Real Mallorca v Alavés
This midweek matchday starts early on Tuesday evening with a relegation battle six-pointer between Real Mallorca and Alavés. The former currently sit just above the drop zone in 17th and on 29 points, while Alavés are still bottom, but have moved up to 25 points after winning on Saturday.
Both these teams are still tough to gauge since they both made coaching changes in the past month. Javier Aguirre has had three matches already with Real Mallorca, losing 1-0 at Getafe, winning 1-0 at home to Atlético Madrid and then losing 3-0 at Elche. In all of them, his team have set out with an ultra-defensive back five system that has seen them generally improve in defence while offering very little in attack. In fact, the only goal they’ve scored so far under Aguirre was a penalty kick.
As for Julio Velázquez at Alavés, he has had two matches so far, a 1-0 loss at Osasuna and then a 1-0 win at home to Rayo Vallecano. His approach hasn’t been quite as conservative as Aguirre’s in Mallorca, but it can also be described as safety first.
With so much at stake in this one, both of these new coaches should aim to keep it tight when the ball gets rolling at the Visit Mallorca Estadi. That makes a bet on under 2.5 goals an attractive one.
Real Betis v Elche
Real Betis’ main focus this week is on the Copa del Rey final that’ll take place on Saturday night against Valencia, but their midweek game against Elche is also quite important since the Verdiblancos still have a chance of finishing inside the top four.
While Manuel Pellegrini is expected to rotate, this is nothing new at Real Betis as they have managed to compete on multiple fronts throughout this season. They have a deep squad and should still be able to get the job done against Elche. With the likes of Willian José, Cristiano Tello, Aitor Ruibal, Juan Miranda and Youssouf Sabaly in that second unit and likely to start, Real Betis still have enough firepower to overcome an Elche side that has taken just four points from their past five away matches.
Of course, some might want to stay away from Real Betis this midweek because of the rotations and it’s true that the price for a home win doesn’t provide too much value, but Real Betis should still be considered favourites here.
Villarreal v Valencia
Villarreal vs Valencia is normally a big game for the away side, as this is something of a regional rivalry and they never like to lose to a club they still consider as “a little brother”. However, this is not a normal week for Valencia.
This is cup final week, as Valencia will face Real Betis on Saturday, and coach José Bordalás has already explicitly stated that he will make rotations in this fixture. He already did so when Valencia hosted and lost to Osasuna at the weekend, so it’ll be even tougher for Los Che to take a positive result when they go away to a team as strong as Unai Emery’s Champions League semi-finalists. Whereas Real Betis might not suffer too much in their midweek game as they make rotations ahead of the cup final, as explained above, Valencia’s squad depth isn’t nearly at the same level.
While Villarreal’s recent domestic form hasn’t been too impressive, this was largely down to rotations of their own as Emery prioritised the Champions League. But, the Yellow Submarine will have an eight-day break between this fixture and their next one, so there is no need to hold anything back when Valencia come to town on Tuesday. As such, Villarreal are the big favourites against what should be a weak Valencia line-up.
Atlético Madrid v Granada
Atlético Madrid’s place in the top four is still not guaranteed and they still need every point they can muster. Against Granada, they should have no problem taking all three of the points on offer, as they’ll be facing a demoralised unit that has shipped eight goals across their past two games, a 4-2 loss at Sevilla and a 4-1 defeat at home against relegation zone side Levante. Off-the-field tension at the club won’t be helping Granada either.
The loss of centre-back Raúl Torrente to an ACL injury really seems to have hurt Granada at the back and that makes it even more problematic for the Andalusian side that they’re also without veteran centre-back Germán Sánchez for this one, since he is suspended. While Atleti will be missing a few players too, with João Félix likely to be absent with injury, Diego Simeone’s side are in far better condition than the Granada squad and should be too strong for them.
Aware that they have 10 days off after this Wednesday night fixture, Atlético Madrid can throw all their energy into this game and target a statement victory, like they did when they won this fixture 6-1 at the start of last season. Even without João Félix, they should have enough firepower to put a poor Granada side to the sword.
Celta Vigo v Getafe
It was when these two teams met earlier in the season that Getafe hit rock bottom. That was back in October, when Celta Vigo won 3-0 away in Spain’s capital to provoke a full-time confrontation between the Getafe players and the fans, a point of inflection that saw Geta turn their form around and climb out of the relegation zone.
However, Getafe are currently in their worst spell of form since that first meeting with Celta Vigo, having won just one of their past nine matches and with performances unimpressive. On Saturday, they lost at home for the first time since the Celta Vigo defeat in October, this time losing 2-1 to Villarreal in a match where Getafe could have been 4-0 down at the break.
Put simply, Getafe aren’t playing well at the moment and, even when they were, they still couldn’t win on the road, as they’re the only team in the division yet to win a single road game. It would be a major shock, therefore, if Getafe go all the way to Vigo and suddenly win away from home for the first time this season, especially since Celta Vigo have been playing well of late and had gone on a six-match undefeated run at home before facing and narrowly losing to leaders Real Madrid in their previous home fixture.
Osasuna v Real Madrid
Real Madrid are even closer to clinching this season’s LaLiga Santander title after producing a comeback win away at Sevilla. But, up next they have an intriguing game away at Osasuna.
Osasuna are probably the most unpredictable team in LaLiga Santander right now. They are very hot and cold, as they tend to either win or lose, rarely drawing. In fact, of their 15 fixtures so far in 2022, they’ve only drawn once, while winning seven and losing seven.
It’s also not as if Osasuna are winning all their home games and losing all their away games. Rather, their home and away form has been perfectly balanced too, having won five, drawn six and lost five of 16 home games so far and having won seven, drawn two and lost seven of 16 away games. One of those away draws, in fact, was a 0-0 at the Bernabéu earlier in the season.
So, we don’t know what version of Osasuna will turn up, but we do know that Real Madrid are in excellent form and that they should have enough to overcome the team from Pamplona. That’s why it still makes sense to back the visitors, but recent results suggest it isn’t worth considering a draw no bet option since Osasuna so rarely draw. If convinced enough to back Real Madrid, the best option is to simply pick an away win.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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