Weekends La Liga Fixtures :
Celta Vigo vs Real Sociedad
Levante vs Valladolid
Real Zaragoza vs Espanyol
Deportivo La Coruna vs Valencia
Real Madrid vs Getafe
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis
Barcelona vs Osasuna
Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico Madrid
Mallorca vs Malaga
Sevilla vs Granada
The first game of the Game Week is on Saturday and it sees Celta Vigo take on a Real Sociedad side which will be full of confidence after their famous victory over Barcelona last week. Celta are on 17th place and are fighting to avoid relegation.
Elsewhere, Levante host Real Valladolid in a mid-table battle. Valladolid will be without their main target man Manucho who is on International duty playing the African Cup of Nations. An away game without him will be a hard game to win for them.
The other matches on Saturday see Real Zaragoza playing host to Espanyol while Deportivo La Coruna will look to wrench themselves off the foot of the table against a strong Valencia side.
Real Madrid host Getafe in a Sunday forenoon kick off.
Captain Iker Casillas has been ruled out of the game against Getafe. The Madrid goalkeeper fractured a bone in his hand during Wednesday’s Copa del Rey clash against Valencia and will now have an extended run on the sidelines.
Manager Jose Mourinho has accepted defeat in the La Liga title race despite Barcelona’s first loss of the season. He said :
“The La Liga title is impossible now. There is too big a gap. We have to focus on other goals like the Copa del Rey and the Champions League,” Mourinho said.
“It does no good to obsess over these things. Obsession only makes things more complicated. Nothing will be easy. We need to stay calm and make the most of every opportunity.”
At 16:00 hours, Rayo Vallecano will kick off against Real Betis which is probably the big match of the weekend.Both teams are eyeing for that last Champions League spot and currently only four points separate them. Real Betis seem to relish a tough game on foreign soil, and a visit to Rayo is exactly that.
Barcelona will be keen to bounce back from that first loss of the season to Sociedad last week as they host relegation battling Osasuna.
Osasuna will be looking to take advantage of Barcelona’s loss and will be hoping to take at least one point from the game. But they should be wary of what happened last year.
Last season, under similar circumstances, Barcelona faced Osasuna. Barca came off two consecutive 2-2 draws(one of them included Sociedad) and hosted Osasuna. They thrashed Osasuna 8-0, a game in which the post was hit thrice by Barca and they had also missed plenty of other golden opportunities.
So, if ever there is a worst time to face Barcelona, it is around now.
Atletico Madrid travel to Athletic Bilbao as they look to close the gap on the leaders. This match sees last season’s Europa League finalists clash at the Estadio San Mames.
The main striker of Bilbao, Llorente will be leaving the club and joining Juventus at the end of the season after his contract expires with them. So he will want to leave on a high and score in every match possible. But Aritz Aduriz is the clubs top goal scorer with 12 goals this season and the 4th highest in the league and looks as dangerous as Llorente. But even combined, they do not have as many goals as Falcao who is having the season of his life.
Relegation-threatened Mallorca will host Malaga, while the Monday night clash will see 16th-placed Granada travel to 12th-placed Sevilla.