Serie A Predictions and Best Bets for Match Day 37, 2021
With a full round of fixtures in midweek, there was bound to be some developments in the title race in Spain.
Not many would have had Barcelona becoming an outside bet as one of them though. There was just a draw for Ronald Koeman’s side as the two Madrid clubs both won to extend their lead at the top.
|Top of La Liga Standings|
It was all happening at the bottom of the league as well. With just two games remaining, there are still six clubs that could be relegated. We will know more after Sunday’s games and I am going to preview all ten of them, as well as select three of the best betting picks for match day 37 in Spain.
Alaves to Beat Granada
Alaves celebrated the 2-0 win away at Elche on Tuesday as though it had won the league. In reality, that victory just gives the club a very good chance of staying up this season.
It was the Joselu and Rioja show for the Basque club. If they can team up again as well on Sunday then that top-flight status will be secured and Javier Calleja, the coach that only arrived at the start of April, will have done his job.
Even better news for Alaves is that it is facing a Granada side that already considers this season a success and has now lost three in a row as it winds down for the summer.
Diego Martinez’s team was beaten by a rampant Real Madrid on Thursday but still remains in the top half and only has Getafe at home to face after this one. I’m not sure Granada will put up too much of a fight on Sunday.
Real Madrid to Beat Athletic Club
Two of the La Liga ever presents face each other this weekend with the more successful club of the two intent on claiming another title. It has been a successful, but frustrating, season for Athletic who lost two Copa del Rey finals and now doesn’t have a chance of qualifying for Europe.
Basque pride will mean that the players will try their best on Sunday, but Real will be the side with something to play for.
It was a very youthful Los Blancos that took to the field against Granada on Thursday. But an early Luka Modric goal and another from Rodrygo just before halftime calmed the nerves.Two goals in the space of two second-half minutes settled the contest just after Granada had scored and now Zinedine Zidane will have his more experienced players rested for this game taking place just three days later.
Atletico Madrid to Beat Osasuna
Diego Simeone is not the kind of head coach to count his chickens before they’re hatched. He knows only too well that glory can be ripped away at the very last moment. But even he must be feeling confident now.
A dominant first-half display gave Atletico the basis for a win against Real Sociedad on Wednesday – and kept the destination of the La Liga title in its own hands. If Atleti win here, and Real drop points against Athletic, the trophy is making its way to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Osasuna’s second half of the season swansong continued as it beat Cadiz on Tuesday very comfortably, only conceding a goal in stoppage time to make the scoreline look closer at 3-2. After three winless games, it was a good time to pick up some points for the Pamplona club as it looks to finish in the top half.
It is unlikely any more points will be added this weekend, though.
Barcelona to Beat Celta Vigo
After a spectacularly chaotic season in which it has fought to get back into the title race, Barcelona now looks like it is throwing away the chance of beating the Madrid clubs.
Ronald Koeman’s side gave the lead away twice on Tuesday and eventually conceded a Levante equalizer in the 83rd minute that probably ends the Catalan club’s chances. Everything had looked perfect since the turn of the year. But then defeats to Real and Granada – followed by two most recent draws – makes it hard to see a Barcelona triumph on the horizon.
The Blaugrana should still beat Celta Vigo at the weekend though. The Galician club did win its fourth straight game on Wednesday as it narrowly beat Getafe at home.
That run of results has given Eduardo Coudet’s side a very slim chance of beating Villarreal or Real Betis to a European place, but defeat in the Camp Nou seems much more likely – and will leave Celta in eighth.
Cadiz and Elche to Draw
Cadiz lost to Osasuna on Tuesday but had only lost one of the previous seven games. That was more than enough to allow the club promoted from the Segunda Division last season to prepare for another year in the top flight.
Goals haven’t been in too plentiful a supply for Alvaro Cervera’s side but there have been more in recent games. There might be a few holes in the Elche defense later on this weekend.
Elche has to go all out for the win after losing to relegation rivals Alaves in the week. The back-to-back defeats to Atletico and Real Sociedad just previous to that game were probably to be expected, but Elche really needed to overcome the Basque club at home on Tuesday.
Now it sits two points from safety with just two games to go. The desperate need for points makes me think a draw is possible, but I don’t think that will be enough to keep the club up this year.
Getafe and Levante to Draw
There are probably not that many neutrals that will be too sad if Getafe is relegated this year. The Madrid club’s style of soccer is not particularly entertaining and in Jose Bordalas it has a head coach that doesn’t care what other people think about his players.
Getafe has previously been able to grind out results, but three successive 1-0 defeats have kept the club in the battle against relegation. A draw on Sunday might mean safety though.
Although Levante has been far from impressive in the last few months, a draw with Barcelona on Tuesday helped with staying in La Liga for another season as well as striking a real blow to the Catalan club’s title hopes.
Levante has actually only won once in nine games since the local derby win against Valencia. That has been enough to keep away from the bottom of the league, though, and there are the players available to force a draw with Getafe.
Real Betis to Beat Huesca
The Betis players must really want to qualify for Europe this season, but they are going a funny way about it. After doing really well to climb the table since the turn of the year, Manuel Pellegrini’s side has drawn seven of the last eight games, including the clash with bottom of the table Eibar on Thursday.
Although Betis still currently sits in a Europa League spot, that works out to an incredible 14 points dropped. A win here will be needed just to settle a few nerves.
While Betis has stalled, Huesca has done everything it can to escape relegation. The club sat rock bottom of the league when Pacheta took over in January and, although results haven’t always been positive, Huesca now has its destiny in its own hands.
Two wins in the last three, including the 1-0 victory over Athletic on Wednesday, puts it two points from the drop. Results going the wrong way on Sunday could mean a fraught final day, however.
Real Sociedad to Beat Valladolid
If you just look at the scoreline of Real Sociedad’s game against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, it would seem as though it gave the league leaders a run for their money. In reality, although the late goal gave Diego Simeone’s side a few anxious moments towards the end of the game, La Real never really like winning.
An away game at Osasuna comes after this so a win against Valladolid might be needed to calm any nerves concerning qualifying for the Europa League.
Valladolid has won just twice since New Year and has not scored at all in the last two games.
A string of draws had kept the club out of the bottom three but now it is looking like one of the weaker sides involved in the relegation battle. Valladolid also faces Atletico Madrid on the last day of the season, so things are not looking too bright.
Valencia and Eibar to Draw
There are no plans yet at Valencia to install Voro as the permanent head coach, but Los Che could do worse than appoint a club legend who is loved by the fans and seems to have the players on his side too.
The club needs to win over the fan base with something after protests calling for the owners to go. As for the soccer, Valencia lost to Sevilla on Wednesday but is safe anyway. A draw against an enthusiastic Eibar should probably be regarded as a good result.
A solitary point might not be enough depending on results elsewhere. But Eibar has, at least, given it everything over the last few weeks. A club of its size is always going to find itself at this end of the table and has struggled this season in particular.
The draw with Betis in the week was the third game unbeaten for Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side, though, and there will still be the belief that a great escape can be pulled off.
Sevilla to Beat Villarreal
Villarreal currently holds a Europa Conference League place but could qualify for the second-tier Europa League with some positive results in the last two games of the season. There is a chance that it could also be caught by Celta Vigo and miss out completely.
Even with all those permutations, it is still this season’s Europa League final at the end of the month that will be the priority. There are two tough games to go, though, so Unai Emery might have to rely on Celta dropping points.
Barcelona is now considered an outsider for the La Liga title, so Sevilla (six points behind current leaders Atletico) can probably be disregarded as a genuine contender. But Julen Lopetegui will be more than happy with his side simply finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
That has already been secured but there should be another win here just for good measure.
My Match Day 37 La Liga Betting Picks
- Cadiz and Elche to draw (3.10)
- Getafe and Levante to draw (3.80)
- Valencia and Eibar to draw at 3.40
When a club is near the bottom of the table every point is vital. But draws at this stage of the season might not be enough to ensure safety.
All three of my picks this week are for relegation candidates to draw their games, the first being Elche earning a point away at Cadiz. Elche has vastly improved lately but it might all end up being in vain.
If there is any club in La Liga that can grind out a draw, it is Getafe. The thing is that, at this point, the Madrid club needs more to be sure of staying up this season. Levante could go either way, but it managed a dramatic draw against Barcelona last time out and could be up for another one at the weekend.
My final betting pick for match day 37 is for Eibar to miss out on the three points it desperately needs and be forced to settle for a draw with Valencia. If the home side hadn’t changed its head coach two games ago then I might have backed Eibar to continue its own escape from relegation. As it is, this could be the end of the road.