La Liga Preview

There are just 11 games left in the Spanish La Liga with places to play for all throughout the league. Just 1 point separate Barcelona and Real Madrid whilst Valencia and Atletico Madrid will fancy their chances of a late surge to challenge them. Just 2 points is the difference between the side in 18th place and 14th place meaning the final relegation spot looks to be lingering for a host of clubs.

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Atletico Madrid v Getafe:

Diego Simeone’s side played out their 4th consecutive draw in midweek but managed to progress via penalties against Bayer Leverkusen to secure their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Saturday’s opponents Getafe recently ended a run of 5 straight away defeats with a hard fought 2-1 victory over basement side, Cordoba.

In the last 8 meetings between these two sides, Atletico Madrid have registered 6 victories and 2 draws but the most concerning factor for Getafe is that they haven’t scored once. The reigning champions won’t admit defeat at successfully defending their crown but anything under 30 points from their final 11 La Liga matches would make life extremely difficult. That means turning their recent draws they’ve been achieving into victories to turn up the pressure on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia ahead of them.

Granada v Eibar:

Granada currently sit 3 points from safety and have a massive opportunity this Saturday to reduce the deficit as they take on Eibar at home. Eibar have lost 8 on the spin but their run of defeats doesn’t do them justice as they’ve been desperately unlucky at times. They’ve lost by the odd goal on 5 occasions and lost by 2 goals on the other 3. The fact that they’ve only scored 2 goals in their previous 8 games is a worry for Gaizka Garitano who’ll be thankful that their good start to life back in La Liga has done enough to so far keep them out of the drop zone. However with Malaga and Real Madrid around the corner for Eibar, they’ll be determined to stop the rot against Granada.

Villarreal v Sevilla:

These two sides currently occupy the Europa League qualification spots and with Sevilla 4 points adrift of Atletico Madrid in 4th and Villarreal 5 points above Malaga in 7th, you get a sense that they’ll be fighting for 4th and 5th spot between themselves. In Luciano Vietto and Carlos Bacca, two of the best forwards outside of Barcelona and Real Madrid will be looking to score the goals to give their side the advantage on Sunday.

It will be the 3rd time they’ve gone head to head after recently meeting in the knockout stages of the Europa League where Sevilla gained a very creditable 3-1 victory at the Camp El Madrigal and they’ll be hoping to replicate that performance on their travels in the La Liga.

Barcelona v Real Madrid:

El Classico returns this weekend and it has been a long time since both managers have been under severe pressure at the same time. Real Madrid have struggled of late and their recent troubles were highlighted in their 2nd leg tie against Schalke where despite being beaten 4-3 on the night, they crept through with a slender 5-4 aggregate victory.

Barcelona have been excellent since the turn of year which has largely been down to the form of Lionel Messi. He has started to score goals at alarming rates since the turn of the year which has seen Barcelona lose just 2 matches in 2015. With 1 solitary point separating them, this is a massive game for Luis Enrique and Carlo Ancelotti and it could potentially be the difference between staying in the hot seat for another season and being axed.

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