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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Valencia likely to make Malaga miserable again

Las Palmas may shock distracted Sevilla

Valencia's Simone Zaza (left) competes with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos
1 of 1

Sky Sports, from midday Saturday 

Las Palmas v Sevilla Sky Sports Mix, midday
Paco Jemez is starting to have a positive effect on Las Palmas's relegation battle and the Canary Islanders can give their chances of staying up a further boost by beating Sevilla.

The visitors have an outside chance of breaking into La Liga's top four but manager Vincenzo Montella will have one eye on Wednesday's visit of Manchester United in the Champions League and they may not be at full tilt. 

Las Palmas
1pt 5-2 general

Key stat
Las Palmas have picked up seven points from their last four matches.

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La Liga standings

Eibar v Barcelona 3pm
Barcelona journey to Eibar with a seven-point lead at the head of La Liga with Atletico Madrid now their only credible title rivals.

The Catalan club are running away with it and Ernesto Valverde will surely have one eye on La Blaugrana’s Champions League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

He’s sure to rest a few of his stars – there are rumours that Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta could sit this one out – and that could afford a new recruit an opportunity to shine in the Basque Country.

Philippe Coutinho, who is cup-tied in Europe after playing for Liverpool, is certain to start for the visitors and can strike again after he opened his Barca account against Valencia in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Eibar are doing a fantastic job in La Liga and are in the hunt for a European place next season.

But they were thrashed 6-1 at Camp Nou in September and have also suffered heavy defeats against Real Madrid, Sevilla and Celta Vigo this term so, despite their resolve, they’re not certain to stop Valverde’s men if they’re on song.

Last week’s surprise 0-0 against Getafe will probably ensure that Barca do not take this lightly and Coutinho is likely to be the man to capitalise if the big guns are absent or fail to fire.

P Coutinho to score at any time
1pt 23-10 Paddy Power

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La Liga standings

Malaga v Valencia Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm 
Malaga's La Liga status is under serious threat and manager Jose Gonzalez has picked up just two points in four games since taking over at La Rosaleda.

Valencia snapped a six-match losing run in the derby against Levante last time which will have helped to restore their confidence. They beat Malaga 5-0 earlier in the season and can repeat the dose.

2pts 21-20 general

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La Liga standings

Key stat
Malaga have failed to win any of their last eight games.

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Malaga have failed to win any of their last eight games
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