Five things to watch in La Liga this midweek

Barcelona v Real Valladolid

Following the enforced break at the weekend due to the postponement of El Clasico, Barcelona are fresh and ready for action at the Camp Nou where they will face a confident Real Valladolid. La Pucela are unbeaten in five games and will be optimistic of springing a surprise having picked up eight of their 14 points away from Estadio José Zorrilla this season, including a draw at Real Madrid. Barca’s free weekend saw them leapfrogged at the top of the league and joined on 19 points by no less than three other teams. The culés will be seeking nothing less than victory to become La Liga leaders once more on Tuesday evening.

Valencia v Sevilla

Wednesday evening’s schedule opens with a clash of these two huge institutions of Spanish football. The turmoil at Valencia has meant that Los Che have yet to hit the heights of last season when they finished strongly to grab fourth position and win the Copa Del Rey. Coach Albert Celades will be without Rodrigo Moreno who went from hero to zero in the weekend’s defeat to Osasuna, scoring before being sent off just ten minutes later. However, it is keeping goals out that has been Valencia’s problem with only three clean sheets this season. Under Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla are pushing for a European spot and are still early title contenders. Their three losses this season have come against the big two and after throwing away a two-goal lead over Eibar. A result in La Mestalla would really announce Sevilla as serious contenders.

Real Betis v Celta Vigo

Two of La Liga’s biggest underachievers this season meet in a game that could be the beginning of the end for the losing Coach. Rubi and Fran Escriba are both under pressure after poor starts with their sides sitting level on nine points and in 18th and 17th in the standings respectively. Escriba will know that the Celta’s ownership group will not be shy to pull the trigger with three different Coaches last season. The key to improvement is to get Iago Aspas scoring. The striker found the net 20 times in 27 games last season but has scored just once so far this time around. He may find joy on his travels to Seville though as Los Verdiblancos have conceded 20 goals in 10 games this season, keeping just one clean sheet. 

Real Madrid v Leganes

Both sides faced Mallorca in their previous games with hugely contrasting fortunes. The Southern Madrid side will be buoyant coming into this clash on the back of their first victory of the season and lifting themselves off the bottom by beating Mallorca 1-0 at the Butarque. Still without a permanent manager, Los Pepinos will make the short trip across town to the Santiago Bernabeu hoping rather than expecting. Los Blancos lost their air of invincibility ten days ago at Son Moix, on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat which was their first of the season in La Liga.

Getafe v Granada

On Halloween, Getafe will be hoping to serve up a fright at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez to current surprise league leaders Granada. El Graná took advantage of the absence of the big two and hit the top spot at the weekend for the first time in 46 years. Their rise to the summit has been built upon strong foundations with six clean sheets. Despite that, they haven’t won away from home in two games and will be in for a rough ride when they visit the capital. Barcelona are the only La Liga side to leave the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez with three points this season and Granada will need to be at their best if they are to return to Andalusia as leaders of La Liga.

Twitter: Alex Fitzpatrick