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Tough tasks await Barcelona and Real Madrid in derbi-packed La Liga weekend


Bengaluru, January 25: Barcelona and Real Madrid both face tough tasks on the road during a La Liga weekend packed with local derbi rivalries.

After some shock results elsewhere last time out, Barcelona and Real Madrid remain together at the top of the table.

But now they have just an eight-point lead over the chasing pack as the second half of the 2019-20 title race hots up.

Fixtures | Results | Points Table

Barcelona are first in action this weekend, travelling down the Mediterranean coast to visit Valencia for a fixture which has finished 1-1 in three of the last four years.

New blaugrana coach Quique Setien will want to continue what has been a decent start at the Camp Nou, while Los Che coach Albert Celades faces the club where he began his playing career and won two La Liga titles in the 1990s.

Big test for Setien as Barcelona visit hurting Valencia in La Liga

Valencia coach Albert Celades welcomes former club Barcelona to Mestalla

Zinedine Zidane's in-form Real Madrid will also be tested on at Real Valladolid - who have lost just once at their Jose Zorrilla stadium so far this season.

Last year's clash between the Castilian neighbours was also super dramatic - Valladolid dominated the first half and could have been three goals up before Madrid pulled away to win 4-1 in the end.

With MSL Media inputs, looks at some of the other big fixtures of Week 21 of La Liga which is packed with local derbies and rivalries.

Espanyol vs Athletic Club

Espanyol vs Athletic Club

Saturday (January 25) action begins with Espanyol hosting Athletic Bilbao.

The Catalan team have taken four points from their first two games under new coach Abelardo Fernandez, while the Basques have won just one of 10 away outings so far in La Liga 2019-20.

Sevilla vs Granada

Sevilla vs Granada

Sevilla hosts Granada in a tasty Andalusian derby in the province's capital.

The hosts have won five of the last six in this fixture, while Granada have lost their last six La Liga away games, but the form book often goes out the window on occasions like this.

Atletico vs Leganes

Atletico vs Leganes

There is yet another local clash in early game, with Leganes making the short trip to Atletico Madrid.

Both teams had difficulties last weekend - 'Lega' lost at home to even closer neighbours Getafe, while Atletico's title challenge faltered with a first-ever La Liga defeat at Eibar.

Getafe vs Real Betis

Getafe vs Real Betis

Commanding victories last time out mean both Getafe and Real Betis will be confident ahead for meeting at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Their last meeting back in September saw Betis hold out for a 1-1 draw despite finishing with just nine players.

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Story first published: Saturday, January 25, 2020, 10:42 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 25, 2020
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