Valencia vs Real Valladolid
Estadio Mestalla, Valencia
Tuesday, 07-07-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Ricardo De Burgos
Valencia’s hopes of achieving a European spot in La Liga have unravelled since the season restart and they could be frustrated again by a defensively solid Real Valladolid side at the Mestalla.
After three straight defeats without scoring against Eibar, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, Valencia finally looked on course for a win against Granada last time out, only to concede an 86th-minute equaliser to Fede Vico.
That result has left them looking more like a team on course for mid-table obscurity than vying for Europa League or Champions League football and they will not be aided by potential absences for their game with Valladolid.
Striker Rodrigo and winger Ferran Torres missed the Granada draw with knee and muscular injuries respectively and could be sidelined for the clash in Valencia.
That further weakens an attack who have drawn blanks in four of their last six contests and could struggle to find a way through Valladolid’s watertight defence.
The visitors have kept clean sheets against Celta Vigo, Levante and Alaves since La Liga returned to action, having also held European hopefuls Getafe and Sevilla to 1-1 draws and pushing Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 defeat.
They had kept Atletico out for 81 minutes in that game and it is testament to their ability to keep matches tight that each of their last six encounters have featured under 2.5 goals.
Having all but secured top-flight status for another season, Valladolid can play with more freedom and pose a threat to a Valencia side in poor form.
The hosts have claimed only one league win in their previous eight matches, and their tally of only 43 goals in 34 matches is uninspiring.
Real Valladolid have drawn four of their previous six matches. Valencia have won only two of their last 15 matches across all competitions. These sides have seen 16 1-1 draws in La Liga between them this season.
Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid
Tuesday, 07-07-2020 @11pm
Ref: Jose Sanchez
Atletico Madrid were at risk of missing out on Champions League football before the La Liga season was suspended but they have returned with a bang since the resumption.
Diego Simeone’s men have won five of their previous six league assignments, beating Osasuna, Real Valladolid, Levante, Alaves and Mallorca and drawing their other contest 2-2 with Barcelona.
That stalemate at the Camp Nou was one of only two matches Barcelona have failed to win at home in La Liga this term, emphasising that Atletico have rediscovered their form of old.
Celta Vigo have been fairly solid since the restart but fans of the Sky Blues were given a reminder of their defensive fragility in a 5-1 hammering by relegation-threatened Real Mallorca at the end of last month.
Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last 12 La Liga fixtures.
That result and the following draw with Real Betis means they have now won only two of their previous nine matches in La Liga and they should be wary of an Atletico side who are solid even on the road.
Simeone’s side have kept four clean sheets since the restart, two of which came away at difficult venues against Osasuna and Atletico Madrid, and they have shipped only 15 goals in their 17 matches on the road this season.
Their strength in depth at the back has allowed Simeone to rotate the defence frequently as the fixtures come thick and fast with Renan Lodi, Felipe, Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez, Mario Hermoso and Santiago Arias having all made at least 12 appearances this season.
While Celta Vigo could struggle to break down Atletico with none of their forwards having hit double figures in goals in all competitions this season, they should also be concerned about the range of attacking options the capital club have at their disposal.
The upcoming La Liga fixtures
-Real Betis vs Osasuna @9:30pm
-Getafe vs Villarreal @9:30pm
-Barcelona vs Espanyol @11pm
-Eibar vs Leganes @8:30pm
-Real Mallorca vs Levante @8:30pm
-Athletic Bilbao vs Sevilla @11pm
-Real Sociedad vs Granada @8:30pm
-Real Madrid vs Deportivo Alaves @11pm