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Spanish La Liga: Week 23 Preview

Our football expert previews week 23 of the Spanish La Liga kicking off on Friday the 9th of February. 

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Gameweek 22 produced plenty of excitement, but also loads of upsets. Atletico Madrid were the only side in the top six to claim a victory, reducing the gap between themselves and Barcelona to nine points, with the leaders being held to a 1-1 scoreline against Espanyol in the Catalan derby.

The race for top four is also wide open, and surprisingly, Real Madrid are not guaranteed a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League. If game week 23 is anything like last week’s action, then we can’t afford to miss out!

Friday 9 February

Athletic Bilbao 5/10 
Draw 34/10

Las Palmas 5/1

Athletic Bilbao and Las Palmas kick-start the weekend’s action at the San Mames Stadium. The hosts go in search of their first win in five games, after losing 2-0 to Girona, before drawing three times prior to that.

Las Palmas did well to grind out a much-needed win over Malaga on Monday night. They may be off the foot of the table, but if their torrid away form continues, then they’ll be stuck in the relegation zone for a long time. The visitors have lost four consecutive times on the road, failing to score in each game. Back the Home Win to Nil market at 16/10!

Saturday 10 February

Villarreal 13/20 
Draw 28/10
Alaves 17/4 

Villarreal suffered a huge setback in their quest for top four when they lost 2-1 away at Real Betis. The Yellow Submarine were on a seven-match unbeaten run, winning six times before last weekend’s defeat.

Alaves came out of the blocks firing against Celta Vigo, putting two early goals past the visitors in a game which ended 2-1. Away from home, Alaves have lost three games in a row, and will be hoping their win over Celta will give them the confidence they need. However, Villarreal have won three consecutive home matches and should come out on top here.

Malaga 6/1
Draw 28/10
Atletico Madrid 11/20 

Malaga remain rooted to the foot of the table after suffering their 15th defeat of the campaign, going down to fellow relegation strugglers, Las Palmas. They now face Atletico Madrid, who were the only side who claimed maximum points from the top six.

Atleti have suffered just one defeat this season and will do all they can to stay in the title race. The away win is a banker here.

Leganes 37/20
Draw 39/20
Eibar 17/10  

Leganes stretched their unbeaten run to three matches when they claimed a hard-fought goalless draw at Getafe. They face another uphill battle when they host an Eibar side that humbled Sevilla to an embarrassing 5-1 defeat.

The visitors have lost just once in their last nine matches, and that was against Atletico Madrid. As brilliant as Lega have been in recent weeks, I don’t see them getting much from this game. Back the travelling side at 17/10!

Real Madrid 1/4
Draw 6/1
Real Sociedad 8/1

Real Madrid suffered yet another setback when they were held to a 2-2 draw away to Levante. In the 21 games that Madrid have played, they’ve only won 11 of them. That’s just over half the amount of matches, which is simply not good enough for Zinedine Zidane and his side.

Real Sociedad ended their four-game losing streak in fine style, smashing Deportivo 5-0 last Friday. It’s never a certain bet backing Real Madrid these days. For that reason, back them on the Win/Draw Double Chance & Both Teams to Score at 11/20.

Sunday 11 February

Sevilla 6/10
Draw 3/1 
Girona 9/2 

Sevilla’s poor form continued as they were on the receiving end of a 5-1 demolition away to Eibar. Their sixth spot is up for grabs, and with the UEFA Champions League also still to fight for, Sevilla could be in trouble. Girona recorded another emphatic victory to stretch their unbeaten run to four matches. They’re now eighth on the standings and a win here could take them above their opponents into sixth place. I’m backing Girona on the Win/Draw & Both Teams to Score market at 24/10.

Barcelona 1/8
Draw 15/2
Getafe 17/1 

Barcelona were held to just their fourth draw of the campaign, snatching a 1-1 stalemate in the Catalan derby against Espanyol. The hosts’ lead at the top was trimmed to nine points, but that gap will surely be enough to guide them to lift the trophy come end of the season.

Getafe drew their third consecutive game in La Liga, and stretched their unbeaten streak to four matches. The visitors will be looking to get back into the top half of the table, but are tipped to struggle against the soon-to-be champions of Spain. Barcelona to Score In Both Halves is tipped at 9/20.

Celta Vigo 9/10  
Draw 49/20
Espanyol 31/10

Celta Vigo’s impressive winning streak ended as they were beaten 2-1 to a relegation-fighting Alaves. They’ll surely fancy their chances against an Espanyol side who have struggled in recent times, failing to win in four matches.

The visitors did, however, secure a point against Barcelona – a feat that only three other sides in the league have achieved. Despite their best efforts last game, I’m expecting Espanyol to battle to get back to winning ways here. The home win is tipped.

Valencia 9/20
Draw 36/10
Levante 11/2

Valencia suffered their third consecutive defeat in the league, this time to title-chasing Atletico Madrid. From the first whistle to the last, Valencia were completely outplayed and had not one shot on target. With just one team from the top six winning, the Bats threw away the perfect opportunity to gain extra ground.

Levante produced one of the shock results of the weekend, holding Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw. The visitors are winless in 10 league matches, with five wins and five draws. For value, back Valencia on the (-1) Handicap at 11/10 and hope they’re back to their best this weekend.

Monday 12 February

Deportivo 13/10
Draw 26/10
Real Betis 19/10 

Deportivo will be pushing to climb out the relegation zone when they host Real Betis on Monday night. They were hammered 5-0 by Real Sociedad last weekend to extend their winless run to seven league matches.

Real Betis moved into the top half of the table when they grinded out a 2-1 win over 10-men Villarreal last Saturday. Betis have won two of their last three games on the road, and with Deportivo struggling for form at the moment, the visitors could walk away the happier side. Get on the away win at 19/10!

QUAD @ 13/1

  • Athletic Bilbao Win to Nil 16/10
  • Villarreal Win 13/20
  • Atletico Madrid Win 11/20
  • Valencia (-1) Handicap 11/10

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