One of the most exciting title races in recent years will continue to take shape this weekend when La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla return to action.
By Bobbie Jackson.
Atletico remain at the top of the standings but they have stuttered over the past few months, possibly feeling the pressure of three clubs breathing down their neck.
Diego Simeone’s side sit two points clear of Real Madrid and Barcelona in second and third respectively and Sevilla are three adrift in fourth.
Atleti’s Away Form Offers Hope to Elche
Atletico Madrid have lead the way in La Liga since late November after Real and Barcelona made a sluggish start to the term.
But they have struggled to maintain the high standards they set earlier in 2020-21, inviting their rivals back into contention.
Performing on the road has been a major issue, failing to win in four and losing two of their last three outside of the capital.
On paper, Saturday’s 15:15 meeting with Elche, who sit 18th, should be routine but the form book does suggest the hosts can take something from the clash.
Elche or Tie in the Double Chance market, which is available at
2/1, offers interest as they scrap for their top-flight status.
They are level on points with 17th-placed Real Valladolid and just one adrift of Alaves in 16th and they have picked up over recent weeks.
Fran Escriba’s side are unbeaten in six at home, winning three, and they did hold Atleti to a draw when last hosting.
Real to Shut Out Osasuna
Real Madrid played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Chelsea on Tuesday, but they can’t allow that competition to distract from domestic action.
After drawing with Real Betis last time out in the league, Los Blancos will be eager to get back on the winning horse when Osasuna visit the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium at 20:00 on Saturday.
They are unbeaten in 10 at home across all competitions, beating Liverpool and Barcelona during that run.
Osasuna don’t have much left to play for this season, sitting 10 clear of the bottom three and nine shy of the European places, therefore, after a long campaign they could be excused for taking their foot off the gas.
Los Rojillos have scored 31 times this season, the lowest tally of any team placed in the top 12 and they go up against the team with the second-best defensive record this weekend.
Backing a Real win to nil at
5/4 looks the way to go.
Barca to Ease Beyond Los Che
Barcelona fell to a shock defeat at home to Granada on Thursday but Valencia shouldn’t pose too many problems on Sunday.
Los Che have endured a hugely disappointing season and they are only six clear of the relegation zone after failing to win in five.
Ronald Koeman’s side have lost just one of their last 11 away from home and they have been free-scoring in the process.
Nine of Barcelona’s 16 away fixtures have seen at least three goals scored and, with a point to prove, another high-scoring win looks the most likely outcome this weekend.
*All odds correct at time of writing.