La Liga Betting: Barcelona could drop valuable points away at Elche


The three-way battle for the title took a unique twist last weekend, when all three challengers failed to win. Real Madrid added to their misery and missed a further opportunity as they were held by Real Valladolid at the José Zorrilla stadium on Wednesday evening. 

Both Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are in charge of their own destiny, with the two sides meeting on the final day of the season. However, this week's penultimate matches could see that game become irrelevant if Atlético win and Barcelona fail to do the same.

With all three facing matches at 18.00 GMT on Sunday, both Real and Barca are away whilst Atletico are at home:

 

Celta Vigo 6.50, the draw 5.20, Real Madrid 1.42

There's no better way for Luis Enrique to audition for the Barcelona managerial position than getting a result over arch-rivals Real Madrid. 

Talks have already started between Enrique and Barcelona with Spanish television channel Cuatro catching Barça's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, professional football coordinator Narcis Julia, technical secretary Albert Valentin and Enrique deep in conversation on Monday.

"I can’t comment on that meeting in Barcelona. For us he is still the coach of our team and there’s nothing else," said Celta Vigo’s vice-president Ricardo Barrios in a futile denial. 

On the pitch, Nolito scored his 14th league goal of the season with a beautiful chip against Osasuna. The forward is now two above Iago Aspas' tally of last year when he was Celta’s top scorer, and is 9.50 for the opening goal here.

Two consecutive draws have put Real Madrid four points short of leaders Atlético. There remains a slim mathematical chance of winning the league, but no one is expecting a reprisal. 

"After the [Champions League] semi-final it’s not been easy to recover energy quickly," admitted Carlo Ancelotti. "That’s important, especially at this part of the season."

Cristiano Ronaldo was forced off against Real Valladolid with 'muscle fatigue', according to reports. With Celta's high defensive line and the pace of Los Blancos on the counter attack then it's worth a look at Gareth Bale for the first strike at 5.00

Celta Vigo have scored 12 goals in their last four matches, although they have only one goal in five against the top three. Over 1.5 goals for the home side is 3.45

Score Prediction: Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 3 (19.00)

 

Elche 12.00, the draw 6.70, Barcelona 1.22

Elche's win over Málaga last weekend took the side out of the relegation zone and gave them three points’ breathing space. 

Garry Mendes Rodrigues scored the only goal of the game and his first in Spanish football. It was a pretty spectacular effort and the midfielder is 32.00 to open the scoring again, butAlberto Botía's red card means he is ineligible to play against his old side.

Gerardo Martino was quick to dismiss his team's title aspirations after the 2-2 draw with Getafe. "We’ve already given everything we had to give in the league," confessed Martino. "Obviously we wanted to have given more, but if we have been unable to win today, then we didn’t deserve to reach the final day with more options."

As subsequent events transpired, Barcelona can win La Liga with two wins in their final matches, though you have to question the mentality of the squad. Their open admissions suggest their focus has shifted to their national sides already.

Alexis Sánchez has been strongly linked with a move to Juventus, whilst Cesc Fàbregas is a target of the Premier League's leading clubs once more. To score first, Sanchez is 5.25 and Fàbregas is 7.00

Elche have scored first in four out if their last six matches. For Elche to do so again (Draw No Bet) it's 3.80. You could also take the draw at 6.50

Score Prediction: Elche 1 Barcelona 1 (12.50

 

Atlético Madrid 1.20, the draw 6.75, Málaga 15.00

The defeat to Levante hasn't proved costly for Diego Simeone's side and they will be hoping that's the last of this season's slip-ups. They face a strange scenario where they can collect two points from the remaining fixtures and win the league, but could lose it by gaining three. 

Málaga are unlikely to get relegated, which goes someway to explain the team's half-hearted attempts in recent weeks. They have scored just two goals in their last four matches.

Whilst the players’ minds are on their holidays, their coach is looking for a move back to his homeland. "It's no secret that I'd go back to live and work in Germany and the Bundesliga," said manager Bernd Schuster. 

His contract contains an automatic extension by four seasons if the club finishes in the top 10. To do that they would have to win both of their last two matches. Don't expect too much fight from his men. 

Atlético have been winning at half-time in three out of their five previous league matches. For the home team to win both halves it's 2.30

Score Prediction: Atlético Madrid 2 Málaga 0 (6.00)