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Will Valencia end Atletico's title hopes? Get La Liga tips

Ben Darvill 23 Apr 2019
Antoine Griezmann (credit:Guillermo Martinez/CORDON/PA Images)

Can Alaves return to form with a shock win over Barcelona, will Atletico Madrid keep their slim title-hopes alive, and will Villarreal see their relegation fight taken down to the wire? Read on for our best bets for La Liga's midweek games. 

Alaves vs Barcelona (Tuesday, 20:30 BST)

Alaves have been really struggling of late, with the side unable to kick on following a supremely impressive start to the season. 12 victories have come alongside 10 wins and 11 draws, but they have not won a match in what will seem like a lifetime to their supporters, with the outfit seemingly unable to get onto 50 points. Their last contest ended in a 2-2 draw with a Valladolid side that have been very poor this season, and this latest dropping of points just emphasised why Alaves are unlikely to take a European spot for next year. Barcelona meanwhile arrive in great form as they edge closer and closer to another league title. 23 wins in 33 games along with eight draws and two defeats is a superb record, while they have smashed 83 goals and conceded just 32 times. Their haul of 77 points means they are nine ahead of Atletico Madrid in second and, with just five games to go, they are incredibly close to being crowned La Liga champions yet again. While their last match was not quite vintage Barca, they were still able to beat Real Sociedad 2-1 to tighten their grip on top spot, and they will fancy themselves against an Alaves side that are struggling. 

At home this year Alaves have looked good, winning six, drawing eight and losing twice. However, the last time they played one of the top teams on their own patch they were blown away in a 4-0 loss to Atletico Madrid, while they suffered a comfortable 3-0 loss to Barca in the return of the fixture back on the opening day of the season. Barca arrive with a single defeat on the road, while they have won 10 and drawn five, with the side superb both at home and away. Alaves’ leaky defence, which has seen the side concede 42 goals this season and 11 in their last five, means we are backing Barca to comfortably win this one as they have looked so good in front of goal this season. 

Atletico Madrid vs Valencia (Wednesday, 18:30 BST)

Atleitco Madrid are still clutching onto their slim hopes of winning the league, although they will surely know that the chances of the side overhauling the nine point gap between themselves and Barcelona with only 15 points left to pick up are incredibly slim. Despite this, the side have looked good this year, only losing five times while they have won 20 matches and drawn eight. Their 48 goals scored may not be particularly impressive, but they have been outstanding at the back, conceding just 21 times as they continue to champion defence as the best form of attack. Speaking of defence, Atleti were able to win their last match in a 1-0 away triumph against Eibar as they managed to keep their hosts at bay throughout the 90 minutes. Valencia arrive after overhauling their own awful run as they have been able to claw their way up the table to edge closer to a Champions League spots. 12 wins and 16 draws is not the most impressive of records, but the side have been able to ensure they have only lost five times this year, with this helping them onto 52 points, meaning they are only two short of Getafe in the final Champions League spot. They come into this match in good form after they saw off Real Betis in a 2-1 win to strengthen their top-four hopes. 

At home this year, Atleti have been awesome, winning 13, drawing twice and losing just once, which came at the hands of rivals Real Madrid back in mid-February, and they have been fantastic since then. Valencia have been fairly good on the road, winning six, drawing six and losing four times, with the outfit continuing to improve this season. Despite Valencia showing their quality, we think Atleti will have too much for them as they will cite that a loss in this game will definitely see their title challenge end. Of course, Valencia are battling for a top-four spot, but we think this will be a challenge too great for them, and we are therefore backing Atleti to win this one to nil as they have kept clean sheets in eight of their last 10 matches, while Valencia have only scored 38 goals across the entirety of the season. 

Real Sociedad vs Villarreal (Thursday, 19:30 BST)

Real Sociedad look to be safe this season, with the side edging past the 40 point mark recently, although they will want to add as many points to their tally as possible in their final cluster of games. 10 wins, 11 draws and 12 defeats sees the side sitting on 41 points, meaning they are nine clear of Valladolid in 18th. Their last game may have been a loss, but it was a respectable one as they went to face Barcelona and came away with a 2-1 defeat in which they were never truly out of the game. This match at home provides them with a huge chance to get back to winning ways then, and they will target their struggling opponents as the perfect side to take three points from. As mentioned, Villarreal arrive following an exceptionally poor season that sees them sitting in 14th after just eight wins, 12 draws and a worrying 13 defeats. The 42 goals they have scored this year has not been enough to overhaul the 46 they have conceded, and the 36 points they have picked up means they are only four clear of Valladolid in 18th. A win is vital for them if they are to all but confirm their place in La Liga next year, but we worry for them on the road. 

Sociedad’s home form has not been outstanding this year, with the side winning five, drawing six and losing five. However, they have not lost at home since March 3rd, while their last defeat before that came on December 21st, with four home wins and three draws since then. Villarreal meanwhile arrive with four wins to their name on the road, while they have drawn five and lost seven, with their struggles on the road mirroring their difficulties at home. A 1-0 win over Girona in their last away game sees them arrive in form, but before that they had lost four of their previous six away matches. With this in mind, we think Sociedad will pick up the points as they looked good against Barcelona last time and so arrive in good spirits. 

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