A huge Basque Derby and a relegation six-pointer between Valencia CF and Sevilla FC highlights this weekend’s action in the LaLiga Santander. Here is a preview of what is coming…
With just ten matchdays remaining in the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander campaign, this is very much the business end of the season. It is the part of the year where every point is even more precious and where teams are giving their all in order to achieve their objectives.
As such, there are several vitally important fixtures in Matchday (MD) 29, starting with Rayo Vallecano vs CA Osasuna on Friday. The visitors are just one point ahead of the team from Vallecas and both sides still have an outside chance of reaching the European qualification spots, so this should be a closely contested match between these two well-drilled sides, just as it was earlier in the season when a stoppage-time goal from Rubén García earned CA Osasuna a 2-1 win.
On Saturday, there are four more fixtures and the first takes place at Villarreal CF’s Estadio de la Cerámica, where Real Valladolid are the guests. El Submarino Amarillo are in excellent form right now, fresh off an impressive win at the Bernabéu, and they’re closing in on the final Champions League spot, so they’ll want what would be a fourth win in a row.
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The second Basque Derby of the season follows, at 16:15 CEST, as Athletic Club take on Real Sociedad in Bilbao. This is always an important fixture, but this Saturday’s game is even more significant than usual because these two teams are fighting to qualify for European football next season. Real Sociedad are trying to hold on to fourth place, while Athletic Club want to take the final European berth and also earn some revenge for the 3-1 loss they suffered in San Sebastián in January.
Then, for the second week in a row, Real Betis are at home to a relegation-threatened side, this time RCD Espanyol. Los Verdiblancos will hope this weekend’s game at the Estadio Benito Villamarín goes better than that of last matchday, when they went down to nine men and lost to Cádiz CF. For Borja Iglesias, this is a meeting with his former club and he’ll be hoping to get on the scoresheet.
The LaLiga Santander action stays in Andalusia on Saturday night, as Cádiz CF host Real Madrid looking to build on their impressive victory over Real Betis from last weekend. It won’t be an easy game for the reigning champions, as Cádiz CF have a good record against Los Blancos since returning to LaLiga Santander in 2020, having won one, drawn two and lost two of the five meetings since then.
Sunday brings up four more fixtures, starting with Girona FC vs Elche CF. The Catalan outfit just earned an impressive point against FC Barcelona and still have an outside chance of qualifying for Europe for the first time, so coach Míchel will demand a three-point haul when the bottom-placed side come to town.
Meanwhile, FC Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from that draw last matchday when they visit Getafe CF on Sunday afternoon. However, the Blaugrana haven’t won at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez since 2019, so Xavi Hernández knows this won’t be an easy task against a well-organised Geta side.
On the opposite side of Spain’s capital, Atlético de Madrid face UD Almería in the next fixture and Diego Simeone’s squad will be seeking a sixth win in a row. Given that the Andalusians have taken just four points on the road all season, Antoine Griezmann and co. will be confident of doing so.
Then, at 21:00 CEST on Sunday night, there is a huge Valencia CF vs Sevilla FC clash at Mestalla. Normally, these two clubs would be battling for European qualification, but this time around they’re fighting to avoid relegation.
Los Che enter Matchday 29 currently inside the bottom three, while Sevilla FC are only five points above the drop zone, so this should be a thrilling and tense duel between two of Spain’s most historic clubs. Valencia CF have won two and drawn one of their three home matches so far under new coach Rubén Baraja, so they’ll hope the fans can roar them to another point or three.
On Monday night, RCD Mallorca make their longest away trip of the season as they fly to Vigo to take on RC Celta. The islanders’ away form of late hadn’t been very good, but a stoppage time Vedat Muriqi penalty earned them a point at Real Valladolid last weekend. Now, they’ll hope for another positive result but will know that RC Celta are in good form and unbeaten in seven. That promises to be an interesting duel to conclude the matchday.
Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on SuperSport, your world of Champions.
Article by LaLiga Nigeria