La Liga Predictions: Madrid Must Maintain Their Modest Lead

La Liga Predictions: Madrid Must Maintain Their Modest Lead

Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División as the title challengers look to keep pace with Madrid

Valencia v Real Madrid

Sat 02 Mar 20:00

Valencia had last weekend off in the worst possible of circumstances. La Liga granted their request for a postponement of their fixture with Granada after the deadly fire in the city. Their return to the Mestalla will no doubt be an emotional one as they host the leaders on Saturday night. Since the turn of the year Los Murcielagos form has definitely improved. 4 wins in their last 7 (W4 D2 L1) has seen them edge into the top half of the table. Their home record has played a key role this season. In fact, they have lost there just twice so far. An absolutely sublime strike from Modric was enough to secure the 3 points for Los Blancos against a resilient Sevilla. This is unlikely to be a high-scoring affair as Madrid have laboured in front of goal recently. 

Mallorca v Girona

Sun 03 Mar 17:30

Mallorca fans will surely still be on a high on Sunday as they welcome Girona to Palma. They currently sit 16th in the league but having beaten Real Sociedad on penalties in midweek they have a Copa del Rey final to look forward to in April. Coincidentally, it was their visitors whom they defeated in the Quarter-Final. Los Blanquivermells will relish the prospect of avenging that result this time around. The visitors had a comfortable 3-0 victory over Rayo last weekend. This allowed them to maintain their two point gap to Barcelona in third. The Catalan side have lost their last two on the road. However, that was against significantly stronger opposition in Real Madrid and Athletic Club. Míchel’s men should be able to take home the win in this one. 

Athletic Club v Barcelona

Sun 03 Mar 20:00

Athletic go into this one having dismantled Atlético 3-0 in the Copa del Rey semi-final. The visit of another Top 4 rival gives them a chance to edge closer to a coveted European spot. Bilbao’s home form has been excellent so far. They are unbeaten in their last 12 since the opening day defeat to Madrid (W10 D2). In fact, Los Leones have scored the most home goals of any team (34). Unfortunately for them, Barca are the joint top scorers away from home (24). So this could be an interesting watch for the neutrals. The Catalan side are unbeaten on the road (W7 D5) but have only managed 2 clean sheets in that time. Barcelona may just have the edge here , if only because they had a full week to prepare for this one. 

Smart Bets:

Valencia v Real Madrid – Real Madrid and Under 3.5 Goals @ 6/5

Mallorca v Girona – Girona To Win @ 13/10

Athletic Club v Barcelona – Barcelona To Win @ 7/5

Treble @ 11/1

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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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