La Liga Week 7 Preview: Difficult task for Barcelona and Real Madrid as Villareal seek to maintain top spot
Celta Vigo will be looking to get back to winning ways when they host Getafe on Friday evening. The La Liga high flyers will be inspired by the invitation of their main man, Nolito to the Spanish National team squad. Although Getafe did well last weekend, Celta Vigo is expected to get the victory with their impressive start to the seasone. Meanwhile early table toppers, Villareal will hope to stay unbeaten as the La Liga enters matchday 7. The yellow submarines have exceeded all expectations this season by been on top of the table and Marcelino Garcia’s men will have the confidence going into this weekend clash with 19th placed Levante. Levante is one of the two teams yet to secure a win this season and Villareal are favourites for this tie especially with their recent win in the UEFA Europa League coupled with impressive performances from Roberto Soldado, Leo Baptistao and colleagues.
Bottom placed team, Granada will play host to 6th placed Deportivo La Coruna in a match the visitors will fancy their chance of getting all three points. Espanyol host Sporting Gijon with the host expected to get the better of Gijon in an expected close encounter while Las Palmas will welcome Eibar to the Estadio de Gran Canaria.
Luis Enrique and his Barcelona team will travel to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to play struggling Sevilla after their UEFA Champions League 2-1 win over Leverkusen. The host on the other hand lost 2-0 to Juventus at Turin in the same competition. With just one victory in the first 6 matches, Sevilla will have it all to do if they are to get any point out of this fixture. Barcelona however will have a lot to worry about with news that Andreas Iniesta will join Lionel Messi in the treatment room with the team struggling to get going this season. The only positive is the goal scoring form of Luis Suarez which may be enough to boost the Catalans. Sevilla will fancy their chances on Saturday but they will have to improve on recent performances to get maximum points.
Athletico Bilbao’s poor start to the season after the Spanish Super cup win will have to be fixed if they are to avoid dropping into the relegation zone. However, this will be a tough task as Valencia will be the visiting team this weekend. Valencia’s UEFA Champions League win in France against Lyon in midweek will be a confidence boost for the visitors who are favourites for this clash. 11th placed Rayo Vallecano will hope to turn their narrow defeat to Sevilla last week to victory when they host Real Betis while Malaga will be working towards getting their first win of the season when they host an unconvincing Real Sociedad side. The host, currently placed 18th with three drawn matches will welcome a David Moyes’ Sociedad that has been performing below expectations this season.
The peak of the weekend will be at Vicente Calderon with the Madrid derby on show. Athletico Madrid played eight times against Real Madrid last season losing just once and securing a memorable 4-0 victory in the league. Diego Simeone will hope his team can get a similar result this weekend with Real Madrid expected to be without James Rodriguez although Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale may be available for selection. The return of Ramos and Bale will be a big boost for the Blancos who have only conceded once this season. Cristiano Ronaldo finally broke Raul’s record in Real Madrid and now has 501 career goals to his name but the attacker have failed to get on the score sheet in the last three league games. The record breaking feat may be a catalyst to another Ronaldo impressive performance at the weekend but the Athletico Madrid attacking options are also performing well at the moment. Even though, Jackson Martinez is still misfiring, Fernando Torres and Antoine Griezmann have been impressive all season which makes Sunday’s encounter an interesting one to anticipate.