Thursday, 25 October 2018

Dramatic Season Set for Further Twists in LaLiga’s First El Clasico of 2018/19

On Sunday, October 28, 2018 El Clasico at the Camp Nou will take many of the headlines, but there should also be thrills and spills aplenty elsewhere at top and bottom this LaLiga weekend.

LaLiga leaders Barcelona host a stumbling Real Madrid on Sunday afternoon in world football’s biggest domestic club fixture, while drama is assured throughout a matchday which starts with just four points separating the top seven teams.



Ernesto Valverde’s Blaugrana side returned to top spot by beating Sevilla last weekend but must now replace captain Lionel Messi who will miss a first El Clasico since December 2007 due to a broken bone in his arm.

Meanwhile the Bernabeu’s Blancos travel to the Catalan capital aiming for a first win in five LaLiga outings boosted by the return to full fitness of Welsh galactico Gareth Bale after recent injury issues.

With things so tight among the leaders, Barça’s city rivals Espanyol could move into first place for the first time in over a decade should they win at Valladolid on Friday night. The hosts, however, could themselves actually go joint top if they get the three points, and former Espanyol coach Sergio Gonzalez’s current team have won each of their last four LaLiga games.

Depending on results elsewhere, Atletico Madrid could also find themselves leading LaLiga Santander this weekend, assuming Diego Simeone’s men can beat Real Sociedad at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday evening. Another early-season surprise package are Alaves, whose game at home to Villarreal on Sunday afternoon may give the in-form side from Vitoria a chance to return to the head of the table.

Last of the top seven to play are Sevilla, who will be hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointment at the Camp Nou when they kick off on Sunday evening against bottom side Huesca.

Elsewhere in the division, Levante will be aiming to build on their shock win at the Bernabeu last time out when they host a Leganes side boosted by Sunday's draw at Levante’s city neighbours Valencia.

Los Che themselves will be hoping for a change of fortunes in Saturday’s trip to Athletic Club in Bilbao, another of LaLiga’s historic sides who have had a below par start to 2018/19.

Saturday also sees the first-ever LaLiga Santander meeting between Girona and Rayo Vallecano, with both teams needing points to start to the climb up the standings.

Sunday lunchtime sees Getafe hosting Real Betis in a mid-table clash between two sides who have had mixed results lately but remain well-placed to catch the teams above them.

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