La Liga Tips: Koeman to earn some Barcelona breathing space in gameweek 7

Piqué Barcelona Cádiz
Gerard Piqué and Barcelona are now winless in three across La Liga and Europe

Using Expected Goals (xG) data from Infogol, Tom Victor provides La Liga result and scoreline predictions as Barça fight to avoid a third winless league game in a row...

"Real Madrid's 2.28 xGF average is the highest in La Liga, and Carlo Ancelotti's side have been outperforming the underlying numbers with a frightening 21 goals from their six games so far."

Atléti to kick on after midweek scare

Alavés v Atlético Madrid
Saturday, 13:00
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After needing a late Luis Suárez double to prevent embarrassment against lowly Getafe, champions Atlético Madrid take on an Alavés side rooted to the bottom and without a single point. The hosts have averaged just 0.78 xGF per game, drawing a blank in four of their five outings, and Atléti should have little trouble seeing off a team who they only scraped past at Mendizorrotza last term.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 0-2 @ 7.006/1

Valencia to lose third game on the spin

Valencia v Athletic Bilbao
Saturday, 15:15
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Back-to-back losses have dented Valencia after an impressive start, and unless they can arrest the slide at home to Athletic they can expect to drop out of the top four by the end of the game week. Last season's meeting ended all-square, with a penalty apiece, but this time around Infogol's model gives a narrow edge to an Athletic side which recently suffered its first defeat of a broadly impressive season so far.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 0-2 @ 16.0015/1

Sevilla to keep up ominously impressive start

Sevilla v Espanyol
Saturday, 17:30
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After ending last season like a train, Sevilla have carried on this season as if nothing has changed, boasting the league's best xGA record and conceding just two goals in their first five games. They welcome an Espanyol side which finally has a win under its belt, but Infogol doesn't expect an admittedly impressive display against Alavés to propel Vicente Moreno's side to another victory.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 7.807/1

League leaders Madrid to march on

Real Madrid v Villarreal
Saturday, 20:00
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Real Madrid's 2.28 xGF average is the highest in La Liga, and Carlo Ancelotti's side have been outperforming the underlying numbers with a frightening 21 goals from their six games so far. After a six-goal return against a previously stingy Mallorca defence, Infogol expects Los Blancos to get the better of a Villarreal team who impressed themselves against Elche in midweek but haven't won any of their last four games on the road.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 9.208/1

Mallorca to suffer first home loss

Mallorca v Osasuna
Sunday, 13:00
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Visit Mallorca Estado plays host to two teams who lost in midweek, with Mallorca's heavy loss in Madrid hardly the best preparation for an Osasuna side which has thrived on the road. Jagoba Arrasate's side have won their two away games so far, averaging an impressive 0.95 xGA across those victories, and Infogol's model predicts a close contest which is more likely than not to end in another win on the road for Arrasate's men.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 0-2 @ 14.0013/1

brian-olivan-mallorca.jpg

Barça to ease pressure on Koeman

Barcelona v Levante
Sunday, 15:15
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Back-to-back league draws have kept Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman under fire, and the underwhelming attacking production in Cádiz won't have helped. The meeting with Levante on Sunday might feel like make-or-break for some of the manager's critics, as it was around this time 12 months ago when a 1-0 win was enough, and Infogol backs the hosts to prevail against opponents who can perhaps consider themselves unfortunate to still be winless.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Over
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 3-0 @ 12.0011/1

Rayo to claim third straight win

Rayo Vallecano v Cádiz
Sunday, 17:30
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Rayo Vallecano continued their impressive start with a win at San Mamés in midweek, but they'll be wary of the threat posed by a Cádiz side who held their own against Barcelona. The last league meetings between the sides in 2019-20 both ended all-square, but Infogol's model favours a home side who are one of just two sides in La Liga with maximum points in front of their own supporters.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 8.4015/2

La Real to continue impressive home start

Real Sociedad v Elche
Sunday, 17:30
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Real Sociedad are yet to concede across three matches at Anoeta this season, but opponents Elche had been tough to break down on the road before shipping four to Villarreal last time out. The corresponding fixture last season ended 2-0 to the hosts, but Raúl Guti's first-half red card arguably changed the complexion of the game, and Infogol backs a similar outcome even if it's 11 v 11.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 6.005/1

Betis to leave Getafe in the mire

Real Betis v Getafe
Sunday, 20:00
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After their late heartbreak against Atlético Madrid, Getafe will be desperate to take the positives from a game which saw them keep the champions scoreless for 75 minutes rather than the negatives of their eventual collapse. Unfortunately, it's likely to be tough against a Betis side who impressed in their win at Osasuna in the week and whose +4.2 expected goal difference is bettered by just two sides in the competition.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 8.808/1

Celta to keep Granada waiting for first win

Celta Vigo v Granada
Monday, 20:00
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Granada's point at Camp Nou was a useful one, but Robert Moreno's team goes to Vigo in the relegation places and with the league's worst xGA return through six games. Celta are the second-worst in that department, but have been unfortunate not to take a point from a trio of tight home games and are favoured by Infogol's model to repeat last season's result against opponents who they leapfrogged thanks to a midweek win at Levante.

BTTS? No

Over/Under 2.5? Under
Correct Score Prediction - Back the 2-0 @ 8.207/1

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