Testing trips for Real Madrid and Barça this weekend as LaLiga hots up

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will look to cut the gap at the top of LaLiga to put the pressure on rivals Atlético MadridPicture: David S. Bustamante / Getty Images
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will look to cut the gap at the top of LaLiga to put the pressure on rivals Atlético MadridPicture: David S. Bustamante / Getty Images

SPORT


Atlético Madrid have opened up a 10-point gap at the top of the LaLiga Santander table and still have one game in hand over Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are tied in second place.

This weekend, Zinedine Zidane and Ronald Koeman’s sides will look to cut that gap to put the pressure on Los Colchoneros, who will round off the Monday night fixtures.

Before that, Alavés and Real Valladolid will get match day 22 going on Friday.

Neither of these teams have won in their last four league matches and they’re both caught in the relegation battle, so the pressure is on.

Real Valladolid suffered a 2-0 loss when the sides met earlier in the season, though on that night they played most of the game with 10 men thanks to an early red card for left-back Nacho Martínez.

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They have a new left-back now in the form of Lucas Olaza and he could make his debut in this game, after completing loan switch from Celta Vigo on deadline day last week.

Levante host Granada on Saturday afternoon, a game which could see a lot of goals. Levante matches this season have produced 2.90 goals on average, while Granada averaged 2.76.

Only Barcelona and Betis have averaged more goals in LaLiga this season, so we could be in for a goal fest at the Ciutat de València.

Real Madrid are in action on Sunday and they’ll be looking to bounce back from the defeat they suffered at the hands of Levante last weekend.

Sunday’s action begins with an intriguing clash between Real Sociedad and Cádiz. A historic LaLiga match-up later sees Athletic Club play Valencia in Bilbao.

The match will be a meeting of familiar faces as new Athletic boss Marcelino coached Valencia as recently as 2019, while his opposite number Javi Gracia came through the ranks at Athletic’s Lezama academy before starting his playing career.

Considering these two teams are separated by just one point on the table, this match has huge implications in the standings too.

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Osasuna take on Eibar on Sunday evening is a relegation scrap. These two teams are also separated by a point, as they hover precariously just above the bottom three.

On Sunday night, two attack-minded and in-form teams face off when Real Betis clash with Barcelona.

These teams’ matches have produced the most goals: 2.95 goals per Barça game, 2.90 per Betis game. Both are still to taste defeat this year.

League leaders Atlético then round off the weekend with their home game against Celta Vigo on Monday night.

  • Watch LaLiga live this weekend on SuperSport LaLiga on DStv Channel 204


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