New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Six of Spain’s biggest clubs will be facing off amongst each other this coming weekend, with some of the most traditional rivalries in Spanish football resuming for the next chapter.
Atletico de Madrid, Sevilla FC, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, Real Betis and Real Madrid are six huge teams, with every one of them boasting average attendances of above 36,000 this season, so we should expect a very atmospheric Matchday 24.
One of the other huge clubs of LaLiga Santander will be hosting the round’s opening game on Friday night, as Real Sociedad take on Cadiz CF in San Sebastian. It’s actually Cadiz CF who come into this game in better form, as they’ve collected nine points from their past five matches whereas La Real have taken just five points in that time. So, this will be a test for Imanol Alguacil’s side as they look to get back on track.
The first game of Saturday features Girona FC and that in itself means it’s worth watching. The Catalan side are the third-top scorers in all of LaLiga Santander this season, having netted an incredible nine goals across their past two matches. They visit a defensive Getafe CF side on Saturday, but Míchel’s forwards will still be confident of getting on the scoresheet once again.
UD Almeria will then look to build on last weekend’s impressive victory over FC Barcelona when they this time host Villarreal CF. The Andalusian club boast the third-most home points in the division right now and their passionate fans will pack the Power Horse Stadium once again to cheer on Rubi’s team against El Submarino Amarillo.
So far in 2023, RCD Mallorca have won all of their home games and lost all of their away games. It’s good news for the islanders, then, that they’re at home this weekend, taking on bottom-placed Elche CF in a Saturday afternoon match.
Atletico de Madrid vs Sevilla FC is the big Saturday night match, taking place at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano. This has been one of the most fascinating duels in all of Spanish football over recent seasons, and over the past three years there have been two victories each and two draws from six meetings. Atleti achieved one of those wins away in Seville earlier this season and will hope for another three-point haul this Saturday.
Sunday’s action starts with Real Valladolid vs RCD Espanyol, a clash between two sides who are just outside the relegation zone but who can’t afford to slip up. It’ll also be an interesting contest in an attacking sense as Cyle Larin and Joselu lead the lines.
One team that is firmly inside the relegation zone and desperate for points is Valencia CF and they’ll visit the Spotify Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon to face league leaders FC Barcelona. Despite finding themselves at opposite ends of the table, it’s actually Los Che who won in LaLiga Santander last weekend, whereas Barça lost to UD Almeria. As such, the Catalan outfit will be keen to bounce back and re-establish their stranglehold on first place.
Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Club is the next fixture of the matchday and this is a huge match in the race for the final European qualification spot, with Rayo currently in sixth but just two points ahead of Athletic Club in ninth. As Andoni Iraola coaches against his former club, he’ll hope that the likes of Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia can keep up their good form in front of the passionate Vallecas crowd.
On Sunday night, it’s Real Betis vs Real Madrid and the Beticos are really looking forward to this one. When this fixture took place in March of 2020, Los Verdiblancos achieved a thrilling 2-1 home victory in what was the final matchday before the coronavirus pause. In the three years since then, the pandemic has meant they haven’t hosted Real Madrid will full capacity at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, until this weekend. This is the hottest ticket in town and a must-watch.
El Sadar in Pamplona is the venue for the Monday night game this weekend as CA Osasuna take on an RC Celta side that are playing to the tune of rising star Gabri Veiga. These are two mid-table teams but two sides who play attack-minded football, so this will be a fun way to end Matchday 24.
March 4, 1:30 a.m., Real Sociedad vs Cadiz
March 4, 6:30 p.m., Getafe vs Girona
March 4, 8:45 p.m., Almeria vs Villarreal
March 4, 11:00 p.m., Mallorca vs Elche
March 5, 1:30 a.m., Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla
March 5, 6:30 p.m., Real Valladolid vs Espanyol
March 5, 8:45 p.m., Barcelona vs Valencia
March 5, 11:00 p.m., Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Club
March 6, 1:30 a.m., Real Betis vs Real Madrid
March 7, 1:30 a.m., Osasuna vs Celta Vigo