Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club headlines an exciting gameweek

LALIGA Preview: Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club headlines an exciting gameweek

Faruq Ibrahim Stephen Oladehinde 15:46 - 17.02.2023

Diego Simeone goes head-to-head with Ernesto Valverde in the top fixture of this gameweek. Barcelona host tricky Cadiz while Real Madrid face difficult trip to Osasuna.

LaLiga resumes this weekend for Gameweek 22 after some Spanish teams were involved in European action midweek, and as always, there are many mouth-watering ties to look forward to.

The previous gameweek saw league leaders Barcelona continue their dominant winning run and clean sheets with a victory over Villarreal to temporarily go 11 points clear at the top before Real Madrid cut it back down to eight with a routing of Elche.

The rest of the top five in the league, Real Sociedad and Real Betis, also returned to winning ways after dropping points the previous week.

This weekend, the teams in the Spanish first division will get another chance to move closer to their season targets.

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club 

The main event this week is a Sunday evening match between two of LaLiga's best managers, Diego Simeone and Ernesto Valverde, who oversee two of the league's most historic clubs, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club.

The visitors, Athletic Club, have seen a lot of joy in this fixture in recent years, winning three, drawing one, and losing only one. However, Diego Simeone's men won the first-leg at the San Mames in October.

Atletico Madrid host the side from Bilbao this weekend
Atletico Madrid host the side from Bilbao this weekend

Athletic Club have seen their form turn around, winning back-to-back league games for the first time since before the World Cup break. And they would be facing an Atletico Madrid side that are also enjoying a good league spell with three wins and two draws in their last five games.

Valverde would continue to be without Inigo Martinez in this tie, while Simeone would be unable to count on the suspended Savic.

Osasuna vs Real Madrid 

Real Madrid bounced back from a loss to Mallorca with a dominant performance against bottom-of-the-table Elche, and they will travel to El Sadar this weekend to continue their pursuit of Barcelona.

Osasuna have already taken a point from Real Madrid this season, snatching a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in October. The draw against Osasuna earlier in the season is the third time Madrid have failed to beat Osasuna in their last five games, with two wins and three draws. However. Osasuna have not managed to beat Los Blancos since 2011.

Real Madrid would miss Benzema against Osasuna

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he will be without Benzema for this game, saying the French striker is 'tired', while Osasuna will be without Chimy Avila and Juan Cruz due to suspension.

Barcelona vs Cadiz

Barcelona were rocked in the middle of the week by Manchester United and will be looking to get back to their more familiar winning ways in La Liga.

Xavi's men soundly beat Cadiz 4-0 in the first leg in September, ending a run of four games where they failed to beat the visitors since Cadiz returned to LaLiga in the 2020/21 season.

Barcelona would miss Pedri when they host Cadiz
Barcelona would miss Pedri when they host Cadiz

Barcelona would be missing Pedri, who got injured against Manchester United, Ousmane Dembele, who is recovering from injury, and Ronald Araujo, who has accumulated yellow cards. Left-back Alphonso Espino, who usually plays well against the Blaugrana, would be missing due to suspension, along with a long injury list. 

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 22 with odds from Bet9ja.

Real Sociedad vs Celta de Vigo: Real Sociedad to win @ 1.82 odds

Osasuna vs Real Madrid: Home handicap +2 @ 1.24 odds

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao: Atletico Madrid win or draw @ 1.23 odds

Barcelona vs Cadiz: over 2.5 goals @ 1.50 odds

Girona vs Almeria: Girona win or draw @ 1.19 odds

Elche vs Espanyol: goal-goal @ 1.87 odds

Real Betis vs Real Valladolid: over 1.5 goals @ 1.27 odds

Mallorca vs Villarreal: Home handicap +2 @ 1.07 odds

Rayo Vallecano vs Sevilla: Rayo Vallecano win or draw @ 1.33 odds

Getafe vs Valencia: under 3.5 goals @1.13 odds

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