Eibar vs Athletic Bilbao
Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Eibar
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Eduardo Prieto
Eibar marked their return to La Liga action with a 3-1 loss away at Real Madrid, making it three defeats in a row either side of the three-month coronavirus-enforced break.
Los Armeros were outclassed in the first half and found themselves three goals down at the interval, but Madrid were guilty of taking their eye off the ball in the second period. Pedro Bigas scored a deserved goal after being brought off the bench, though that proved to be nothing more than a consolation for Eibar at the Estadi Alfredo Di Stefano.
The loss to Madrid followed successive 2-1 defeats to Mallorca and Real Sociedad, with Eibar now well and truly in the relegation dog fight.
Points are desperately needed if they are to climb from their current standing of 16th, and Wednesday’s clash presents a real opportunity to stop the rot.
Athletic played out a respectable 1-1 draw with stalemate specialists Atletico Madrid at the weekend – Diego Costa cancelling Iker Muniain’s opener almost instantly.
Gaizka Garitano’s men are exactly midway in the table, eight points off Atletico in the final Europa League qualifying spot.
Finishing in the top six cannot be entirely ruled out with 10 games to go, but Athletic’s focus may already be on their Copa del Rey final showdown with Sociedad.
That is something Eibar will be looking to capitalise on, and they will also be aware of their neighbours’ poor recent away league record against fellow Basque sides, losing five and drawing two of their last seven such encounters.
Los Armeros have lost their last two home league matches, however, both by a 2-1 margin, following a four-match unbeaten run between December and February.
With Valencia, Leganes, Osasuna and Real Valladolid all still to come at Ipurua, Jose Luis Mendilibar’s hopes of keeping his side above the dotted line may well rest on their home form.
Real Valladolid vs Celta Vigo
Estadio Municipal Jose Zorilla, Valladolid
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Jesus Gil
Valladolid could not have restarted their La Liga campaign in better fashion as they picked up a vital three points over a relegation-threatened Leganes side on Saturday.
That result leaves Sergio’s men 14th in the table on 32 points – seven clear of the relegation zone as they look to secure a third consecutive season in Spain’s top flight.
Valladolid’s home form is a cause for concern for Sergio, however, as the White and Violets have only won one of their last eight matches on familiar territory – their last game at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla ending in a 4-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao.
Meanwhile, Celta’s five-game unbeaten run in La Liga came to an end on Saturday as they succumbed to a late Manu Trigueros winner against Villarreal at the Estadio de Balaidos.
Oscar Garcia’s side had won two and drawn three of their most recent La Liga matches before play was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that defeat against the Yellow Submarine means that Celta remain just one point clear of the relegation zone on 26 points.
Furthermore, Celta’s failure to score against Villarreal means they have now gone three games without finding the back of the net, and their record of 22 goals this season is the joint-lowest in the league.
Garcia’s side have managed to keep clean sheets in successive away matches against Granada and Getafe, but the Sky Blues have only managed one away win during the 2019-20 campaign – a 3-1 victory over Villarreal in November.
There is no denying that Celta are in a perilous position as the battle to avoid the drop gathers pace, but Garcia’s men can move above Eibar with a victory should the Gunsmiths do the same to Athletic the same evening.
Osasuna vs Atletico Madrid
Estadio El Sadar, Irunea
Wednesday, 17-06-2020 @11pm
Ref: Ricardo De Burgos
A struggle for fourth hasn’t really been the height of Atletico Madrid’s ambitions under Diego Simeone, but it’s what they are pushing for this week.
The club head to Osasuna on Wednesday sitting in sixth place, far below their lofty pre-season title hopes.
With Atletico eying up August’s Champions League as a chance to finally lift Europe’s biggest prize, the pressure on them is growing. It might not be long before they have to lift the European Cup just to feature alongside the continent’s elite next term. Can they shake their dodgy away record to claim three points here?
Atletico’s issues come from their lack of defensive resolve. Their campaigns had previously been impressively unspectacular, with a rigid setup keeping them in the mix for major honours.
They still have quality at the back, but they aren’t a complete unit. Jan Oblak has conceded at least one goal in each of his last five LaLiga games and is heading towards his worst run with Atletico.
Atletico have conceded in 71% of their away games this term, while they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in six on their travels in La Liga. With only one clean sheet in their last 10 matches away from home, we don’t have a huge amount of faith in the visitors’ defence.
The other Spanish La Liga match-day 28 fixtures and results
-Alaves vs Sociedad @8:30pm
-Real Madrid vs Valencia @11pm
-Betis 2-2 Granada
-Levante 1-1 Sevilla
-Getafe 0-0 Espanyol
-Villarreal 1-0 Mallorca
-Barcelona 2-0 Leganes