Around La Liga: Matchweek 7 Preview

The La Liga standings saw significant movement on league leaders Real Madrid last week, as Los Galacticos’ second consecutive draw left the door open for both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to edge closer.

Only three points separate the top six teams in the Spanish top flight, as each and every point is at a premium even at this early stage.

We highlight key matches and preview upcoming action in La Liga this week.

SEVILLA FC / DEPORTIVO ALAVES – ESTADIO RAMON SANCHEZ PIZJUAN – SATURDAY OCTOBER 1ST

Sevilla FC and manager Jorge Sampaoli endured a difficult preseason ahead of the 2016-17 La Liga campaign.

Losses in both the UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup saw immediate frustration from the fan base, as fellow Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona both looked vastly superior in the competitions.

But a bright start in league play has seen Los Nervionenses lose only one match in their first six, sitting only four points behind leaders Real Madrid. On-loan players have made a strong impact as of late, with both Luciano Vietto (Atletico Madrid) and Samir Nasri (Manchester City) in excellent form.

Sevilla will need to keep their attacking pressure up, as they host a determined Alaves side that already has caused some major upsets.

VALENCIA CF / ATLETICO MADRID – ESTADIO MESTALLA – SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND

Valencia’s four consecutive league losses to start the season dug them an immediate hole, but wins in each of their last two matches have seen a reason for optimism.

A 2-1 victory last weekend at Leganes showcased excellent work from midfielder Mario Suarez and former Manchester United winger Nani.

Atletico Madrid and manager Diego Simeone will be counting on forward Antoine Griezmann to continue his scoring ways, as his five goals currently lead the league.

Sitting only two points behind Real Madrid, a win could see Los Rojiblancos climb to the top of the table.

REAL MADRID CF / SD EIBAR – THE SANTIAGO BERNABEU – SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND

Real Madrid have held steady atop La Liga thanks to four victories in their first four matches. Two consecutive draws since have cut into their points lead, and manager Zinedine Zidane will want to see a stronger performance at home on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all had difficulty linking up together in the attack last weekend at Las Palmas.

Eibar have been quite competitive this season and are coming off of a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad.

A 2-2 draw in the UEFA Champions League at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night will see Los Blancos rotate some of their lineup for Sunday’s match.

Real Madrid are set as betting odds favourites for the match. All of the latest La Liga odds can be found here.

MALAGA CF / ATHLETIC BILBAO – ESTADIO LA ROSALEDA – SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND

After an initial stumble, Athletic Bilbao and manager Ernesto Valverde have been on a tear recently in the Spanish league. Four consecutive victories, including an impressive 3-1 win over Sevilla last weekend, have Los Leones currently in fifth place.

Like six other La Liga sides, Bilbao is involved in European group play midweek.

One win in their first six matches will have Malaga desperate to find three points in front of their home supporters.

CELTA VIGO / FC BARCELONA – ESTADIO MUNICIPAL DE BALAIDOS – SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND

The final match of the La Liga weekend sees the defending champions Barcelona travel for a clash with Celta Vigo.

Barcelona are still without star forward Lionel Messi for another two weeks and will be looking to Rafinha to fill his role at the top of manager Luis Enrique’s 4-3-3 formation.

Both sides come in following solid league victories and will be balancing European commitments midweek.

Fitness, depth and quality should ultimately see Barcelona continue to stay on Real Madrid’s heels for a top spot in the league with a victory.

AROUND LA LIGA

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH

REAL SOCIEDAD / REAL BETIS

SATURDAY OCTOBER 1ST

GRANADA CF / CD LEGANES

CA OSASUNA / UD LAS PALMAS

DEPORTIVO DE LA CORUNA / SPORTING GIJON

SUNDAY OCTOBER 2ND

RCD ESPANYOL / VILLARREAL CF

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