LaLiga preview: Atletico face tough Sevilla trip with Barca, Real Madrid breathing down their necks

·3-min read
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. (PHOTO: LaLiga)
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. (PHOTO: LaLiga)

The March international break is in the past and now focus turns back to domestic football, with just 10 matches remaining in Spain’s top tier. 

Expect fireworks on Matchday 29 as leaders Atletico Madrid face one of their toughest remaining tests away at Sevilla, while Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet two relegation-threatened teams battling for every point they can muster. 

INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander
INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander

The round begins at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Friday night, when Levante host Huesca. This could be a very entertaining game as these are two teams who are playing an attacking style of football, with the home team having been fun to watch for several years and with Huesca having taken off the brakes since new coach Pacheta took over. 

The first of the three LaLiga Santander matches on Saturday sees Spain’s two remaining Europa League participants square off: Granada vs Villarreal, eighth vs seventh. It’s also a fixture that has produced 13 goals over these two teams’ last three meetings, so the nets at the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes could take a beating. 

Real Madrid are back in action on Saturday afternoon, hosting Eibar. Even though the Basque side haven’t won any of their past 11 LaLiga Santander matches, they have been competing well in almost every match and gave the reigning champions a scare when they met earlier in the season, a match that Los Blancos ultimately won 3-1. 

Osasuna vs Getafe follows and this could the match where Chimy Avila returns from 14 months of knee injury pain. He made Osasuna’s matchday squad last time out and then took part in a friendly against Eibar during the international break. The dynamic and talismanic Argentine forward is now ready for competitive action, and it can’t come a day too soon for Osasuna. 

On Sunday, the first fixture of the day sees Alaves host Celta Vigo as the home side desperately seek points following a poor run of form. Elche are down near the bottom too and will also give everything they have for the points on offer when they play Real Betis, but that won’t be easy as the Andalusian side boast the fifth-best record in all of LaLiga Santander for the calendar year of 2021. 

Later, Valencia travel south to spend Easter Sunday taking on Cadiz. The match sees Cadiz’s prolific striker Alvaro Negredo come up his former side, with whom he spent three seasons in the mid-2010s before a number of spells abroad.  

On Sunday night, there is a blockbuster fixture as fourth-placed Sevilla welcome league-leading Atletico Madrid to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. This is one of the trickiest fixtures remaining for Atletico in their bid to win the title, so a victory would make a huge statement while a draw or defeat would throw the title race even more open than it already is. This fixture has finished 1-1 in the past two campaigns, but that kind of result might not be enough for Diego Simeone this time as he returns to take on his former club. 

Barcelona’s Matchday 29 fixture takes place on Monday night when they play Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou. The Blaugrana had a lot of fun on their last Monday night outing, thrashing Huesca 4-1 and scoring some great goals in the process. Real Valladolid are often a tough nut to crack, but Barca will be confident of another home win to keep up their excellent domestic form. 

The 10th and final Matchday 29 fixture pits together Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao in the Basque Derby. The game will be played next Wednesday (7 April), to make way for the rearranged 2019/20 Copa del Rey final between these two sides, no less. 

Two historic Basque derbies in a matter of days will be a great way to round off the Matchday 29 action.

INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander
INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on your local broadcasters.