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Can Atleti cut the gap on Barcelona in the title race? Get La Liga Tips

Ben Darvill 15 Apr 2019
Antoine Griezmann (credit:Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)

Can Alaves get back to winning ways, will Celta Vigo add to Girona's relegation woes, and will Eibar end Atletico Madrid's title challenge? Read on for our best bets for the games in La Liga this weekend. 

Alaves vs Rayo Valladolid (Friday, 20:00 BST)

Alaves have been struggling of late, with the side unable to really make the most out of their superb start to the season. 19 wins and nine draws has seen the side pick up 45 points as they have been able to put the threat of relegation a long way behind them. With 14 points between themselves and the bottom three means they can look to those above them, rather than what is below. However, a poor run of late has seen Alaves struggle, and they come into this one on the back of a 2-1 loss to Espanyol, meaning they need to get back to winning ways quickly if they are to secure a European spot for next year. Visitors Rayo Valladolid arrive in awful form, with their struggles in La Liga likely to end in relegation this year. Seven wins in 32 games along with 10 draws and 15 losses has seen the side sitting in 18th with 31 points, meaning they are a point short of Celta Vigo in 17th after an awful campaign. While their last game ended in a 2-2 home draw with Getafe, they were unable to get back to winning ways following two straight defeats at the hands of Leganes and Sevilla, with their fate in La Liga still very much up for debate. 

Alaves have been fairly good at home this year, winning six, drawing seven and only losing two games in this time. Their form in the last few weeks has been worrying for the side, with three defeats in four not quite good enough. A single 4-0 home loss to Atletico Madrid in this time was a major blot on their copybook, but they have at least managed to remain unbeaten in four of their last five home matches. Valladolid meanwhile may have won against Eibar on March 17, but except for this result they have lost their last five and drawn  twice in this time. Although Alaves have struggled of late, we think they will be able to get back to winning ways against a Valladolid side that are edging closer to Spain’s second tier. 

Celta Vigo vs Girona (Saturday, 12:00 BST)

Celta Vigo are struggling massively this year, with the side in desperate need of points. 32 games have resulted in eight wins, eight draws and 16 defeats, with the 32 points they have picked up seeing the side hold just a one point advantage over Valladolid in 18th. Victory over Real Sociedad in their last home game was quick forgotten as they were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Atletico Madrid in a game that they really needed to win, although going away to play against Madrid is not a game many sides will expect to win. Now, they will target their match against fellow strugglers Girona as they desperately try to get out of their relegation mire. Girona arrive sitting in 14th in the league with 34 points following eight wins and 10 draws. The three point gap the away side currently have over the bottom three is an incredibly tenuous one, and they simply have to win their next bout of games, or they will almost certainly slip further down the table. This game is absolutely massive then, with both sides in desperate need of the three points. 

Celta’s away form has been woeful this year with just two wins in 16 seeing the side struggle. By contrast, their fortunes in front of their own fans have seen the side win six, draw four and lose six, with two home wins in their last two really strengthening their hopes of survival. Girona on the other hand have lost all of their last four matches, although they have been better on the road than they have been at home, winning six times away from their own stadium. Girona will fancy themselves in this one as Celta have been inconsistent this season, but the home side have been better of late, and we think they will secure a massive win and consign Girona to even more relegation trouble. 

Eibar vs Atletico Madrid (Saturday, 15:15 BST)

Eibar have struggled to really put serious space between themselves and the relegation zone this year, although the nine point gap they they have built between themselves and Valladolid is likely one that will see them playing in Spain’s top league next year. Nine wins in 31 games along with 13 draws has helped the side onto 40 points, while they come into this one on the back of a morale-boosting 1-1 draw away at Real Sociedad as they bounced back from their 2-1 loss to Real Madrid the week before. Atletico Madrid arrive still holding onto their slim hopes of clinching the La Liga title, with Atleti cutting the gap between themselves and Barcelona to nine points. 19 wins, eight draws and five losses sees Diego Simeone’s men onto 65 points, while they have impressed after conceding just 21 times, although they are not the most impressive going forward, hitting just 47 goals. An impressive run of late means they have been able to capitalise on Barca’s two draws in their last three, and they will be desperate to make it four wins in five in the league. 

Eibar have looked very good at home this season, with the side picking up eight wins along with five draws and three losses. Their last three home games have ended in two wins and a loss, although it should be taken into account that they have just one win in their last six, losing twice and drawing three. Atletico Madrid on the other hand have won seven of their last nine, while they have won three of their last five away games. Despite the fact that Atleti have not been particularly good on the road, winning six along with six draws and four defeats, their recent form has been exceptionally impressive of late, and we think they will be able to notch another win in their pursuit of Barcelona at the top. 

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