La Liga Tips: Fatigued Barca could concede in victory

Alaves can find the net

Alaves 7.87/1 v Real Madrid 1.511/2; The Draw 4.77/2
Saturday 23 January, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Real Madrid travel to Alaves on Saturday for a match that they really must win.

Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 win at Eibar in midweek, saw the La Liga leaders create a seven point gap between themselves and second-placed Real, who they have a game in hand on. With Atletico – 1.422/5 favourites to win the title – able to take a ten-point lead at some stage, Real Madrid need to be very consistent between now and the end of the season.

But so far Real Madrid have been anything but consistent. Zinedine Zidane’s team have never been far away from a dodgy spell this season and having looked like they had turned the corner with six straight wins leading up to Christmas, they have now only won one of their last five games (D2 L2).

They are of course still expected to beat 17th placed Alaves, who have lost four of their last five games. With there being very little value in backing the visitors to win, instead back both teams to score at 1.9110/11, with Alaves having scored in their last five league games, which includes matches against Atletico and Sevilla.

Messi out for tired Barcelona

Elche 8.27/1 v Barcelona 1.392/5; The Draw 6.05/1
Sunday 24 January, 15:15
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Barca are now ten points behind Atletico having played a game more, as they go into Sunday’s away match at Elche.

Ronald Koeman’s side made hard work of their midweek Copa del Rey match with third-tier Cornella, needing a 120th minute winner from Martin Braithwaite at the end of extra time to win 2-1. This was the third successive match in which Barcelona had to endure extra time, having gone the distance in both their Super Cup semi-final win against Real Sociedad and in their defeat in the final to Athletic Bilbao.

Lionel Messi was sent off against Bilbao and is suspended for this match. With their talisman absent and the likelihood of fatigue after their recent cup matches, this could be a tougher match for Barcelona than the odds indicate.

Not that Barcelona shouldn’t still expect to beat an Elche side that are 18th in La Liga and without a win in 12 (D7 L5). A Barcelona win and both teams to score is 2.89/5.

Leaders come from behind thanks to Suarez

Atletico Madrid 1.4640/85 v Valencia 9.08/1; The Draw 4.84/1
Sunday 24 January, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Atletico Madrid will be looking to continue their fine form when they host Valencia on Sunday night.

The La Liga leaders showed fortitude to claim victory against Eibar on Thursday, as they came back from being a goal down to win 2-1. Unsurprisingly for a team that have only conceded seven goals in La Liga, it was only the second time this season that Atletico have been behind in a game.

Luis Suarez scored twice to further reinforce the fact that he has been a great signing for Atletico. The Uruguayan has scored 11 league goals in 14 games, making him the joint top scorer with his former Barcelona teammate Messi. At a time when Barca are short of central options in attack, it feels like they let Suarez leave too soon.

Valencia have only won two of their last 12 league games (D7 L4) and it would be no surprise if the 14th placed club lost patience before long with the former Watford manager Javi Gracia. Four of their last five games have seen less than three goals scored and you can back an Atletico win and under 2.5 goals at 3.211/5.

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