Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División after some midweek madness from the top two
Real Madrid v Sevilla
Sat 22 Oct 20:00
Los Blancos were absolutely ruthless in their demolition of the league’s whipping boys Elche. Six times the ball found the back of the net but thankfully from an Elche perspective only three of them stood after being reviewed by VAR. Carlo Ancelotti once again showed that he does not like to take his foot off the gas when it comes to the league. Madrid’s second string probably could have done a number on the side that has registered just 3 points from 10 games.
Sevilla have mustered a small change in form since Lopetegui’s departure. No losses in their last three has taken them to 12th but they are still just two points clear of relegation. Real have won 15 of the last 17 meetings at home between these sides and given the gulf in form that record looks likely to continue.
Real Betis v Atlético Madrid
Sun 23 Oct 15:15
Both of these teams have identical records coming into this fixture (W6 D2 L2) and Madrid are placed higher based on a single goal differential. It also happens to be the case that these two high flying sides are possibly the most maddening to support in the league this year. Betis in particular normally have a penchant for scoring freely but recently they have played out two frustrating 0-0 draws against sides that should have been routinely dispatched.
Atleti may have turned a slight corner in the last few weeks with no loss in 4 being their best run so far (W3 D1). They have also overcome some tough fixtures on the road already this campaign. There is not much to separate these two but the visitors may just eek out the win.
Barcelona v Athletic Club
Sun 23 Oct 20:00
It really is hard to know what to make of this current Barcelona squad. At times they play with the ruthless attacking efficiency that blew Villarreal away in 8 first half minutes in midweek. On the other hand they seem to be utterly devoid of an attacking threat as was painfully evident in their El Clásico capitulation. Although most onlookers have as good as handed the title to Madrid already, the Catalan side remain just 3 points adrift.
Athletic have had a fairly decent season so far and can feel relatively happy with their 6th place. However, they have had a particularly easy run of fixtures to date mostly playing sides well into the bottom half of the table. Just one of their ten games has been against a side above them and that resulted in a 0-1 loss. Barca have yet to concede a goal at home this season and Bilbao could struggle to make a dent in this one.
Real Madrid v Sevilla: Real Madrid and BTTS @ 15/8
Real Betis v Atlético Madrid: Atletico Madrid to Win @ 7/4*
Barcelona v Athletic Club: Barcelona Win to Nil @ 7/4
The above treble in a treble @ 20/1
*This article was updated after publication to correct the odds for Atletico Madrid to win (originally stated as 11/4 and corrected to 7/4) and the treble (originally stated as 28/1 and corrected to 20/1).