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La Liga preview: Barcelona aiming to stay top

Barca will be favourites for Sundays clash with Levante at Camp Nou.

Bengaluru, December 15: La Liga leaders Barcelona will aim to stay ahead of a chasing pack including Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid this weekend, as the fixture list also brings exciting historic opportunities and emotional reuniting of old friends.

Barca will be favourites for Sunday's clash with Levante at Camp Nou, with blaugrana captain Lionel Messi showing ominous form with two superb free kick goals in last weekend's derbi win at Espanyol.

However Levante themselves will recall that they beat Barca 5-4 in their most recent LaLiga meeting last season, while nine goals in their last three games have lifted Paco Lopez's side to sixth in the table.

Fixtures | Results | Points table

Title race

Title race

Getafe's Coliseum Alfonso Perez is the scene for Saturday's game, with Real Sociedad visiting suburban Madrid looking for a first La Liga win home or away against 'los azulones' in almost four years.

Valladolid then welcome Atletico Madrid which has star striker Antoine Griezmann in its line up, to the Estadio Jose Zorrilla with the 'Blanquivioletas' having lost just one of their last five La Liga games at home, and 'Los Rojiblancos' needing to improve a record of four successive draws on the road to keep up in the title race.

Real challenge

Real challenge

La Liga then returns to the Spanish capital for a 'derbi' meeting, with Rayo Vallecano making the short trip to Real Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Rayo's only previous victory at the stadium was back in 1996, when current coach Michel Sanchez Munoz played in midfield.

In-form Madrid coached by Santiago Solari will not make a repeat easy however, in their final La Liga game of 2018 due to the Club World Cup later this month.

Valencia at home

Valencia at home

Saturday's match sees Eibar looking for a third consecutive La Liga win at home to Valencia.

But Los Che will travel confident having won on their last trip to the Basque Country, at nearby Real Sociedad.

Emotional game

Emotional game

Sunday's game will be an emotional one for Sevilla coach Pablo Machin, who welcomes his former club Girona to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan.

Machin is already hugely popular in the Andalusian capital with his current team riding second in the table, while his hero status in Girona was confirmed by achieving the Catalan club's first ever promotion to La Liga in 2017.

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Story first published: Saturday, December 15, 2018, 11:23 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 15, 2018
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