The battle for a place in next season’s Champions League will take centre stage in LaLiga this weekend. Two of the sides that will be hopeful of achieving that finish will be in action, but will the pendulum swing Atletico Madrid's or Getafe's way?
Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico Madrid
The match of the weekend in LaLiga this weekend will see Atletico Madrid travel to Bilbao, as they are looking to get back to winning ways after drawing their last two fixtures in LaLiga. Diego Simeone’s side will start the weekend outside the top four, as they are one point behind Getafe. Scoring goals has been a huge problem this season for Atletico. They have missed Antoine Griezmann, who was sold to Barcelona in the summer. Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata have struggled throughout the season, and a new striker may be urgent summer business that will need to be conducted.
Atletico’s last game in LaLiga ended in a 2-2 draw against Sevilla. Luuk de Jong opened the scoring for Sevilla before Morata, and Joao Felix turned the game on its head. However, Atletico only had the lead for seven minutes as Lucas Ocampos levelled the scores. Atletico will need to be more clinical when they get their chance against Bilbao, as they had 21 shots against Sevilla, but only three of those were on target.
Athletic Bilbao may have been hoping that they would be in the battle for a European place this season, but instead, they are struggling in the middle of the table. There have been some reasons for optimism over recent weeks, however, as they have won their last two. Those victories have come against Villarreal and Valladolid. The latter of those was their most recent outing, and they won 4-1. They will need to match this level of performance to have any chance against Atletico.
The preference for bettors would be for the visiting side as they have the better players. However, it is a challenging fixture to bet on, as Atletico have been too inconsistent this campaign.
Granada vs Getafe
Two teams that are enjoying excellent seasons this term will meet this weekend as Getafe travel to Granada. Not many experts could have foreseen the success that Getafe have enjoyed this season, and they are still battling on multiple fronts. They have two possible routes into the Champions League, but the league may be their preferred option.
They are currently sitting in fourth place; just one point below third-placed Sevilla. They have been in decent form over their past five league games, as they have won twice and drew once. During this run, they have also lost on two occasions. Their last fixture would have been a frustrating one for Getafe, as they were held to a home 0-0 draw against Celta Vigo. The sending off for Mauro Arambarri only compounded their frustration on that evening. But, they will be hoping to get back to winning ways against Granada.
The hosts have also enjoyed a successful season to this point, as they are currently in ninth spot in La Liga. Many expected Granada to struggle this season, but instead, they may be hoping for a place in the Europa League next season. They have been in great form over their last five games, as they have won twice and drawn twice. Their last outing in La Liga ended in a 1-1 draw against Levante. Darwin Machis equalised for the visitors with half an hour remaining in that fixture.
Getafe’s fixtures often don’t include too many goals, which means the under 2.5 goals market may be a profitable route for gamblers for this fixture.