Spain’s Primera La Liga returns to the pitch this weekend and your Pro Soccer Weekly team will be offering picks and predictions for the rest of the regular season. This is our first week of predicting the La Liga and we will be starting with a clean slate.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s Pro Soccer Weekly Podcast and be sure and check out this weekend’s Bundesliga picks!!
Gary Lewis Picks for this weekend!
Espanyol (20th) V Alaves (14th) DRAW under 2.5 total goals
|Prior to the hiatus, Espanyol compiled a five-game unbeaten run in La Liga (LL) at home (W1, D4), despite scoring first in just three of those five encounters. A HT/FT double to either side is unlikely, as the half-time result has not been replicated at the final whistle in any of Espanyol’s five home competitive games in 2020.|
|Espanyol has enjoyed just one LL victory from seven starts as a home favorite this season (D2, L4), conceding at least two goals in five of those seven fixtures whilst succumbing to a margin of two or more goals in three of the four defeats. Even on the five rare occasions in which they opened the scoring at home, a second-half home goal difference of -10 has contributed to their W1, D2, L2 record under such parameters.|
|Alaves’ last 14 LL contests have seen eight 0-0 half-time results and just two sides lead at the end of both halves, with all five draws in that period finishing with 1-1 results. A seven-game spell without a LL clean sheet would be of some concern, whilst the visitors have won just one second half in their last six LL road trips.|
|They’re also pursuing the end of a six-game competitive winless H2H run at Espanyol (D2, L4), in which Alaves failed to score a single first-half goal. Conceding the first goal of the game will likely spell trouble again, as the visitors have lost eight of nine LL away games (D1) when doing so.|
|Players to watch: Adrián Embarba recorded Espanyol’s first goal on consecutive occasions in February, while Lucas Pérez has done so in three of his last five LL appearances for Alaves.|
|Stat attack: Looking at LL as a whole, eight of the last 11 games before the hiatus saw both teams score.|
|Eight of Espanyol’s last 11 LL games prior to the postponement also saw both teams score.|
|Espanyol has taken the fewest corner kicks of the match in their last five LL contests.|
|Four of Alaves’ last five LL fixtures have produced five or more yellow cards (avg 6.00).|
Celta Vigo (17th) V Villarreal (8th) VILLARREAL AWAY WIN under 2 goals total.
|Celta Vigo emerge from the hiatus with a six-game unbeaten run (W2, D4) in home La Liga (LL) contests intact, but with just one win at home to Villarreal in six matches since 2006/07 (D3, L3) – including four occasions in which they failed to score.|
|The hosts have opened the scoring in three of their last six LL home games, after having done so in just two of the previous seven, and enjoy an unbeaten record when doing so (W3, D2). But without an HT/FT double at home since week two, full 90-minute domination has mostly evaded them.|
|However, the wildly inconsistent away form of Villarreal provides an opportunity. Villarreal has lost the majority of LL away contests that they’ve played against sides ranked tenth or lower ahead of this round (W3, D1, L5), while three defeats from seven LL away games (W4) when scoring first will be of concern.|
|Action at both ends is anticipated: Villarreal has managed to keep a clean sheet on the road to only Leganés and Espanyol, and as a result, both teams have scored in a remarkable 78.57% of their LL away fixtures this season.|
|Players to watch: Iago Aspas has recorded Celta’s first goal on five occasions this LL season, in addition to braces in his last two appearances against Villarreal. Meanwhile, Gerard Moreno has been Villarreal’s first goalscorer in three of his last five starts.|
|Stat attack: Looking at LL as a whole, eight of the last 11 games before the hiatus saw both teams score, as did the last four H2H meetings between these two sides.|
|All but one of Celta’s last six LL games produced at least five total cards (average 7.33).|
|Villarreal has collected as many (if not more) cards than their opposition in their last six LL contests.
SUNDAY 14th June
Ath Bilbao (10th) v Ath Madrid (6th) Ath MADRID AWAY WIN over 2 goals total
Phil’s picks for this weekend
Deportivo Alaves (+291) vs Espanyol (+114) Total Two goals
This is a match between two clubs in the bottom half of the table. Alaves has two wins, three losses, and a draw over their past six games and boasts a record of 8-8-11 this season. Over the past ten games, Alaves has scored 11 scores while conceding 13 goals.
Espanyol has one win, two losses and three draws over its past six games and is 4-8-15 this season and in serious danger of relegation. Over their last ten games, Espanyol has scored ten goals while allowing 17 goals.
Cash with Flash suggests playing Espanyol to defeat Alaves on Saturday.
Villareal (+183) vs Celta de Viga (+157) Total 2.5 Goals
Hosts Celta Viga has three consecutive clean sheets and is looking for its fourth on Saturday afternoon. The hosts have scored 11 goals while conceding just seven and is hoping to avoid relegation.
Villareal has dropped three consecutive games to the hosts and has outscored its opponents 17-14 over their previous ten matches. Villareal would love to have a chance to qualify a chance to play Europa competition next season and a victory would be a huge lift.
Cash with Flash suggests playing Celta de Viga to win this match.
Real Valladolid (+264) vs Leganes (+135) Total Two goals
Host Leganes is 2-2-2 over its previous six games and is 5-8-14 on the season. They have been outscored 6-14 over their last ten contests and are in serious danger of relegation.
Valladolid is 2-3-1 over their past six games and brings a 6-11-10 mark to this matchup. Over their last ten games, Valladolid has been outscored 8-13 and is just above the relegation line.
Cash with Flash suggests playing Leganes to defeat Valladolid in this matchup.
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