LaLiga’s exciting return continues with another round of games spread over three days, with big three Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid playing on consecutive nights over the weekend.
Leaders Barça face a stiff test at third placed Sevilla, although the blaugrana outfit have scored four times against the Andalusians in each of their last two LaLiga meetings. The clash at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium also features three players facing their former sides: Ivan Rakitic and Clement Lenglet for the visitors, and Munir El Haddadi for the home side.
Saturday has Champions League chasing Atletico de Madrid at home to a Real Valladolid team who have opened a gap to the bottom three since the games came back. Atletico have won each of these teams last four meetings in Madrid, but Valladolid’s last visit to the Spanish capital brought a huge 2-1 win at Leganes just last weekend.
Sunday’s late game has second placed Real Madrid facing a very tricky fixture away at top four challengers Real Sociedad, where Zinedine Zidane’s side lost 1-3 last season. It will be a big evening for Martin Odegaard, the Norwegian midfield starlet who is starring on loan this season for La Real but could return to ‘parent club’ as soon as next season.
Granada at home to Villarreal is a clash of two teams who have returned from the break in excellent shape as they chase Europa League qualification. Neutrals if not either coach will be hoping for a repeat of the 4-4 draw from the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season back in August.
Friday also sees a huge six-pointer at the wrong end of the table between Mallorca and Leganes, who remain in the bottom three after neither have managed to take a point from either of their games since the return to action.
Saturday’s kick-off has upwardly mobile but still relegation threatened Espanyol at home to Levante – the Catalan capital side have four points from six since coming back and are unbeaten in their last six games at their RCDE Stadium, while the side from Valencia have not won any of their last six on the road in LaLiga.
Next up is Athletic Club against Real Betis – the Basques have won each of these teams’ last five LaLiga meetings at San Mames, going all the way back to a 5-3 away win by the Andalusians in August 2012 – before Getafe against Eibar at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Getafe have only one point from two games since coming back but are still strong at their home stadium, while Eibar have won just once away all season.
Sunday sees RC Celta host Alaves, which could be a tight one between two teams looking anxiously at the relegation zone and who have scored just three goals between them in the last four meetings at Abanca Balaidos.
Valencia hosting Osasuna might be a much more open game – Valencia have won their last four meetings at Mestalla – but Jagoba Arrasate’s tactically astute Osasuna team have a good away record this season and picked up a strong 1-1 at Real Sociedad last weekend.
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