The Madrid derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid takes pride of place in this weekend’s games in La Liga with both sides in contrasting moments of form.
Atletico Madrid make the short trip to the Santiago Bernabeu struggling for results and goals after a fortnight which saw them knocked out of the Copa del Rey by third tier Cultural Leonesa, lose 2-0 in Eibar and held to a 0-0 draw at home to Leganes.
Those results have seen Diego Simeone questioned for virtually the first time in the seven years since he arrived at the club and he needs a reaction in a ground where his side have had good results of late.
Atletico’s task was made harder during the week with the confirmation that Joao Felix will miss the game with a muscle injury, joining Diego Costa on the injured list and either Angel Correo or Vitolo will fill in.
Real Madrid’s form is totally different as they receive their neighbors as league leaders and after booking their place in the last eight of the Cup with a 4-0 win in Zaragoza.
Eden Hazard looks likely to miss out with his ankle injury, while Gareth Bale is also struggling with an ankle issue for a game where a win would lift Real Madrid 13 points clear of Atletico.
The weekend kicks off with bottom of the table Espanyol visiting Granada and Espanyol might fancy their chances of three points against a rival that played 120 minutes cup football on Wednesday night with less than 72 hours recovery time.
Fourth place Getafe will also hope to take advantage of cup fatigue when they visit Athletic Club in San Mames. Athletic needed 120 minutes to get past Tenerife on Tuesday and have drawn their last five league games, scoring just three goals in the process.
Barcelona are a home to Sunday night and face a Levante side that has had all week to prepare for their meeting.
Barca are struggling to adapt to the style of play coach Quique Setien is looking to impose, while Levante need to improve after recent results have seen them slide down the table.
Valencia were another team forced to play 120 minutes on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Celta Vigo, who remain third from bottom. The good news for Celta is that striker Iago Aspas will be able to play after having the yellow card he saw against Eibar last week rescinded.
Sevilla can strengthen their case for a top-four finish if they take three points off Deportivo Alaves, while it should be tight when Betis visit Eibar’s small Ipurua Stadium.
Real Sociedad visit Leganes, who have improved under Javier Aguirre, and the Basque side will look to their in-form striker Alexander Isak to break the deadlock after the young Swede has netted three goals in his last two games.
Villarreal are at home to Osasuna and could have Spain international Paco Alcacer in their side if they complete his signing from Brussia Dortmund in time, while there is urgency in the Son Moix Stadium as 17th place Mallorca entertain Valladolid, who are just one place above them in the classification. Enditem