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13 May 2023 / admin

Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction

Celta Vigo vs Valencia - Match Preview

⚽ 14 May 2023 - 12:00 GMT +0

Celta Vigo may be on the cusp of 40 points, but with the Celestes just five points clear of the drop with as many La Liga (LL) rounds to play, they can’t relax. And following a loss against Getafe to start May, it’s now just one win (a mere 1-0 affair against basement side Elche) in seven for the men from Galicia, who look set for a sixth bottom-half finish in seven seasons.

However, there is some encouragement to be found in Celta’s LL record as pre-match favourites at home this term (W5, D4, L3), especially with the victory over Elche being their tenth shutout of 11 home victories since the start of 2022. That said, they’ve lost in their previous four battles against Valencia, including a 3-0 drubbing back in September!

Despite starting this climactic month with a 1-1 comeback draw against Europe-bound Villarreal, Valencia themselves start this round above the drop zone only courtesy of their H2H record against Getafe. Plus, their five-game run-in also includes two matches against teams inside the top six, meaning that avoiding a tenth loss in 11 LL away games could well be crucial.

Valencia’s latest equaliser after conceding first in an away league game still dates back to early November too, giving travelling supporters every reason to feel nervous. And while Los Che might have the upper hand in H2Hs lately, they are also without a clean sheet in ten visits to the Abanca-Balaídos (W3, D2, L5) – though nine of those who saw them find the net too!

📋 Players to watch: Franco Cervi assisted the 90th-minute winner in Celta’s most recent home game, though he’s now without a league goal in 12 months. In opposition, Samuel Lino rescued Valencia’s point vs Villarreal, going level with two teammates on five LL goals this term, three of which (including that one) have arrived second in the overall order.

Hot stat: Six of Celta’s last eight home H2Hs won or lost vs Valencia have ended 2-1.

Elche vs Atl. Madrid - Match Preview

⚽ 14 May 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0

Elche’s 2-1 loss to Almeria last time out confirmed what has been inevitable for a long time, that their three-season stint in La Liga (LL) has finally run its course. The Spanish top-flight proved far too overwhelming for the Franjiverde, whose combination of owning the leakiest defence (GA: 64) and most toothless attack (G: 25) shows they very much went down without a fight.

Perhaps it’s best that their meeting with Atlético Madrid is trivial given their recent history, as losing the last 11 top-flight H2Hs - including the last five at home - both serve as their worst such runs against any opposition. In fact, April 1985 was the last time Elche bested Atlético in LL combat, which is so long ago that none of the current Elche side were even born.

You’d fear for the home faithful as Atlético have been on a rampage recently, failing to win only once in their last ten outings (L1). They’ve especially peaked in their last two matches where they’ve scored five goals in each, and there’s hardly any team they’d rather take on than Elche right now, as they are running for three 5+ goal wins in a row for the first time in their LL history.

They sneaked into second place prior to this weekend, displacing city rivals Real Madrid. But despite their fruitful form, manager Diego Simeone will be quick to remind his troops of their close battles on the road this season, with only three of their 16 LL away matches being decided by a 2+ goal margin.

📋 Players to watch: Tete Morente might be a candidate to get Elche off to a good start, with each of his last five LL goals serving as his side’s opener. Meanwhile, Atlético’s Antoine Griezmann has registered seven goal contributions in as many LL meetings with Elche (G4, A3), while ending up on the winning side without conceding each time.

Hot stat: No LL team has scored more goals (13) than Atlético between minutes 46 and 60 this league season.

Espanyol vs Barcelona - Match Preview

⚽ 14 May 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0

If starting this La Liga (LL) round three points adrift of safety isn’t a motivator, Espanyol can look at their ignominy of rivals Barcelona being ahead by 51 points, the biggest gap in a Derbi Barceloní in the 21st century, as a trigger. A win would not just boost their survival hopes but also propel coach Luis García Fernández into a select group of five coaches to win their first Catalan derby in charge of the White and Blue.

A win would also see them remain unbeaten in two seasonal H2Hs for the first time since 2007/08 after a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. That will need Espanyol to conquer their historic blues, as they’ve gone winless in 25 top-flight derbies (D7, L18) which is their worst such record against any opponent.

Barcelona could be crowned champions even before kick-off if both Real and Atlético Madrid fail to win their respective games. If that does not occur, Barça will confirm their first league title since 2018/19 if they win this derby. There could be a familiar feeling if they do so with a single goal, as their 1-0 win over Osasuna last Tuesday was their 11th victory by that scoreline this season, equalling the record for a full top-flight campaign.

Those results played their part in Barcelona collecting a 25th LL clean sheet, the joint-most for any team in the top-five European leagues this century. A chance to push their derby neighbours closer to the drop could be extra motivation to produce another defensive masterclass, although Barça has kept just one clean sheet across their last four league trips to this venue.

📋 Players to watch: Sergi Darder has happy memories of this fixture last season, having scored and assisted for Espanyol in a 2-2 draw. A contribution from Ousmane Dembélé could extend Barcelona’s clean sheet streak, as his two H2H contributions (G1, A1) have come in wins with clean sheets.

Hot stat: There’s been at least one red card shown in four of the last five H2Hs.

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