Valencia v Real Sociedad
Sunday 6th February – 1:00PM KO
These two sides had contrasting fortunes in Copa del Rey action in midweek as we return to La Liga duty. Real Sociedad crashed out to Real Betis while Valencia overcame Cádiz. Valencia come into this one with an extra day of rest as well as home advantage and will be seeking to record back-to-back home wins for the first time this season.
Goals are likely. Both teams have scored in each of Valencia’s last eight outings in LaLiga, while the last time only one side scored in a fixture at Mestalla was in October. That means that 1.84 represents superb value for a both teams to score bet for the first LaLiga fixture on Sunday.
Bryan Gil is likely to start for Valencia as he continues to add spark to Valencia’s attack, adding to in-form Hugo Duro, who has scored in his last two appearances. José Bordálas didn’t get the holding midfielder he was hoping for in the January transfer window, leaving Los Che vulnerable.
It’s true that Real Sociedad have failed to score in their last two games, but they hadn’t gone back-to-back games without a goal before that since March 2019. With Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Isak on nine goals and seven goals respectively this season, and Real Sociedad having scored in each of their last three away games, expect this goal drought to end on Sunday.
Prediction: Both Teams to Score, 1.80 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid
Sunday 6th February – 3:15PM KO
When these two teams meet, it’ll be 16 years and 2 days exactly since Atlético Madrid last won at Camp Nou in LaLiga, and Diego Simeone is still seeking his first win over Barcelona on the road in the league.
Xavi’s Barcelona have been buoyed by the arrivals of new signings like Adama Traoré and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang since their last fixture before the international break, though Luuk de Jong is likely to start up-front with Aubameyang being given longer to build up his fitness and Memphis Depay not yet recovered from injury. The Catalans are also in good form, with three wins and three draws from their last six putting them third in the form table.
Atlético won their first three away league games this season, but have won only one in seven since then, with that victory over Cádiz coming in November. Their most in-form player of late has been Ángel Correa, with four goals in his last three games, but he could drop to the bench with Luis Suárez and João Félix preferred while Antoine Griezmann will not return in time to face his former club. Marcos Llorente and Geoffrey Kondogbia will be available, but are unlikely to start.
Diego Simeone’s poor record at Camp Nou and the potential for him to field a defence with two new signings means that Barcelona may fancy their chances to find a way through. The late comeback win over Valencia last time out will give the Colchoneros some belief, but Barcelona know that their season could be defined by how they perform on Sunday.
Prediction: Barcelona Draw no Bet, 1.57 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Real Betis v Villarreal
Sunday 6th February – 5:30PM KO
Real Betis are LaLiga’s form team at present, having scored four goals in each of their last three fixtures. Borja Iglesias, Juanmi, Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales form a lethal front four with impressive fluidity, and Willian José adds bite from the bench having scored in the last two matches after coming on as a substitute.
Both sides are in great form coming into this tie, with Villarreal having racked up four wins, one draw and one defeat from their last six, but it’s Betis who come into this one flying in what will be there first weekend home fixture since a heated derby against Sevilla.
Villarreal, on the other hand, sit 14th in the league based on away form alone, with only one win, and have failed to score in six of their last 10 away games. Their most recent trip was a surprise defeat to relegation-battling Elche, coming shortly after an away defeat to Segunda side Sporting Gijón in the Copa del Rey.
Unai Emery’s side will also be without two key players as forward Gerard Moreno is a doubt due to a muscle strain, while Juan Foyth has been ruled out in defence. Both of those absences could be crucial up against on-fire Betis, and they may look to try to shut the hosts down and play for a draw. If Betis can breach their defences, this game will only end one way.
Prediction: Real Betis Draw no Bet, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Real Madrid v Granada
Sunday 6th February – 8:00PM KO
Following Copa del Rey elimination in midweek, Real Madrid will have a point to prove. Carlo Ancelotti has faced harsh criticism for his team selection against Athletic Club, but is likely to field a very different attack to the one which failed to score at San Mamés on Thursday night.
Los Blancos will be without Vinícius Júnior as he serves a suspension and Karim Benzema is expected to start despite only returning to training on Friday, but they remain big favourites. In 22 matches this season, Ancelotti’s team have scored two or more goals on 15 occasions, and they will still have Eden Hazard to replace Vinícius in attack.
After a seven-match unbeaten run came to an end against Getafe, Granada are now four games without a win and have only picked up one away win all season. What’s more, when Granada lose, they tend to do so spectacularly, with their last defeat to a one-goal margin being back in September. In recent weeks, both Getafe and Osasuna have won by a two-goal lead.
Having drawn against Elche last time out before being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic, Real Madrid won’t be the sure bet that they have been for much of the season, but they should walk all over Granada and their leaky defence.
Prediction: Real Madrid -1, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️)
Athletic Club vs Espanyol
Monday 7th February – 8:00PM KO
Athletic will be flying high after reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals, but also have the benefit of four days of rest before facing Espanyol. It was just the latest cause for celebration at San Mamés, building upon victory over Barcelona in Bilbao and Atlético Madrid in Saudi Arabia.
Injury to Nico Williams is a blow, but his replacement Álex Berenguer at last scored his first goal of the season on Thursday. The winger had topped Athletic’s scoring charts in 2020/21, but now he’s opened his account for this season with the highest xG underperformance in LaLiga to date, it could be worth keeping an eye on him.
Espanyol are now four games without a win as they hunt for their first win of the 2022 calendar year, with only one victory on the road all season, and Vicente Moreno appears to be under increasing pressure. What has made it all the harder to take has been the fact that Espanyol have taken the lead before being drawn back in their last two fixtures.
To make matters even worse for Moreno is that 12-goal forward Raúl de Tomás will be serving a suspension having seen yellow twice in two minutes against Real Betis. Without De Tomás and at a difficult venue to visit, Athletic will be supremely confident of maintaining their positive form.
Prediction: Athletic Club to Win, 1.65 on Betfair (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
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