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La Liga Betting: Barcelona can keep up pressure by seeing off Villarreal

Barcelona have been impeccable at home recently
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Jack Lang expects both of the title contenders in Spain to record maximum points this weekend...

"Barça's home form is formidable: they've won ten league games on the spin at the Camp Nou – their best such run under Luis Enrique."

Atlético Madrid v Eibar
Saturday, 15:15
Live on Betfair Live Video

Not often in the Diego Simeone era have Atlético Madrid sunk without a trace, but that was the bleak reality at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night. Gone was their usual defensive resilience, but of more concern was the complete lack of fluency going forward: not one of the attacking six emerged from the game with much credit.

You can be sure that Simeone will talk the talk over the days ahead, but even the most committed optimists at the Calderón cannot give Atleti much of a chance of getting back into that tie. They can, though, thrash out a few of their frustrations when they welcome Eibar to Madrid on Saturday afternoon.

The minnows have had a fabulous season, but - as we have noted in this column before - don't often trouble the big boys: their record against Real, Atleti and Barcelona since reaching the top flight is a W0 D1 L15. Los Colchoneros made a flying start in their last Liga appointment, away at Las Palmas, and could do the same here.

Recommended Bet
Back Atlético/Atlético half-time/full-time at [1.93]


Barcelona v Villarreal
Saturday, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports 5 and Betfair Live Video

After making light work of Espanyol in the derby, Barcelona welcome Villarreal to the Camp Nou for what is, at first glance, their toughest remaining league game. The Yellow Submarine have been ticking along nicely all season and come into this one on the back of five wins in six - a run that included a fine away win over Atlético.

Barça's home form, though, is formidable: they've won ten league games on the spin at the Camp Nou, their best such run under Luis Enrique. They have also had Villarreal's number over the last few years: the Catalans are unbeaten in 15 league meetings between the sides, winning ten.

Villarreal are still without Víctor Ruiz and Sergio Asenjo, and could be further weakened this weekend: centre-back Álvaro González and midfield lynchpin Bruno Soriano are both injury doubts. If either fails to make it, it would be a significant blow to the away side's hopes.

Barcelona have scored 28 goals in their last six league games at the Camp Nou and look likely to keep up the pressure on Real Madrid at the summit. But odds of [1.19] hold no appeal, so instead it's worth backing Villarreal to at least get on the scoresheet. They have only failed to score once in their last 14 games and, in Cédric Bakambu, can count on one of the division's most in-form strikers.

Recommended Bet
Back Barcelona and both teams to score at 6/5


Granada v Real Madrid
Saturday, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 5 and Betfair Live Video

Football can make fools of those who count their chickens before they hatch, but Real Madrid will feel fairly confident of progressing to yet another Champions League final after their explosive derby win on Tuesday. It was, by common consent, the most impressive display of the Zinedine Zidane era, marked by silky-smooth attacking forays and a healthy dollop of defensive solidity.

Everything seems to be coming together at the right time for Los Merengues and even the fixture computer seems to be in on the ruse: they could hardly have been given a kinder assignment than a match against downtrodden Granada on Saturday evening.

The relegation axe fell on the Andalusians last weekend: another defeat, their ninth in ten matches, confirmed what everyone already knew. Tony Adams was phlegmatic after the match but the reality is that Granada have a great deal of work to do if they are not to slide further away from the top table.

Zidane may be tempted to freshen up his starting XI, meaning the likes of Àlvaro Morata and Marco Asensio could come into our thinking. But before concrete team news, the best play is probably backing Real to make hay against one of the worst defences in the division.

Recommended Bet
Back Real Madrid -2.5 at [1.77]

Jack Lang's La Liga P/L, 2016/17

Staked: 68pts
Returned: 59.45pts
P/L: -8.55pts

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