Atletico can make headway on Barcelona & the rest of the weekend’s La Liga

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Barcelona remain a healthy nine points ahead of the competition going into Matchday 19 this weekend.

Can anyone stop Ernesto Valverde’s men? It’s going to be extremely difficult. This Barca side is an efficient beast more than their previous free-flowing sides.

Valverde has made them tougher to beat and more solid in defence, with the formidable Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez causing havoc in attack.

But if anyone can put a spanner in the Catalan giant’s works, Atletico Madrid are the best bet.

The 2013-14 La Liga champions are Barca’s nearest challengers and with Diego Costa back at the club, there’s definitely hope.

The former Chelsea striker recently returned to the starting XI and immediately banged in a couple of goals. With the burden lifted off Antoine Griezmann, Atletico may begin to really fire.

However, Diego Simeone’s men face a seriously tricky task on Saturday evening as they travel to face Eibar.

The Basque club continue to punch well above their weight in La Liga. Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side are unbeaten in five and have won six of their last eight league games.

Atletico are 19/20 to win, with Eibar 16/5. The draw that looks tempting at 21/10 but Simeone’s side do have a good record against Los Armeros.

The Madrid outfit have won seven out of seven previous La Liga meetings and should continue that trend.

If Barca do drop points, it’s likely to be this weekend as Valverde’s side travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.

Anoeta Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Messi and co. in recent seasons. Barcelona haven’t won in San Sebastian in La Liga since 2007 – a remarkable record.

The league leaders are 4/9 to win, with La Real at 11/2, and the draw at 18/5. The Double Chance on Sociedad may pay dividends at 17/10.

Back in third spot in the table, Valencia have dropped off the pace a little after their early season burst.

However, Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side travel to struggling Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday evening and will fancy their chances.

Los Che are 13/10 to bag all three points. Considering Depor have lost five of their nine home fixtures, that’s decent value.

We’ll finish off with Real Madrid who host Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday afternoon. Zinedine Zidane is under huge pressure in the Capital at present and needs a big win here.

The champions are short at just 1/4 to win so backing the win and Over 3.5 Goals at even-money is a little more tempting.

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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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