La Liga Matchday 36 Preview, Odds: Barcelona Celebration

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Barcelona Defeat Ends in Celebration

Barcelona sealed the La Liga title last week on the road, so the Catalan side celebrated in front of their home fans on Saturday. FCB lost 2-1 to Real Sociedad, but it didn’t matter much to the home fans celebrating a first La Liga win for four years. Barcelona are already champions as Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have both sealed Champions League berths. Our La Liga Matchday 36 Preview will focus on Real Sociedad’s fight for the last UCL berth and Valladolid and Espanyol’s battle to escape relegation. We’ll review the odds from four important matches taking place midweek.

Matches of the Week

RSO Real Sociedad vs Almeria ALM

Date, time:

Real Sociedad handed Barcelona their first home loss of the season on Saturday to remain in fourth place. Sociedad are in an excellent position to qualify for the Champions League with three games remaining on the La Liga schedule. The Txuri-Urdin are five points ahead of fifth-placed Villarreal and face Almeria on Tuesday. Almeria, who have won three of their last five matches, are four points outside the relegation zone. However, they’re not in the clear yet.

Sociedad enter this match with a 9-5-3 home record this season and are one-goal favorites for Tuesday’s match. The hosts show -135 odds to cover the spread and are unbeaten in their last six matches. Almeria have one of the worst records on the road this season in La Liga. They’re just 1-4-12 away and Almeria +1 sits at +115 odds. Brais Mendez and David Silva missed Sociedad’s clash with Barcelona and are doubts for the hosts here. Regardless, Sociedad come in at -215 odds to win the match.

When these teams met in January, Sociedad picked up a 2-0 road win with goals from Silva and Alexander Sorloth. Sorloth, who is Real Sociedad’s leading scorer in La Liga this season with 11 goals, also found the back of the net against Barcelona. However, El Bilal-Toure, Almeria’s joint-leading scorer, is unfortunately sidelined for the rest of the season due to an injury. The La Liga stats show thatLa Liga stats, the upcoming match is expected to have under three goals, with odds set at -130. Alternatively, a draw is priced at +360.

VLL Valladolid vs Barcelona BAR

Date, time:

While Barcelona are still riding on a high from winning the La Liga title, Real Valladolid are staring at the possibility of relegation. Valladolid fell 2-0 to Cadiz last Friday and have dropped their last five La Liga games. While level on points with Getafe, Valladolid currently occupy 18th place based on goal difference. The club, owned by Brazilian legend Ronaldo, need to pick up points in one or more of their last three matches to avoid the drop.

Our La Liga Matchday 36 Preview notes that Barcelona are ½-goal road favorites for this match. They come in at -105 ATS and moneyline odds. In a boost for Barça, Gavi is returning from a suspension for this match. However, both Pedri and Ronald Araujo missed the 2-1 defeat to Real Sociedad with knocks. Even though Barcelona lost, they celebrated winning the 2022-23 La Liga title in front of their home fans. With no particular urgency to get results, perhaps Xavi gives some of his younger players more playing time. Still, with longtime midfielder Sergio Busquets set to leave the club, he could certainly feature in the final three games of the season.

Valladolid have put together a respectable 7-3-7 home record this season and show -115 odds to cover the spread. They’re also +260 moneyline underdogs and lost 4-0 to Barcelona earlier this season. Barcelona have the league’s best defensive record by a large margin, so it’s no surprise under three goals show -115 odds here. A draw could potentially be enough to take Valladolid out of the relegation zone and one is currently listed at +290 odds.

RMA Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano RVM

Date, time:

Real Madrid are coming out of a difficult week. First, they lost 4-0 to Manchester City to get eliminated from the Champions League. Then, Real fell 1-0 to Valencia on Sunday in a heated match in which Vinicius Jr. got sent off for slapping Hugo Duro. Real Madrid’s talisman was allegedly racially abused by members of the Valencia crowd prior to the confrontation but will be suspended for Wednesday’s Madrid derby vs. Rayo Vallecano. Vinicius is one of the leaders in the La Liga stats for goal contributions and will be missed.

With Champions League qualification already sealed and the title race over, Real are just playing for pride now. Rayo Vallecano do still have an outside chance of making the UEFA Europa Conference League but are four points behind seventh-placed Athletic Club. For this match at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real are ½-goal favorites and sit at -135 ATS and moneyline odds. Real have been quite underwhelming in La Liga lately, with three losses in their last five matches.

Rayo have exceeded expectations this season but have dropped their last two matches. Sunday’s loss was particularly frustrating as it came at home to 19th-placed Espanyol. Rayo +½ stands at +115 odds and they did manage to defeat Real Madrid 3-2 in the reverse fixture. At Real, where Rayo haven’t won since 1996, the visitors are +365 moneyline underdogs. Incredibly, none of the last 21 meetings between these teams have finished level. Still, a draw comes in at +290 odds here. The last meeting was a five-goal thriller and over 2½ goals display -135 odds. Real have scored just one goal in their last three La Liga matches, though.

ESP Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid ATM

Date, time:

With Sunday’s win over Rayo Vallecano, 19th-placed Espanyol are now just two points away from safety. However, they face an in-form Atletico Madrid side on Wednesday. Atleti have won four of their last five matches and their 3-0 win over Osasuna propelled them to second place in the league. Our La Liga Matchday 36 Preview has already noted that Atletico Madrid will participate in next season’s Champions League. Still, it will be a point of pride for Atleti if they’re able to finish ahead of rivals Real Madrid this season.

They’ll have to make do on Wednesday without a bunch of first team players. All of Jan Oblak, Stefan Savic, Reinildo, Marcos Llorente, Thomas Lemar and Memphis Depay are out. Alvaro Morata also left Sunday’s match with a neck injury and is a doubt. With so many Atletico players out, Wednesday’s match is listed as a pick’em. Espanyol pk shows +110 odds and Atletico Madrid pk comes in at -130. The last time these teams met, the match finished in a draw. The bookmakers currently price another one at +255 odds.

Notably, Espanyol are one of just two La Liga teams this season with a losing record at home. Still, they show decent +190 odds to come away with a win on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid are +140 moneyline favorites. Both teams have also scored in the last five meetings of this fixture. As both teams look to get on the scoresheet again, over 2½ goals are priced at -125 odds.


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