LaLiga Santander leaders Barcelona taking on Real Betis in a treat for the purists will be just one highlight of a weekend which also brings together many of Spanish football’s most in-form strikers.
Atletico Madrid players celebrate the goal against Real Betis in a Laliga fixture
Defending champions Barça have opened up a three-point lead at the top of an ever-changing table, but with goals flying in through recent weeks the chasing pack of Espanyol, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Alaves and Real Madrid are all close behind.
Sixth-placed Levante have the honour of kicking off the weekend at their Ciutat de Valencia stadium on Friday evening, with the visitors a Real Sociedad team who have impressed on the road this season.
Saturday’s action begins with high-flying Real Valladolid – unfortunate to lose at Real Madrid last weekend – hosting an Eibar team boosted by Sunday’s much-needed win at home to Alaves. Next up are draw specialists Valencia, who visit Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Perez for a game which history suggests will be as tight as they come.
Later in the Spanish capital on Saturday, Atletico Madrid host Athletic Club in a clash of two teams whose shared roots go right back to the turn of the twentieth century and the beginnings of organised football in Spain, with the visitors really needing a boost having not won since early September.
Saturday evening’s game brings together two success stories. Girona meet Leganes for just the third time ever in LaLiga’s top flight; the Catalans won this fixture 3-0 last season.
Sunday’s action starts early in in Vitoria, where Alaves host fellow northerners Huesca for the first time ever in LaLiga Santander, with the Basques having started 2018/19 better than their Aragonese neighbours.
Ernesto Valverde’s Barça side welcome Quique Setien’s Betis to the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon, with five goals in two games having fired Blaugrana number nine Suarez to the head of the current LaLiga topscorer charts (9).
Then comes third-placed Sevilla against second-placed Espanyol at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, with the Andalusian outfit’s marksman Andre Silva bagging seven LaLiga goals already, while Borja ‘El Panda’ Iglesias has four in his last three outings as Los Periquitos have flown up the table.
Rayo Vallecano against Villarreal then brings together two teams still searching for a spark to ignite their season, although both had improved performances without the desired reward last weekend.
The final LaLiga game before November’s international break has Real Madrid at Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. Los Blancos starlet Vinicius Junior will be hoping for a first LaLiga start, while the Galicians’ strike duo of Iago Aspas and Maxi Gomez have each hit hot streaks lately.