RevistaPredictor: Sevilla v Barcelona among Matchday 30 matches
Last Updated: 30/03/18 8:17am
La Liga is back, which means #RevistaPredictor is back with Matchday 30, featuring a spread of teams up and down the table.
There are nine rounds of matches to go this season, and some intriguing games this weekend, with a Saturday triple-header on the Predictor.
It's a tricky trio, as David Garrido reports...
Match 1 - Girona v Levante (live on Sky Sports Football from 11.55am on Saturday)
Girona's home form has been one of the stories of recent months - of the last six they've played at Montilivi in La Liga, they've won all six, scored 15 goals and conceded none. That's better than Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico. It's simply astounding, guided by the clever tactics and motivational skills of Pablo Machin, arguably the best coach of the season so far for what they've achieved as La Liga first-timers.
Matchday 30 predictions and first scorers
|Girona v Levante||Athletic v Celta Vigo||Sevilla v Barcelona|
|Garrido||1-0 - Portu||0-0||2-1 - Ben Yedder|
|Palmer||2-1 - Stuani||1-1 - Aspas||1-3 - Messi|
|Driscoll||2-1 - Stuani||2-1 - Aduriz||0-2 - Messi|
|Keatings||2-0 - Portu||1-2 - Aspas||1-3 - Suarez|
|Phillips||2-0 - Portu||3-1 - Williams||0-1 - Dembele|
And while Levante have won their first two matches under new boss Paco Lopez, none of the so-called "experts" are backing them to get anything here. All five of us have gone for home victories, with Portu the choice of first goalscorer for myself, Kevin Keatings and David Phillips, while Rob Palmer and Jon Driscoll have gone for Cristhian Stuani to break the deadlock. Levante also have an issue at left-back, with both Tono Garcia and Antonio Luna injured, so they'll have to reshuffle, but there's no doubt that a victory would be a huge boost to their survival hopes.
Match 2 - Athletic Bilbao v Celta Vigo
How Kuko Ziganda is still in charge at San Mames is anyone's guess - four defeats in five in all competitions mean that Athletic's season is all but over bar the shouting, marooned in mid-table. One possible plus would be the return of Iker Muniain - they have badly missed his invention and creativity, underperforming with a squad who qualified for the Europa League by finishing seventh last season... something which is an utterly remote possibility this campaign.
Celta Vigo could still do it, but they aren't in much better form with just two wins in their last eight games. Still, they are always a threat with red-hot Iago Aspas, especially after his super-sub performance for Spain against Argentina, and Daniel Wass is ready to return. All outcomes are covered here by our predictions, with Messrs Driscoll and Phillips backing Athletic, Rob and myself opting for the draw and Kevin being the only one to say Celta will leave Bilbao with all three points. This could have a big impact on the experts' table.
Match 3 - Sevilla v Barcelona (live on Sky Sports Football or Main Event from 7.40pm on Saturday)
Without doubt, this is the match of the weekend and a dress rehearsal for the Copa del Rey final in three weeks' time. Sevilla might be slightly fresher given that not so many of their players were on international duty, while pretty much all of Barcelona's were. Lionel Messi may not have played for Argentina, but he did train with Barca on Thursday and he should start after his little niggle.
He's the first-goalscorer prediction for Jon and Rob in Barcelona wins, and Kevin and David P have also backed the visitors at the Sanchez Pizjuan - they've only been beaten on one of their last eight visits, and Sevilla's home form of late is not brilliant - losing to Real Betis, Atletico and Valencia this calendar year, conceding 12 goals in those games. I've taken a risk here and am backing the hosts to defy that form and inflict Barcelona's first league defeat of the season, with Wissam Ben Yedder, the hero of their win over Manchester United, scoring first. It's admittedly a huge gamble.
The race for the pundits' prize is reprised and it's very much a two-horse race, with Rob having narrowed the gap on Kevin over recent weeks.
|Kevin Keatings||157 points|
|Rob Palmer||154 points|
|Jon Driscoll||145 points|
|David Phillips||129 points|
|David Garrido||117 points|
The first game of our chosen trio kicks off at 12pm on Saturday - so that's the deadline for you to get your predictions in! Do it via Twitter, by tagging us in @SkyRevista and using the hashtag #RevistaPredictor. And good luck!
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.