Our prediction model went 7/10 last week, which is outstanding. This week, we’re picking up some games in hand that were all postponed, to my knowledge, because of various conflicts of schedule with South American international matches.
Matchday 4, 9, and 21
Seeing Barcelona heavily favored over Sevilla at this juncture of the season is really surprising, which I think says a lot about the Catalan club’s post Messi situation, as well as how things have gone in Seville. The Andalusians, according to Charlie, have been scoring a lot of low xG chances (read: really good finishing) and our model heavily reliant on xG cannot assume that will continue. Athletic Club aren’t favored at all against Real Madrid, but the San Mames is a really tough place to play and the league leaders did just drop to Cadiz and are suffering some COVID related issues, so we’ll see how that holds up.
Jorge Molina, coming off his record breaking hat trick, hosts Atletico Madrid in a match the capital side will be desperate to win as they try to keep their title and top four chances afloat, and we are very predictably favored against Alaves, though the Javi Calleja element could be one that throws a spanner in the gears.
These will be the last La Liga matches of 2021, and it’s been quite a year. I never, ever would have guessed that Rayo would be a point clear of Atleti in 4th when this set of games started, nor would I have thought that Villarreal would need a win just to be in the top half of the table. As ever, Spanish football is a strange world.