Barcelona recently lost in the semifinals of the Super Cup and the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey. However, Los Azulgranas have been turning things around in La Liga. They haven’t lost since Dec. 4 and are back in the race for a Champions League ticket.
Real Madrid and Sevilla remain atop the soccer odds to win the title. Nevertheless, both only won two of their last five games. An international break provides an ideal time for a La Liga breakdown.
Spanish La Liga Breakdown
Reducing the Gap
So, Real Madrid managed to avoid a huge betting online upset thanks to Eder Militao. Los Blancos were huge favorites to defeat Elche, but the game finished 2-2. A header from Militao at 92 minutes saved the day.
Luckily for Real Madrid, Sevilla also drew. Los Blanquirrojos faced Celta de Vigo and, curiously enough, they also overcame a two-goal deficit to win a point. They’re four points behind Real Madrid.
Real Betis, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona did take advantage of Real Madrid’s draw to reduce the gap. Betis had no mercy and crushed Espanyol 4-1. Los Verdiblancos scored four goals in each of their last two games. Now, they’re only 10 points behind first place.
Atletico Madrid pulled off an incredible comeback to defeat Valencia 3-2. I told you to include the over in soccer picks. Los Colchoneros aren’t having a great season, but you know they aren’t giving up. Fourth-place Atletico is 14 points behind Real Madrid and one ahead of Barcelona.
Finally, Barcelona defeated Deportivo Alaves 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Frenkie de Jong. Barcelona and Sevilla are the only two teams that haven’t lost in their last five games. That has allowed them to reduce the gap with Real Madrid to 15 points. I know, that’s a lot, but there are 16 games left. Plus, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have played one game less than the top three.
Running out of Gas
Remember when Real Sociedad was a title contender? That’s right, Imanol Alguacil’s team had a great start to the season, but they couldn’t keep it up. Real Sociedad only won one of its last five games, falling to sixth place.
Same thing with Rayo Vallecano, which is no longer in the front seat to win a ticket for the Europa League. In fact, Los Rayistas are one defeat away from falling out of the top 10.
Villarreal has been taking advantage of this. The Yellow Submarine won three of its last five games and is sitting in seventh place. Most recently, they crushed Mallorca 3-0. They’re one victory away from getting into the top six, but they also need Real Sociedad to keep losing.
Back to the Losing Column
Levante lost a huge opportunity to reduce the gap with Cadiz and Deportivo Alaves by losing 2-0 to … Cadiz. Los Granotes, last place, didn’t take advantage of playing at home and now are seven points behind Cadiz.
Fortunately for them, Deportivo Alaves also lost, so there’s still hope of not finishing in last place. That’s it, because I don’t think Levante will play in La Liga next season.
Despite not scoring in the last fixture, Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) remains La Liga’s top scorer with 17 goals. The French striker owns a comfortable advantage of five goals, but Juanmi Jimenez (Real Betis) and Raul de Tomas (Espanyol) aren’t giving up. Unlike Benzema, both are always in charge of penalties, increasing their chances to reduce the gap.
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) has also scored 12 goals, but he knows his main job is to feed Benzema.
La Liga will return on Feb. 4 with Getafe vs Levante. There are some great games scheduled for that weekend. The list includes Valencia vs Real Sociedad, Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid, Real Betis vs Villarreal and Real Madrid vs Granada.