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La Liga preview: Barcelona face tricky trip to Real Betis

Lionel Messi and company will not have it easy against Real Betis.

Bengaluru, March 15: La Liga leaders Barcelona face a tricky trip to Real Betis on Sunday (March 17), with the weekend's schedule packed with new beginnings and huge clashes at both the top and bottom of the table.

With 11 games to play, Barcelona have a seven-point advantage at the top of the La Liga standings, having upped their form as the crunch period of the season arrives, with chasers Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid waiting to pounce on any slip-ups.

Lionel Messi and company will not have it easy at the Benito Villamarin Sunday, however, as Quique Setien's ball-playing Betis side were the last team to defeat the blaugrana side in a thrilling 4-3 victory at the Camp Nou last November.

La Liga fixtures | Results | Points table

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club

Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Club

Second-placed Atletico may have cut the gap at the top before then, with Antoine Griezmann and his team visiting Athletic Club's San Mames on Saturday.

Although Atletico and Athletic were ‘sibling clubs' through the first decades of their history, the Bilbao side are aiming for Europa League qualification next term and have not lost at home in La Liga since October.

Real Madrid vs RC Celta

Real Madrid vs RC Celta

Zinedine Zidane's second coming as Real Madrid coach begins earlier on Saturday, with the arrival of the former ‘galactico' and 2017-18 La Liga title winner having lifted everyone at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The visitors are a RC Celta team battling for points at the wrong end of the table, with their new coach Fran Escriba having debuted last weekend with a defeat to Betis.

Huesca vs Alaves

Huesca vs Alaves

Huesca may still be bottom of the La Liga standings, but recent performances have given them a real chance of survival.

The Aragonese side will be tested Saturday El Alcoraz though, as visitors Alaves are themselves unbeaten in five La Liga games and still in the hunt for an unlikely UEFA Champions League qualification.

Leganes vs Girona

Leganes vs Girona

Saturday's game at Butarque brings together two sides who look to have leaped clear of the relegation battle in Leganes and Girona.

However, both coaches Mauricio Pellegrino and Eusebio Sacristan will know their players cannot relax just yet.

Eibar vs Real Valladolid

Eibar vs Real Valladolid

Sunday's schedule kicks off at Ipurua, with in-form Eibar aiming for a fourth home win in five La Liga home games against Real Valladolid.

Valladolid need to improve on the road having lost each of their last four away matches.

Espanyol vs Sevilla

Espanyol vs Sevilla

Sevilla's away record is also a problem with zero points from their last five road trips.

But the sixth placed Andalusians will be aiming to change that on Sunday when they visit an Espanyol team who have picked up seven points from their last three at the RCDE Stadium.

Villarreal vs Rayo Vallecano

Villarreal vs Rayo Vallecano

Then comes a real relegation six pointer at the Estadio de la Ceramica with 17th placed Villarreal looking up after last week's crucial derbi win at Levante hosting Rayo Vallecano.

Vallecano are a team, who really need something to change after six straight La Liga defeats.

Valencia vs Getafe

Valencia vs Getafe

There's also a lot on the line at Mestalla later on Sunday, with seventh placed Valencia aiming to close in on fourth placed Getafe.

It's likely to be a closely-fought game that also brings together two of La Liga's most inform strikers in Rodrigo Moreno and Jaime Mata.

(Source: MSL Media)

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Story first published: Friday, March 15, 2019, 13:54 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 15, 2019
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