La Liga Picks for June 13-14, 2020

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 watchIago 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

Athletic Bilbao snapped a ten-game winless run (D5, L5) in La Liga (LL) before the hiatus, winning two straight league games. The last of those wins was the first competitive Athletic game in eight to see a winning margin of more than a goal and marked just the sixth time this season that an Athletic league game saw over 1.5 first-half goals.
A lack of goal action has been a theme in Athletic home games, with four straight 1-0 score lines here part of 12 competitive games (of 15) this season to see just one, or neither side score. Furthermore, no side has seen less than their average of 1.69 match goals per home game this LL season.
Atlético Madrid returns to action amid a five-game unbeaten LL run (W2, D3), the last three of which saw them concede first before the 25th minute. With an average of just 0.93 first-half goals in their LL games this season (the same as Athletic), it’s hardly a surprise that Atletico has seen nearly half (13/27) of their LL games end 0-0 at half-time and 16 overall end level at the break.
Eight of those scoreless LL first halves were recorded away from home, resulting in a first-half goal average of 0.54 per game. Hope for goals is further dashed by a league-high 11 of Atletico’s 13 away LL games producing under 2.5 goals.
Players to watchRaul Garcia has been on the losing side just once for Athletic in the last 15 LL games he’s netted.
João Félix (ATM) has never been on the losing side when scoring in his first-team career (31 goals/25 scoring games).
Stat attack: A 0-0 H2H LL result hasn’t been recorded in Bilbao since 1963/64!
Athletic are unbeaten in five games (W3, D2) as a home outsider since the start of last season.
Atleti’s nine LL games this year average 5.89 yellow cards per game.

 

 

Eric’s La Liga Picks

 

 

Saturday 6/13

Let’s be honest here. Statistically speaking does much matter from prior to hiatus. H2H? Home field? Is there really an advantage without fans in the stands? This has proven to be a non-factor in the Bundesliga return with only 22% of matches won at home!! The truth is Barcelona will be Barcelona. Real Madrid will be in Real Madrid. Then there’s the rest. There are 5 teams fighting for the remaining 2 Champions League spots with only 5 points separating 3rd place from 7th spot in the table. Meanwhile, the bottom 6 teams will have to fight for their lives to stay clear of relegation.

Espanyol(20) (+114) vs Deportivo Alaves(14) (+291) Total 2 goals

Espanyol in need of getting off to a fast start and keep it going now that league play is resuming. Sitting bottom of the table 7 points from safety Espanyol meets Alaves who will be looking for 3 points here to help move them up the table into a more stable position.

Espanyol was in poor form when season abruptly ended winning only 1 of the last 6 games in all competitions. In La Liga’s last 4 competitions, they’ve drawn 2 and lost 2.  The draws however were against decent sides in Sevilla and Atletico Madrid. Espanyol has won just 3 of their last 23 league games and has drawn 4 of the last 6 at home. Espanyol is averaging under a goal per game at home>

Alaves comes into this match with a 3-game unbeaten run. Win against Athletic Club and draws vs Leganes and Valencia all at home. Alaves have lost only 1 of the last 6 in league competitions. Away from Alaves are undefeated in the last 3 of 4 La Liga games conceding only 3 goals in those matches. On the flip side, they only scored 3 goals.

Espanyol will be without team goalkeeper Diego Lopez. Sebastien Corchia out with knee injury.

Alaves will be missing Joselu on suspension.

In Espanyol’s last 3 home matches, there have been under 2.5 goals

Alaves has just 4 wins in 24 away matches in all competitions.

I’m suggesting this will be a low scoring affair. I’ll be taking the under 2.5 goals. I’ll also be taking the draw.

 

Celta de Vigo(17) (+157) vs Villareal(8) (+183) 

Hosts Celta de Vigo sit just one point clear of the relegation zone while Villareal is pushing for a Europa League spot.

Celta Vigo was in the decent form prior to a league suspension. Undefeated in the last 5 La Liga matches earning 9 of a possible 15 points during that run. Defeats vs Sevilla and Leganes at home also picking up points at Real Madrid, Granada and Getafe. Although they only have 4 wins in the last 25 La Liga matches, they’ve been difficult to beat at home. Undefeated in 10 of the last 11 home matches. The last 10 of 12 league home matches have seen under 2.5 goals. They are not big scorers on home turf either and have not scored more than 2 goals at home in a single match this season. Conversely, only twice in the last 10 home matches have they conceded more than a single goal.

Villareal is comfortable knowing they will likely not be relegated this season. Villareal had lost its last 3 league games prior to stoppage to Atletico Madrid, Athletic Club, and at home to Leganes. Away form has also shown to be slumping in recent games.

Celta Vigo will be without injured goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez.

Villareal will be without Bruno Soriano, Mori and Guerra.

The hosts need a good outcome here. I’m taking home side Celta Vigo to win!

 

Leganes(19) (+136) vs Valladolid(15) (+250) Total 2 goals

Leganes welcome Valladolid with the hosts on 23 points and the visitors just 4 spots above in the table with 29 points.

Leganes’ last outing was a 2-1 victory vs Villarreal on the road. This ended a run of 4 matches without a win. Leganes have won only 5 of their last 27 La Liga matches. Unbeaten at home in the last 5 of 6 matches. Leganes have seen less than 2.5 goals scored in the last 4 of 5 matches in all competitions.

Valladolid still has work to do to stay out of the relegation zone. They come into this match just 4 points ahead of Mallorca who currently sits 18th. Valladolid is struggling for wins with only 6 this season. Valladolid’s last match was a disappointing 4-1 loss vs Athletic Club. They have won only 1 of the last 5 matches. Away matches have won only 1 of 9 and the win was vs Mallorca. Valladolid has not found a way goals easy to come by not scoring in the last 5 of 7 away fixtures.

Leganes – midfielder Szymanowski is doubtful while Valladolid travels with a full squad.

This will be a tight game with few goals scored. H2H Leganes has the advantage historically. Leganes to win at home!

 

Sunday 6/14

Athletic Club(10) (+238) vs Atletico Madrid(6) (+140) Total 2 goals 

There will be fireworks when these two sides clash at San Mames Barria Sunday. Athletic Club will be looking to build off momentum from prior to break and continue to move up the table while Madrid will be seeking a Champions League spot.

Bilbao prior to the break recorded back to back wins vs Villareal at home and a 4-1 victory vs Valladolid on the road. They however have a tough return to play facing Atletico Madrid at home. Bilbao possesses a solid home record with 7 wins out of 13 matches. However, just 1 of the last 5 home matches were wins.

Bilbao possesses the best home defensive record with 7 clean sheets and 11 of 13 home matches feature under 2.5 goals.

Atletico Madrid is hoping they can push on to a top-four spot and gain Champions League honors! Madrid is seeking to extend its unbeaten streak to 5. Victories over Granada 1-0 and Villareal 3-1 have been tempered by draws vs Valencia, Espanyol, and Sevilla. These draws have dropped them out of the top 4 into unfamiliar territory. Madrid considered La Liga’s “draw specialists” with 12 off 27 season matches thus far ending in a draw. 7 of their 13 away matches have also ended in a draw. All generally low scoring affairs, 11 of AM 13 away matches have resulted in under 2.5 goals scored.

Madrid is not good travelers and will be missing the services of Joao Felix who is banned.

Two solid defenses will face each other in what should be a low scoring affair. I’m predicting a draw and under 2.5 goals.

 

 

 

 

Phil’s picks for this weekend

 

Deportivo Alaves (+291) vs Espanyol (+114) Total Two goals

Draw (+221)

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

Draw: +236

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

Draw +202

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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