Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División as a mouthwatering top 4 clash awaits in Madrid
Girona v Barcelona
Sat 28 Jan 15:15
Girona had an unbeaten run of 7 games halted in cruel fashion against Villarreal. Having already saved a 93rd minute penalty, Gazzaniga was unable to keep out El Submarino Amarillo’s second injury time penalty on 101 minutes. The home side will not be looking forward to welcoming their Catalonian rivals who are on an even more impressive hot streak.
Barcelona have failed to win just once in their last 12 outings (W11 D1 L0) in all competitions which coincidentally was another local derby against Espanyol. The visitors are not scoring with the same ease as they did at the start of the season but the wins keep coming regardless.
Girona tend to see goals at both ends and just 3 of their matches have not had both teams register a score. This should make for an interesting matchup as Barca look to heap more pressure on their title rivals.
Osasuna v Atlético Madrid
Sun 29 Jan 15:15
Despite having lost just once in their last 9 in all competitions, Osasuna have managed to claim all three points once in their previous 5 league outings. Some incredible extra-time heroics against both Betis and Sevilla has seen them progress to the semi-final of the Copa del Rey for the 6th time in their history.
Their visitors were on the wrong end of an extra-time clash against their city rivals Real on Thursday night as they went down 3-1 to crash out of the cup. Simeone’s side has the most tenuous grasp on fourth place going into this round of matches. The gap to third currently sits at 7 points so this may well be their best chance to maintain their place in the Champions League for next season. The hosts have a decent home record but they have failed to overturn Madrid in their last 8 attempts.
Real Madrid v Real Sociedad
Sun 29 Jan 20:00
A few cracks have started to appear in the previously impenetrable armor of Los Blancos. A chastening 1-3 loss in the Supercopa final against Barcelona will not have been received well by the home fans. It took extra-time for them to dispense with Atlético by the same scoreline on Thursday night but it also meant more miles on the clock for this group of players. Their upcoming clash with Sociedad is another in a difficult run of fixtures for Ancelloti’s men that may yet come to define their season.
Los Txuri-Urdinak have been extremely impressive of late and have opened a comfortable gap between themselves in 3rd place and the chasing pack. What is more impressive is that they are within touching distance of their hosts and could sit level with them if they can claim full points at the Bernabeu. A battle of the center-forwards awaits. Alexander Sorloth has scored in 5 league matches on the bounce and Benzema has scored 7 in his last 8 in all competitions.
Girona v Barcelona – Barcelona to Win and BTTS @ 21/10
Osasuna v Atlético Madrid – Atlético to Win @ 6/5
Real Madrid v Real Sociedad – Benzema Anytime Goal Scorer @ 11/10
Treble @ 13/1