Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Valencia vs Villarreal - Match Preview
⚽ 3 May 2023 - 17:30 GMT +0
This Derbi de la Comunitat carries added importance for both sides, especially Valencia, who suffered an expensive defeat at fellow relegation rivals Cádiz last time out (2-1). That loss ended a mini-revival of two successive wins and forced forward Hugo Duro into an X-rated rant post-match where he called out his teammates for a lack of attitude as Valencia now welcome their fierce rivals with just a two-point cushion to La Liga’s (LL) relegation zone.
It’s sure to be a tense atmosphere at Mestalla Stadium, but the Valencia supporters have done an excellent job of dragging their side through this relegation battle in recent weeks, highlighted by their record of just one defeat from their last five home league outings (W3, D1). With five-straight H2H home wins in tow, Valencia should be confident they can get the required positive result here to put further daylight between themselves and the drop.
The scales have rarely been tipped more in Villarreal’s favour, however, and they’re sure to be motivated by the prospect of pushing their fierce rivals closer to the LL relegation zone. Aside from that, they’ll also want to strengthen their own grip on a spot inside the top-six and two successive league wins have certainly aided that charge, as they finished the last round on 53 points, holding a nice cushion to seventh place.
A first finish inside the top four since 2015/16 is also well within their grasp because even though Villarreal finds themselves five points behind Real Sociedad in fourth, Imanol Alguacil’s men have to take on Real Madrid in this midweek round. Should Sociedad drop points in that clash, then adding to a dominant record against sides starting this round 16th or below (W7, D1, L1) could see that gap cut to just two points at the conclusion of this week.
📋 Key battle: Valencia would have hoped for more from their veteran forward Edinson Cavani who has yet to score a LL goal in 2023, but encouragingly his last did come against this very opponent in December (L 2-1). Villarreal defender Juan Foyth scored the winner in that game but will need reminding to keep his cool having picked up three yellow cards across his last five LL outings and picked one up in this season’s reverse.
⚡ Hot streak: The winner on the day has scored exactly two match goals in each of the last eight competitive H2H meetings.
Atl. Madrid vs Cadiz CF - Match Preview
⚽ 3 May 2023 - 20:00 GMT +0
Despite persistent speculation about his future throughout 2022/23, Atlético Madrid boss Diego Simeone oversees one of the finest periods for any European club in recent months. In fact, following their first-half demolition and subsequent 5-2 La Liga (LL) win away to Valladolid, Atlético joined Newcastle United as one of two clubs in Europe’s top five leagues to collect eight league wins across March and April.
Los Rojiblancos consequently remained two points behind second-placed Real Madrid at the end of the last round. Whilst another Champions League group stage appearance now seems imminent, the ruthless Simeone has had his eyes set on second place for weeks; not just for the bragging rights of going one better than third in 2021/22, but also to guarantee a place in the next Spanish Super Cup and the millions of Euros in prize money that comes with it.
Standing in their way here is one of just two clubs who finished Round 31 in the bottom half of the standings despite having already defeated Atlético this LL season. Cádiz was successful (3-2) at home in late October, and whilst that was their only LL win within a nine-game period, it has proven to be exceptionally valuable with a four-point bridge to the relegation zone ahead of this round.
On that note, defeating direct relegation competitors Valencia at home in the last round (2-1) was perhaps even more crucial, and should see them approach this contest full of confidence, particularly with a four-game unbeaten run away from home (W1, D3) also adding to their credentials. Positive results away to high-ranking clubs Betis (2-0) and Sociedad (0-0) in that stretch are also encouraging, particularly as prior to that they lost all but one of eight LL away trips (D1) against clubs above them in the standings going into this round.
📋 Players to watch: Atlético defender Nahuel Molina has popped up to open the scoring in two of their last three LL away games. In fact, his last five goals for any club were match openers! He may not get there first, but one of Álex Fernández’s three LL goals for Cádiz this season was recorded in the reverse H2H. All three were scored beyond the first 30 minutes.
⚡ Hot streak: Cádiz’s last 12 LL matches all saw the visiting side on the day held scoreless before half-time.
Getafe vs Celta Vigo - Match Preview
⚽ 3 May 2023 - 20:00 GMT +0
With just six games remaining in this enthralling La Liga (LL) season, time is fast running out for Getafe to catapult themselves out of the bottom three. Just two points separate them from safety ahead of this midweek round, but on the back of a six-match winless LL run (D2, L4), it’s hard to see where a season-changing result comes from as they sleepwalk towards a first top-flight relegation since 2015/16.
The visit of Celta Vigo may offer a ray of hope of arresting that slide though, as Getafe do actually boast an impressive record in top-flight home H2Hs (W6, D3, L2). Interestingly though, they haven’t won any of the last three of those (D2, L1), but with three victories from their last five LL outings at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez (D1, L1), Getafe has shown that their home form could give them a fighting chance of survival.
In the largely unwanted position of having nothing left to play for in the closing stages of the season, Celta is effectively just playing for pride. While they haven’t yet assured mathematical safety, Opta rates them with a less than 1% chance of relegation, which effectively confirms what is already known, and gives boss Carlos Carvalhal a free run to assess his squad ahead of next season.
While Carvalhal has steadied the ship in his 19 LL games in charge so far (W7, D7, L5), Celta collected just one win from their last six league outings (D2, L3), including a 3-1 defeat to Villarreal on Sunday, is sure to be cause for concern. Having had long enough to assess his squad ahead of what will likely be a big summer transfer window, perhaps defensive reinforcements will be in order for a side who have conceded the second-most LL away goals after the 75th minute ahead of the round (eight).
📋 Players to watch: Getafe will undoubtedly look to Borja Mayoral for inspiration as he’s the only player to score for them across their last six LL outings. Preferring to share the goals, Celta’s last six LL strikes have all been scored by different players. Joseph Aidoo was the only player to score a winning goal with his, and his last seven club strikes have all been headers.
⚡ Hot stat: Ahead of the round, only Girona (11) have seen more of their LL home games stand level at half-time than Getafe’s ten.
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