Barcelona v Las Palmas
This is a good fixture for Barcelona to have after the drubbing they received at Balaidos against Celta Vigo on Wednesday evening. Las Palmas would have been delighted by gaining their first win in the top-flight after 14 years in midweek, after they became the latest team to beat struggling Sevilla by two goals to nil.
The performance and manner of defeat for Barca against Celta is the main issue going into this game. Yes, they will have been told and they will have been fully aware that the Celta game was going to be a tough fixture, but it's been such a long time since they were last defeated in La Liga that they still assumed they would be victorious.
I feel the signs have been there a few times this season already for Barca that they haven't felt the need to play to their max, the Atletico victory apart.
This should be the proverbial kick up the backside that spurs them on to achieve a higher performance level and for them to find that ruthless streak that they showed in the second half of last season. That came after a similar defeat away at Real Sociedad.
Las Palmas will have a defensive five formation, Barca will still create chances and maybe, finally this season they will convert a higher percentage. Messi, Suarez and Neymar should be goal hungry which is bad news for Las Palmas.
A big win for determined Barca.
Barca to score over 4.5 goals 3.60
Barcelona -4 4.60
Real Madrid v Malaga
Real Madrid, top of the league for the first time in seven months, will look to build on what is becoming an impressive start to the season.
They secured a tough and excellent win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, where their only disappointment would have been in conceding their first goal of the season.
Karim Benzema hit both goals and he is proving once again how important he is to Real Madrid. That is five goals for the Real hitman now this season in La Liga, and three in his last two - they have been all-important in terms of points gained. He is now level with Ronaldo, who scored all of his five in one game against Espanyol!
I can't see anything other than a resounding victory for Real against a Malaga team who are suffering. Selling their best players season after season is now taking its toll on Javi Gracia's side, who remain winless and goalless after five games. Three times they have lost 1-0 and drawn two games 0-0. Watching Malaga games this season hasn't been fun.
Obviously I expect a win for Real. If Malaga break their duck in front of goal it will seem like a victory.
Real Madrid -2 1.94
Malaga to score over 0.5 goals 2.05
Villarreal v Atletico
It’s third v fourth in this fixture with both teams are enjoying good starts to their campaign.
This fixture produced two close 1-0 scorelines last season, both in favour of the away team. Luciano Vietto grabbed the winner for Villarreal at The Vicente Calderon and Fernando Torres likewise for Atletico at El Madrigal. Vietto, incidentally, is now trying to be a success in Madrid after a €20m transfer.
It’s one win in six for Villarreal against Atletico and their last home victory against Atletico was back in 2010 when Cani and Guiseppe Rossi got the decisive goals.
There have been four clean sheets in five games this season for Simeone's side, which indicates they are back on track in their bid to compete for this season's title.
Simeone though is still searching for the right formula in attack and searching for the right partner for Antoine Griezman. It appears at the moment that it is the in-form Fernando Torres.
Marcelino, the coach of Villarreal, has similar forward line issues. There are plenty of options for Villarreal with Soldado and Bakambu being the obvious first choice pairing, but both missed the game at Malaga through injury. In former Atletico striker Adrian Lopez and Atletico loanee Leo Baptistao, they do have good alternatives. Will Baptistao be allowed to play against his parent club? This often happens in La Liga and on many occasions there is a separate payment to be paid if so. It’s a big decision all round.
I believe that Atletico will continue their dominance over Villarreal, again keeping a clean sheet and coming away with a 1-0 victory.
Atletico to win 1-0 7.50
Atletico to keep a clean sheet 2.55