A near neighbour is looking to ruin Diego Simeone’s party for Atletico Madrid while the great Hue-scape continues in La Liga this weekend
Rayo want to rain over Simeone’s parade
‘Cholo’ Simeone just announced his renewal of contract with Atlético de Madrid until the summer of 2022. If he actually remains as manager for the next couple of seasons, he will make it past the ten-year mark coaching the Colchonero side. An extraordinary feat for the man who has defined and molded Atleti’s most ambitious and successful era ever.
But Rayo Vallecano aren’t keen on celebrations. In fact, the Rayistas are going to put all their effort into ruining his ‘party’. Because they seemed doomed two months ago and now, after snatching five wins from the last 10 games, they’re only one point away from escaping the relegation zone. But you know what they say: sometimes, when the goal is at hand, the last stretch is the toughest one to complete.
Celta Vigo and Levante face off with a chance to sink each other
Both Celta and Levante have had parallel runs this season with a quite impressive start but slowly losing steam as games took their toll on them. In Celta’s case, switching coaches on the bench hasn’t worked that well: the team hasn’t played much better under Miguel Cardoso than they used to do under ‘Turco’ Mohamed.
The Vigo side (24) is only one point away from the relegation spots. Levante are four above danger (27), but their 2019 has been awful to date not only on the pitch but in external affairs: Emmanuel Boateng is about to be sold to Chinese side Dalian Yifang for a hefty sum (around $13.5 million), leaving the team without an important striker; and left-back Toño García is still locked in jail on suspicion of extortion and threats. Not the ideal atmosphere before such a crucial showdown.
Villarreal need to finally make a statement at home
Villarreal’s win on Thursday against Sporting Lisbon (0-1) was the first one after ten games with plenty of draws and defeats to boot. With this sudden burst and confidence and with Javi Calleja undefeated in his second stint at the Submarine’s bench, the match versus Sevilla is the ultimate test for a squad which absolutely needs to react and pick up points if they don’t want to sink even further in the standings.
One fact works towards their advantage: Sevilla’s stats over the last few weeks haven’t been that impressive. They scraped past Lazio on Thursday (0-1), but they’ve only been victorious in one of the last seven LaLiga games played. Pablo Sarabia, however, looks like a million bucks as always and keeps playing Spain-national-team-level football.
Are we in for the latest chapter of The Great Hues-cape?
People had written off SD Huesca as a potential contender for the relegation battle because, quite frankly, it seemed the longest shot in the history of long shots. They had only picked up eight points when the winter break came along. They were done. Segunda Division material.
And suddenly… a miracle. They have won three and drew one in the last month and a half. Now, with 18 points in the standings, they remain the worst team in LaLiga… but definitely not the one in the worst form.
? Esperamos que en este día, este vídeo te llegue al corazón.
"Estamos enseñando al mundo lo que significa NO REBLAR. Hicimos lo imposible… y ahora queremos más"
— SD Huesca (@SDHuesca) February 14, 2019
A ‘Great Hues-cape’ from relegation might be in the works with Joan Jordan playing scandalous football and the addition of Ezequiel ‘Chimy’ Ávila making an immediate impact. They face with unprecedented optimism the Basque Derby this weekend against Athletic Club, who are also struggling. Should Huesca win, salvation could be just around the corner.