Using Expected Goals (xG) data from Infogol, Tom Victor provides La Liga result and scoreline predictions as the league leaders face a huge challenge...
"Back-to-back wins have kept Atléti's title rivals at arm's length, but both Real Madrid and Barcelona will be watching on eagerly as Diego Simeone takes his team to San Mamés."
Elche to suffer another blow
The two teams with the worst xGA records in La Liga meet in Saturday's early kickoff, and Elche are the ones in more need of a result. Fran Escribá has yet to taste defeat at home since taking over, but Levante's solid record on the road gives the visitors the slight edge based on Infogol's model. The home side could really do with a win, but they might have to wait a little longer.
Valladolid to earn some breathing room
After avoiding what could have been a devastating defeat in Elche, Valladolid have a golden chance to pull away from the bottom three. Infogol backs them to gain the upper hand against a Cádiz side perhaps flattered by their mid-table berth, and December's goalless draw at Ramón de Carranza will fill Sergio González with belief his side can keep out these opponents for a second time.
Alavés to see winning run halted
Back-to-back home wins have pushed Alavés closer to safety, but poor away form - headlined by 1.71 xGA per game - could be their undoing at the Mestalla. More than two thirds of Valencia's points this term have come at home, and Infogol expects that disparity to grow even further with a victory which would all but secure their top-flight status after a challenging season.
Real Madrid to keep up the pressure at the top
Real Madrid briefly went top before Atlético's victory on Thursday night, and with the champions playing before their title rivals they have an opportunity to ramp up the pressure. Infogol's model can see them doing just that, despite opponents Real Betis being no pushovers, with both teams tipped to find the net.
Huesca to earn another big home win
After dropping back into the bottom three in midweek, Huesca can climb back out by beating a Getafe side with the league's worst points and xGF records away from home. Pacheta lost 1-0 to these opponents in his first game in charge, but Infogol backs his team to gain revenge at El Alcoraz and keep their survival bid alive.
Barça to complete double over Villarreal
Barcelona's opening-day demolition of Villarreal suggested things might be just fine under Ronald Koeman, and while a simple title march has not ensued, they are not out of contention. They can stay in touch with the top two by beating Unai Emery's side at Camp Nou, and Infogol gives them a slight edge despite the hosts' stingy xGA record on home soil.
Celta to jump back above Osasuna
Osasuna went into the new year in a relegation battle, but seven wins since the end of January have ensured they're now in the top half, above a Celta side who sat in eighth on New Year's Day. That situation might only be a temporary one, though, with Infogol anticipating a win for Eduardo Coudet's hosts which would see them stop Osasuna's winning run at three and leapfrog them by a point.
Sevilla to claim a fifth straight win
Victory for Sevilla on Sunday would see them match their 2019-20 points tally with five games to spare, and they're expected to do exactly that at home to a Granada side who have averaged 2.27 xGA across their last four games. Joan Jordá's first half dismissal harmed Julen Lopetegui's men in the reverse fixture, but they have the goods to prevail if this ends 11 v 11.
Atléti to come through tricky test in Bilbao
Back-to-back wins have kept Atléti's title rivals at arm's length, but both Real Madrid and Barcelona will be watching on eagerly as Diego Simeone takes his team to San Mamés. Athletic have averaged just 0.85 xGA per game at home, suggesting a low-scoring clash against the famously stingy away defence, but Infogol's model makes Atléti the narrow favourites to claim what could be a vital win.
Real Sociedad to claim derby win
Real Sociedad have enjoyed some success against their fellow Basque sides this season, most notably in the delayed 2020 Copa Del Rey final against Athletic, and now have a chance of success at Ipurua against an Eibar side whose form has dipped since a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. Imanol Alguacil's men are favourites, according to Infogol's model, but a tight contest is anticipated.
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