La Liga Preview: Gameweek 95 min read
Real Madrid have got some catching up to do in La Liga, but they should have no such luck this weekend.
The top two should secure some easy points in their two respective home matches, but there are interesting fixtures elsewhere. Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid have both struggled to find their playing identities this season and meet at Balaidos, where goals should be a given, while Sevilla head to Mestalla to face Marcelino’s in-form Valencia to try and avoid their second mauling in the space four days.
Real Madrid vs Eibar
Eibar 0-0 Depor FT. Really poor game. Hosts are missing Pedro León immensely. So reliant on their full backs to create everything.
— Simon Harrison (@simonhfootball) October 15, 2017
Eibar have really struggled to carry the momentum from the tail end of last season into this one, with Jose Mendilibar’s side heading into the weekend in the bottom three. They failed to hit the back of the net against Deportivo last weekend at Ipurua, and key central defender Ivan Ramis is sidelined due to injury. Sergi Enrich and Kike Garcia can’t seem to get firing with consistency up top, with a visit to the Santiago Bernabeu coming at an awful time for Los Armeros.
Real Madrid haven’t been too convincing at home in La Liga thus far in 2017/2018, but this weekend is an opportunity to step up. Eibar arrive in awful form and have a leaky defence, with the likes of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo having the chance to fill their boots. Los Blancos are yet to score more than two goals in a home league game this campaign, but that will change on Sunday evening. Zinedine Zidane’s men will take three points in style.
Real Madrid to Win to Nil
Over 4.5 Goals
Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid
— LaLiga (@LaLiga) October 16, 2017
Atletico Madrid made the long trip home to the Spanish capital after a 0-0 away stalemate with Qarabag on Wednesday evening, and it hasn’t been long until they’ve been asked to up sticks once again. Celta Vigo have shown some signs of life in recent weeks, rattling home five goals against Las Palmas and four against Eibar – but they have equally looked quite unbalanced at the back.
Antoine Griezmann should have the opportunity to exploit some gaps and use his pace to get in behind the opposition back four in Galicia, with Celta certainly not the same sort of defensive unit as Leganes or Valencia. Juan Carlos Unzue’s men are very much about playing on the front foot and creating chances for themselves, which should lead to quite an open and entertaining game at Balaidos.
Atletico to Win and Both Teams to Score
Antoine Griezmann to Score Anytime
Barcelona vs Malaga
Barcelona have just been going through the motions so far this season, but Ernesto Valverde’s side did lose their 100-per-cent league record last time out versus Atletico Madrid. The hosts haven’t had to be at their best to scrape any results at home yet in LaLiga, with this weekend set to be no different. Malaga arrive rooted to the bottom of the table, with the situation at La Rosaleda far from ideal both on and off the field.
Captain Recio is missing due to suspension for the away side, with Diego Gonzalez a key defensive injury at centre back. Michel will likely use a back five to try and keep the Blaugrana at bay, but his side have been dreadful on the road this season. They have lost all four of their opening away fixtures, scoring no goals and conceding nine. With Lionel Messi in excellent form for both club and country, the Argentine star should be confident that he can add a few more goals to his tally on Saturday night.
Over 4.5 Goals
Lionel Messi to Score first