The Madrid derby takes center stage in a gameweek full of exciting matches. Valencia host high-flying Real Sociedad, while Barcelona look to shake up the Europa League’s midweek eliminations with a trip to Almeria.
LaLiga action resumes this weekend for Gameweek 23 after some Spanish teams got involved in European action in midweek, and as usual, there are a number of tough ties to look forward to.
The previous gameweek saw little movement at the top and bottom of the table, with Barcelona restoring their eight-point gap after Real Madrid had reduced it to five early on.
Getafe moved out of the relegation zone with a win over Valencia, but Real Sociedad’s slide continued as they dropped points again, leaving the top two and Atletico Madrid and Real Betis fourth and fifth in the standings.
This weekend, the teams in the Spanish top flight will be at it again as they continue to chase their season goal.
This game week, the Madrid derby takes center stage as Real Madrid host their less important neighbors Atletico Madrid. The Madrid derby is the biggest regional derby in LaLiga these days, with both teams belonging to Europe’s biggest clubs.
Los Blancos won the first leg of this encounter at the Wanda Metropolitano last season and beat the Rojiblancos in extra time in the Copa del Rey last month.
Real Madrid have dominated this tournament in recent years, winning five of their last seven matches, with Diego Simeone’s side managing just one win and a draw.
Real Madrid will miss David Alaba and Rodigo, who have been injured recently, as well as long-term absentee Ferland Mendy.
Diego Simeone will not be able to rely on Argentina’s World Cup winner Rodrigo de Paul with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Sergio Reguilon out through injury.
Valencia vs Real Sociedad
Valencia hosts Real Sociedad, who continue to look for the light at the end of the tunnel in their current crisis. New manager, Ruben Baraja, will set his side to face Immanuel Alguacil’s men in Saturday evening’s match as they try to break a six-game losing streak.
There have been no outright winners in the last four matches between the two sides in LaLiga, with Valencia winning 1-0 in September 2020, the last time the team took maximum points from their opponent in this tie.
Valencia’s task is made more difficult as they will be without two of their best players, top scorer Edinson Cavani and club captain Jose Gaia.
Real Sociedad continue to miss Omar Sadiq and Mohamed Ali Cho and will not be able to call on diminutive magician David Silva this game week because he is injured.
Almeria vs Barcelona
Xavi Hernandez’s men are back at Barcelona after their ill-fated trip to Old Trafford, where they saw them crash out of the Europa League. They will now immediately prepare to travel to Almeria to shake off their midweek disappointment with a reinforcement of their dominance in LaLiga against the newly promoted side on Sunday evening.
This head-to-head tie favors the Blaugrana, who have beaten Almeria in 13 of their last 15 meetings, with the Indalikos only managing a draw twice.
Barcelona will be unable to rely on Pedri and Ousmane Dembele for the tie due to injuries, while midfielder Gonzalo Melero remains a doubt for Almeria.
Matches of the complete game week
Expert betting predictions for LaLiga
In-house betting expert Stephen Oladehinde gives the best predictions from every game in LaLiga Round 23 with odds from Bet9ja.
Elche – Betis: Betis win or draw
Espanyol – Mallorca: Under 3.5 goals
Cadiz CF – Rayo Vallecano: Under 3.5 goals
Real Madrid – Atl. Madrid: Under 3.5 goals
Valencia – Real Sociedad: Real Sociedad win or draw
Ath Bilbao – Girona: Ath Bilbao to win
Celta Vigo – Valladolid: Under 3.5 goals
Almeria – Barcelona: Barcelona to win
Sevilla – Osasuna: Over 1.5 goals
Villarreal – Getafe: Villarreal win or draw
It’s been another exciting weekend of football in LaLiga as the league leaders continue their chase for the LaLiga trophy after being knocked out of the Europa League.
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