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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Villarreal lapses should see scoring at both ends

Real Madrid expected to dominate

Antonio Rukavina of Villarreal
1 of 1

Live on Sky Sports, from 5.30pm Saturday

Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao 3.15pm

There’s little more than local pride at stake in this Basque derby, with Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad destined for unremarkable mid-table finishes, but the hosts should be geared up to beat their bitter rivals for the first time since 2016.

The San Sebastian club have won just one of their previous eight meetings with the visitors but they won three games consecutively without conceding prior to their defeat against Malaga last time out and have the goalscoring firepower to sink Athletic.

Real Sociedad’s tally of 60 league goals is bettered only by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, and their top scorer Willian Jose, who has 14 league goals this term, has formed fine partnerships with Adnan Januzaj and Mikel Oyarzabal, who has notched ten himself.

One man eager to blunt the away side’s attack is Athletic defender Inigo Martinez, who made the move across Basque country in January.

It will be no easy task for the former Sociedad man though, given that Athletic are winless in three and have conceded more than Leganes and Espanyol, who are below them in the table.

Athletic's chances will be hampered by the loss of Aritz Aduriz to injury but losing Xabi Prieto should not worry a Real Sociedad side who have a host of attacking talent.

Liam Flin's recommendation
Real Sociedad
2pts 10-11 Betway, Hills

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Real Madrid v Leganes Sky Sports Mix, 5.30pm

Leganes are on a run of six consecutive away defeats in all competitions and that is likely to worsen when they square up with a Real Madrid team who have lost just one of their last 15 league encounters.

Los Blancos have scored 18 goals in their seven meetings with Leganes and look set for another barnstorming display.

Liam Flin's recommendation
Real Madrid to win to nil
1pt 13-10 BoyleSports, Coral, Ladbrokes

Key stat
Leganes have lost their last six away games.

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Villarreal v Celta Vigo Sky Sports Football, 7.45pm
Inconsistency continues to hamper sixth-placed Villarreal and backing goals in their clash with free-scoring Celta Vigo may be the safest approach.

The Yellow Submarine are bright going forward but vulnerable defensively and the visitors, who have recorded successive score draws with Barcelona and Valencia, should make their mark.

Aaron Ashley's recommendation
Both teams to score
2pts 3-4 bet365

Key stat
Villarreal have conceded in ten of their last 11 home league matches.

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

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Villarreal have conceded in ten of their last 11 home league matches
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