League leaders Real Madrid will be focused on continuing their brilliant start to the 2016-17 season, as Los Blancos are the only unbeaten La Liga club.
Many sides were tested with a busy time ahead of weekend fixtures due to European commitments. Managers will focus on maintaining squad rotation and fitness levels to yield positive results.
We highlight key matches and preview the upcoming weekend in the Spanish first division.
Real Madrid CF vs. Sporting Gijon – Saturday, November 26th – The Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid come into this match against Sporting Gijon in scintillating form. Manager Zinedine Zidane has led his side to an incredible campaign thus far. Tuesday’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Sporting CP extended Real’s unbeaten streak to 30 matches across all competitions.
Madrid currently hold a four-point lead over second-place Barcelona.
Gijon sit 18th in the league table, with only nine points from 12 matches. In front of a raucous home crowd at the Bernabeu, this match has the chance to see a massive win for Real Madrid.
Sevilla FC vs. Valencia CF – Saturday, November 26th – Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Third-place Sevilla will host Valencia on Saturday night, looking to keep the pressure on Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the league standings.
Sevilla and manager Jorge Sampaoli are coming off an incredible comeback last weekend at Deportivo de La Coruna. After going down 2-0 in the first half, Los Nervionenses battled back to capture a 3-2 victory.
A 3-1 loss against Italian side Juventus in the Champions League may see some fatigue from Sevilla. With only two points separating them from Barcelona in second place, the home team will want to ensure a strong outing against Valencia.
Villarreal CF vs. Deportivo Alaves – Sunday, November 27th – Estadio El Madrigal
La Liga’s best defence looks to gain ground on the top of the table when fourth-place Villarreal host Alaves on Sunday afternoon. The Yellow Submarine have allowed only eight goals in 12 league matches this season.
Only two points behind Sevilla, a result will be tremendously important to manager Fran Escriba’s side. Villarreal are coming off a tough 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao this past weekend.
Although 14th in the league table, Alaves have played well this season and secured results against both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona early in the campaign.
It will be crucial for Villarreal not to underestimate their opposition on Sunday.
CA Osasuna vs. Atletico Madrid – Sunday, November 27th – Estadio El Sadar
Atletico Madrid and manager Diego Simeone have struggled recently. A 2-0 loss at Real Sociedad was followed by a humiliating 3-0 home loss to city rivals Real Madrid.
The usually organised and disciplined Atletico defence was torn apart, with their attack unable to score in both encounters.
Osasuna currently occupy one of the relegation places, with seven points from 12 matches. Expect to see forwards Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco improve Atletico’s recent performances with stellar play on Sunday.
Real Sociedad vs. FC Barcelona – Sunday, November 27th – Estadio Anoeta
Manager Luis Enrique and his Barcelona side were frustrated at the Camp Nou last weekend against Malaga, playing out a 0-0 draw.
With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both out of the line-up during that match, their return on Sunday should significantly boost their chances of clinching a win against Real Sociedad.
La Real are coming off a comprehensive 3-1 victory at Sporting Gijon last Sunday and will look to improve on their league position. Real Sociedad are currently level on points with Villarreal.
A Champions League victory over Celtic on Wednesday night will test Barcelona’s fitness, but expect the Blaugrana to bounce back on Sunday evening with their full attack reunited on the pitch.