Deadlock ahead of El Clasico
Atletico Madrid's clash against Barcelona is an eye-catching tie but there's plenty of other backdrops to La Liga this weekend, writes Alex Fitzpatrick.
Winter is coming and as it closes in, La Liga has finally started to stretch out with teams edging ahead, or behind, at the top and bottom of the table. As always, tips for La Liga matches are always worth checking out. With four gameweeks left until the winter break, here are five things to look out for in La Liga this weekend.
Celta Vigo and Iago Aspas rise Again
Spain have successfully qualified for next summer’s European Championships finals, David Whitworth analyses their chances of success in the tournament.
Spain go into the European Championship on the back of a successful qualifying campaign. They finished as group winners with 26 points, eight wins and two draws from their 10 games played. Goals have not been hard to come by, scoring the same amount of goals as their final points tally – netiting an impressive 26 times.
This weekend sees the return of La Liga action following the November international break, with Alex Fitzpatrick highlighting what to watch out for.
La Liga returns with a bang after the international. Following a thrilling opening 13 games there are only seven points between the final European qualification spot and 17th, one place above the drop zone. Here are my five things to look out for this weekend.
Gareth Bale Watch
Ivan Rakitic has been an excellent servant for Barcelona but the time is right for all parties to move on in January, writes Jon Driscoll.
I hope it is not long after he leaves that Ivan Rakitic is fully rehabilitated as a Barcelona star. It looks like he is off in January and that is the right thing for both player and club given where we are now. It is frankly undignified for a four-time champion of La Liga, Champions League winner and World Cup finalist of such quality to have become a bit part at just 31 years of age. He isn’t an all-time great but give the man his considerable due.
This weekend's Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla promises to be as intense and passionate as ever, explains David Whitworth.
Spain’s most intense and passionate derby takes centre stage once again when the eternal rivals of Real Betis and Sevilla lock horns once again this Sunday night at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
It is a derby unlike any other and a match which brings together two historic footballing rivals from opposite sides of the city with the green and whites of Betis hailing from the district of Heliópolis and the red with white of Sevilla residing in the suburb of Nervión.
The third round of La Liga action in the space of a week means the league table is taking shape amid multiple fascinating encounters, writes Alex Fitzpatrick.
The TV scheduling for the midweek fixtures in La Liga means that several clubs have a very small turnaround between games this weekend. For example, Mallorca - whose game finished at 9pm on Thursday night - face a midday Sunday start away at Real Valladolid. Transit and tiredness means that if we haven’t already then we may see rotations from a number of clubs in this gameweek. Remember, in Spanish football playing three games in a week is unusual unless you are competing in European football.