It’s a busy old time in the #RevistaPredictor with a round of midweek fixtures to contend with. We’ve already had Espanyol beating Real Madrid, so what other shocks lie in store? David Garrido has more…
On to Matchday 26 in La Liga, and after this one, we’re into the last third of the season. Kevin Keatings has had a chunk of his lead eaten up by Rob Palmer, so it looks like these two will contest the much-coveted experts’ title. Before that, a tasty Thursday triple-header to try and forecast. Onwards…
MATCH 1 – REAL BETIS v REAL SOCIEDAD
The two “goaliest” teams in LaLiga, if that’s a word. What I mean is that Real Sociedad league games have featured 94 goals and Betis 93, the most in the league, so surely we’re guaranteed some at the Benito Villamarín? Betis have a good shout of Europa League football, but it’d take a miracle for Eusebio’s side to finish the season in seventh. It’s been a rough campaign, including their European exit to Salzburg, where they shot themselves in the foot, conceding late in the first leg at Anoeta and having Raúl Navas sent off after scoring in the second. In need of points to get off joint-bottom, I’ve gone rogue here and am the only person to back La Real, whereas 2-1 is a popular prediction for Messrs Driscoll, Keatings and Phillips, with Rob Palmer backing the draw. Sergio León scored a superb goal versus Levante, and Jon and Kevin are backing him to break the deadlock here.
MATCH 2 – LAS PALMAS v BARCELONA
Oh dear. Look at those predictions. Las Palmas could probably field two teams and still get beaten, especially with Barcelona in their current mood. Although, I say that, and they have been stopped this season, and recently too – Espanyol, Getafe, and also Chelsea in the Champions League. That said, all of those teams are significantly better at defending than Las Palmas, where defending simply isn’t a priority for Paco Jémez. Things have improved slightly for the Canary Islanders with only two defeats in their last six games coming against Atlético Madrid and Sevilla, and remember they’re only one point from safety. But it’s not a question of if Barcelona will score, but when, how many and who will do it first! Jon and Kevin have again gone for the same first goalscorer pick in Lionel Messi, whereas Rob, David P and I differ from them and each other. But Las Palmas are getting nothing.
Las Palmas vs Barcelona
March 1, 2018, 7:55pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass MATCH 3 – ALAVES v LEVANTE
Alavés have won eight out of their last nine home games inside 90 minutes (including taking Valencia to extra-time in the Copa del Rey), and another victory would take them into the safety of mid-table and they’d be practically safe if they aren’t already. Hence why no-one is backing Levante here – but there have been two cheeky punts on a draw for our two front-runners, Keatings and Palmer, with Rob going goalless and Kevin saying it’ll be 1-1 with Levante captain José Luis Morales opening the scoring. But the visitors have gone 13 games without a win, and the crowd chanted that Juan Muñiz should go during their 2-nil home defeat to Betis. Muñiz says he’s not going to throw in the towel or bow his head, but two seasons ago, Levante had 20 points from 25 games and went down. If Levante drop into the bottom three, (unlikely, but entirely possible) it could be time to make a change.
For the so-called experts’ table, the relegation battle is clearly between myself and Jon Driscoll, but David Phillips could be dragged in, or if he reprises his decent form of late, he could join the Rob Palmer peloton, trying to reel in Kevin Phillips in the race for the title.
Have a go yourselves on Twitter – tag us in @SkyRevista, use the hashtag #RevistaPredictor, and you’ve got until 6.30pm BST on Thursday to get your predictions in – good luck!