LaLiga matchday 18 preview & predicted lineups

La Liga matchday 18

There’s a midweek fixture list to end 2023 in LaLiga with Girona’s trip to Real Betis perhaps the standout game. Here’s our full 2023/24 LaLiga matchday 18 preview with predicted lineups for all 20 clubs, win probabilities for every game and details on where to watch the games.

LaLiga matchday 18 preview – Predicted lineups

Real Betis stadium
The Benito Villamarin is the stage for Betis vs Girona on Thursday night.

Tuesday 19th December 2023

19:00 – Rayo Vallecano vs Valencia

Win Probability43%28%

This is a meeting of two out of form teams who don’t score many goals with Francisco faced with the usual dilemma as to whether to go with Sergio Camello or Raul De Tomas in attack. Oscar Trejo is still out for the hosts while this one comes too soon for Jose Gaya at Valencia. Javi Guerra completes a two game ban so Hugo Guillamon may continue after his stunning strike against Barcelona.

Predicted Rayo Vallecano Lineup: Dimitrievski – Espino, Mumin, Lejeune, Balliu – Ciss, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Kike Perez, Isi Palazon – De Tomas (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Francisco

Predicted Valencia Lineup: Mamardashvili – Vazquez, Gabriel Paulista, Mosquera, Correia – Pepelu, Guillamon – Amallah, Diego Lopez, Fran Perez – Duro (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Ruben Baraja

La Liga predictions

21:30 – Granada vs Sevilla

Win Probability36%36%

After a dismal 3-0 loss at home to Getafe, winless Diego Alonso is out and Quique Sanchez Flores is the new man for Sevilla. He’s straight in at the deep end here with an Andalusian derby and an injury crisis to deal with given 12 players are unavailable for this game including the suspended Ivan Rakitic. Granada are also under a recently appointed boss with Alexander Medina winless in three so far.

Predicted Granada Lineup: Ferreira – Neva, Miquel, Torrente, Ricard – Gumbau, Ruiz – Uzuni, Villar, Bryan Zaragoza – Boye (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Alexander Medina

Predicted Sevilla Lineup: Dmitrovic – Pedrosa, Salas, Ramos, Juanlu – Soumare, Gudelj – Oliver, Suso, Ocampos – En Nesyri (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Quique Sanchez Flores

21:30 – Atletico Madrid vs Getafe

Atletico MadridGetafe
Win Probability68%11%

It’s Diego Simeone against Pepe Bordalas here and we may see some changes from the hosts after a weekend loss in Bilbao. Rodrigo De Paul will surely return in midfield but Jose Maria Gimenez is struggling with an injury once more. Memphis Depay is fit and is an option to replace Alvaro Morata if Simeone chooses to rotate with another game to come this weekend. Getafe shouldn’t change too much after a fine win in Seville although they could well bring Jose Angel Carmona in for Jaime Mata to be a bit more conservative.

Predicted Atletico Madrid Lineup: Oblak – Hermoso, Witsel, Savic – Riquelme, Koke, De Paul, Llorente, Molina – Griezmann, Morata (3-5-2)

Coach: Diego Simeone

Predicted Getafe Lineup: Soria – Rico, Gaston, Djene, Damian Suarez – Greenwood, Milla, Maksimovic, Carmona – Latasa, Mayoral (4-4-2)

Coach: Jose Bordalas

Wednesday 20th December 2023

19:00 – Barcelona vs Almeria

Win Probability86%5%

Barcelona are winless in three in all competitions but they did play pretty well for the most part against Valencia, although their best player in that game was Frenkie de Jong who is suspended here. As for Almeria, it’s a free hit as they continue to search for their first win of the season. Their chances aren’t helped by a suspension and injury for midfielder Lucas Robertone.

Predicted Barcelona Lineup: Peña – Cancelo, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde – Gundogan, Fermin, Pedri – Felix, Lewandowski, Raphinha (4-3-3)

Coach: Xavi

Predicted Almeria Lineup: Maximiano – Akieme, Edgar, Montes, Chumi – Lopy, Baba – Embarba, Arribas, Pozo – Baptistao (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Gaizka Garitano

La Liga team news

21:30 – Athletic Club vs Las Palmas

Athletic ClubLas Palmas
Win Probability70%12%

If it wasn’t for Girona, everyone would be talking about Athletic Club right now. They are having a fine season and were brilliant on Saturday against Atletico Madrid with few changes likely from that eleven. Las Palmas have also been a surprise package this term, but they’ve suddenly got a few selection issues with Kirian Rodriguez suspended, Alberto Moleiro injured and Julian Araujo a doubt ahead of this one.

Predicted Athletic Club Lineup: Simon – Yuri, Paredes, Vivian, Lekue – Herrera, Vesga – Nico Williams, Sancet, Iñaki Williams – Guruzeta (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Ernesto Valverde

Predicted Las Palmas Lineup: Valles – Cardona, Marmol, Saul Coco, Alex Suarez – Loiodice, Perrone, Munoz – Pejino, Munir, Marvin (4-3-3)

Coach: Garcia Pimienta

21:30 – Villarreal vs Celta Vigo

VillarrealCelta Vigo
Win Probability41%32%

This is a meeting of two under-performing teams and Celta will fancy it having got only their second win of the season at the weekend. Both sides have notable absentees with Celta forward Iago Aspas suspended for a dirty tackle in the win over Granada. Meanwhile the fixtures have been mounting up for Villarreal and so too are the injuries with Gerard Moreno sidelined again while Matteo Gabbia and Alex Baena are among their fitness doubts for this game.

Predicted Villarreal Lineup: Jorgensen – Pedraza, Cuenca, Albiol, Altimira – Alberto Moreno, Terrats, Parejo, Akhomach – Sorloth, Morales (4-4-2)

Coach: Marcelino

Predicted Celta Vigo Lineup: Guaita – Manu Sanchez, Nuñez, Starfelt, Kevin – Bamba, De La Torre, Tapia, Mingueza – Douvikas, Larsen (4-4-2)

Coach: Rafa Benitez

Thursday 21st December 2023

19:00 – Real Betis vs Girona

Win Probability34%40%

Girona cruised to victory on Monday night and will head into 2024 top of LaLiga if they win here. It’s a real test with Real Betis unbeaten at home in the league and the visitors have a doubt over Viktor Tsygankov who missed the win over Alaves with Portu coming in and scoring. The home team are missing key man Isco to suspension which may see William Carvalho take up a more advanced midfield role.

Predicted Real Betis Lineup: Rui Silva – Miranda, Riad, Pezzella, Bellerin – Roca, Altimira – Ayoze Perez, Carvalho, Assane – Willian Jose (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Manuel Pellegrini

Predicted Girona Lineup: Gazzaniga – Miguel, Blind, Eric Garcia, Couto – Aleix Garcia, David Lopez, Ivan Martin – Savio, Dovbyk, Portu (4-3-3)

Coach: Michel

19:00 – Cadiz vs Real Sociedad

CadizReal Sociedad
Win Probability20%52%

Real Sociedad are favourites to round off a great year with a win at Cadiz and are expected to go strong again with only very light rotation likely. As for the hosts, it’s four 1-1 draws in a row and they’ve been dealt a real blow with forward Roger Marti ruled out until April due to injury. Maxi Gomez should feature more regularly as a result.

Predicted Cadiz Lineup: Ledesma – Javi Hernandez, Fali, Chust, Carcelen – Machis, Alcaraz, Kouame, Alejo – Ramos, Maxi Gomez (4-4-2)

Coach: Sergio

Predicted Real Sociedad Lineup: Remiro – Aihen, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Traore – Merino, Zubimendi, Zakharyan – Oyarzabal, Sadiq, Kubo (4-3-3)

Coach: Imanol Alguacil

21:30 – Alaves vs Real Madrid

AlavesReal Madrid
Win Probability17%61%

Alaves were well beaten at Montilivi on Monday and we might see them play with an extra centre-back again here as they try to thwart Real Madrid. The visitors have been dealt a third major ACL injury blow of the season with David Alaba joining Eder Militao and Thibaout Courtois on the sidelines. That should mean more minutes for Nacho until Militao’s return which may be early in 2024. Carlo Ancelotti may also freshen things up with some changes in midfield and attack here.

Predicted Alaves Lineup: Sivera – Javi Lopez, Duarte, Marin, Abqar, Gorosabel – Blanco, Guevara – Rioja, Guridi – Omorodion (5-2-2-1)

Coach: Luis Garcia

Predicted Real Madrid Lineup: Lunin – Fran Garcia, Nacho, Rudiger, Lucas Vazquez – Bellingham, Kroos, Tchouameni, Valverde – Joselu, Rodrygo (4-4-2)

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

21:30 – Mallorca vs Osasuna

Win Probability41%28%

Mallorca’s last three games have produced just a single goal so don’t expect fireworks here with Vedat Muriqi still out for Javier Aguirre’s men. They also have a doubt over Omar Mascarell here. Johan Mojica is missing for the visitors while Ruben Garcia is doubtful. Summer signing Raul Garcia broke his duck to seal a dramatic late win over Rayo last time out but that may not be enough to earn him a starting role.

Predicted Mallorca Lineup: Rajkovic – Nastacic, Raillo, Giovanni – Costa, Darder, Samu, Antonio, Maffeo – Dani Rodriguez – Larin (3-5-1-1)

Coach: Javier Aguirre

Predicted Osasuna Lineup: Herrera – Pena, David Garcia, Catena, Areso – Torro, Munoz – Moi Gomez, Aimar Oroz, Avila – Budimir (4-2-3-1)

Coach: Jagoba Arrasate

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LaLiga matchday 18 fixtures – Where to watch

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About Mark Sochon 2070 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at)