La Liga Predictions: Grueling Schedule Continues For Big 3

La Liga Predictions: Grueling Schedule Continues For Big 3

Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División as the big 3 all return from their Supercopa jaunt

Real Madrid v Almería

Sun 21 Jan 15:15

Almeríá’s reward for claiming a point against the league leaders, is a trip to Bernabéu to face Madrid. It really does not get any more difficult for a team rooted to the bottom of the table. The only solace the visitors can take is that Real will have played Atlético (twice) and Barcelona in the 10 days leading up to this encounter. What will worry the away side is the manner in which Los Blancos claimed their 13th Supercopa. The 4-1 Barca annihilation, including a first half hat-trick from Vini Jr. would worry even the best teams in Europe. Ancelotti may consider some level of rotation given his players significant exertions in recent weeks. That being said his side should still be more than capable of dispensing with the league’s worst team. 

Real Betis v Barcelona

Sun 21 Jan 17:30

Depending on how you look at it, Betis could either be a lot higher or a lot lower in table. Exactly half of their matches have finished as a draw (W7 D10 L3).  With Atlético sitting 7 points above them the home side’s last chance at European is to overturn Sociedad in 6th. The visit of Barcelona will certainly not put a smile on Manuel Pellegrini’s face. His team have lost each of the last 6 at home to the Catalan giants. Worryingly, they have also shipped 16 goals in that period. However, Barca could be low on confidence right given both their league performances and the devastating loss to Madrid. Xavi’s men will also have a quick turnaround for this one as they play in the Copa del Rey as late as Thursday night. With just 4 wins on the road all season this is by no means a gimme of the reigning champions.

Granada v Atlético Madrid

Mon 22 Jan 20:00

Atlético are in the midst of a season defining period that has been a mixed bag so far. The loss to their local rivals ended their Supercopa hopes for another year. However, Simeone’s side turned the tables on Real in the Copa with a 4-2 extra-time victory. Madrid have not won their last 4 away ties including losses against 3 of the teams currently sitting above them. If that sequence were to continue they could find themselves 6 adrift of the Champions League places before they kick a ball on Monday night. The hosts can scarcely afford another loss either as there is currently a 5 point gap to Sevilla in 17th. The signs are already looking extremely ominous for the Andalusian side. Just 2 wins at home tells a story in itself and the visitors should look to pile on the pressure. 

Smart Bets:

Real Madrid v Almería – Real Madrid and Under 3.5 Goals @ 7/5

Real Betis v Barcelona – Draw @ 29/10

Granada v Atlético Madrid – Atlético Madrid and Under 3.5 Goals @ 6/4

Treble @ 22/1

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Spanish futbol savant and angry Arsenal fan. Solid Savage isn’t one for a flutter and the Grand National is the only time you’ll see him near a bookies shop. But he has plenty of insight into the Primera División and loves to share it. Getting him to stop sharing is usually the problem!
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