week.
Mallorca possess the worst away record in La Liga this season, with just two points gained from their 12 matches on the road so far.
Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla
Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Just two points separate third placed Sevilla and fifth placed Atletico Madrid going into this Matchday 27 contest. Atleti have won four and drawn one of their last five La Liga fixtures at Wanda Metropolitano. Sevilla have lost two of their last three La Liga outings on the road. Atleti are unbeaten in their last ten La Liga home games against Sevilla, winning five and drawing five.
While the ding-dong battle for the La Liga title between El Clasico rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid is clearly the dominant feature in Spain this season, the race for the remaining Champions League places is proving equally fascinating.
Five teams are in contention to complete the top four, and it was all change again last weekend as Sevilla moved up to third following a tenacious 3-2 victory at home to Osasuna, while Atletico Madrid dropped to fifth after only managing a 1-1 draw away to bottom side Espanyol.
So there’s a huge three points up for grabs at Wanda Metropolitano this Saturday, in arguably the standout fixture on Matchday 27. A win for Atleti will propel them back into third and knock Getafe out of the top four, while victory for Sevilla will see them solidify their current position and open up a sizeable five point gap between themselves and Los Colchoneros.
There’s still a lot of football to be played this season with 12 rounds of the La Liga campaign remaining, but the pressure will be firmly on Atletico Madrid this weekend now that they find themselves chasing.
While it would be an exaggeration to label this a ‘must win’ affair for Los Colchoneros, they desperately need to come out on top in what is effectively a six-pointer in the race for Champions League football.
Their season has been rather in-and-out overall, however Atleti have held their form well at Wanda Metropolitano. They have lost just one of their 13 top flight home games this term, winning eight, and they head into this Saturday’s clash on the back of four wins and a draw from their last five outings in front of their own supporters.
Sevilla appear to be back on good terms with themselves following back to back league wins against Getafe (0-3) and Osasuna (3-2), though they have lost two of their last three on the road and have suffered four defeats in total this season from their 13 away outings.
Atleti’s consistently strong home form and Sevilla’s inconsistency on the road is the reason why the hosts are a shade of odds-on to prevail this weekend, and history also suggests that a victory for the visitors is unlikely. Los Palanganas haven’t won a La Liga game against Los Colchoneros in the capital since 2008, drawing five and losing five of their ten trips in that spell.
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad
Estadio Camp Nou, Barcelona
Saturday, 07-03-2020 @8:30pm
Barcelona are unbeaten in their last 25 home La Liga matches, winning 23 and drawing two. The Catalan giants have recorded 23 consecutive home victories against Real Sociedad. Txuri-urdinak last avoided defeat at Camp Nou in the 1994/95 season. While Real Sociedad have racked up nine wins from their last ten games in all competitions, they have lost their last two away fixtures in La Liga and five from 12 on the road this term.
Both teams have scored in six of the last seven meetings between the sides.
Goals from Vincius Junior and Mariano Diaz condemned Barcelona to their fifth defeat of the domestic campaign in last weekend’s El Clasico, leaving the champions playing catch-up once again in their quest to land a third consecutive La Liga title.
Much like December’s reverse fixture at Camp Nou (0-0), it was an even contest at the Bernabeu until around the hour mark, before Los Blancos noticeably stepped things up. Barca couldn’t muster a response, and Madrid have now forged into a slender one point lead at the top of the table.
Barca’s away form will be blamed should they lose out to their great rivals come the end of the season, with all five of their defeats this term handed out on the road. And the fact that Barcelona have lost five games supports the notion that the Catalan giants are past their peak, following just four losses suffered in the last two league campaigns.
Nonetheless, Barca have maintained their form tremendously at Camp Nou. They have won 12 and drawn one of their 13 home matches this term and are now unbeaten in 25 home La Liga games, winning 23.
So it’s nigh on impossible to oppose Quique Setien’s side against Sociedad this weekend, despite their El Clasico disappointment on Matchday 26.
After notching nine wins from their last ten matches in all competitions, Real Sociedad are in great shape ahead of their trip to Catalonia this weekend and will be in celebratory mood after reaching the Copa Del Rey Final in midweek at the expense of Mirandes.
Mikel Oyarzabal netted a decisive penalty in Burgos to cement a 3-1 aggregate victory for Txuri-urdinak, who could potentially face main adversaries Athletic Bilbao in next month’s showpiece in Seville.
Three straight La Liga victories have also put Imanol Alguacil’s charges on the cusp of the top four, although it’s important to note that each of those successes have arrived in San Sebastian.
Despite their excellent overall recent form, Sociedad have actually lost their last two La Liga away games against Real Betis (3-0) and Leganes (2-1); while they have suffered five defeats in total on the road this season from 12 outings.
Furthermore, Sociedad possess a woeful record in terms of their previous visits to Camp Nou. They last earned a point away to Barca in the 1994/95 and have since lost on their last 23 trips to this venue.
Getafe vs Celta Vigo
Colisium Alfonso Perez, Getafe
Saturday, 07-03-2020 @11pm
Fourth placed Getafe have won six of their last nine home league fixtures, and five of their last seven La Liga matches overall. Celta Vigo have won just one of their 13 away games this term, losing seven. That sole victory came against Villarreal in November (1-3) and is also their only win in their last 25 top flight matches on the road. Getafe are unbeaten in the last five league meetings between the sides, winning three, including a 0-1 triumph at Balaidos in November’s reverse fixture.
Getafe’s fine recent aggregate success against Ajax in the Europa League appeared to come at a cost with consecutive La Liga defeats suffered against Barcelona (2-1) and Sevilla (0-3), but Pepe Bordalas’ Champions League chasers got themselves back on track domestically last weekend with a gritty 0-1 victory at Mallorca.
Nemanja Maksimovic was the hero as Getafe negotiated what was unsurprisingly a stern examination at Son Moix; the result bumping the Madrilenians up to fourth following Atletico Madrid’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Espanyol.
Getafe take on relegation threatened opposition once again this Saturday in the shape of Celta Vigo, a contest which they have to win to guarantee their spot in the top four for at least another week.
The recent 0-3 mauling against Sevilla will probably still be weighing on the minds of the hosts as they turn out at the Coliseum for the first time since that humiliating loss, however Getafe have largely been strong in their own backyard this season. They have only been bested by the three teams above them and had won six from their last eight prior to be turned over by Los Palanganas.
It took a while for Oscar Garcia to steady the ship at Celta, but the club are now edging their way towards safety after just one defeat in eight (W2, D5 and L1).
Celestes ground out another positive result last weekend as they held a Granada team who thrive at home to a 0-0 stalemate at Los Carmenes; the draw inching Garcia’s side three points clear of 18th placed Mallorca following their aforementioned loss to Getafe.
Celta have now amassed eight points from their last four La Liga outings after victories against Sevilla (2-1) and Leganes (1-0) either side of a 2-2 draw at Real Madrid, a superb run makes it difficult to oppose the visitors with too much confidence this Saturday evening.
Nonetheless, Getafe still rate as a much strong outfit based on everything we’ve seen this term, and the Madrilenians have won three out of the last four meetings between the sides including a 0-1 success at Balaidos in November’s reverse fixture.
Fixtures Sunday, 08-03-2020
-Osasuna vs Espanyol @2pm
-Real Valladolid vs Athletic Bilbao @4pm
-Levante vs Granada @6pm
-Villarreal vs Leganes @8:30pm
-Real Betis vs Real Madrid @11pm
-Deportivo Alaves 1-1 Valencia