Madrid derby take centre stage in Gameweek 23

LALIGA Madrid derby take centre stage in Gameweek 23

Faruq Ibrahim Stephen Oladehinde 18:06 - 24.02.2023

The Madrid derby takes centre stage in a gameweek packed with exciting fixtures. Valencia host high-flying Real Sociedad, while Barcelona would try to shake off midweek their Europa League elimination with a trip to Almeria.

LaLiga action resumes this weekend for Gameweek 23 after some Spanish teams were involved in European action in the midweek, and as is the norm, there are several hard-hitting ties to anticipate.

The previous gameweek saw little movement at the top and bottom of the table, with Barcelona reestablishing their eight-point gap after Real Madrid initially cut it down to five.

Getafe moved out of the relegation zone with a win over Valencia, while Real Sociedad's slide continued, as they dropped points yet again, falling behind the top two and in range of Atletico Madrid and Real Betis in fourth and fifth.

This weekend, the teams in the Spanish top flight will go again as they continue to chase their season goal.  

The Madrid derby 

This game week, the Madrid derby takes centre stage as Real Madrid hosts their less prominent neighbours Atletico Madrid. The Madrid derby is the biggest regional derby in LaLiga these days, with both teams among the biggest clubs in Europe.

Los Blancos won the first-leg of this encounter in a socially charged affair at the Wanda Metropolitano earlier in the season and also knocked out the Rojiblancos from the Copa del Rey in extra time last month.

Real Madrid have already beaten Atletico twice this season
Real Madrid have already beaten Atletico twice this season

Real Madrid have dominated this fixture in recent years, winning five of their last seven matches, with Diego Simeone's side only managing one win and a draw. 

Real Madrid would miss David Alaba and Rodygo, who picked up injuries recently, along with long-term absentee Ferland Mendy. 

Diego Simeone would be unable to rely on Argentine World Cup winner Rodrigo de Paul, along with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Sergio Reguilon, who are out due to injury. 

Valencia vs Real Sociedad

Valencia hosts Real Sociedad as they continue to seek the light at the end of the tunnel that is their current crisis. The new manager, Reuben Baraja, would set his team up to face Imanol Alguacil's men in the Saturday evening fixture as they try to break a six-game losing streak. 

Real Sociedad would look to get back to winning ways against struggling Valencia
Real Sociedad would look to get back to winning ways against struggling Valencia

There has been no outright winner in any of the last four matches between both teams in LaLiga, with Valencia's 1-0 win in September 2020 being the last time a team in this tie took maximum points from their opposition.

Valencia's job is made more difficult as they would be without their two best players, top scorer Edinson Cavani and club captain Jose Gaya.

Real Sociedad continue to miss Umar Sadiq and Mohammed Ali Cho and would be unable to call on the diminutive magician, David Silva, this gameweek as he is also out injured. 

Almeria vs Barcelona

Xavi Hernandez's men are back in Barcelona after their unfortunate trip to Old Trafford, where they saw themselves get knocked out of the Europa League. They would now immediately prepare to travel to Almeria as they look to shake off the midweek disappointment with a consolidation of their dominance in LaLiga against the newly promoted side on Sunday evening.

Barcelona would look to shake off Europa League disappointment when they face Almeria
Barcelona would look to shake off Europa League disappointment when they face Almeria

This head-to-head tie favours the Blaugrana, who have defeated Almeria in 13 of their last 15 meetings, with the indálicos only managing a draw twice.

Barcelona would be unable to rely on Pedri and Ousmane Dembele for the tie as they are out injured, while midfielder Gonzalo Melero remains a doubt for Almeria.

The full gameweek fixtures

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Expert betting predictions for LaLiga

In-house betting expert Stephen Oladehinde gives the best predictions from each game in LaLiga round 23 with odds from Bet9ja.

Elche - Betis: Betis win or draw 

Espanyol - Mallorca: under 3.5 goals

Cadiz CF - Rayo Vallecano: under 3.5 goals 

Real Madrid - Atl. Madrid: under 3.5 goals

Valencia - Real Sociedad: Real Sociedad win or draw

Ath Bilbao - Girona: Ath Bilbao to win

Celta Vigo - Valladolid: under 3.5 goals 

Almeria - Barcelona: Barcelona to win 

Sevilla - Osasuna: over 1.5 goals

Villarreal - Getafe: Villarreal win or draw

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