La Liga Predictions and Best Bets – December 4-7, 2020
It was Real Madrid’s turn to surprise us last week as Zinedine Zidane’s side lost at home to Alaves. Lionel Messi ensured that Barcelona paid its respects to the passing of Diego Maradona by scoring an uncannily identical goal to one the legend scored back in Argentina in the 4-0 rout of Osasuna. But it is still Real Sociedad at the top, even though it could only draw with Villarreal.
The big clubs are in for some intriguing looking fixtures this weekend as we reach match day 12 of the season. Not all the clubs have played 11 games so far however. So it will be interesting to see how the La Liga table looks once all those games in hand have been played.
I’m going to take look at every game on match day 12 in La Liga – and find some of the best bets to look out for.
Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo to Draw
Athletic took an early lead away at Getafe last weekend but was unable to hang on until the end, so could only take a point from its trip to Madrid. But that was the first point earned away from home since September for the Basque club. Games at home look to be crucial for Gaizka Garitano, who is still just about clinging onto his job. But a few defeats at San Mames and it would not be a surprise if he makes way for a new face.
He will definitely be hoping that Iago Aspas is not as effective as he was last week in Celta Vigo’s 3-1 victory over Granada. For once, the talismanic striker was not on the scoresheet in a Celta win – but he did just about everything else to ensure that his club picked up three vital points. That was the first win since the middle of September and dragged Celta off of the bottom of the table. It is still in the bottom three however, so some more positive results are desperately needed.
Levante and Getafe to Draw
Getafe’s draw at home to Athletic made it five games without a win for the Madrid club and continued the slide down the table it has been experiencing since the middle of October. The win over Barcelona was the last time three points were picked up and that great start to the season has been gradually eroded. Although there haven’t been many goals conceded, there have been fewer scored – and that needs to change if it is to be a successful season.
Levante may not be the best team to come up next for Getafe in that respect. The club from the east coast has managed to draw the last five games buy the same 1-1 scoreline. There has only been one win all season for Paco Lopez’s team and it is difficult to see where the next victory will come from at the moment. There is not enough cutting thrust up front and if this one is to end as another draw it would probably suit the home side more.
Sevilla and Real Madrid to Draw
It has been a curious week for Sevilla. The narrow victory over Huesca in La Liga last Saturday ensured that Julen Lopetegui’s side inched further up the table to just outside the Champions League places. But it was then thrashed at home by Chelsea, thanks to an Oliver Giroud master class. As Sevilla had already qualified for the next stage we can probably take that as a minor blip but the head coach will want to continue the fine home form in the league to get one over his former employer.
For its part, Real Madrid will just want to get back to winning ways. Keeper Thibaut Courtois virtually handed Alaves the win last weekend in the league – and that was followed by a defeat away at Shakhtar Donetsk that leaves the club third in its Champions League group with just one game to play. With the Madrid derby against Atletico coming up next week, an upturn in form is badly needed.
Atletico Madrid to Beat Valladolid
Atleti briefly drew level with Real Sociedad at the top of the table after its impressive 1-0 win at the Mestalla last Saturday, with Koke once again pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch. He was making his 470th appearance for the club and was instrumental once again. But it was an early own goal that won the points as Jan Oblak kept a third consecutive clean sheet in the league. He has only conceded two La Liga goals all season and must be confident of stopping Valladolid this Saturday.
Barcelona to Beat Cadiz
With all the chaos and confusion surrounding the Camp Nou this season, Lionel Messi briefly calmed everyone down with a sublime performance to pay his own respects to Diego Maradona in the 4-0 win against Osasuna. The revealing of a Newell’s Old Boys shirt in memory after his goal was a nice touch, as Barca finally looked something like its old self. Could this be the turnaround the club so sorely needs?
Cadiz is actually still above Barcelona in the La Liga table – and at home this weekend – but goes into this game as the underdog because of a severe slide in results and performances over the last few weeks. It has been an excellent first season back in the top flight for 14 years for the club from the south coast, but maybe we are starting to see a more natural run of results now. The 1-1 draw with Elche last week was probably a good result but there will be a feeling that it should have been more after playing against ten men for the second half. Barca may not give Cadiz as much chance on Saturday.
Granada to Beat Huesca
Granada just couldn’t cope with Iago Aspas last weekend as it fell 3-1 to the relegation-threatened side. But there should be more opportunities to win this week as it takes on bottom of the table Huesca. Head coach Diego Martinez has had to deal with an extensive absentee list over the last few weeks – mainly because of a spate of positive COVID tests – and that has been a major reason behind the three consecutive defeats in the league. This weekend’s fixture looks a little kinder.
Huesca almost pulled off what would have been a good draw at home with Sevilla last weekend. But a late goal from Youssef En-Nesyri ruined the day for the top flight new boys and left the team still winless after 11 games. Seven of those have been draws however, so there is some cause for optimism. There is not a big gap at the bottom of the league quite yet, but that first victory needs to be coming up soon. Unfortunately for Huesca, I can’t see it arriving this weekend.
Osasuna to Beat Real Betis
Neither of these two clubs is setting La Liga alight this season – and come into this fixture off the back of a string of poor results. Osasuna was thumped by Barcelona last weekend but had only conceded nine goals before then. There wasn’t a single win in November for the Basque club but there might be some grounds for optimism going into the final month of the year.
That cannot really be said for Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis. It was another disappointing performance last Sunday as it lost at home to Eibar. The 2-0 defeat contributed to the worst defensive record in the Spanish top flight and made it just one win in the last six now. The whole game was a little scrappy, to be honest and Betis really need to pick up its game soon.
Villarreal to Beat Elche
An early penalty gave Villarreal hope away at the league leaders last Sunday, but a point is still a good return from the fixture and keeps the Yellow Submarine in the top three and in contention for one of the Champions League spots this season. With more focus on the Madrid sides – and the situation at Barcelona – Unai Emery has been able to concentrate on what is going on on the pitch and has taken points off some of the big boys this season while only losing the one game against Barcelona.
That is why there will a lot of confidence in the home team to triumph once again this Sunday. Elche managed to hang on to draw with Cadiz last weekend even though Boye was sent off for a second bookable offence on the stroke of half time. The point can probably be seen as a positive as Elche continues to hover around the middle of the table. It also has a few games in hand on many of the clubs around it, so there is nothing to worry about just yet. But that still doesn’t mean it can go to Villarreal and come away with anything.
Alaves and Real Sociedad to Draw
It is hardly the beginning of the end, as Real Sociedad’s draw at home with Villarreal was the first time it had dropped points since the end of September. But it should be noted that it was the first time that La Real had played anyone challenging in the upper reaches and it was unable to pick up another win – even though it did remain at the top of the league. This could be the start of a minor blip for Real Sociedad.
Alaves, on the other hand, will be looking to follow up last weekend’s impressive win against Real Madrid with another scalp. It has been a good few months for Pablo Machin’s side. There have been draws with Barcelona and Valencia – as well as Saturday’s victory – since the last time the club lost a game in La Liga. It had been a disappointing start to the season before that and now Alaves finds itself in mid table. Another point here would continue that good form.
Eibar to Beat Valencia
Eibar and Valencia round off match day 12 in La Liga on Monday with the home side enjoying a rich vein of form, losing just once since the start of October. The win away at Real Betis last weekend was a well-deserved three points from the top flight minnow that is now competing in its seventh consecutive season in La Liga. It looks like Jose Luis Mendilibar is doing another good job this term and it would not be a surprise if Eibar manages another victory here.
That’s because Valencia has been fairly patchy this season. The perhaps predictable loss to Atletico Madrid last weekend broke a three-game unbeaten run. The win over Real Madrid is the obvious highlight of the season so far but there is still a lot of work to be done by head coach Javi Gracia before he sees his team consistently picking up points and climbing the table.
My Top La Liga Picks for December 4-7, 2020
- Sevilla and Real Madrid to draw – 3.50
- Osasuna to beat Real Betis – 2.62
- Alaves and Real Sociedad to draw – 3.40
Betway has some good looking odds covering all the La Liga games this weekend. But these are three that stand out for me.
I think that a lot of people will fancy Sevilla’s chances of beating Real Madrid this weekend after yet another bad week for Zinedine Zidane’s team. But Los Blancos still have some of the best players in the world and I think they can halt the slide – just about – on Saturday.
Betis looks to me as though it is in deep trouble this season and the amount of goals being conceding is definitely not helping. Osasuna may not manage to find the net too many times on Sunday but I do fancy it to extend Betis’ problems. Alaves recorded the most surprising result of last week and I think it could do the same this weekend by stopping Real Sociedad. La Real could well stay challenging at the top for the rest of the season, but it will experience a few rocky points along the way – and this could be one of them.