The first Clasico of the season is upon us in La Liga matchday 10. Here are five bold predictions for an exciting weekend of football.
Barcelona are top of the table after nine games but nothing else in the top half or even the majority of the bottom half make sense based on preseason predictions. Atletico Madrid are in a Europa League spot after dropping more points against bogey team Villarreal while Real Madrid don’t even have that luxury — they’re in seventh place after losing to Levante.
Espanyol, Alaves and Valladolid are all in the top six as La Liga flexes its competitive muscles. From last season’s top six, Betis are currently in 11th place, Valencia in 14th and Villarreal are 16th. This season continues to surpass expectations with the number of surprises, so here are five bold predictions.
5. Celta Vigo sack Antonio Mohamed after Eibar loss
Antonio Mohamed could be forgiven for being confused over where it all went wrong. A promising start has largely been forgotten due to poor results exacerbated by lackluster team displays. Prior to the first international break in September, Celta Vigo had seven points from three games including an excellent win over Atletico Madrid. Since then, they’ve picked up three points from six games as inconsistency continues to be a problem which plagues the team.
Defensively, they have issues, having conceded 13 goals in nine games with only one clean sheet — against Atletico strangely enough. They have a talented attack containing players such as Iago Aspas and Maxi Gomez, but there’s a lot of pressure on them to outscore the opposition and they’re currently over-performing the quality of chances they create by 3.52, based on Understat’s xG model.
Eibar are just below them in the table and have similar defensive issues, but there’s a lot less pressure on them due to their limited resources compared to other sides in the league. They contrast significantly with their next opponents because they have only lost twice since the September international break and they were against in-form teams: Sevilla and Espanyol. A Borja Garces last-minute equaliser also denied them a momentous win over Atletico Madrid.
In the last two games, Eibar have been the best side as they have beaten Girona and were unlucky to draw with Athletic Bilbao in the local derby. Therefore, they should be full of confidence going into a contest with a side that has looked chaotic at times, and the level of organization instilled by Jose Luis Mendilibar should be enough to see them to victory. Mohamed deserves more time to fully implement his ideas or tweak them slightly, but there are rumors about his future and a loss in this fixture will likely see him sacked.