Savage gives us his thoughts on the pick of the matches in Spain’s Primera División as Madrid look to keep their faint title hopes alive
Real Madrid v Espanyol
Sat 11 Mar 13:00
It is possible that Real’s title challenge may already be over now that the gap to Barcelona has widened to 9 points. However, it is not in this Madrid team’s nature to give up on silverware so easily. Back-to-back draws against Atlético and Betis have cost them dearly and you get the feeling if they do not secure the W against the Catalan side then their race really will be run. Espanyol have not even managed a goal in their last 7 visits to the Bernabeu let alone return home with 3 points. They have clawed themselves up to 13th place but despite their position they remain just 2 points from relegation. Both teams have a lot to gain from this encounter but Madrid should have enough to get the job done.
Athletic Club v Barcelona
Sun 12 Mar 20:00
Athletic’s season started with such promise as they won 5 of their opening 7 fixtures and everything was looking up for the Basque side. However, in the 17 games since they have managed just 4 victories (W4 D5 L8). They are currently as close on points to Almería (18th) as they are to Betis (5th) which should make their fans more than a little uncomfortable. The visitors required their eighth 1-0 win to see them past a hapless Valencia side last time out. It will not take much more to have the Blaugrana faithful dreaming of a 27th title. Since Barca put their hosts to the sword 4-0 in the reverse in October they have managed to score more than 2 goals just once, against a miserable Sevilla side. With their premier goalscorer, Lewandowski, all out of sorts this could be another low scoring affair.
Girona v Atlético Madrid
Mon 13 Mar 20:00
Newcomers Girona have quietly gone about their business in recent weeks and have managed to eke out some breathing space from the rest of the bottom-half sides. After enduring a fairly torrid start to the campaign they appear to have turned things around and have lost just 4 times in their last 14 outings (W6 D4 L4). The visitors have been on a decent run of their own in recent weeks. Simone’s side are currently unbeaten in 8 (W5 D3) and have finally overtaken Sociedad to reclaim 3rd spot. Antoine Griezmann appears to have seamlessly transitioned his form from country to club and has been producing stunning displays week in week out. Atleti will look to him to pull the strings again in this one.
Real Madrid v Espanyol – Real Madrid and Under 2.5 goals @ 23/10
Athletic Club v Barcelona – Barcelona and Under 2.5 goals @ 7/2
Girona v Atletico Madrid – Antoine Griezmann To Score Aanytime* @ 5/2
The above in a treble at 44/1 with Bet365.
*Savage’s original pick was Griezmann to score or assist but at time of writing that market is not available.