After a weekend out of action, due to the international fixtures, the Spanish La Liga returns and in some style. The main focus of interest will be Real Madrid and Barcelona’s Clasico meeting that will heavily influence the stretch run toward the La Liga title. Los Blancos will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at Sevilla last time out, while the Catalans are on a run of seven games without defeat. With points to be dropped in the Clasico, Atletico Madrid will be going all out for victory against Real Betis. There are some cracking matches in store and lots of money to be made. Let’s get to it.
SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER
Real Sociedad 17/10
Real Sociedad were beaten 2-0 by Las Palmas before the international break and the club have opted to sack head coach David Moyes. La Real have named Eusebio Sacristan as their new head coach and the Spaniard will be hoping to make an instant impact. La Real have won just two of their first 11 games of the campaign and are currently languishing in the relegation zone. Sevilla have lost just once in their last six matches with four victories including wins against Barcelona and Real Madrid. Los Rojiblancos have won two of their last three meetings against La Real. Take the away win at 16/10.
Real Madrid 29/20
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Espanyol went down 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao last time out, but showed good character and fighting spirit within the team, something that manager Sergio Gonzalez will be hoping can translate into more positive results. Espanyol will be relying on Felipe Caicedo to supply the goals once again. The Ecuadorian has scored four goals this season and will look to rattle Malaga’s defence. The Anchovies are yet to win a match on the road with four defeats from five games. Back the home win at 27/20.
Las Palmas 21/4
Valencia will come into this matchup high on confidence following their astonishing victory over high-flying Celta Vigo before the international break. Paco Alcacer and Dani Parejo both hit doubles in a surprise 5-1 away thrashing. Valencia will now return to the Mestalla Stadium where they remain unbeaten with three straight wins against Granada, Malaga and Levante. Their opponents Las Palmas are yet to win a match on the road with four defeats from five games. Valencia have won all four of their meetings against the newly-promoted side. The home win is a banker bet.
Celta Vigo 13/10
Celta Vigo will be desperate to bounce back from their humiliating defeat at home to Valencia and will look to their superb away form for encouragement. Celta are unbeaten on the road this season with four wins from five games including two on the spin. Nolito has been key to Celta’s spectacular form this season and is reportedly attracting interest from Barcelona. The Spain international has scored seven goals with four assists from 11 games and he will be the driving force in Celta’s attack. Deportivo are without a win in their last five games and have recorded just one win at home this season. Celta Vigo are tipped to oust their opponents at 41/20.
SUNDAY 22 NOVEMBER
Sporting Gijon 11/10
Sporting Gijon will be aiming to return to winning ways when they host relegation-threatened Levante this weekend. The newly-promoted side looked set to earn a point against Atletico Madrid last time out, but Antoine Griezmann scored in stoppage-time to hand Atleti a 1-0 victory. As painful as letting in a last-gasp goal will have been, Abelardo Fernandez can be proud of what his team managed at the Vicente Calderon. Atletico are formidable at home, but Sporting matched them blow for blow, nearly taking a hard-earned point back to Asturias. Levante are yet to win a match away from home this season with four defeats having scored just once and conceding 13 times. The home win looks a solid bet at 11/10.
Villarreal have had a dip in form in recent weeks having won just once in their last five matches. The Yellow Submarine will be happy to return to their home stadium where they’ve won four of their five games including notable wins against Atletico Madrid and Sevilla. Their opponents Eibar are just a point behind them in 6th place and come into this match with two wins on the bounce. Eibar have lost just once on the road this season and that was against La Liga champions Barcelona. The Basque side are tipped to earn a commendable draw at 3/1.
Athletic Bilbao 21/20
Athletic Bilbao are unbeaten in their last six games with four wins including three on the trot. The Lions have finally found their rhythm after a poor start to the campaign and will look to extend their superb run of form. Granada have won just once this season and have suffered six defeats from 11 games. The Nazaries are yet to win a match at home and could struggle to contain Aritz Aduriz, who has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for the Basques this season. I’m backing the away win at 21/20.
Real Betis 19/4
Atletico Madrid 6/10
Antoine Griezmann had Diego Simeone jumping for joy as he headed in a stoppage-time winner to hand Atletico a 1-0 victory over Sporting Gijon. Atleti were far from convincing, but nonetheless will be happy with the result that saw them jump to third place on the table- just a point behind local rivals Real Madrid. Atleti are unbeaten in their last five games with three wins and will be desperate to claim maximum points here with the El Clasico taking place this weekend. Real Betis have lost their last three home games and their record against Atleti does not bode well for their chances. Rojiblancos are unbeaten in their last eight meetings against Betis with six wins including four on the trot. The away win looks a certainty at 6/10.
MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER
Rayo Vallecano 2/1
Getafe suffered a 3-1 loss at Eibar before the international break, their third straight defeat. Fran Escriba’s side will be desperate to secure maximum points against Rayo Vallecano and will look to their home form as encouragement. Getafe have won three of their last four home games with one defeat against La Liga champions Barcelona. The Vallecans have won two on the spin against Espanyol and Granada. However, they’ve lost their last three away games. Getafe have won seven of their last eight meetings against Rayo Vallecano. The home win is the way to go at 14/10.