The teams that were fourth, fifth, and sixth in the La Liga table all suffered home defeats last week, and to make matter worse, none of the three teams even managed to score a goal. Getafe were stunned by a game Leganes team 2-0, Alaves were crushed 4-0 by Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla were blanked 1-0 by Valencia. That latter loss has put Valencia in contention for the last Champions League spot in Spain, and now four teams are vying to finish fourth.
On the other end of the table, the big story last week was Celta Vigo’s 3-2 win over Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine were up 2-0 inside of 15 minutes and looked set to waive goodbye to the relegation zone once and for all, but they allowed three second half goals. Now, they are just one point up on Celta Vigo entering this week and relegation is again looking like a possibility for a team with an almost identical goal differential to fifth place Alaves.
Although Valencia and Sevilla are big names, that last Champions League spot is Getafe’s to lose. Getafe are sitting in fourth place, and this team has been playing great football throughout the season. They have picked up a result in 13 of their 15 road games, but they are facing an Espanyol side that is very difficult to beat at home. Espanyol are 8-1-5 at home.
Girona have the fourth-best road record in La Liga. They aren’t just better on the road than they are at home, they are significantly better with a 6-4-4 away mark and a 2-6-7 home record. Girona boast the most prolific La Liga scorer that doesn’t play on Barcelona in Cristhian Stuani, and he has 17 goals this season. Stuani might be hard-pressed to score against an Atletico Madrid team that has allowed opponents to score just seven goals in their home stadium this season. The Yellow Submarine desperately need a win, but they know the league leaders won’t be easy to beat. Barcelona have been dominant, and Lionel Messi has been absurd with 41 goals and 21 assists in all competitions. However, the Blaugrana may decide to rest some players with matches this weekend and a mid-week Champions League match with Manchester United next Wednesday.
Celta Vigo have the potential to surpass Villarreal and move out of the relegation zone with a win over Huesca. Huesca are at the bottom of the table, but they are a game squad that nearly secured a point from Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last week. Zinedine Zidane is 2-0 since returning as Real Madrid’s manager, but both of those games have been against mediocre opponents in the Bernabeu. He will face a top squad on the road for the first time yet this season, and Madrid aren’t big favorites.
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- CD Leganes -0.5 vs. Real Valladolid, O/U 2
- Sevilla FC -1 vs. Deportivo Alaves, O/U 2.5 and 3
- Real Sociedad PK and -0.5 vs. Real Betis Balompie, O/U 2 and 2.5
Alaves may be in fifth place, but most analysts and advanced metrics believe they are very fortunate. They have a -4 goal differential, and that’s why they are massive underdogs on the road to Sevilla this week. Sevilla have the fourth-best home record in La Liga at 8-3-3.
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