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29 Apr 2023 / admin

Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction

Cadiz CF vs Valencia - Match Preview

⚽ 30 April 2023 - 12:00 GMT +0

Whilst many relegation prospects such as Sevilla, Valladolid and Almería have worked their way up the La Liga (LL) standings with a couple of victories each in April, Cádiz languished. Three consecutive home losses ‘to nil’ have them teetering on the edge of the relegation zone, making this contest with direct relegation rivals Valencia crucial.

Had they secured wins instead of draws against Espanyol (0-0), Almería (1-1) and Getafe (2-2) in recent weeks, Cádiz could probably already be safely planning for the next LL season. But those results are indicative of a long-term issue that could again cause trouble for the hosts, who had not won a LL home fixture against any club ranked 12th or lower after Wednesday’s matchday - and Valencia is one of three they still have to play!

Exactly 21 years to the day after they came from behind to defeat Espanyol 2-1 in the third-last game of their title-winning season in 2001/02, Valencia replicated that same result against Valladolid to take another important step forward towards avoiding relegation. Crucial wins against Valladolid and Elche (2-0) are helping them correct a poor record against bottom-half opposition and they’ll hope to continue doing so having started this round just two points above the danger zone.

Cádiz is one of the three other clubs 15th or lower heading into this round that Valencia has lost to this LL season though (W2, D3, L3), and there’ll be no “magic of the Mestalla” for new manager Rubén Baraja to be inspired by this weekend. Prior to conquering hapless Elche (2-0) in their last LL away start, Valencia had lost eight consecutive LL away trips, so there’s no shortage of work left to do.

📋 Players to watch: After delivering an assist for namesake Rubén Alcaraz in the reverse H2H, Rubén Sobrino will be hoping to add to his tally of three career goals for any club against Valencia - then again perhaps not, given he was on the losing side on all three occasions! Mouctar Diakhaby, who scored Valencia’s first goal during the week, also found the net in their only other LL away win (2-1 at Osasuna) of this season.

Hot stat: All but one of the last nine competitive H2Hs saw the half-time result replicated at full-time.

Villarreal vs Celta Vigo - Match Preview

⚽ 30 April 2023 - 14:15 GMT +0

Villarreal’s late season charge for a top-four La Liga (LL) place got back on track with a 4-2 win at home to relegation contenders Espanyol, a result which saw them end the midweek round five points behind fourth-placed Sociedad. It was far from a perfect performance, as they conceded the opening goal prior to half-time for a fourth consecutive LL game whilst also conceding exactly two goals in their fourth-straight LL outing.

The Yellow Submarine’s matches have produced a winner more often than not this season, but one of the two draws seen in their last 24 LL fixtures came away to upcoming opponents Celta Vigo, which coincidentally happened to be the first and only time Villarreal has dropped LL points after opening the scoring this season (W10, D1). The home faithful, who have been waiting more than six months to see their club lead at the end of both halves in a LL home match, will now be hoping their players can find that elusive ‘perfect performance’.

Celta’s supporters were probably just relieved to see a win at all in midweek, even if it was in the form of a slender 1-0 against relegation-bound Elche. Four consecutive LL games without a win prior (D2, L2) threatened to hurl them back into a relegation mix-up, but they’ve now accumulated the 39-point tally that was the minimum threshold for surviving in the 2021/22 season.

It has been a tumultuous introduction to Spanish football for Celta boss Carlos Carvalhal, but he now sees the “end of the tunnel” following the end of their four-game drought. The next breakthrough for Celta to pursue is their first LL win as an underdog in six attempts (D3, L2), following away draws in 2023 at higher-ranked opponents such as Sevilla (2-2), Osasuna (0-0) and Real Sociedad (1-1).

📋 Players to watch: After second-half goals in each of Villarreal’s last two LL home games, Étienne Capoue has accumulated five competitive goalscoring appearances in a single season for the first time since 2016/17. Gabri Veiga could be key to Celta’s fortunes here, having won each of his last three games in which he scored.

Hot stat: Villarreal has kept just one LL clean sheet at home to a club starting this round in the bottom half of the standings (4-0 v Elche).

Espanyol vs Getafe - Match Preview

⚽ 30 April 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0

The stakes could barely be higher as Espanyol host managerless Getafe, with both teams inside the bottom three and desperate for a win in this relegation dogfight. Home boss Luis García has branded the game a “final,” which seems a fair assessment given his side goes into the match three points behind their opponents in 19th place.

The Parakeets have dropped into such a perilous position due to a run of eight games without a win (D1, L7), which was extended by a 4-2 defeat to Villarreal in midweek. García admits that result left his side feeling “screwed,” but insists they have to “get up again” if they are to return to winning ways and avoid a second relegation from the Spanish top-flight in the last four seasons.

Visiting Getafe will have other ideas though, and they travel to the RCDE Stadium looking to improve on an already strong record of just two defeats in the last eight H2Hs (W3, D3). Supporters will be hoping their side can channel that form as they look to end their own winless run, which stretched to five outings (D2, L3) after a miserable 2-1 loss to Almería on Wednesday.

That result led to the departure of manager Quique Sanchez Flores, which would have pleased some fans in the stands who called for his sacking. Sporting director Rubén Reyes has been put in temporary charge, and he is tasked with ending a run of nine away league games without a victory (D3, L6) as the Deep Blue Ones look to extend their six-year stint in La Liga.

📋 Players to watch: Espanyol captain Sergi Darder has never lost at home to Getafe (W4, D2). Attempting to end that record will be visiting striker Enes Ünal, who has netted first or last in ten of his 11 goalscoring La Liga appearances this season.

Hot stat: Both teams have scored in 23 of Espanyol’s 31 outings this season; a league-high.

Valladolid vs Atl. Madrid - Match Preview

⚽ 30 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0

Real Valladolid’s bridge to the relegation zone shrunk from five points to four following a critical 2-1 loss away to direct competitors Valencia, subsequently ending their joint-longest undefeated period this La Liga (LL) season, which had stood at three games (W2, D1). New manager Paulo Pezzolano was left with a “bitter feeling” after a 90th-minute match-winner from Valencia’s Javi Guerra denied them a “golden point”.

Pezzolano pointed to “imbalances” that need urgent fixing, not least because upcoming opponents Atlético Madrid present the first of three consecutive league games against clubs currently higher than Valladolid in the table. His club have managed to grind out three home wins against such opposition (W3, D3, L4), the third of which came in their most recent outing (W 1-0 v Girona).

After their come-from-behind triumph at home to Mallorca (3-1), coincidentally their first win from eight attempts this LL season after conceding the opening goal (D1, L6), Atlético could be just a couple of victories away from confirming their place in yet another UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage next season. Manager Diego Simeone is not resting comfortably yet, telling the media: “If you can't finish first, the best thing that can happen to you is to finish second. We were taught this as kids.”

Whether Simeone will still be at the helm for an 11th consecutive UCL remains the subject of ongoing speculation, but for now, his task is to negotiate a mounting injury list that has left José María Giménez and Mario Hermoso as the only remaining recognised centre-backs at his disposal. Perhaps he’ll have to wait a bit longer for the reward of a clean sheet after his side conceded in each of their last four LL outings (W3, L1).

📋 Players to watch: Monchu has reestablished himself as a regular Valladolid starter courtesy of goals in their last two LL home outings. After two assists against Mallorca, Antoine Griezmann could have a taste for goals of his own. His club has won each of his last 13 goalscoring appearances across all competitions and he has nine goals in H2Hs against Valladolid, never once appearing on the losing side (W8, D2).

Hot streak: Valladolid has not won any of their last 13 LL games (D1, L12) against Atlético, including eight losses ‘to nil’.

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