LaLiga Santander preview: Atletico visit Valencia looking to lay down a marker

·4-min read
New Atletico Madrid signing Geoffrey Kondogbia will face his old club Valencia this La Liga weekend. (PHOTO: LaLiga Santander)
New Atletico Madrid signing Geoffrey Kondogbia will face his old club Valencia this La Liga weekend. (PHOTO: LaLiga Santander)

By LaLiga Santandar

With several big games on the fixture list, Matchday 11 of the 2020/21 Spanish Primera Liga season could have long term significance in determining this season’s champion.

INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander
INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander

The weekend’s action kicks off on Friday night with a match between two clubs trending in opposite directions. Real Valladolid vs Levante is a clash between a Valladolid side who come into the encounter on the back of two consecutive wins and a Levante side that have not won since Matchday 3.

On Saturday, the first game of the day is a duel between two of this year’s newly-promoted sides as Elche host Cadiz. Both their meetings last season in LaLiga SmartBank ended in goalless draws, but both teams have added fresh attacking talent since then with the likes of Tete Morente, Lucas Boye and Alvaro Negredo, so goals can be expected this time around.

In the afternoon, Valencia face Atletico Madrid in arguably the most intriguing fixture of the entire weekend. Atletico had defeated Barcelona last weekend to spark talk of a title push, and they will look to lay down a marker when they visit Mestalla.

Other title challengers such as Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have suffered defeats against Valencia this season and Los Che always step it up for the biggest occasions. It will not be easy, but to take three points from this one would be a statement win for Diego Simeone’s men.

Huesca vs Sevilla sees the home side searching for their first win of the campaign, as they’re the only team in the division yet to enjoy a victory. The newly-promoted side have not performed badly this season, though, picking up seven draws. Sevilla may be tired from their midweek exploits in Russia in securing Champions League last-16 qualification and, if the Oscenses smell blood, they will go for it.

Last year’s champions Real Madrid conclude the Saturday schedule with their home match against Alaves. This could be a tricky game for Los Blancos, though, given that the Basque side are in their best run of form of the season and are unbeaten in their past four.

Sunday’s schedule contains four fixtures and the first of them comes at the Camp Nou, where Barcelona host Osasuna. It was in this fixture that Barça’s title challenge fell apart last season with a 1-2 loss. It’s still very early in the campaign, but Ronald Koeman’s men would not want another setback against the side from Pamplona.

Two difficult-to-call fixtures follow on Sunday afternoon with Getafe vs Athletic Bilbao and then Celta Vigo vs Granada. Bilbao arrive full of momentum after a huge 4-0 victory over Real Betis this week, while Getafe are seeking their first win in five matches. In the latter, all eyes will be on Eduardo Coudet as he has his first home game on the Celta bench. With his side bottom of the table, there is plenty of motivation for the new coach.

Another blockbuster battle comes up on Sunday night as Real Sociedad welcome Villarreal to the Reale Arena. These two teams are currently inside the top three and have each earned the right to be considered title challengers.

There is an extra special element to this game as well when it comes to the dugouts, as coaches Imanol Alguacil and Unai Emery came through the Real Sociedad youth academy together three decades ago. They’ve gone on to achieve so much since then, and now lead two of the clubs that have been the most impressive through the first ten matchdays of the season.

Matchday 11 then concludes on Monday with Real Betis vs Eibar. It’s a second Monday game in a row for Betis and they will be determined to avoid a repeat of the four-goal hammering they suffered in Bilbao last time out.

Eibar may relish the chance to play at the Benito Villamarín as so far this season they’ve been earning just 0.5 points per game at home, but 1.75 points per game away. We’ll see on Monday if they can keep that trend going.

INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander
INFOGRAPHIC: LaLiga Santander

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on your local broadcasters.