Terry Gibson's La Liga Betting: Tony Adams can hand Barcelona title advantage but it looks impossible for the Arsenal great


Sporting Gijon v Las Palmas – Saturday 12:00 PM

It's last chance saloon for Sporting Gijon this weekend.

With Osasuna and Granada already relegated the relegation battle has come down, realistically, to Sporting and Leganés fighting it out between them to see who survives.

Sporting on 24 points, are six behind Leganés with just three games to go.

They do have the better of the head-to-head results, so can get away with finishing level on points.

I have been critical of the attitude of the Sporting coach Rubi in recent weeks, due to his negativity, and surely, that can't be his agenda this week again, can it?

Since beating Granada in week 28, when they really put themselves in with a chance of staying up, they have proceeded to draw three and lose four of the last seven.

This week they should be facing the perfect opponents in Las Palmas.

In their last seven games they have had one win, one draw and five defeats. They have scored seven and conceded 21!

In the last four it is goals for, two and goals against, 14!

The deterioration in their results coincided with the announcement by the coach Quique Setien that he would be leaving the club in the summer. He is, incidentally, the favourite for the Valencia job.

After losing 5-0 at home to Atletico last week. will it be a question of enough is enough now for him and the players and will we see a return to the vibrant exciting team that we saw for three quarters of the season?

I'm not expecting that at all! Las Palmas have only won once away all season, they have accumulated just six points away and 33 at home.

So even when they were playing well and winning games their best form was in their own stadium.

So, by just the sheer fact that one team will/should be so much more hungry for the result than the other, I'm going to show some belief in Sporting taking their relegation fight on for just a bit longer.

I'm going to show real faith in Sporting and I'm backing them for a 2-0 win (8.50).

 

Barcelona v Villarreal – Saturday 5:30 PM

This is easily the toughest game of the three left in La Liga for Barcelona this season.

They have won four consecutive league games and to have any chance of winning the title that run has to be extended all the way to seven, and that still might not be enough.

Since the defeat at Malaga, Barcelona have gone on to defeat Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Osasuna and Espanyol. After Villarreal they play Las Palmas away and finish with Eibar at home.

Villarreal are on a good run of form themselves, winning five of the last six, including a 1-0 away victory against Atletico.

Soldado and Bakambu are looking the part as a strike force pairing and certainly look capable of testing the Barcelona defence.

Villarreal have the best away defensive record in La Liga conceding only ten in their 17 games played.

The corresponding fixture in January finished one apiece and I expect another tight affair in this one.

Both teams are desperate for the three points, Barca for the title and Villarreal to keep Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad at bay in the chase for a Europa league place. Two points separate those three teams in fifth, sixth and seventh.

I'm going to go for Barcelona to just shade this. I don't expect there to be many goals due to Villarreal's defensive record but I'm going to trust the difference in terms of quality that has led to Barcelona gaining eighteen more points than their opponents this season.

My prediction is for a 2-1 home win (10.50).

 

Granada v Real Madrid – Saturday 7:45 PM

Goodness me!

After seeing Real Madrid blow Atletico away in midweek, heaven knows how much damage they could inflict on an already relegated and demoralised Granada!

Whatever you think of the appointment of Tony Adams, and personally I think it was bizarre, his appointment really has had nothing to do with Granada's inevitable relegation. It had more to do with the fact that they didn't win a game until the 14th match of the season, and by that stage I knew they were relegation cannon fodder.

Logically, what chance do they have of getting something from this game. Realistically, none whatsoever.

It is the perfect opportunity for Zidane to rotate between the two Champions League ties, although the pressure on the return at the Vicente Calderon has been slightly alleviated with that impressive scoreline on Tuesday evening in the home leg.

The B team will be trusted in this game and of course should still be more than enough to deal with Granada, which means no Cristiano Ronaldo. Centre backs Lomban, Ingason and Hongla will be pleased about that.

Mind you, the B team will probably have Morata, Kovacic, Asensio, Danilo and James Rodriguez in it. That little lot did cost in excess of €180m though, so not too shabby indeed.

How can I make a case for anything other than a Real Madrid win in this one? I'll try on behalf of Granada.



They did play much better in the last game, which was a 2-1 defeat at Real Sociedad.

The pressure is off now their relegation has been confirmed and they are at home.

Not much to go on there!

If you fancy a long shot flutter then this is the sporting event of the weekend to do it on.

It is so unrealistic to expect Granada to get anything in this game, and the odds are pretty decent (20.00). If they were to avoid defeat and inflict damage om` Real Madrid in their title pursuit then this game would be talked about for years to come.

Tony Adams would have then left an unlikely long lasting legacy in La Liga!

My prediction is for a realistic comfortable 3-0 win for Real Madrid, possibly more but you never know (9.00).