Welcome back to Last Word on Football’s previews and predictions for La Liga. We have reached the 31st round of matches. Alexis Trujillo takes charge of Real Betis for the first time against struggling Espanyol.
Elsewhere, leaders Real Madrid host Mallorca, Barcelona take on Athletic Bilbao. Sevilla travel to the Ceramica to take on Villarreal and there is another Basque derby as Alaves take on Osasuna.
La Liga Predictions
Alexis Trujillo Begins His Reign in Charge of Real Betis Against Espanyol
Real Betis begin life under new manager Alexis Trujillo against struggling Espanyol. Betis parted company with former manager Rubi after their last league game against Athletic Bilbao.
Trujillo inherits a Betis side low on confidence after a poor run of form. They have collected just one win in their last ten games. A team which was full of expectations and excitement has fallen flat and disappointed throughout the campaign. Betis currently occupy 14th place in La Liga and are closer to the relegation zone than the European places. The best they can aim for in their final eight matches is a top ten finish.
However, Trujillo arrives hoping to galvanise the side and victory in his first game against Espanyol will restore some confidence.
Visitors Espanyol arrive desperate for points and wins. Abelardo Fernadez’s side sit bottom of the table, five points adrift after a morale crushing defeat to Levante. Prior to that, things were on the up having collected four points from the first two games since the season resumed.
Games are running out for Espanyol and certainly a trip to confidence shot Real Betis could provide a real platform to ignite a survival charge. A big game for both sides in the context of their seasons.
Two in-Form Sides Meet as Sevilla Travel to Villarreal
Two sides basking in excellent form meet at the Ceramica as Villarreal take on Sevilla. Villarreal are in terrific form, winning their last three league games, Sevilla are unbeaten in seven matches but have drawn their last two.
Javi Calleja’s Villarreal are motoring nicely since the season resumed. The Yellow Submarine have charged into La Liga’s top seven and currently find themselves just five points adrift of their opponents in the battle for Champions League football. Efficiency has been the key to Villarreal’s success with Calleja’s side winning their three matches all by a 1-0 scoreline.
Their opponents, Sevilla, will give them a stern examination as Julen Lopetegui’s side look to maintain their top-four position. Victory over Villarreal will put Sevilla eight points clear of their opponents with seven matches to play. They gave Barcelona a very good game last time out and will consider themselves unfortunate not to collect all three points.
Lopetegui’s team are in a very good place and know victory will edge them a step closer to securing a Champions League spot. Villarreal have European ambition and win over Sevilla will really ignite their belief. A big game for both sides.
LWOF’s La Liga Predictions
Leganes vs Granada
Games are running out for Leganes in their quest for survival. Their form is disappointing but they will take confidence from snatching a late point at Mallorca. They have collected just one win in eight games. Granada will look to respond following their loss to Villarreal. Prior to that defeat, Granada were unbeaten in six.
Leganes 0-1 Granada
Villarreal vs Sevilla
Two sides in excellent form clash. Villarreal have won their last three, Sevilla are unbeaten in seven.
Villarreal 1-1 Sevilla
Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao
Barcelona will look to bounce back from that disappointing draw against Sevilla. The title is now out of their hands and Quique Setien knows they must win every remaining game. Athletic Bilbao are going well having collected eleven points from their last five games.
Barcelona 1-0 Athletic Bilbao
Levante vs Atletico Madrid
Levante are unbeaten in four and are fresh off an excellent result against Espanyol. Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in eight and have won their last two games.
Levante 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Valladolid vs Getafe
Valladolid will look to bounce back from defeat. Getafe need to reignite their season after a real slump in form. Jose Bordolas’ team have won just once in their last six.
Valladolid 0-0 Getafe
Alaves vs Osasuna
A perfect game for both sides to respond. A Basque derby offers the perfect chance for Alaves and Osasuna to bounce back from heavy defeats. Alaves were thumped by Celta Vigo while Osasuna have lost their last two conceding seven goals without reply.
Alaves 1-0 Osasuna
Real Madrid vs Mallorca
The home side have clicked into gear winning their last three league games. As a result, they back on top of La Liga. Mallorca head to the capital on the back of just one win in six matches.
Real Madrid 3-0 Mallorca
Real Sociedad vs Celta Vigo
The home are desperate for a morale-boosting win. They are winless in four matches and need a win to reignite their Champions League push. In contrast, Celta Vigo are fresh off a terrific win over Alaves. A chance for Celta Vigo to register back to back wins for the first time this season.
Real Sociedad 1-0 Celta Vigo
Eibar vs Valencia
Eibar are struggling for form and wins. They have collected just one win from their last nine games. Valencia bounced back from their heavy loss to Real Madrid by beating Osasuna. Valencia are targeting back to back wins for the first time since November.
Eibar 1-2 Valencia
Real Betis vs Espanyol
Real Betis have won just once their last ten. Alexis Trujillo will be targeting a dream start in charge as he looks to get Betis going. Espanyol will be looking to respond after their heavy loss last time out. They need the points to enhance their survival prospects.
Real Betis 1-0 Espanyol