Sunday’s LaLiga Santander Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu is the highlight of a weekend schedule which also features key clashes in the battles to qualify for Europe and avoid relegation.
The biggest club rivalry in world football continues as new LaLiga Santander leaders FC Barcelona travel to Real Madrid with a two point lead in the standings after last week saw blaugrana talisman Lionel Messi score four in a 5-0 win at home to Eibar, while Los Blancos slipped to a surprise1-0 defeat at Levante.
Barça has won on each of their last four LaLiga visits to the Bernabeu but Madrid are unbeaten at their own stadium this season in LaLiga and Zinedine Zidane’s side claimed to have the better of the game when the reverse fixture finished level at the Camp Nou last December.
The weekend kicks off Friday evening with in-form Real Sociedad looking for a fourth win in five LaLiga games, at home to a Real Valladolid team which moved seven points clear of the bottom three with last weekend’s win over Espanyol.
Saturday starts with SD Eibar hosting Levante UD in a promising fixture; three of the last four games between the teams at Ipurua have been draws, with the encounters ending 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4.
Valencia CF then welcomes Real Betis in a meeting of two teams who really need a win after worrying runs of results. Los Che are three games without a victory; the visitors have three draws and two defeats in their last five in LaLiga.
19th placed CD Leganes are relying on their strong home form to dig them out of trouble at the bottom, while the atmosphere at Butarque on Saturday should be special as visiting D. Alaves coach AsierGaritano is fondly remembered for overseeing Los Pepineros’ first-ever promotion to LaLigaSantander in 2016.
Saturday’s late game is Granada CF at home to RC Celta. Both teams have hit form with two wins in their last three games, while Celta has won on three of their last four LaLiga visits to the Nuevo Los Carmenes.
Sunday begins with an Athletic Club side looking to end a concerning run of four straight LaLiga defeats when they welcome a Villarreal CFteam who won 3-0 at San Mames last season.
Things look rosier at Sevilla FC following last week’s win at Getafe, so JulenLopetegui’s men will be looking forward to Sunday afternoon’s clash with a CA Osasuna team in good form recently, but whose last victory at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan was back in 2006.
Atletico de Madrid travel to bottom side RCD Espanyol having returned to third place in LaLiga Santander with last week’s victory against Villarreal. But Los Periquitos’ record in this fixture is excellent; they have beaten Diego Simeone’s team at the RCDE Stadium in both the last two seasons.
18th– placed RCD Mallorca have a chance to stretch their unbeaten run to three LaLiga games at Son Moix on Sunday afternoon when the visitors are a Getafe CFteam whose recent excellent form ended with a bang at home to Sevilla last week.