La Liga Tips: Barca run will continue against Sociedad

Dan Fitch previews the La Liga games involving the three teams in the title race and thinks that Barcelona will beat Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Madrid focus on big prizes

Celta Vigo 4.8 v Real Madrid 1.8; The Draw 4.0
Saturday 20 March, 15:15
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Real Madrid have the chance to put the pressure on the teams in front of them, when they travel to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Third in La Liga, the reigning title holders can at least temporarily move above second placed Barcelona and to within three points of the leaders Atletico Madrid, who are both in action on Sunday.

We're coming up to the business end of the season where Madrid's experience could really count. This week they went through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Atalanta, that saw them win 4-1 on aggregate. Zinedine Zidane's side are now unbeaten in nine games (W7 D2).

Celta Vigo are in decent form, losing only one of their last eight games (W2 D5). Real Madrid's extra class should be enough to inflict another defeat and their price of 1.8 is big enough to represent some value.

Atletico will bounce back from European loss

Atletico Madrid 1.37 v Alaves 12.5; The Draw 4.6
Sunday 21 March, 17:30
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

In a week when their rivals Real Madrid enjoyed Champions League success, Atletico were knocked out of the competition.

Having lost 1-0 in the first-leg of their last-16 tie with Chelsea, Atletico were beaten 2-0 in the second-leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. It means that Atletico's season now solely rests upon their success in La Liga and that may prove to be to their benefit.

Since the start of February, Atletico have been largely locked in a cycle of playing both at the weekend and in midweek. In ten games during this period they have only won on three occasions (D4 L3). A Champions League run would only put more pressure on them in a title race in which they've already seen their lead whittled down, with Barcelona now only four points behind them.

Alaves look like the ideal opposition for Atletico to get things back on track. They have only won one of their last eleven games (D2 L8) and were well beaten by Real Madrid and Barcelona during this sequence. In both of those matches Alaves were losing by the break and you can back Atletico to win half-time/full-time at 2.2.

Barca continue to experiment during unbeaten run

Real Sociedad 3.8 v Barcelona 2.04; The Draw 4.0
Sunday 21 March, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Of all the title contenders, it looks as if Barcelona face the toughest challenge of the weekend, as they prepare to go up against fifth placed Real Sociedad.

Fortunately for Barca, they are in the best form of any La Liga side right now. Ronald Koeman's team are unbeaten in 17 league games (W14 D3), which includes a 2-1 win over Sociedad in the reverse fixture.

During this run, Koeman has switched to playing with a back three and stuck with it. In recent games Koeman experiments have continued, with Frenckie de Jong being employed as one of the central defenders, in a season in which the Dutch international has impressed as a box-to-box midfielder.

Real Sociedad lost 1-0 at Granada last weekend and though they pose a threat of taking a point, Barcelona's price is enticing, given the current form of the visitors. Back Barca to win at 2.04.

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