La Liga Betting: Returning Real Madrid stars can down Athletic Club

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo should return to the Madrid XI
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Jack Lang previews the midweek Spanish games, all of which are available on Betfair Live Video...

"Athletic hate going to the capital: they have lost on their last 13 visits to the Bernabéu (all competitions), by a combined score of 48-12"

Aspas can get at Barça defence

Celta Vigo v Barcelona
Tuesday, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports Football and Betfair Live Video

Barcelona made history at the weekend, their victory over Valencia bringing up 39 games unbeaten in La Liga. It was not a vintage performance, but the Blaugrana are now within touching distance of the title, and will no doubt be keen to make it through to the end of the season without tasting defeat.

This trip to Celta Vigo will be a test: the Galicians have not been in the best form, but thrashed Sevilla 4-0 in their last outing at Balaídos and have already picked up two draws against Barça this term, one in the league and one in the cup. If they play to their potential, their attackers will trouble a defence that has now managed just one clean sheet in five matches.

Key to their hopes, as ever, will be Iago Aspas, who netted a hat-trick in that Sevilla game. He has already scored four times against Barça in this spell at Celta, and with pressure on Ernesto Valverde to rotate his tired side ahead of the Copa del Rey final, Aspas could find himself up against a weakened backline.

Celta have key absences - captain Hugo Mallo is suspended, as is Pablo Hernández - which could complicate things as far as the final result goes, but Aspas looks a good bet to grab his 20th Liga goal of the season.


Athletic won't trouble Madrid

Real Madrid v Athletic Club
Wednesday, 20:30
Live on Sky Sports Football and Betfair Live Video

With seven days between this game and the first leg of their Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich, there's unlikely to be much charity visible in Real Madrid's line up in this midweek round: Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos should all take part in the dress rehearsal after missing the Málaga game. And that is bad news for Athletic Club, whose listless run of form looks likely to continue.

The Basques have won just four of their last 19 games in all competitions, slipping to 14th in La Liga at the start of jornada 33. Little wonder, then, that there is speculation about who will be managing them next term: Cuco Ziganda is a dead man walking, with former Celta boss Eduardo Berizzo among the candidates to take over in the summer.

Athletic hate going to the capital - they have lost on their last 13 visits to the Bernabéu (all competitions), by a combined score of 48-12 - and have taken no points from trips to Barcelona, Valencia, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla. Madrid may not have things all their own way, but should have more than enough to get the job done in a game featuring 3 or 4 goals.


Alavés home form key

Alavés v Girona
Thursday, 18:30
Live on Sky Sports Red Button and Betfair Live Video

Finally, we head to Mendizorrotza for a fairly low-wattage game on Thursday night. Hosts Alavés do not have a great deal to play for - they have a healthy cushion above the drop zone now - but look a good bet to see off a Girona side that has run out of gas in the last few weeks.

The Catalans have done brilliantly in their first season in Primera, to the extent that they still have half a chance of sneaking into Europe should results go their way. But they have claimed just one point from the last 12 available and have shipped 11 goals in their last two away games - evidence, perhaps, that Pablo Machín's resources have been stretched to their limits.

Girona will also have half an eye on Sunday's local derby with Espanyol, which will play into the hands of Alavés here. The hosts went off the boil in March but have bounced back with two wins on the spin, and have a superb home record: they've won eight of their last 11 on their own patch. [2.48] is a fine price for them to add another victory to their tally.


Jack Lang's La Liga P/L, 2017/18

Staked: 115pts
Returned: 115.81pts
P/L: +0.81pts

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