La Liga BBVA: Predictions for Round 18 Fixtures

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIJanuary 12, 2012

MALAGA, SPAIN - JANUARY 10:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid looks on during the round of 16 Copa del Rey second leg match between Malaga and Real Madrid at La Rosaleda Stadium on January 10, 2012 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Barcelona now stand five points behind Real Madrid after a tie with Espanyol. The Catalans will have to keep the pressure on and hope for a little help as the season progresses if they are to regain the title.

Levante remains in the top five and is not too far away from third-placed Valencia. As the season gets closer to the end things will certainly get interesting.

Here are the predictions for Round 18 of La Liga.

Real Zaragoza vs. Getafe

Zaragoza sits at the bottom of the league with the most goals allowed and among the least goals scored. While they have home advantage, they face a Getafe team that started off the new year with a decent result against Athletic Bilbao.

Prediction: Getafe win 2-0

Sevilla vs. Espanyol

Both these teams are tied on points but while Sevilla has seen a decline in its position, Espanyol has steadily risen up the table.

This game will be very close.

Prediction: Espanyol win 1-0

Granada CF vs. Rayo Vallecano

Granada got hammered by Real Madrid over the weekend, and Rayo Vallecano upset Sevilla. Confidence and form are on Vallecano's side and seeing as they have done a decent job picking up away points so far this season, they will pick up some more points against this weekend's opposition.

Prediction: Rayo Vallecano win 2-1

Mallorca vs. Real Madrid

Mallorca held Levante away from home but being the home team against Real Madrid does not really give them an advantage. Madrid has slipped once or twice before, but they have been very solid this year and will want to keep the pressure on Barcelona until they meet again in the league.

Prediction: Real Madrid win 3-0

Valencia vs. Real Sociedad

Valencia has to make sure it keeps away from Levante and keeps up with the top two. The team dropped points last week, but luckily so did Barcelona. Real Sociedad may be able to pull of a surprise, but it is not likely.

Prediction: Valencia win 2-1

Atletico Madrid vs. Villarreal

Both these teams have been really disappointing, but Villarreal does have the excuse of injuries. Villarreal has yet to win a game away from home while Atletico Madrid's home record is considerably solid.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid win 1-0

Osasuna vs. Racing Santander

Osasuna is unbeaten at home and Racing Santander has only taken four points in away games. Santander did win its last game to pull the team out of the relegation zone, but they face a tough away challenge.

Prediction: Osasuna win 1-0

Athletic Bilbao vs. Levante

Athletic Bilbao has the talent to finish in the European spots, but they need to stop dropping points like they did last week. Levante will be tough opposition.

Prediction: Draw 1-1

Sporting Gijon vs. Malaga

This Malaga side has yet to show it means business, but they are still in the European spots and with a good chance to pick up points in this game. Sporting is always tough at home but Malaga may edge it.

Prediction: Malaga win 1-0

Barcelona vs. Real Betis

Barcelona dropping points is not the norm, but what happens after those games usually isn't pretty for their opponents.

Real Betis put up a solid fight in the Copa del Rey when these teams met last year and though this team is much changed, they will have some confidence going into the game having won last weekend.

Prediction: Barcelona win 3-1


    Kane Has England Looking Like World Cup Dark Horses

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Kane Has England Looking Like World Cup Dark Horses

    Matt Jones
    via Bleacher Report

    Counter-Attacking Senegal Can Threaten Top Teams

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Counter-Attacking Senegal Can Threaten Top Teams

    James Dudko
    via Bleacher Report

    Salah Considering Quitting Egypt

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Salah Considering Quitting Egypt

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    'From Clinically Dead to Brimming with Strength' — German Press Reacts

    World Football logo
    World Football

    'From Clinically Dead to Brimming with Strength' — German Press Reacts

    Philip Oltermann
    via the Guardian