- The heavy fixture congestion continues in Spain’s La Liga on Friday, as Levante hosts Valladolid at 3:00 pm ET in Matchday 20’s opener — less than 24 hours after Eibar and Atletico Madrid wind down Matchday 19 on Thursday
- Leaders Atletico Madrid host 14th-place Valencia on Sunday (3:00 pm), while second-place Real Madrid visits Alaves (Saturday, 3:00 pm) and third-place Barcelona heads to Elche on Sunday (10:15 am)
- Get all the odds and best bets for La Liga Matchday 20 in Spain’s La Liga below
The second half of La Liga’s 2020-21 season starts this weekend with La Liga Matchday 20, with the situation in the league table somewhat calmer than it began.
After a wild start to the campaign saw Barcelona sitting mid-table after 10 matches and Real Madrid on the brink of elimination in Champions League play and struggling defensively, both have steadied their ship — Barça more drastically — and now sit comfortably in the top three alongside Atletico Madrid.
Koeman’s Blaugrana and Zidane’s Blancos both face very winnable away matches to begin the ‘back nine’ of the season, away to Elche (17th) and Alaves (18th) respectively.
Atletico will be on short rest against Valencia on Sunday, though their visitors will also be on just two days’ rest following a 1 pm kickoff on Thursday against Osasuna.
Diego Simeone’s Atleti squad is aiming for a sixth-straight win in league play and sits four points north of Real Madrid and Barça in the title race.
La Liga Matchday 20 Odds
|Levante vs Valladolid||+112||+205||+290|
|Huesca vs Villarreal||+360||+250||-122|
|Sevilla vs Cadiz||-215||+300||+700|
|Real Sociedad vs Real Betis||-124||+290||+310|
|Alaves vs Real Madrid||+650||+375||-245|
|Osasuna vs Granada||+155||+185||+225|
|Elche vs Barcelona||+700||+420||-278|
|Celta Vigo vs Eibar||+110||+235||+255|
|Atletico Madrid vs Valencia||-250||+360||+700|
|Athletic Club vs Getafe||+125||+200||+265|
All odds taken Jan 21 at DraftKings
Pick 1: Alaves vs Real Madrid
Despite an embarrassing cup defeat at third-division Alcoyano mid-week, Real Madrid (11-4-3) has confirmed that manager Zinedine Zidane will finish the season in the Los Blancos‘ dugout.
The Frenchman’s effort to save his job — a tall task, given the current three-game winless skid (0-0 Osasuna, 1-2 Athletic Bilbao, 1-2 Alcoyano) — begins in earnest on Saturday at Alaves (4-6-9).
The Babazorros appear destined for a slog against relegation in the second half of the season, and three straight losses in league play have not helped Abelardo’s side; the manager was, however, happy with his team’s effort in a 1-2 defeat vs Sevilla on Tuesday.
It’s worth noting that Alaves lost by a similar scoreline (1-2) to Atletico at home in early January, and if Abelardo’s team can sort its discipline issues (three red cards in five matches) this could be a close contest.
With that said, expect Real Madrid (7-2 in head-to-head meetings) to snap its winless skid in a multi-goal performance;
Pick: Real Madrid win and both teams to score (+200)
Pick 2: Elche vs Barcelona
Elche (3-8-6) and Barcelona (10-4-4) collide at the Estadio Valero on Sunday, with the former winless in 12 league matches (0-7-5) and the latter having won four of its last five in league play.
While the head-to-head history between the two dates back to the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons — a full player cycle ago — it is worth noting that Barça dominated: Six wins and a draw, with Elche never scoring a goal.
The Blaugrana are coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in Sunday’s Supercopa final, with a Thursday cup tie at Cornella (result N/A at time of writing) thrown in to congest the fixture schedule.
Barça has filled the net in road matches this season, averaging a league-best 1.77 goals/game away from the Camp Nou; with Elche having conceded multiple goals in two of its last three home matches, the opportunity for Sunday’s visitors to run away with it is definitely in play.
Pick: Barcelona -1.5 (+102)
Pick 3: Atletico Madrid vs Valencia
It’s full steam ahead for La Liga leader Atletico Madrid (13-2-1) as it hosts Valencia (4-7-7) at the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga Matchday 20.
Four points clear of Real Madrid and seven clear of Barcelona with two games in-hand on each, Diego Simeone’s Rojiblancos have a very real opportunity to win their first domestic league title since 2013-14.
Atleti has earned a result in each of the last 12 head-to-head league meetings, with Valencia’s last win coming back in October 2014.
Sunday’s hosts have been in fantastic home form this season, racking up a plus-19 goal differential en route to an undefeated 8-1-0 record; Valencia’s road record is a middling 2-3-4.
Four of Atleti’s last five home matches have hit the Under 2.5, and we believe it will be in play again this weekend.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-114)
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