Getafe v Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano are all but safe in La Liga, and Getafe still need a few more points to get them across the line and guarantee safety in the top flight for next season. With that in mind, Sunday’s derby between two teams in the south of Madrid has it all to play for, in particular for the home team.
Getafe have only been beaten at home twice since Quique Sánchez Flores was appointed, and only once since October. That impressive home form contrasts with Rayo Vallecano’s away form, where back-to-back away wins in the city of Barcelona in recent weeks gave them only a second and third away victory this season. What’s more, they were Rayo’s first two wins of the 2022 calendar year.
Rayo Vallecano’s win over a rudderless Getafe in September was their first LaLiga win in the fixture since 2016, but they now face a very different side. At that point, Enes Ünal was yet to open his account for the season, but he is now LaLiga’s second highest scorer on 15 goals, with 10 of those coming at home. That makes 5.0 good value to back the Turkish international as first goalscorer.
Villarreal v Sevilla
Having faced an intense battle with Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final second leg in midweek, Villarreal come into this game in far from ideal shape. Two of the teams leaders, Raúl Albiol and Dani Parejo, are in contention but did not train until Friday after picking up knocks against the Premier League side.
Equally, Gerard Moreno, Arnaut Danjuma and Yerémi Pino, the team’s three top goalscorers with 34 league goals between them, are all expected to miss out for the home team. That means that Tottenham loanee Giovanni Lo Celso could line up as a makeshift forward next to Boulaye Dia.
Sevilla come into this game after a period of eight full days without a game and their only likely change could see Jesús Corona replace Erik Lamela in attack. They come into this encounter buoyed by Youssef En Nesyri’s return to goalscoring ways, as last season’s top scorer notched his first goal since September against Cádiz.
Julen Lopetegui’s side need to firm up their place in the top four and will look to maintain a run which has seen them picking up points, even if not wins. Real Madrid and Barcelona, the current top two, are the only sides to have beaten Sevilla in LaLiga since early October. It’s likely that their run will continue at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
Espanyol v Osasuna
Three consecutive defeats for mid-table Espanyol mean that some have accused them of being on the beach already, and it seems unlikely that there will be a significant turnaround in their final four games of the season, starting with a visit from Osasuna.
Jagoba Arrasate’s team have the sixth best away record in LaLiga and maintain faint hopes of a shot at European football. Osasuna have done well when up against midtable and lower-half teams this campaign, having avoided defeat to any team below them in the table since January.
Much of that has been thanks to Ante Budimir’s fine form, scoring in six consecutive games. At 7.5 to be the first goalscorer against Espanyol, he will fancy his chances given that Espanyol goalkeeper Diego López is an injury doubt.
Espanyol’s home record has been strong this season, with only four defeats, which means that it is worth hedging your bets with a draw double chance. However, they were beaten by Rayo Vallecano in their last home fixture, which gave Rayo their first win of the 2022 calendar year and their first away win since September.
Atlético Madrid v Real Madrid
The newly-crowned champions Real Madrid head across the city following a week of celebrations both domestically and after success in Europe took them to the Champions League final. It’s vastly different from the crisis atmosphere surrounding Atlético Madrid as they cling onto a top four spot with only one win in the last six.
However, the importance of the win over Espanyol and the comeback against Manchester City across 120 minutes mean that Ancelotti, with nothing left to play for in LaLiga, is expected to make changes. In fact, we could see the whole back four rotated with Lucas Vázquez, Jesús Vallejo, Nacho and Marcelo seemingly set to start. Other staples, like Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos and Vinícius Júnior, could also be rested.
That opens an opportunity for Atlético to win their first Madrid derby at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. The Colchoneros have only scored in one of their last six fixtures, but Diego Simeone looks set to change things up in attack and start Ángel Correa and Matheus Cunha following Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suárez’s recent struggles.
The doubts over the extent to which Ancelotti will rotate, and Atleti’s recent track record in the fixture, without a win in the league since February 2016, mean that it isn’t the most convincing of bets, but Atleti are favourites for a reason.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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