La Liga returns with a full round of fixtures this coming weekend and there are plenty of intriguing contests to look forward to. League leaders Barcelona can tighten their grip on the title when they host Athletic Bilbao, while Atletico Madrid will try to maintain the pressure at the top of the table when they travel to Villarreal. Several relegation threatened teams are also in action, so there is a lot at stake this weekend.
Deportivo v Las Palmas
A massive relegation six-pointer takes place on Saturday as 19th placed Deportivo take on the team directly above them, Las Palmas. Both teams have lost three and drawn two of their last five games, which is woeful form at this time of the season. They are now adrift of 18th placed Levante and looking doomed to relegation, but victory for either side would be a massive confidence boost. Deportivo have already beaten Las Palmas twice this season, and both of those games were on the road, so they should stand a good chance in front of their home fans. They are 81/100 with Marathon Bet to win this one.
Valencia v Alaves
The hosts are in sublime form, having taken 16 points from a possible 18 in their last six games. That has seen them consolidate a top four place in La Liga, and their 2-0 victory away at Sevilla last time out was seriously impressive. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Francis Coquelin are anchoring the midfield well, and Simone Zaza, Santi Mina and Rodrigo Moreno have been strong in front of goal. They should make short work of Alaves, who have lost 10 out of 13 games away from home this season. Bet Stars has 3/4 on Valencia to win and under 4.5 goals, which looks good, because Alaves keep things pretty tight at the back and do not score many goals.
Leganes v Sevilla
It is all or nothing for Sevilla on their travels this season as they have not drawn a single game away from home. They have won six and lost eight, as they always go for broke. Any dejection at losing to Valencia would have been banished by a superb win against Man Utd in England on Tuesday night. That should give them plenty of confidence, particularly two-goal hero Wissam Ben Yedder, and they will have five days to recuperate ahead of their trip to Leganes. The hosts have only lost four out of 13 home games this season, but Sevilla have the firepower to make it five on Sunday. They are 11/9 with Unibet and 888 Sport to secure an away win and that looks like a good bet.
Celta Vigo v Malaga
Malaga are hopeless at present and a run of seven straight defeats has left them rock bottom of the table. They are sleepwalking their way towards relegation, and Celta Vigo can secure victory without breaking much of a sweat on Sunday. Malaga do not concede too many goals, so again that home win and under 4.5 goals bet looks good, with Sky Bet offering 4/5 on this.
Villarreal v Atletico Madrid
You can get a great set of odds on Diego Simeone’s men in this game as William Hill is offering 11/10 on an away win. Atletico have won 10 of their last 11 games, and the only defeat came against unbeaten league leaders Barcelona, so they should not fear Villarreal. Atletico defend extremely well – no team in Europe’s top five leagues has conceded fewer goals than them this season – and they are strong going forwards, with Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa on song. Villarreal have only lost four out of 13 home games this season too, but Atletico have won nine of 14 on the road, giving them the second best away record in La Liga. They have a poor record against Villarreal of late, but it could be time to banish that.