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Fantasy La Liga stats to know for Matchweek 18

Looking ahead to La Liga's Matchweek 18, Real Madrid and Thibaut Courtois should get a lot of attention. AP

Here are some key stats to consider before selecting your fantasy team as we look ahead to the top La Liga matches this weekend.

Forwards

Karim Benzema and Gerard Moreno certainly stand out in the Tier 1 forward group, as Real Madrid and Villarreal are the only teams with two matches this week. Benzema will try to break his goal-scoring drought at Villarreal, where he has yet to score in seven previous visits. However, Benzema has six goals in seven career home games against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid's second opponent this week.

Barcelona faces a tough visit to Getafe, a team that has only allowed four league goals at home -- and a side which held Lionel Messi scoreless in their two La Liga meetings last season.

Eibar's Tier 2 forward Charles has an opportunity to extend his great home form ahead of Villarreal's visit. Charles has scored five of his six goals this season at Ipurúa Stadium, in large part thanks to his being the team's "designated penalty taker." In addition, Villarreal has allowed two-plus goals in each of their last five league road games.

Midfielders

Gareth Bale should start both games for Real Madrid this week so I recommend giving him the Tier 1 midfielder spot, as well as and the captain's armband. When fit, Bale is a constant threat for opposing defenders. His 3.8 shots-per-90 minutes ranks first among all midfielders who have played more than once this season.

Real Betis travels to Huesca in what looks to be an easy victory for the visitors against a side that has yet to win at home all season. Tier 2 midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who scored in each of his past three road games, seems like a great pick due to his tendency to go forward and an ability to complete passes in the midfield. Only Barcelona has a higher possession-percentage than Betis.

Another Betis player who should profit from this fixture is Tier 3 midfielder Christian Tello, who will likely replace the injured Junior Firpo on the left wing. Tello averages one assist every 125 minutes -- the best rate by any player with at least 250 minutes played this season. Messi is No. 2 in that category at 130 minutes-per-assist.

Defenders

Either of Real Madrid's Tier 1 Defenders (Sergio Ramos or Marcelo) are great picks to maximize their double-fixture matchweek. Ramos represents a safer choice, given the amount of points he gets from completed passes (4th-most in La Liga) and the fact that he is the team's penalty taker. Still, Marcelo has a deeper attacking presence, ranking second among defenders in attacking-third touches-per-90 minutes (27.8).

Tier 2 defender and Celta's captain Hugo Mallo has a good chance of collecting points from Monday's home game against Athletic Bilbao. Athletic has yet to win on the road this season (five draws, three losses) while Celta has scored the fourth-most home goals in La Liga (15). Mallo has one goal and three assists so far, which makes him one of only four defenders who have directly contributed to four-plus La Liga goals this campaign. The other three are Ramos and Jordi Alba (5) and Gerard Piqué (4).

Goalkeeper

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois should benefit from a double-fixture matchweek which includes a big chance of earning a clean sheet in a home encounter against Real Sociedad The Whites have allowed a league-low three goals at home this season.