La Liga Tips: Back Espanyol to score against makeshift Real Madrid

Though they're on the verge of winning the title, Dan Fitch is expecting a distracted and depleted Real Madrid side to have some trouble against Espanyol, as he previews the weekend La Liga action.

Goals will flow in possible title decider

Real Madrid 1.54 v Espanyol 7.4; The Draw 4.6
Saturday 30 April, 15:15
Live on Betfair Live Video

Real Madrid only need a point at home to Espanyol to win the La Liga title.

In such a situation you would expect a manager to go all out to secure the points required, but with Real only needing a draw from one of their five remaining games, Carlo Ancelotti has the luxury of being able to prioritise other competitions. Real Madrid lost 4-3 in the away leg of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City on Tuesday, which leaves Ancelotti with some selection decisions ahead of the return match at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

In particular it seems that Ancelotti will have a depleted defence. Both Ferland Mendy and David Alaba struggled against Manchester City, as they looked to recover from injuries, with the latter replaced at half-time. Alaba and Mendy are likely to be rested, while Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez are suspended. It also remains to be seen whether Ancelotti will dare risk important players such as Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, who grabbed another two goals in the defeat to Manchester City.

Espanyol are not in great form, having lost three of their last four games (W1), but with the amount of changes that Real could make, it makes sense to avoid the result. With Ancelotti likely to play a makeshift defence, both teams to score could land at 1.89.

Expect Bilbao to test Atletico

Athletic Bilbao 3.2 v Atletico Madrid 2.64; The Draw 3.2
Saturday 30 April, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Last season's champions Atletico Madrid are battling to qualify for the Champions League and have a crucial match on Saturday night against Athletic Bilbao.

Atletico are fourth and have a four point cushion over fifth placed Real Betis, with five games remaining. When they were last in action they dropped points with a 0-0 home draw with Granada.

Betis have been stuttering, but could well get back on track, after lifting the Copa del Rey last weekend. Atletico lost their most recent away game 1-0 at Mallorca and now face a difficult trip to Bilbao.

Athletic are eighth in the table, after their 3-2 win at Cadiz last weekend. Though they lost their last home game 2-0 against Celta Vigo, they had previously been unbeaten in eight home games (W6 D2), which included wins over Barcelona and Real Madrid. This should be competitive and is another match in which both teams to score should land, this time at 2.08.

Goals have dried up for Barca

Barcelona 1.37 v Mallorca 10.0; The Draw 5.7
Sunday 1 May, 20:00
Live on LaLigaTV and Betfair Live Video

Barcelona need to bounce back when they host Mallorca on Sunday, after losing three of their last four games.

The first of those defeats was the shock home loss against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. Since then they've lost two of their three La Liga games (W1).

All three of those games have ended with only one goal scored in the match. Having been prolific scorers under Xavi just a few weeks ago, the goals have now dried up for Barca. With a six point cushion, they should retain their place in the top four, but things could get nervous if they don't start.

Mallorca are fighting hard against relegation, winning two of their last three games (W1), which included a victory over Atletico. They should make life hard for Barcelona and we're going to bank on another low scoring game for our Bet Builder. Under 2.5 goals, combined with under 1.5 first-half goals, is available at 2.5.

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