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Saturday, April 1, 2023

LaLiga Preview: Three night-time kick-offs for the top three

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The top three teams in the LaLiga table will headline the three 9pm CET kick-offs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as we head into Matchday 27.

With so much at stake, drama should be expected in this weekend LaLiga, while there are several other fascinating battles to come elsewhere across the slate.

It’s second-place Sevilla who are in action first as they visit Deportivo Alavés at 9pm CET on Friday. After impressively winning El Gran Derbi last weekend, Julen Lopetegui’s charges will be full of confidence and looking to put pressure on league leaders Real Madrid. Sevilla FC are only six points behind, so can halve that gap at least temporarily, but only if they find a way past the Basque defence.

Read Also: LaLiga: Sunday’s historic El Gran Derbi follows Saturday’s tour of Madrid

There are four matches on Saturday, starting with CA Osasuna vs Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine are in fine form, having won four and drawn one of their past five league matches. As they visit El Sadar, where CA Osasuna have only won twice all season, Villarreal will look to put on a show and Yéremy Pino will hope to build on last week’s four-goal performance.

Later on Saturday afternoon, RCD Espanyol host Getafe in a match which sees Geta coach Quique Sánchez Flores return to his former club. He’ll do so knowing that a victory would see Getafe leapfrog the Catalan club in the table, so he’ll hope Enes Ünal can outperform Raúl de Tomás in the battle of the 13-goal strikers. Then, Valencia welcome Granada to Mestalla for what could be another evenly matched duel. It was a draw when they met earlier this campaign, but both sides need a victory for their respective causes.

At 9pm CET on Saturday night, the LaLiga action returns to the Santiago Bernabéu for Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad. Carlo Ancelotti’s side lead the way in the table, yet the Italian knows that every point is vital in the final third of the season. La Real will make it difficult for the capital city outfit and they did win on their last visit to the Bernabéu, a 4-3 thriller in the Copa del Rey, so this weekend’s match is certainly one to watch.

On Sunday, Cádiz vs Rayo Vallecano is the first game of the day and the Andalusian club will be aiming for their first home victory of the season. They have come close on a couple of occasions under new coach Sergio González, but are still chasing that final whistle cheer at the Nuevo Mirandilla.

Xavi’s in-form Barcelona side are in action next, at 4.15pm CET on Sunday, as they visit Elche. With Barça having scored four goals in each of their past three matches across all competitions, including five from January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, they’ll make the short trip south in high spirits.

RCD Mallorca then make a long trip to the far side of the Spanish mainland to pay a visit to Celta on Sunday evening. They played out a goalless draw in blustery conditions in their first meeting this season, so they’ll be hoping for calmer weather this weekend so they can show off their football.

Third-placed Real Betis vs fifth-placed Atlético Madrid is the final game of Sunday. The Verdiblancos and Rojiblancos are separated by just one point coming into Matchday 27, so there’s a lot at stake as they face off in Seville. Manuel Pellegrini is looking to lead Real Betis into the Champions League for the first time in 17 years, while Diego Simeone is aiming for a 10th year in a row in UEFA’s top competition. Both sides will battle for that European ticket on the pitch.

There is one more game to come in LaLiga Matchday 27 as Levante travel north to Bilbao to play Athletic Club on Monday night. They do so in good form, with seven of the bottom-placed side’s 18 points having been collected across their past three matches. The Valencians are dreaming of an unlikely escape and the next task in that mission is to take a positive result away from San Mamés.


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