Villarreal v Barcelona
It was no surprise to see Ronald Koeman given the boot after a torrid start to the season for Barcelona, and now Xavi has been tasked with restoring some order at the Camp Nou. He’s made an unbeaten start to life, though a narrow 1-0 win over Espanyol and a goalless stalemate when hosting Benfica is nothing to write home about.
Villarreal aren’t exactly in electric form either though and have failed to kick on having won the Europa League last season. They have just a 26% win percentage across all competitions this year, and of those five wins, two have come against Young Boys in the Champions League, while another two have come against Getafe and Elche, both of whom are currently occupying relegation zone places in the league.
The kicker here is that Barca have been nothing short of abysmal on the road, by their standards. It’s taken until November for them to garner their first win on the road, with that coming thanks to a late Ansu Fati winner against Dinamo Kiev, as they still seek their first such win domestically. Four of Villarreal’s five wins this year have come on home soil.
One thing on Barca’s side though is the fact that they’re unbeaten from their last 26 meetings with Villarreal going back to early 2008, so we wouldn’t feel confident in backing the hosts to end that run here. No side has more draws than Unai Emery’s charges, who nabbed a point against both Madrid sides, and with the visitors still in transition that looks the value bet here
VILLARREAL AND BARCELONA TO DRAW
Real Madrid v Sevilla
This is the highlight clash of the weekend as Real look to hold firm their position at the top of the table, though a victory for Sevilla here would see them leapfrog Los Blancos. Real are starting to go on a bit of a run with five successive wins in all competitions, scoring 13 times in that run.
Sevilla aren’t the easiest side to beat, though there’s stark contrast between their home and away form, with their 2-0 win over Betis in their last away game just their third such win in 11 games now, with the other two coming by narrow 1-0 score lines against bottom-six sides Celta Vigo and Getafe.
Sevilla had suffered 13 successive defeats at the Santiago Bernabeu, though ended that run with a 2-2 draw last season and it wouldn’t be shocking to see something similar here. While Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been winning with some regularity now, they still seem defensively susceptible, keeping just three clean sheets all season, while Sevilla have netted in each of their last seven outings, averaging just over two goals per game in that time.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
Cadiz v Atletico Madrid
Consistency seems to be the biggest issue for Atletico this season as they’ve not won back to back outings since the opening two matches of the season, though questions will be asked if they don’t manage that feat when facing relegation threatened Cadiz this weekend. It’s now just two wins in eight for Diego Simeone’s men across all competitions, though with their three defeats coming against Liverpool (twice) and AC Milan, they should expect to bounce right back here.
Cadiz have picked up the fewest points on home soil this season (4) and are still seeking their first home win. They come into this off the back of a hefty 4-0 defeat to relegation rivals Getafe which certainly doesn’t bode well here, and with them managing just one goal across their last five home games, we can’t see them picking up any points from this clash.
Under 2.5 goals is usually a good bet for Atletico under Simeone’s reign, though six of their last seven league road trips have seen at least three goals going back to the final stages of last season as they’ve not managed a single clean sheet in that run. There’s little trend in Cadiz’s matches in terms of goals, and at a much longer price, we’re happy to get behind some goals here.
OVER 2.5 GOALS
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