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Thank you, La Liga.
The exact fixture dates aren't set beyond June 26, but if the next two weeks are any indication, we are going to have a run of 38 consecutive days with at least one La Liga match beginning Thursday. I'm literally giddy just typing that.
The fun begins at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium as Sevilla host Real Betis in the Seville derby. Let's dive right into Matchday 28.
The Mestalla has been a fortress for Valencia this season, and even without fans in attendance Friday, there's no reason they shouldn't maintain their dominance. Albert Celades' side is unbeaten at its home ground this season with eight wins and six draws and had won six of its last eight at home (drawing Atletico and Real Madrid) before the campaign was suspended.
With the club chasing a Champions League berth, it's essential to get off to a flying start, and there's no better way to do that than with a statement win over rivals Levante in the Valencia derby.
No club has suffered more losses away from home this season than Levante, who have lost 11 of 14, including seven of their last eight. They've yet to keep a clean sheet on their travels, allowing at least a goal in 29 consecutive away matches, and have historically struggled in this fixture, losing each of their last five trips to the Mestalla by scores of 3-1, 3-1, 3-0, 3-0, and 2-0. Expect a similar result here.
Pick: Valencia (-135)
This is a true six-pointer in the relegation scrap, with Alaves looking to pull away from the drop zone and Espanyol desperate to climb out from the bottom of the table.
There are plenty of positives to take from the recent form of both these sides, but it remains to be seen how they will respond to the long layoff. Before the hiatus, Espanyol had gone five matches unbeaten at RCDE Stadium, while Alaves had lost just one of their last four away from home and two of their last nine overall.
The responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Espanyol here as they really need the three points, which will allow Alaves to sit back and let the match come to them. The visitors will do enough to frustrate a sputtering Espanyol side and earn a share of the spoils.
Pick: Draw (+220)
All eyes across the football world will be fixated on what's shaping up to be a thrilling title race in La Liga, with just two points separating first-place Barcelona and second-place Real Madrid. The Blaugrana should be able to secure three points here, but they won't come easy against a stingy Mallorca side that has allowed just 14 goals in 14 home matches this season.
Mallorca have done well to limit the damage from top-six La Liga sides in a number of tightly contested matches at Son Moix this season. They beat Real Madrid 1-0, lost 2-0 to Sevilla and Atletico, and lost 1-0 to Real Sociedad and Getafe.
Barcelona will have to work hard to break Mallorca down - a familiar feeling for the league leaders, who have struggled in away matches this season. They've scored just 18 goals in 13 of those fixtures compared to 45 in 14 at home, and it will take a bit of time to find their rhythm in attack as play resumes.
Pick: Under 3, 3.5 (-115)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.
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