A breathless period of football in La Liga continues with match day 7 and arguably the biggest game in Europe this season and a chance for a surprise leader

A rowdy Atleti visit a doubtful Real

Two weeks ago, rumblings were unstoppable within the Wanda Metropolitano crowd. Atleti’s opening couple of games had been lackluster and the Colchonero fan base expected more. 

Fifteen days and three straight wins later (vs Getafe, Monaco and Huesca), Atleti are back to form. And nobody expects them to go easy on their archenemies from down the road.

Inversely, Lopetegui’s Real Madrid have found themselves struggling to impress lately. Their fluid style of the first two or three games this season has hit a series of bumps. This slump peaked last Wednesday in the Sánchez Pizjuán. Madrid were mercilessly battered by Sevilla in one of the biggest put-downs in recent years (3-0).

If Atleti are adamant on winning in hostile territory, they won’t find a chance as succulent as this one.

Barça will try to find their lost identity

Leganés surprised the football world last Wednesday after teaching a tough lesson to Barcelona. ‘You don’t put in the effort, you don’t win games’. Barça had placidly won most of their fixtures this season with little to no opposition. However, their playing style wasn’t exactly something to fall in love with. Messi’s goals, Dembelé’s comeback and a few other little improvements managed to overshadow some deeper problems within the team.

‘Flaco’ Pellegrino and his men effectively left Barça naked and in the open. Now everyone knows they are vulnerable and can be beaten, that they’re struggling with the football they want to play. Athletic Club are one of those sides which, no matter how inconsistent their season is, own the necessary tools to break into Barça’s vault. I smell an absolute ‘partidazo’ on Saturday.

Alavés might actually become La Liga’s leader

Yep, it’s totally possible. A stumble by Barça and Real, added to an Alavés win with more goals scored by Atlético this weekend, might result in one of the most surprising feats in many years. Deportivo Alavés could become the top dog in La Liga. 

The fact is, things are looking good for ‘Pitu’ Abelardo’s men. With only one defeat in six games, they visit Estadio Ciutat de Valencia on Sunday with plenty of confidence and a clear game-plan. Exactly the opposite form that Levante are showing recently. Paco López’s men are in a shambles, a shadow of their former selves in their amazing final stretch of last season.

Mid-week, Levante threw away a 0-1 advantage at Estadio Nuevo José Zorrilla against Valladolid thanks to their awful defending and Nikola Vukcevic being sent-off in his first official game as a Levante player. Their current streak is tremendously alarming. Just one point garnered in their last five games.

Will André Silva ‘do it’ once again?

Sevilla will visit the little ground of SD Eibar with one of the hottest La Liga players of the moment. André Silva scored two more goals against Real Madrid and, with six, has become the competition’s top scorer.

After a very disappointing season with AC Milan, the Portuguese forward has found a new chance of proving himself in a top competition. He’s only 22, after all. His excellent performance in La Liga (averaging one goal per game) hasn’t just placed him at the top of the rankings in Spain. In fact, only two other players (Genoa’s Piatek in Italy and Olympique Marseille’s Thauvin in France) have managed to score as many goals as Sevilla’s number nine has. Will he keep increasing his stats at Ipurua?

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