Terry Gibson's La Liga Betting: Real Madrid face their toughest challenge of the season with Sevilla trip


Las Palmas v Barcelona - Sunday 19:00 GMT

This should be, no sorry; it will be a foregone conclusion.

Las Palmas are the team to play now if you need three points, that's for sure. It's now six defeats in the last 8 games and they are also shipping in goals left right and centre.

It's all a real shame, and their season has turned on a couple of issues. Firstly, it was clear that they weren't going to be involved in a relegation battle when they beat Villarreal at home in the middle of March and secondly the manager Quique Setien announced at roughly the same time that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The two factors have combined to the extent that the season was pretty much over with 10 games to go!

They have knocked off so much that it has probably cost Setien the Valencia job. He was hotly tipped and it appeared that it was all lined up with club and coach, but after seeing how Las Palmas have played in recent weeks it turns out that Valencia are having second thoughts and are looking around elsewhere.

Can his team respond and put him back in the frame again, against Barcelona of all teams.

Their season is now turning into a disaster and all the good work done in the first three quarters of the season has now gone to waste.

They will certainly be up for the occasion and the challenge but confidence is now very low indeed.

They approach games with a very distinctive style of play. It is very Barcelona-like in terms of playing out from the back and confidence is key.

Barcelona will recognise exactly what they are up against and will press from the front to force some more defensive errors.

In the last home game Las Palmas lost 5-0 to Atletico Madrid, who were conserving themselves for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.

I expect Las Palmas to make it slightly more difficult for Barcelona, surely, they have to make more of an effort but I still expect Barcelona to score at least three (1.25).

I'm going to go for at least a Barcelona 3-0 win (10.50) to continue to push Real Madrid all the way.

 

Real Madrid v SevillaSunday 19:00 GMT

This is possibly the biggest hurdle for Real Madrid to overcome in their quest to win the La Liga title. In fairness, they could have two tricky games against Celta Vigo and Malaga which are both away from home but in terms of quality of their opponents who are in fourth place, this should be the toughest game by far.

Team selection from Zidane is going to be interesting in this game indeed.

To be honest, I have no idea at all.

The La Liga team with Morata, Kovacic, Asensio, Vazquez and James have played really well in recent games but they were against Sporting Gijon, Deportivo la Coruńa and Granada. All three of those are in the bottom four!

I think he will select the strong starting lineup for this one, but who knows? I'd be amazed if there is no Ronaldo, Kroos or Modric starting against Sevilla. I guess he will observe the players recovery after going through to yet another Champions League final against Atletico in midweek

With the stakes so high for Real Madrid and no room for error, I don't believe Zidane will risk making too many changes.

Sevilla did defeat Real Madrid in the corresponding fixture this season at the Sanchez Pizjuan. That is one of only three defeats for Real in the league this season.

A Ronaldo penalty had given them the lead before a late Ramos O.G and a 92nd minute Jovetic strike from distance won the game for Sevilla.


I expect it to be tight again in this game. Sevilla have still to confirm their fourth place finish but that will be a formality, they also still harbour hopes of catching Atletico to pinch third position.

Sevilla will be positive and will play an attacking style at the Bernabeu and it will make for an open game.

If it is open and attacking, I can only envisage Real coming out on top. If you compare the attacking quality in the forward players, I would back Zidane's boys to come out on top in those circumstances.

I'm going to go for both teams to score (1.51) and for Real Madrid to win 3-2 (17.00). Could be dramatic!

 

Villarreal v Deportivo la Coruńa & Eibar v Sporting GijonSunday 19:00 GMT

It was five wins out of six for Villarreal prior to the Barcelona game last week, when they were eventually defeated by the scoreline of 4-1.

They are in good form and shouldn't let last week’s result get to them too much.

Villarreal are in good form but Depor are certainly not.

They have had only two wins in the last 10 games and inexplicably one of those was against Barcelona!

Depor have now slipped behind Leganés and are just one place above the relegation zone.

I believe Villarreal will romp this one but  it might well be the case that Depor are celebrating as well after this game as Sporting Gijon need to win both of their last two games to overcome them.

Sporting are away at Eibar, it is Eibar's last home game of the season and they will want to finish off their home fixtures in style with a win. It will round off what has been a fantastic season for them.

So I'm going for Villarreal to beat Depor and Eibar to beat Sporting Gijon (Double is 2.96).

Sporting to be relegated and Depor to survive for another season in the top flight.