Espanyol v Sevilla
Sevilla have had a terrible start to the season, with four defeats and one draw from their opening five matches across all competitions, and there have been several successful picks against them right here in these LaLiga betting predictions. However, this could be the weekend when they turn it around and secure their first win of the season.
The main reason to believe that Sevilla have already hit the nadir is the fact that they’re welcoming players back from injury and their new signings are finally ready to play too. They struggled so much through the opening weeks because their tardy transfer business and central defensive injuries meant they often only had one centre-back available. That’s not the case this weekend, as they can field natural centre-backs Tanguy Nianzou and Karim Rekik in front of Bono, instead of having to come up with makeshift solutions. At the other end, Sevilla’s late summer signings Adnan Januzaj and Kasper Dolberg have had more time to settle in and are ready to be given more minutes.
It also has to be kept in mind that Sevilla’s last two defeats were against the almighty units of Barcelona and Manchester City. Losing both games at home and by 3-0 and 4-0 scorelines was tough to take for their fans, but playing Espanyol is a different story. This is a hot and cold Espanyol side who have eight injury doubts coming into this one and whose worst results so far have come at their RCDE Stadium. It might also be refreshing for Sevilla to go on the road and escape the toxic atmosphere around their own stadium, ready to get their season back on track.
Cádiz v Barcelona
This might be one of the biggest mismatches of the season, as evidenced by the 14.50 odds for a Cádiz win. The home side are rock bottom of the LaLiga table with zero points after four games, in which they’ve failed to score and in which they’ve conceded 10. Barcelona, on the other hand, are flying high and, after a false start in Matchday 1 against Rayo Vallecano, they’ve since won four in a row by scoring 16 and conceding two.
This Saturday evening’s match has all the makings of another big Barça win. Robert Lewandowski is in excellent form, with eight goals already for the club, and he’ll be licking his lips going up against the side that is giving up 2.7 xG against per game, the second-worst defensive record in LaLiga. Even with Bayern Munich on the horizon, Lewandowski is still expected to start this one.
It should be pointed out that Cádiz have won two and drawn two of their four meetings with Barcelona since their 2020 promotion back into the top flight, but, really, that’s almost irrelevant at this stage as Barcelona have evolved so much since most of those previous meetings took place. Cádiz too have changed, as only one of those games was with current under-fire boss Sergio González.
Sergio González really needs a result soon, but, unfortunately for him, Barcelona are relentless right now and will set out for another statement victory to keep warning their title rivals that they’re the real deal.
Real Madrid v Real Mallorca
Sunday’s first fixture in LaLiga will see Real Madrid welcome Mallorca to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The last time Mallorca visited, they were on the end of a 6-1 humiliation, making it 15 goals conceded in their last three games at Real Madrid’s home stadium.
Carlo Ancelotti will be without Karim Benzema for this one after the Frenchman limped off against Celtic in Champions League action in midweek, but, even in spite of his absence, Real Madrid netted three without reply in Glasgow. Perhaps most importantly of all, there was a goal and an assist for Benzema’s replacement, Eden Hazard, who pulled off that double for the first time since 2019.
Mallorca have been tighter defensively this season than last, which is a good job as they conceded more goals than any other team to avoid relegation. This, their first test against a title contender this season, will push their defence to the limit. Coach Javier Aguirre’s record against LaLiga’s biggest clubs isn’t the best either, with 33 defeats and 102 goals conceded in 48 games against Real Madrid and Barcelona.
One key battle to keep an eye on will be that of Rodrygo Goes up against Jaume Costa. The Brazilian 21-year-old winger is blessed with pace while the 34-year-old full-back most certainly is not and could mean that the Mallorca man is in for a long afternoon. Rodrygo has registered one goal and one assist in two LaLiga appearances this campaign and, at 5.5, could be good value as first goalscorer.
Getafe v Real Sociedad
Given Getafe’s poor start to the season and given that Real Sociedad just defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford, many will look at this game and think it’s an easy away win. But, think again. This actually should be a lot more difficult for Real Sociedad than it might seem at first glance.
Getafe are the kind of physical and deep-lying team that Imanol Alguacil’s Real Sociedad often struggle against. In his seven previous meetings with Getafe, he has won three times, lost two times and drawn two times, with those pair of draws both coming last season.
Going away to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez is also no easy task. Just ask Villarreal, as their trip to Getafe was the only one of their seven matches this season that they haven’t won. Under Quique Sánchez Flores – who, importantly, will be back on the sidelines after a two-match touchline ban – Getafe have only lost at home in three of 17 matches.
Real Sociedad will, therefore, really need to scrap and scrape for the three points on Sunday and, given the energy expended at Old Trafford on Thursday, that could be a tough ask. They struggled with this last season, winning just two of their eight post-Europa League fixtures in LaLiga, drawing three and losing the other three. They need to be wary, as Getafe are the kind of team that would love to dish out a Europa League hangover.
Real Betis v Villarreal
At the Estadio Benito Villamarín, we’ll see two teams coming up against one another after Thursday night escapades around Europe. However, we can’t read too much into that as, while Real Betis did have the setback of having to travel to Helsniki for their game, both teams did make several changes to their team. Betis made 10 changes to their starting XI to face HJK, while Villarreal changed their entire side to play Lech Poznan.
Betis had won their three opening LaLiga games before travelling to face reigning champions Real Madrid last weekend, and did well before falling to a 2-1 defeat. On home turf this weekend, they’ll be hoping to set the record straight. With two wins without conceding at the Villamarín this season, they will be confident of doing so.
Visitors Villarreal are no pushovers and remain unbeaten this season, sitting behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in the table. That means it could be worth considering a draw no bet option, but the last time they played in LaLiga after a European game they drew a blank against Getafe to record a 0-0 draw and give them their only point of the season. Another European hangover would be punished much more harshly by Betis.
The Yellow Submarine are yet to concede this season but Betis will be pinning their hopes on Borja Iglesias. With four goals this season and a goal involvement in all four of his appearances, he is 5.0 to be first goalscorer. If he does that, Betis will be hoping to maintain a run which has seen them not lose after going ahead since December 2021, with the last time it happened at home being a Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona in February 2021.
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