Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Barcelona vs Osasuna - Match Preview
⚽ 2 May 2023 - 17:30 GMT +0
Barcelona thrashed ten-man Real Betis 4-0 on Saturday to maintain their 11-point lead at the top of La Liga’s (LL) standings, and move closer to confirming the title. Coach Xavi called it a “well-rounded performance” and even had time to bring on 15-year-old Lamine Yamal, who became Barça’s youngest-ever LL debutant. It was otherwise an April to forget (W3, D2, L2) for the hosts, who crashed out of the Copa del Rey (CDR) semis and failed to win two games in a row.
Staying at Spotify Camp Nou should be music to their ears then, as only one travelling league side to this venue in 2023 was able to go home with points (W7, D1). Teams especially struggled to break through Barcelona’s defence, typified by this sequence of seeing them concede only once.
Osasuna may be torn between aiming for a top-six finish, which is currently five points adrift and would be their first since the 2005/06 season, or focusing on their first CDR final since 2005. Even without the distractions of that cup competition, a visit to Camp Nou won’t be on top of Osasuna’s seasonal trip itinerary. The visitors endured the club’s heaviest-ever defeat at this venue in 2011 (8-0) and have conceded 36 goals across their last seven league visits!
The Little Reds will hope to keep the goals conceded to a minimum this time around, and could draw confidence from their last six league games (W3, D1, L2), never once conceding more than a brace. In fact, they have the third-best defensive record (GA: 15) in away league games, which could help avoid another Camp Nou thrashing.
📋 Players to watch: Raphinha once again proved to be Barcelona’s lucky charm with his goal against Betis, making it seven straight league wins in scoring appearances - including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture. Meanwhile, Rubén García assisted Osasuna’s goal in that match but is yet to taste a personal H2H win (D3, L9).
⚡ Hot stat: Five red cards have been shown across Osasuna’s last seven away league games.
Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid - Match Preview
⚽ 2 May 2023 - 20:00 GMT +0
After beating local rivals Osasuna 2-0 on Friday, Real Sociedad feels they are closing in on finishing in the La Liga (LL) top four for the first time since 2012/13, with forward Takefusa Kubo declaring they “have the right to dream. We are going for the Champions League.” It won’t be an easy run home in May, which will see them take on each of the three sides above them, starting here with Real Madrid.
Having recently conquered one of this season’s Copa del Rey (CDR) finalists, a collection of three straight home LL wins after scoring exactly two goals should have them approaching this high-stakes affair with plenty of confidence. On the flip side, Sociedad has not won a home H2H since May 2019 (D1, L2) whilst manager Imanol Alguacil has never shaken the hands of opposite number Carlo Ancelotti as the victor (D1, L2).
Karim Benzema’s hat trick against Almería (W 4-2) made him LL’s fourth-highest all-time scorer, and anywhere near a repeat of that could see Alguacil’s side struggle again. The hosts will be hoping that Ancelotti rests the Frenchman with the upcoming CDR final and Champions League semi-final in mind. But with Vinícius Júnior suspended after picking up his sixth yellow card of the season for dissent, Ancelotti’s options appear limited.
Having won just one of their last four league away fixtures (D1, L2), they also can’t afford to take their eye off the ball in a LL context as they bid to stay ahead of city rivals Atlético in the fight for second place behind champions-elect Barcelona. Los Blancos have averaged 1.4 goals per game across their last five LL road games (W2, D1, L2), so they should at least keep Sociedad’s defence busy regardless of the end result.
📋 Players to watch: Once on Madrid’s books, Kubo has scored in seven LL games for Sociedad this term - all leading to victory - while Madrid has won their last seven games in which Rodrygo has scored, including against Almería last round.
⚡ Hot streak: Sociedad are unbeaten in home league games in which they scored first this term (W7, D2).
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