La Liga returns with a bang in a weekend where four teams could top the table and a giant could fall into the relegation zone 

Alavés can finally make it…for one night only

After a couple of missed opportunities, Alavés will finally enjoy a tangible, chance of climbing to the top of the La Liga standings at least until Barça, Atlético or Sevilla manage to score a win that takes the spot.

However,  it won’t have an easy task. Alavés will visit Butarque where Leganés have impressed when playing top of the table sides, even though the number of points to date isn’t exactly mind-blowing. The ‘Cucumberers’ have a chance of turning their luck around in a special game for their coach Mauricio Pellegrino, who will face, for the first time, the team he managed in a spectacular season and took all the way to the Copa del Rey final.

Epic Wanda showdown with the number one spot on the line

In arguably the biggest game of the weekend, Atlético de Madrid will test their might and the reliability of the Wanda Metropolitano stronghold against a wounded Barça, still reeling after their defeat a fortnight ago against Real Betis. Only one point apart, both will try to seize that first place in a very close league.

Unfortunately for Simeone, it seems his team is falling apart in one particular area: their defense. Godin and Giménez won’t be fit, Juanfran got injured once again this week and both Savic and Lucas have had physical problems in the days before the big match. It just doesn’t sound like a good idea to face Leo Messi and company with most of your strongest defenders in the infirmary.

Solari tests his might before Christmas

Now confirmed as Real Madrid’s head coach till 2022, Santiago Solari needs to keep on winning to get his squad closer to the top. The international break wasn’t too great for many of his players (for example, Isco, Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio did quite poorly with Spain), but the top priority is closing the gap between themselves and other title contenders.

Solari’s chances of remaining on Real’s bench after next summer are closely related to the possibility of winning silverware. Eibar won’t make things easy, though: Ipurua can be a trap for big sides used to huge stadiums and tip-top grounds.

Getafe can send Athletic into the abyss

They’ve been flirting with relegation spots for many weeks, but it might finally become a real issue next Monday: Athletic Club, a side who has never been relegated to Segunda, is treading muddy waters and unable to pull off wins that allow them to escape the danger zone. They haven’t won a game since Matchday 1, back in August!


And hosting Getafe at home doesn’t seem the ideal scenario for Toto Berizzo and his men to turn around their current predicament. Tensions are running high and the fans are starting to lose their patience after three months without celebrating a single win.

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