Sevilla has reached the summit, but can the side stay there? Will history repeat for Real Madrid and Valencia? All this and more in 4 big matches in La Liga
Will Sevilla hold on to top spot in La Liga?
It’s hands down the biggest question of the weekend.
After Barça and Atletico offered fans and the world a boring stalemate at the Wanda, Sevilla quickly took advantage of the opening to squeeze themselves into becoming the league’s table-toppers. But it’s one thing to capture the flag. Another is to keep it for as long as possible.
The weekend’s fixture isn’t that generous for Sevilla, either. Machin’s men will visit the Mendizorroza of Alaves on Sunday, one of the league’s toughest venues and against the team sitting in fourth. In fact, a home win would propel Alavés to draw level with Sevilla in the standings. Sure, La Liga might be facing criticism due to the perceived slump in top teams laying waste to the opposition, but in exchange it is offering us the most interesting and evenly-matched competition in over a decade.
Another chapter in Madrid & Valencia’s epic rivalry
Everybody’s in for a treat when Valencia visit El Bernabéu. It’s just tradition, baby. Valencia are specialists on giving it all when making a trip to one of the mightiest foes’ ground, as the rivalry with Real Madrid goes back almost half a century.
The games are usually packed with absolutely everything in the sandbox: excellent football, excitement, tough challenges, red cards, penalties, controversies and ref calls (which usually leave Valencia gut-wrenched and defenseless).
This season, however, none of the combatants are enjoying their best year and are far from their in-form selves. Yeah, Real might have won against AS Roma, but their 3-0 versus Eibar still hurts. Yup, Valencia might have been knocked out of the Champions League, but they played a very serious, straightforward, no-nonsense game against Juventus and they are in better shape than a month ago. Their clash on Saturday is already making me giddy!
— Real Madrid C.F. ???? (@realmadriden) November 30, 2018
Atlético are back to Montilivi under secessionist pressure
Due to the disturbing situation created throughout the last year in Catalonia, Atleti’s visit to Montilivi might take place in the midst of a political protest both inside and outside the stadium, with pro-independence demonstrations and protestors disrupting the game in order to push their political agenda.
Leaving that aside, let’s remember that Atleti survived a wild evening last season against Girona, after an exhausting game they managed to draw level in the last minute (2-2). That day, Girona showed the world that they had reached top flight and were keen on hanging around. One year later, Pablo Machin is no longer on the bench, but the both team and powerhouse striker Cristian Stuani (10 goals) are ready, once again, give the Colchoneros a run for their money.
A cruising speed Barça might feast upon Villarreal
Barça’s trip to the Netherlands provided us with the umpteenth Leo Messi masterclass (what a goal he scored against PSV!) and their squad already tuned on autopilot mode. garnering that confidence amassed in the last two months after surviving life without Leo and discovering that, well, playing with him on the pitch is actually the closest to bliss you can find nowadays in any football squad.
With Messi adamant on proving that he doesn’t need those pesky Ballon d’Ors to prove he is the showrunner in football today, poor Villarreal will set foot at Camp Nou sitting deep in 16th, something absolutely unnatural for such a roster of players with such high expectations. However, Barça shouldn’t relax that much: theYellow Submarine shocked Real Betis into submission last weekend, that same team which pierced Barça’s net five times only a few weeks ago.