Barcelona and Real Madrid can keep La Liga’s title race going another week by both enjoying wins in Week 37. Leaders Barca will need yet more magic from Lionel Messi to help win in Las Palmas, while UEFA Champions League finalists Real will be pushed all the way by Sevilla at home.
Here are the fixtures for the season’s penultimate week, along with schedule and streaming information, as well as picks:
|La Liga 2016/17 Week 37 Fixtures: Schedule, Live Stream and Picks|
|Date||Time (BST/ET)||Match||Live Stream||Pick|
|Saturday, May 13||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Espanyol vs. Valencia||Sky Go/fuboTV||Espanyol|
|Saturday, May 13||5:30 p.m./12:30 p.m.||Osasuna vs. Granada||Sky Go/fuboTV||Osasuna|
|Sunday, May 14||3 p.m./10 a.m.||Alaves vs. Celta Vigo||Sky Go/fuboTV||Draw|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Athletic Bilbao vs. Leganes||Sky Go/fuboTV||Bilbao|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Eibar vs. Sporting Gijon||Sky Go/fuboTV||Eibar|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Las Palmas vs. Barcelona||Sky Go/fuboTV||Barcelona|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid||Sky Go/fuboTV||Atletico|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Real Madrid vs. Sevilla||Sky Go/fuboTV||Real|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./ 2 p.m.||Real Sociedad vs. Malaga||Sky Go/fuboTV||Draw|
|Sunday, May 14||7 p.m./2 p.m.||Villarreal vs. Deportivo La Coruna||Sky Go/fuboTV||Villarreal|
Here are the streaming links: Sky Go. fuboTV.
Messi’s stunning form has fired the Blaugrana back to the top of the table recently. The Argentinian has been scoring for fun in a free role granted to him by manager Luis Enrique.
The Argentinian bagged a brace in last week’s 4-1 win over Villarreal at the Camp Nou. Those goals earned Messi a distinction at the top level this season, per Squawka Football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Lionel Messi is the first player in Europe’s top 5 leagues to score 50 goals across all competitions this season.
5/6/2017, 5:26:30 PM
Messi has dropped deeper in recent matches, as part of a more roving, fluid role up front. His movement, scoring touch and a keen eye for a through pass are tormenting defences and making fellow attackers Luis Suarez and Neymar even better.
Expect Messi in this form to prove decisive against a capable Las Palmas side in Gran Canaria.
Los Blancos manager Zinedine Zidane has been resting key players domestically to keep his main stars fresh for the Champions League. Yet with the final not taking place until June, Zidane will surely lean on the big guns again to help win the league title.
It means you can count on cultured midfield playmaker Lukas Modric being involved. The 31-year-old pass-master is in fantastic form, showing off his ability to conduct play during Wednesday’s game against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Marca‘s Rahul Kalvapalle commended Modric for how he dealt with pressure at the Vicente Calderon Stadium: “The Croatian drove Los Colchoneros crazy with his exasperating ability to draw opponents towards him before squirrelling his way out of the crowd and spreading the ball to a team-mate in space. It was a proper exhibition of ball-carrying under pressure from the former Dinamo Zagreb prodigy.”
Modric’s coolness under fire will be invaluable against a Sevilla side that loves to press in groups with intensity and high up the pitch. Modric can trick his way clear of the press and use his astute range of passing to create quick breaks for Los Merengues.
The player Sevilla will count on to stymie any breaks from Real will be French holding midfielder Steven N’Zonzi. It’s a job he’s managed well this season as the anchor for an otherwise forward-thinking midfield.
Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli relied on N’Zonzi’s positional discipline, aggressive tackling and defensive instincts to underpin his marauding tactics. N’Zonzi will be counted on to give schemers such as Samir Nasri and Franco Vazquez more license to get forward.
The 28-year-old must also keep close tabs on Real playmaker Toni Kroos and attacking midfielder Isco. It’s the only way Sevilla can limit the supply to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sevilla have the talent to dent Real’s title bid. They also need the points to seal their place in the top four and qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Sevilla lead Villarreal by six points, but the Yellow Submarine should be expected to beat Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio de la Ceramica.
If the pressure is on Sevilla, it’s nothing compared to the pressure on Barca. The Blaugrana top the table, but know the advantage is still with Los Blancos, thanks to the latter’s game in hand.
It means there is no margin for error for Barca this week.