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Spanish La Liga: Week 27 Preview

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Banele Pikwa shares his tips and picks for week 27 of the 2018/19 Spanish La Liga season. 

It was a big week for Ernesto Valverde and his Barcelona team after beating their great rivals Real Madrid twice in one week. Croatia international Ivan Rakitic struck the only goal of the game which saw his side move to a staggering seven points clear at the top of the standings.

New boy Alvaro Morata strike twice in three minutes to keep Atletico Madrid in the title race as they beat Real Sociedad 2-0 away from home. We have a new team in the top four after Getafe won a tight and tense match 2-1 at Real Betis last Saturday, while Sevilla were beaten by rock-bottom Huesca by the same scoreline.

This year’s Spanish La Liga edition is turning out to be one of the best we have had. The battle at the top between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for the title, the race between yesteryear’s stalwarts Sevilla and Valencia for Europa League qualification, the emergence of new powers in the block, like Alaves who are fifth on the log and Getafe who occupy the fourth position all hope for Champions League football next season. All in all, the competition is doing justice to its tag of being one of the best leagues in the world.

Friday 8 March

Athletic Bilbao 1/1 
Draw 22/10 
Espanyol 31/10 
After going down 2-0 to Copa del Rey finalists Valencia last Saturday, Athletic Bilbao return to San Mames where they have enjoyed a good run in recent weeks, conceding just one goal in the last five and winning three – including a clean sheet against free-scoring Barcelona. Espanyol have one of the worst away records this season, winning just one game from the 13 matches played on the road. The visitors have struggled with consistency after starting the campaign on a high. Gaizka Garitano is well aware that this is an important affair in regards to qualifying for the Europe League as he is seven points off the pace. Get on the hosts to continue their amazing form under Garitano.

Saturday 9 March

Espanyol 15/20
Draw 26/10 
Real Valladolid 36/10
Espanyol are going to face Rayo Valladolid in the 26th round of La Liga in Saturday’s early kick-off. The hosts are positioned in the middle of the table and after a decent start of the season, they looked like a team that will contest for Europa League finish. However, they haven’t been playing very well lately, recording three draws from their last four matches. Valladolid started off brightly themselves but 2019 hasn’t been good for the visitors, picking up one point in the last four matches. Tough match, so back the draw at 26/10.

Alaves 33/20 
Draw 21/10 
Eibar 7/4 
All pressure was on Alaves last weekend when they travelled to league strugglers Villarreal but the Babazorros did enough to claim maximum points, keeping them two points behind fourth-placed Getafe. Eibar are not far off the pace themselves and a win here will see the visitors move within touching distance of the Europa League zone. This is a must-win encounter for the home team if they are to play Champions League football next season and failing that will mean they are not ready to play some of Europe’s best teams. Get on Alaves at 33/20.

Atletico Madrid 9/20 
Draw 31/10 
Leganes 7/1 
Atletico Madrid will be without Koke in this must-win encounter and Diego Simeone can make a few changes with the Juventus trip in mind. Alvaro Morata has been absolutely buzzing since returning to Spain. If it wasn’t for VAR, he would’ve netted in four matches on the bounce, but he still has three goals from the last two league matches. This is a perfect opportunity for Atletico to reduce the gap on leaders Barcelona who are currently seven points clear. Get on Atletico Madrid to win this comfortably. 

Barcelona 2/11 
Draw 6/1 
Rayo Vallecano 25/2 
Barcelona were faced with back-to-back matches at the Bernabeu and they passed both assignments with ease, keeping a clean sheet in both encounters, beating Real Madrid 3-0 and 1-0 respectively. With 12 matches to go Barca will want to wrap up the title as soon as possible and I don’t see them dropping points in this matchup. For more value, take Barcelona to Win Both Halves at 11/10.

Getafe 13/20 
Draw 26/10 
Huesca 9/2 
Getafe had some favourable fixtures in recent weeks, facing opponents in the bottom half, which included stops to take on Levante, Celta Vigo, Eibar, Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis. The Azulones took full advantage of those fixtures as they are unbeaten, winning three and drawing two. This looks to be the easiest on paper but Huesca won’t be be pushovers. The debutants have turned things around and the win against Sevilla last Sunday merits respect. This won’t be as close as the betting suggests, but Getafe should do enough to claim maximum points.

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Sunday 10 March 

Celta Vigo 27/20 
Draw 9/4 
Real Betis 2/1 
Celta Vigo have secured just 25 points so far and they are two points away from safety with just 36 points to play for till the rest of the season. They are all but certain to get the boot to the Segunda division. Their incompetence is even greater in display in their defensive stats. The team has conceded 45 goals in total from their 26 appearances in the competition. Real Betis moved out of the Europa League qualification zone when going down to Getafe at home last time out. This is a perfect opportunity for the visitors to return to winning ways and stay within reach. Back Real Betis to claim maximum points.

Sevilla 13/20 
Draw 3/1
Real Sociedad 15/4 
Sevilla are positioned sixth on the table, but they have been on a very poor run lately. They lost four of their last five matches and three were against relegation fighting teams like Celta Vigo, Huesca and Villarreal. This could be Pablo Machin’s last game if he is not sacked before the match. Sevilla really need to turn things around or say goodbye to competing in European competitions next season. Real Sociedad were beaten by Morata’s brace at home last weekend. Prior to that, the visitors had enjoyed a 10-match unbeaten run. Back Real Sociedad on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 11/10.

Levante 37/20 
Draw 49/20 
Villarreal 14/10 
Levante have lost both of their last two encounters and they will be looking to make amends when hosting one of the worst team in the league. The visitors look set to be relegated and have won the the least number of games (4) in the competition. Also, they haven’t won on the road in their last five matches. Back Levante to win this match. 

Real Valladolid 52/10 
Draw 38/10 
Real Madrid 9/20 
After winning seven from eight, Real Madrid have lost three of their last four encounters, including back-to-back home defeats against bitter rivals Barcelona. With Los Blancos out of the La Liga title race, Santiago Solari’s men may have to settle for a Champions League spot or focus more on conquering Europe once more. The hosts have been terrible, winning one from their last 13 matches, losing eight times. Things are not good for Real Madrid but they should win here.

Last week’s TREBLE 
WON @ 56/10
Eibar Win 8/10
Leganes Win 1/1
Villarreal vs Alaves BTTS 17/20

This week’s TREBLE @ 10/1
Atl. Bilbao Win 1/1
Alaves Win 33/20

Barcelona Win Both Halves 11/10

Written by Banele Pikwa for Hollywoodbets and Soccer Betting News. 

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