LaLiga matchday 26 preview & predicted lineups

La Liga matchday 26

A bottom four showdown in Cadiz is perhaps the most important game this weekend in Spain. We’ll also get the latest clues as to whether we still have a title race on our hands as Girona bid to bounce back from successive defeats on Monday night against Rayo. Here’s our full 2023/24 LaLiga matchday 26 preview with predicted lineups for all 20 clubs and win probabilities for every game.


LaLiga matchday 26 preview – Predicted lineups


Cadiz stadium
It’s 18th vs 17th as Cadiz host Celta on Sunday at the Nuevo Mirandilla.

Friday 23rd February 2024

21:00 – Real Sociedad vs Villarreal

Real SociedadVillarreal
Win Probability56%19%

Real Sociedad are in Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg action next Tuesday but they’re expected to go strong here having not played in midweek. Mikel Oyarzabal is still out injured but otherwise they should be close to full strength in terms of their best eleven with a similar lineup to the one that won at Mallorca last weekend expected.

Villarreal had a doubt over former Real Sociedad man Alexander Sorloth in the week. He is expected to be fit but the visitors may go with the pace of Goncalo Guedes on the break for this game as they bid to make it six unbeaten in LaLiga.

Possible Lineups

Real Sociedad: Remiro – Galan, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Traore – Merino, Zubimendi, Brais Mendez – Barrenetxea, Sadiq, Kubo (4-3-3)

Villarreal: Jorgensen – Moreno, Mosquera, Albiol, Femenia – Baena, Coquelin, Comesaña, Akhomach – Guedes, Gerard Moreno (4-4-2)

La Liga predictions

Saturday 24th February 2024

16:15 – Barcelona vs Getafe

BarcelonaGetafe
Win Probability68%13%

Barcelona drew 1-1 in Naples in the Champions League but with the 2nd Leg a few weeks away, Xavi doesn’t really need to ring the changes here. He may consider resting 16 year old Lamine Yamal who has played a lot of football of late, with Raphinha and Joao Felix fit again. There could also be a couple of changes elsewhere with Pau Cubarsi possibly replacing Iñigo Martinez in defence.

Getafe’s main fitness concern is wideman Jordi Martin while Pepe Bordalas will have to decide how to shape up his back four with Djene an option at both centre back and full back.

Possible Lineups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen – Cancelo, Cubarsi, Araujo, Kounde – Gundogan, De Jong, Pedri – Felix, Lewandowski, Raphinha (4-3-3)

Getafe: Soria – Rico, Alderete, Djene, Iglesias – Martin, Milla, Maksimovic, Greenwood – Mata, Mayoral (4-4-2)

18:30 – Alaves vs Mallorca

AlavesMallorca
Win Probability50%20%

Alaves have a fully fit squad with the exception of long-term absentee Aleksandar Sedlar so it should be a familiar eleven as they target a win that would push them firmly in the direction of safety.

Mallorca are missing defenders Siebe Van Der Heyden and Antonio Raillo to suspension so there’ll be a bit of a reshuffle at the back. Javier Aguirre has more options further up the field now but is struggling to find the right formula with Sergi Darder a strangely peripheral figure, but an option should he want to play an extra midfielder rather than two strikers.

Possible Lineups

Alaves: Sivera – Javi Lopez, Abqar, Marin, Gorosabel – Blanco, Guevara – Rioja, Guridi, Sola – Omorodion (4-2-3-1)

Mallorca: Rajkovic – Copete, Nastasic, Valjent – Costa, Antonio, Mascarell, Giovanni – Dani Rodriguez – Larin, Muriqi (3-4-1-2)

21:00 – Almeria vs Atletico Madrid

AlmeriaAtletico Madrid
Win Probability21%55%

Almeria are winless in 28 league matches now, but they’re not as bad as that record suggests and they actually rank 7th in LaLiga for xG! They have more attacking options this weekend with Leo Baptistao available again after suspension.

Atletico Madrid meanwhile are missing Antoine Griezmann to injury. This game falls between big midweek cup trips to Milan and Bilbao so Diego Simeone may well look to rotate and freshen things up with their regulars not exactly doing the business away from home in any case. There’ll be another enforced change from the Inter game with Jose Maria Gimenez injured again.

Possible Lineups

Almeria: Maximiano – Langa, Radovanovic, Edgar, Pubill – Lopy, Robertone – Ramazani, Viera, Arribas – Baptistao (4-2-3-1)

Atletico Madrid: Oblak – Reinildo, Gabriel Paulista, Savic – Riquelme, Saul, Vermeeren, Barrios, Molina – Correa, Depay (3-5-2)

What is Sorare Rivals?

Sunday 25th February 2024

14:00 – Cadiz vs Celta Vigo

CadizCelta Vigo
Win Probability32%37%

It’s just one goal in eight games for Cadiz who are looking desperately poor heading into this crunch relegation six pointer. They’re missing Lucas Pires to suspension here while goalkeeper Conan Ledesma has picked up an injury and is a major doubt for the game with David Gil on standby.

Iago Aspas earned a recall and scored for Celta against Barcelona last weekend. Javier Manquillo is fit again which does give Rafa Benitez the option of using Oscar Mingueza in an advanced role again, but it feels likely that Aspas will keep his place in what may be a 4-4-2.

Possible Lineups

Cadiz: Gil – Javi Hernandez, Chust, Mere, Iza – Escalante, Alcaraz – Sobrino, Navarro, Juanmi – Ramos (4-2-3-1)

Celta Vigo: Guaita – Manu Sanchez, Nuñez, Starfelt, Manquillo – De La Torre, Beltran, Tapia, Mingueza – Larsen, Aspas (4-4-2)

16:15 – Real Betis vs Athletic Club

Real BetisAthletic Club
Win Probability28%42%

Betis were knocked out of Europe on Thursday night and they’ve all sorts of selection issues here with three players suspended and a host of injuries leaving Manuel Pellegrini down to the bare bones in some areas. He’s particularly short at left back and may need to use right-sided Hector Bellerin or Aitor Ruibal in the role. Pablo Fornals and Chimy Avila both look likely to start having not been eligible in the Conference League.

Athletic went with Oihan Sancet and Nico Williams on the bench last time out but still beat Girona 3-2. Alex Berenguer bagged a brace which leaves Ernesto Valverde with a real dilemma as to whether to recall Nico on the left side here. They also have a doubt over Yuri’s fitness and will have half an eye on next week’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final 2nd Leg against Atletico Madrid.

Possible Lineups

Real Betis: Rui Silva – Ruibal, Riad, Pezzella, Bellerin – Altimira, Cardoso – Avila, Fekir, Fornals – Willian Jose (4-2-3-1)

Athletic Club: Simon – Yuri, Yeray, Paredes, De Marcos – Prados, Galarreta – Berenguer, Sancet, Iñaki Williams – Guruzeta (4-2-3-1)

18:30 – Las Palmas vs Osasuna

Las PalmasOsasuna
Win Probability41%28%

Las Palmas were thumped 5-0 at the Estadio Metropolitano last time out but Garcia Pimienta is unlikely to press the panic button after a rare off day. He will be missing Maximo Perrone to suspension here though with Enzo Loiodice likely to replace him.

Osasuna are hampered by the suspension of key centre back David Garcia. There are various ways Jagoba Arrasate could compensate for that but he may go with a back three.

Possible Lineups

Las Palmas: Valles – Cardona, Marmol, Coco, Alex Suarez – Kirian, Loiodice, Muñoz – Munir, Sandro, Marvin Park (4-3-3)

Osasuna: Herrera – Herrando, Catena, Unai Garcia – Mojica, Torro, Moncayola, Areso – Aimar Oroz, Moi Gomez – Budimir (3-4-2-1)

21:00 – Real Madrid vs Sevilla

Real MadridSevilla
Win Probability73%10%

Real Madrid are still sweating over Antonio Rudiger’s fitness so it could be Nacho and Aurelien Tchouameni in central defence again. With Eduardo Camavinga suspended, that would leave them a bit short in midfield with Toni Kroos likely to play the anchor role with either Dani Ceballos or Luka Modric also starting. Dani Carvajal is banned so Lucas Vazquez should play at right back.

Sevilla look sure to start Sergio Ramos on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu but they’ve a number of selection issues with Marcos Acuña injured again while Erik Lamela and Nemanja Gudelj are rated doubtful.

Possible Lineups

Real Madrid: Lunin – Mendy, Tchouameni, Nacho, Lucas Vazquez – Kroos, Ceballos, Valverde – Brahim – Vinicius, Rodrygo (4-3-1-2)

Sevilla: Nyland – Salas, Ramos, Bade – Ocampos, Soumare, Sow, Oliver, Navas – Romero, En-Nesyri (3-5-2)

La Liga team news

Monday 26th February 2024

21:00 – Girona vs Rayo Vallecano

GironaRayo Vallecano
Win Probability59%18%

Girona still have a doubt over Daley Blind who has been badly missed in defeats to Real Madrid and Athletic Club. David Lopez is nearing fitness but may not be ready to start so it’s likely to be Juanpe in central defence again if Blind doesn’t recover. Few changes are expected elsewhere although Yan Couto is available after suspension and may start at right back.

Rayo got off to a good start under their new boss with a draw against Real Madrid. It may be just the one change here with Jorge De Frutos likely to come in for the suspended Isi Palazon.

Possible Lineups

Girona: Gazzaniga – Miguel, Eric Garcia, Juanpe, Couto – Aleix Garcia, Herrera – Savio, Ivan Martin, Tsygankov – Dovbyk (4-2-3-1)

Rayo Vallecano: Dimitrievski – Espino, Lejeune, Aridane, Balliu – Unai Lopez, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, De Frutos – De Tomas (4-2-3-1)


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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) hotmail.co.uk