REMEMBER Terry Gibson? Well, we've signed him and while he won't be kicking a football he'll be looking into his crystal ball and bringing us his best Spanish tips every week.
The ex-Spurs, Coventry and Manchester United striker is probably best remembered for his time as part of the infamous Wimbledon Crazy Gang side of the late 80s and early 90s. Now an expert in all things La Liga he works as a pundit and co-commentator on Sky Sports’ Spanish football coverage and is a contributor to unibet.
Here he previews three Saturday games.
Getafe v Atletico Madrid (Sat 5.30pm)
With Atletico playing in the Europa League final on Wednesday I don’t expect the team selected for this game to bear any resemblance to the line-up that Simeone picks to play against Marseille in Lyon.
Atletico have even been warned that a certain strength line-up is expected and the Federation have even gone as far to issue a reminder as to how many senior players are expected to start in any La Liga fixture.
I’m not expecting Diego Simeone to take any notice whatsoever and I’m anticipating that him and Atletico will face the consequences of any punishment, although I expect them to put up a fight just for the fun of it!
Of all the teams in La Liga, Getafe are the last you would choose to play against three days prior to a European Final. They are the most aggressive team in La Liga by a mile. They are chasing a realistic Europa League spot for next season and are a low budget version of Atletico.
They were missing 12 first team players last week, some were injured but most of them were suspended and yet they still won away at Las Palmas. They have won four and drawn one in their last five and are showing great determination to finish in the top seven.
Manager Jose Bordolas is right up there this season in terms of Manager of the Year. They were newly promoted back to the top flight after winning promotion via the playoffs which incidentally didn’t finish until the 24th of June.
To prepare so quickly and to have any chance of a Europa League position tells everything about how well he and Getafe have done. I don’t normally back against Atletico and even in this one I have a certain reluctance, but I’m afraid I have to go for the home win.
Getafe will do everything in their power to test Atletico’s will to win and I believe they will grind out a 1-0 victory. Angel Rodriguez has been the main man in front of goal for Getafe with a tidy return of 13 goals and I’m backing him to get the winner in this game.
- Getafe 1, Atletico 0 (5-1, Unibet)
- Angel Rodriguez to score first (9-2, Unibet)
- Under 2.5 goals (12-25, Unibet)
Real Betis v Sevilla (Sat 5.30pm)
This is the game of the weekend in La Liga for sure. Betis have already ensured qualification for next season’s Europa League and Sevilla still have some work to do to be able to join them.
The winning run came to an end last week for Betis at Athletic Bilbao but they had already confirmed their route back into Europe the week before.
However, a home game against their city rivals will certainly get the competitive juices flowing again this week and they of course will want to derail Sevilla’s late attempt to also finish in the top seven.
Sevilla though have been resuscitated with the change in manager. Old favourite Sevillista Joaquin Caparros has certainly stepped up to the plate after replacing Vincenzo Montella as I firmly expected him to.
Back to back wins in his first two games has certainly got them back on track. They are now in seventh and two points ahead of Getafe with Alavés at home in the last game to play and I think they will make it.
The first game between the two this season ended up in a spectacular 5-3 away win for Betis but I’m not predicting a sequel in this game. I am going for goals however but I’m predicting a more realistic scoreline of 2-2 in this game.
There will be an incredible atmosphere and I’m not going to lie it is one of my favourite fixtures of the season. I’m going for rejuvenated Sevilla to open the scoring with old favourite Wissam Ben Yedder getting us off and running in this game. He scored in the win against Madrid and I’m expecting him to do so again in this match.
- Betis 2, Sevilla 2 (19-2, Unibet)
- Ben Yedder to score first (24-5, Unibet)
- Draw 13-5 (12-25, Unibet)
Real Madrid v Celta Vigo (Sat 7.45pm)
Zidane certainly came in for some criticism after the midweek defeat at Sevilla due to his team selection. They now are 18 points behind Barcelona and that is a ridiculous deficit. One that is embarrassing for him and Madrid.
He now only has two games to get some pattern and shape with his team in preparation for the Champions League final against Liverpool. I expect a stronger Madrid starting line up in this game, although I believe they will still be missing Ronaldo and Carvajal through injury.
It really is a guessing game at the moment trying to predict his line up for Liverpool in the Champions League final and I would imagine we should get some clues this week as to what his selection and formation will be.
I believe Isco is close to a return and could play in this game and that will be a huge bonus for Zidane.
Celta are in a poor run of form and their manager is not staying on next season – the club’s choice, not his!
Real need some clarity in what they are being asked to do and most definitely need to use the last two La Liga games to prepare technically for the Liverpool game and a game against a team with nothing to play for is ideal.
I’m going for a stronger looking Madrid to get an emphatic win in this game with a scoreline of 3-0. Bale has it all to prove and returns from suspension after being one of those that missed the game at Sevilla.
He went some way to putting himself back in the running for a start in the final with a good performance and a goal in last week’s Clasico and I’m anticipating that he will be in a better frame of mind for this game. I’m going for him to get the first goal.
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