Getafe v Villarreal
Top face bottom in LaLiga as a team who have conceded six and scored one host a side who have scored five without reply. Turning those two initial results into a run of form, rather than one-off results, is what Getafe are desperate to avoid and Villarreal are so keen to keep up.
It will be the home side who will face more pressure. A hostile crowd at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez have expected more after a promising summer transfer window and they’re not known for their patience, particularly after failing to pick up a point until matchday seven last season.
Getafe will also have the added complication of not having coach Quique Sánchez Flores available in the dugout. The former Watford boss was sent off after the final whistle for his on-pitch protestations in Girona and will now serve a two-match touchline ban which will prevent him from being alongside his players against Villarreal.
Up against master tactician Unai Emery, that could make a substantial difference. Last season, Villarreal’s away form was a concern as they didn’t rack up two away wins until February, but already this season they have put together two victories on the road in their first two matches. The most recent was against Atlético Madrid on Sunday, who thrashed Getafe 3-0 at the Coliseum only a week before.
Villarreal’s confidence is sky high after a strong start and they have won all of the previous six meetings between the two teams. You’d have to go all the way back to 2017 to find the last time that Villarreal suffered defeat at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. All the indicators are pointing to the Yellow Submarine extending that run again and at excellent odds of 2.00 to win.
Barcelona v Real Valladolid
After a stuttering start saw Barcelona draw a blank last time out at Camp Nou, with a 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano, they finally got up and running as they faced Real Sociedad last weekend and won 4-1. Now back on home turf, there is little chance of a repeat of matchday one up against Valladolid.
Robert Lewandowski opened his account for the season up in San Sebastián and is good value at 2.40 to be first goalscorer against Valladolid and add to his brace last weekend. Barcelona’s strength in depth in attack makes them lethal too, with substitute Ansu Fati scoring and providing two assists, while Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Ousmane Dembélé also compete for a place.
Newly promoted Valladolid were trounced 3-0 by Villarreal in the opening weekend and should have been beaten by a Sevilla side who failed to take their chances, scoring only one goal despite having 1.95 xG. Now coming up against the likes of Lewandowski and Fati, their defence can’t expect to be able to get away with such slack defending.
Barça also rank third for the lowest xG against in LaLiga to date, suggesting that Valladolid may find it hard to score against the Catalans. Given that their xG per shot, which is used to measure the quality of chances created, is the league’s third lowest at 0.08 too, the visitors really should find it difficult to beat an inspired Marc-André ter Stegen, who looks to be back at his best.
Valladolid are among the favourites for relegation with good reason, and Pacheta will be fearing a result similar to his only other previous trip to Camp Nou as a coach, a 4-1 thrashing with Huesca in 2021.
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