Luis Suarez left it very late, but he scored his ninth goal of the season in injury-time to give Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win at Alaves and send them back to the top of La Liga. Atletico are now two points clear of Real Madrid with two games in hand.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Elsewhere, Huesca remain at the foot of the table with just 12 points from 17 matches and the biggest shock so far sees Valencia occupy the 18th spot with just 15 points from 16 games.
Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore
Friday 8 January
Celta Vigo 39/20
Eighth-placed Celta Vigo will welcome an in-form Villarreal side to the Abanca Balaidos on Friday night to kick-off the weekend matches. Only six points separate these two sides between eighth and fourth. Last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to champions Real Madrid was Celta Vigo’s first loss in seven matches. Villarreal are in good form this season having lost twice in 17 matches while collecting 29 points, which leaves them in the UEFA Champions League qualification zone. These teams scored against each other in four of the last five meetings. Both teams are in good form so ‘Both Teams to Score’ seems a certainty here at 15/20.
Saturday 9 January
Real Sociedad 26/10
Sevilla and Real Sociedad will do battle at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez as both sides will be looking to return to winning ways after playing 1-1 draws last weekend against Real Betis and Osasuna respectively. The hosts are unbeaten in the last eight matches across all competitions, while Sociedad have only won once in their last 10 matches. The Sevillistas are also unbeaten against the visitors in the last five La Liga meetings, winning three and drawing two. Most importantly, a win here will see Sevilla move to third on the log. Back the Europa League champions to win this match.
Atletico Madrid 11/20
Athletic Bilbao 6/1
Atletico Madrid are now two points clear of Real Madrid with two games in hand – Diego Simeone’s side are on course for the title and Luiz Suarez is on course for 20+ goals. Atletico top the standings with 38 points while Suarez has been prolific, bagging nine goals. Simeone’s men, for me, are the favourites to win the title this season and if they win their two games in hand, they will be eight points clear. Madrid have only conceded six goals this season while scoring 29 goals. Atletico Madrid are looking for their fifth win in a row and I can’t see Bilbao stopping them, so, back the hosts and include them in everything.
Struggling Barcelona are in for another tough test as they travel to Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes to face a Granada side that is two points behind them. The hosts will be confident ahead of this fixture and they know how to beat Barcelona after winning 2-0 in this fixture last season. After struggling for most part of the season, Barca seem to be slowly finding their feet as they are unbeaten in the last six La Liga matches, winning four and drawing two. Back Barcelona to Win and Both Teams to Score at 24/10.
Real Madrid 5/10
Real Madrid are unbeaten in the last seven matches, winning six and drawing the other. Los Blancos are the only strong challengers to log leaders Atletico Madrid. Madrid can’t afford to drop anymore points as they are already two points behind Atleti who also have two games in hand. Osasuna are winless in their last 10 La Liga matches and their position on the table is justifiable. The hosts are just two points clear of Huesca at the foot of the table. Back Real Madrid to win on the (-1) Handicap at 12/10.
Sunday 10 January
Only one point separates the two sides in the bottom half of the table. The sides have identical form coming into this game with both teams recording four wins and six loses. Because Eibar have played a game more, they have seven draws while Levante have six. This game is written draw all over it and to top it up, these sides have shared the spoils in three of their last four meetings. As the form suggests, back these sides to cancel each other out.
Deportivo Alaves 19/10
After beating Barcelona in December, Cadiz got complacent and went on to lose three of their next four fixtures while drawing the other. Alaves were unlucky to be on a losing end last weekend against Atletico Madrid who scored in added time. This will be the first time these sides face each other in top flight and it will be an interesting match as both teams are fearless and play attacking football. I’m expecting this to be an end-to-end match with both teams finding the back of the net at 12/10.
Elche and Getafe will square off at the Estadio Martinez Valero as they battle to move away from the relegation zone. A win here will see both sides kick away from 18th-placed Valencia while a defeat could possibly take them into the red zone by next weekend. Getafe occupy 16th spot while Elche sit at 17th with only one point separating these two sides. Both teams are not interesting to watch so back Under 2.5 Goals at 4/10.
Real Valladolid 29/20
Another low-key affair is upon us this Sunday as Valladolid take on Valencia. Both teams are looking to move away from the bottom end of the table. Since setting the Mestalla on fire with the 4-1 battering of Real Madrid in November, Los Che have failed to win in seven league matches, this includes four draws and three losses. The hosts have won twice, drawn twice and lost once in the last five matches and the defeat was against Barcelona. In the last nine matches, Valladolid have won four and drawn three – making up some ground for the poor start where they failed to win in the first eight matches. Back Real Valladolid to win at a valuable 29/20.
Monday 30 November
Real Betis 31/20
Huesca are undoubtedly the worst team in La Liga after recording just 12 points from 17 matches, winning just one game in the process. Huesca are the drawing kings of La Liga after sharing the spoils in nine of their matches. Real Betis are one of the most inconsistent teams in the division, having won six, drawn two and lost nine. Back these sides to cancel each other out.
DOUBLE @ 64/10
Barcelona Win & BTTS 24/10
Real Madrid (-1) Handicap 12/10
Written by Banele Pikwa