El Clasico victors Real Madrid are aiming to stay clear atop LaLiga during a weekend schedule full of exciting match-ups and potential surprises.
Last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Barcelona moved Zinedine Zidane’s side one point clear at the head of the table, the leaders now face a tricky trip to Real Betis on Sunday evening as they look to maintain or even build on that advantage.
Real Madrid have only won two of their last five meetings with a Betis team who often save their best performances for the big occasion. However, Los Verdiblancos’ recent form has been mixed; a run of just one victory in their last 10 LaLiga outings has seen them drop to 14th in the table.
Barcelona will look to bounce back from their El Clasico disappointment when they host Real Sociedad today (Saturday) with Lionel Messi and company having won 12 and drawn one of 13 LaLiga games at the Camp Nou this term. However, sixth-placed La Real will travel confidently having drawn 2-2 in the reverse fixture in December, and with starlets Alexander Isak and Martin Odegaard in excellent recent form.
Champions League qualification spots are on the line when fifth placed Atletico de Madrid host third placed Sevilla FC also today (Saturday) with just two points between the teams ahead of the game. This is one of LaLiga’s most historic traditional fixtures and extra spice comes from the fact that Atletico coach Diego Simeone having represented Sevilla as a player in the early 1990s.
The weekend’s LaLiga action started on Friday evening in Vitoria when home side Deportivo Alaves failed to make it a third straight home victory at their Mendizorrotza Stadium, as visitors Valencia CF halted their poor run and bagged a 1-1 away draw. Valencia had lost all three of their most recent away LaLiga games.
16th placed SD Eibar will want to keep their distance to bottom three when they welcome 19th placed RCD Mallorca in Saturday’s early game. The Balearic Islanders won on their only previous visit to Ipurua, for a LaLiga SmartBank game back in November 2013.
Getafe CF may ride high in fourth place in LaLiga Santander, while RC Celta are down in 17th but both teams have been in equally excellent form recently, and their need for another three points is equally big in Saturday evening’s meeting at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Sunday starts in Pamplona as CA Osasuna host bottom side RCD Espanyol. The visitors need the points badly and will also remember losing the reverse game 2-4 despite Osasuna playing most of the second half with just 10 men.
Real Valladolid against Athletic Club at the Jose Zorrilla is likely to be a tight affair; Valladolid have lost just twice at home in 2019/20, while Atletico picked up a welcome first victory in eleven LaLiga games last weekend.
Strong home form, including victories so far this season over both Barça and Real Madrid, has helped keep Levante UD clear of the drop zone. Sunday’s visitors to the Ciutat de Valencia stadium are Granada CF, who lost eight successive away LaLiga games before winning 3-0 win at Osasuna a fortnight ago.
LaLiga’s most unpredictable team Villarreal CF host 19th placed CD Leganes on Sunday evening, with Los Pepineros having lost all four previous LaLiga visits to the Estadio de la Ceramica, but their need for three points bigger than ever now.
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