Why Alaves could end up top of La Liga and Barca might be brought down to earth in a bat cave. Here’s Paco Polit with three hot games for this weekend

It’s the last weekend of action before yet another international break! Match Day 8 brings upon us plenty of goodies, opposite dynamics clashing and some strong feelings towards a few managers if they don’t manage to course-correct and steer their boat back to safety.

Will Messi come out unscathed from the Bat-Cave?

On Wednesday, Lionel Messi wowed the world once again with the umpteenth masterclass in his career, running circles around a strong Tottenham who were simply unprepared to face the devilish Blaugrana number 10. Two goals, two strikes against the post and absolute domination in any single area of the game.

However, Wembley is already behind a Barcelona side that isn’t as confident as last season at this point. A couple of stumbles against Leganés and Athletic have narrowed the distance with other championship contenders, making their visit to Mestalla double as tough.

While Messi GOATed his way through London, Valencia had gotten away 24-hours earlier with a brilliant point after an excellent defensive showcase in Manchester. Their visit to Old Trafford showed glimpses of that former Valencia who marveled last season thanks to their commitment, quality and deadly accuracy.

This year, however, the finishing ability seems to be quite off-mark: with only five goals scored to date in nine games, they will require pinpoint accuracy to strike Barça down with over 45,000 rowdy fans in the Mestalla stands this Sunday.

Alavés can actually overtake Real this weekend

Alavés’ triumphant run in the first stretch of La Liga was suddenly driven to a halt by Levante last week. Nevertheless, they’re in a pretty sweet spot right now, sporting 11 points after seven games and only three points away from one of La Liga’s juggernauts.

Indeed, Real Madrid are only one win away from Alavés and they have to visit Mendizorroza this weekend in one of the most delicate and problematic moments for Julen Lopetegui not only as Real Madrid’s manager, but in his whole career.

After crashing and burning in their visit to Moscow (as a certain opinion-piece write predicted back in August), all the alarms have been set-off inside the White House. An absolutely crucial game for Los Blancos with more and more fans giving the cold-shoulder to an unlucky and out-of-form Karim Benzemà.

Getafe and Levante must pick the season they want to live

Levante fans finally raised their arms and thanked God (“it was about time!”) after winning their first game at home since May. After bagging their second win of the season (bouncing back from an opening goal by Alavés), morale seems to have strengthened quite a bit this week amongst the Granotas. They finally seem to truly believe in the work they’re doing.

But, if we speak about a hard-working side which does absolutely whatever it takes to win, we must refer to Getafe. Los Azulones are clutch specialists, fearless soldiers ready to go the extra mile if their sergeant Pepe Bordalás tells them so.


Both Getafe and Levante have the chance of tremendously boosting their chances and changing their collective mindset if they win. These three points would send the Granotas into comfortable spots in the table after many weeks of suffering. Meanwhile, victory would propel Getafe into the European spots, an effort than ultimately fell short last year but which seems the next big challenge for Bardalás and his willing troop.

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