Football

La Liga preview: Round 7

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This season's surprise packages in Spain - Real Betis and Levante - meet at the Benito Villamarín on Sunday in an encounter between first and third in La Liga.

Betis currently sit top of the table with four wins from five, although Pepe Mel's side did fall to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Getafe in their last outing.

Levante, meanwhile, remain unbeaten following three consecutive wins - the first of which was a victory over Real Madrid - after drawing their opening two games of the campaign.

Sandwiched between Betis and Levante in the table are Barcelona, who have seen their domestic progress halted by drawing two of their last three.

Pep Guardiola's side, though, will be buoyed by the 5-0 Champions League thrashing of BATE Borisov, and face a straightforward looking game against bottom club Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

Should Lionel Messi find the net at the El Molinón, the Argentine forward will surpass Laszlo Kubala to become Barca's second highest goalscorer in history.

Barca's city neighbours, Espanyol, stand in the way of Real Madrid this weekend, with the latter currently in fifth position in the Primera División.




 

However, should Real win at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat - and other results go their way - Jose Mourinho's side could be league leaders once more at the close of play.

Like Barca, Real notched a morale-boosting European win during the week; comprehensively beating Ajax 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Elsewhere, Valencia and Malaga will also be vying for the top spots, and each have home games against Granada and Getafe, respectively.

Athletic Bilbao face Real Sociedad, with the former chasing their first league win of the season, following an impressive triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the Europa League on Thursday.

Finally, Villarreal will be looking to atone for their Tuesday night loss to Napoli against Real Zaragoza, Osasuna host Mallorca on Saturday and Rayo Vallecano travel to Racing Santander.

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