Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División and as the away sides look to make their hosts pay.
Getafe (20) v Villarreal (1)
Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Sun 28 Aug 16:30 (Ireland/UK), 17:30 (Spain)
Getafe have had a rough start to the new season with back-to-back losses and an aggregate score of 1-6. What is most concerning is not the opening day defeat to Atleti but the most recent loss to newcomers Girona. The visit of the current league leaders will not give them much respite. Unai Emery’s team have yet to concede in the league and they have been free flowing at the other end of the field with 11 goals in their four competitive fixtures. A comfortable victory against Hajduk Split in midweek should not impact their ability to dispatch their hosts. With the porous nature of the Azulones defence there should definitely be goals on offer for the away side.
Espanyol (15) v Real Madrid (2)
RCDE Stadium, Sun 28 Aug 21:00 (Ireland/UK), 22:00 (Spain)
Espanyol were one of the few sides to take 3 points off the Champions last season but they have had a slow start in this time around. A 98 th minute Joselu penalty against Celta was required to claim their solitary point. Their current winless streak in the league is 9 matches and Madrid will likely extend that even further. Los Blancos have been in ruthless form as has one of their main men up front Vini Jr. The Brazilian’s searing pace in behind was clear for all to see as he left the Celta defence for dead before rounding the keeper and slotting home to open his account. Expect him to be heavily involved in all things good going forward again this time around.
Valencia (9) v Atlético Madrid (10)
Mestalla, Mon 29 Aug 21:00 (Ireland/UK), 22:00 (Spain)
Both these teams find themselves in mid-table given their mixed fortunes in the opening games (W1 L1). Madrid’s games have featured greater highs and lows than their hosts but neither set of fans can really say what kind of form their team is currently in. More concerning for the home side is their lack of end product up front. No goals from open play must be a worry for the new head coach Gennaro Gattuso. The Italian will need to get his
side firing quickly or a slide down the table will be unavoidable. His opposite number, Simeone, is still struggling to find the right balance between defence and attack. The home side could well be miserly in front of goal so the Atleti forwards cannot afford to be wasteful when a chance arises.
Getafe v Villarreal – Villarreal To Win and Over 2.5 Goals @ 13/5
Espanyol v Real Madrid – Vini Jr 2+ SOT @ 11/8
Valencia v Atlético Madrid – Atlético To Win and Under 2.5 Goals @ 3/1
The above in a treble at a little over 33/1