La Liga returns this weekend with in a continuation of what has been an unpredictable rollercoaster of a season to date. The league table has been turned on its head, with promoted Granada sitting in second while Europa League representatives Getafe and Espanyol both languish in the bottom five. With drama wherever you look, we highlight five things to look out for in this La Liga weekend.
Real Madrid vs Granada
There is a top of the table clash this weekend at the Bernabeu, but not one many would have predicted. Promoted Granada have already shocked Barcelona this season, but that was in the comfort of the Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes. Madrid have battled their way back into form by building from the back with three domestic clean sheets in a row and seven points from nine since their 3-0 Champions League defeat to PSG. Granada’s intensity will mean Real will need to be at their best to take all three points on Saturday.
RCD Mallorca vs Espanyol
This battle at the bottom could be defining for both sides. For Mallorca, after a tough opening run, this is the 2nd game in as many weeks where they will be targeting points. Last week they came out empty handed against Alaves and failure to take anything here would leave their chances of survival at their lowest point yet. For Espanyol, only one win and four goals in seven games has seen them sink into the bottom three. Defeat here would see Mallorca leapfrog them and spending another weekend in the drop zone.
Barcelona vs Sevilla
The vultures are circling for Ernesto Valverde. Following a slow start to the season, his side sit fourth. A solid victory over Getafe last weekend and midweek win over Inter has helped but they will be keen to build momentum and Valverde will need to find a style to get the best out of Antoine Greizmann, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Standing in the way will be Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla who have had an inconsistent first seven games. With Barcelona conceding 10 goals already this season and Sevilla’s last two league games finishing 3-2, expect fireworks in the Camp Nou.
Leganes vs Levante
Leganes have been the surprise strugglers so far despite many having tipped them for a top-half finish. They lost only four games at home last season but already have three defeats and a draw in four games to their name at the Butarque. Levante’s away form was amongst the best outside the top four last season, but so far this season they have lost all three games. Saturday is the best chance either will get to break their winless run.
The Sack Race
A lack of goals and being third from bottom has seen Espanyol fans call for the head of rookie head Coach David Gallego. A defeat in Mallorca and it could be game over for him. Meanwhile, Celta Vigo boss Fran Escriba is also under pressure. Despite having talent such as Denis Suarez and Iago Aspas at his disposal, his team are misfiring having scored only four goals this season and sitting one place above the drop zone. Escriba cannot have long if things don’t change this weekend at home to Athletic Club.