LaLiga: Weekend of derbies as Barcelona continue title push

LaLiga: Weekend of derbies as Barcelona continue title push

LaLiga leaders, Barcelona will be aiming to keep their title aspirations alive as the Spanish Liga Santander enters match day 27, which is full of derby clashes with an impact on both ends of the table.

Following their victory over Real Madrid in the El Clasico last Sunday, Barca will go into their game against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday afternoon full of confidence.

The 19th placed Vallecano will really need a boost after five straight defeats in the Santander, especially given that the last time they picked up a point at the Camp Nou was back in 2001.

However, Saturday kicks off with the regional derby in the Basque city of Vitoria. High-flying Alaves will continue their unlikely bid for Champions League qualification against local rivals, Eibar, who are also soaring high after just one defeat in their last six LaLiga outings.

Bottom side Huesca have really given themselves hope of an amazing relegation escape with 10 points from their last five LaLiga matches, but they won’t find it easy at Getafe on Saturday evening.

The suburban Madrid side have gone one better over that period to climb to fourth on the league table.

At the Wanda Metropolitano, Atletico de Madrid host city rivals, Leganes, who have Nigeria international and African champion, Kenneth Omeruo, in their books, in another mini Madrid derby.

In the reverse encounter between the close neighbors, it ended in a 1-1 draw, a disappointing result for Diego Simeone’s second placed side, who needed all three points to keep the pressure on leaders, Barcelona.

On Sunday, it will be debut time for former Elche, Getafe and Villarreal coach, Fran Escriba, in his new job in charge of 17th placed RC Celta Vigo, with the visitors to Balaidos a Real Betis side who have hit a difficult run of form but remain in the top half.

Elsewhere, two upwardly mobile teams meet in Catalonia early Sunday afternoon, with hosts Girona having taken seven points from their last nine available in LaLiga, and visitors Valencia climbing up to seventh spot in the table thanks to an eight-match unbeaten run.

The action then switches to down the coast for a regional derby at Moses Simon‘s  Levante home ground, the Estadio Ciutat de Valencia stadium.

One win in six LaLiga games has Levante looking anxiously over their shoulders, while a similar run of results has Villarreal stuck down in 18th place.

Sevilla and Real Sociedad, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeats when they meet on Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Sanchez-Pizjuan, with both clubs also well in the race for the coveted European qualification spots.

Sunday rounds off when third placed Real Madrid will be looking to put behind them what has been an unforgettable week when they travel to Real Valladolid on Sunday evening.

There will be more than points at stake at the Estadio Municipal Jose Zorrilla, where there will be an emotional reunion between Los Blancos manager, Santi Solari and Valladolid President, Ronaldo Nazario, who were both teammates at Real.

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