Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División as Barcelona begin their procession to the title
Elche v Barcelona
Sat 01 Apr 20:00
And so it looks as though another La Liga title has been decided by the result of El Clásico. Of course one win does not a season make but it certainly looks nice when it extends your advantage to 12 points with 12 matches remaining. Even for Real that appears to be too tall an order to catch their bitter rivals. With Xavi’s side relying on unlikely sources for their match winning goals against Madrid they could do with their star centre forward contributing a bit more. The Polish maestro has been on the scoresheet just twice in Barcelona’s last 14 outings. The trip to Elche should be mere target practice for the Catalan side but goals have not been their forte since the turn of the year. Despite Elche shipping an average of 2 a game this may not be a goal-fest.
Real Madrid v Real Valladolid
Sun 02 Apr 15:15
It is incredible to think that this Madrid side are still in contention for two pieces of silverware despite the fact that the league has likely slipped from their grasp. It is also easy to forget that only themselves and Barcelona remain unbeaten at home this season. Ancelotti’s men will know that they must keep pushing until the end of the campaign for their own pride if nothing else.
Valladolid have a staggeringly bad away record and have managed just 2 wins in their 13 road matches (W2 D2 L9). Their league position says more about the scrap taking place in the bottom half of the table then it does about their current form. Los Blancos have a slight habit of conceding an away goal at the Bernabéu but they should still be on the right end of this result.
Atlético Madrid v Real Betis
Sun 02 Apr 20:00
Were it not for a minor blip in the second half of last year in which they won just 1 of 5 games, Atleti would find themselves much closer to their crosstown rivals. However, since the turn of the year Simeone’s side have been the form team in the league. They are unbeaten in 10 games (W7 D3), which is a league best, and have put themselves firmly in the running for a European place. Antoine Griezmann is like a player reborn since the World Cup. The Frenchman is playing some of the best football of his career and it looks as though he is finally playing without fear again. The visitors are in a purple patch of their own right now and are themselves unbeaten in 6 (W4 D2). Betis are within touching distance of Sociedad in 4th place so they know there is still plenty at stake.
Elche v Barcelona – Barcelona and Under 2.5 @ 5/2
Real Madrid v Real Valladollid – Real Madrid and Under 3.5 @ 11/10
Atlético Madrid v Real Betis – Atlético Madrid and BTTS @ 5/2
Treble @ 25/1