La Liga preview: Gameweek 2
The opening weekend of the La Liga season had everything: goals, red cards, shock minnow wins, controversy and 'keepers having 94th minute goals ruled out. Here, we look at what is in store for this weekend.
Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid will be looking to pile further misery on Real Sociedad, who have not enjoyed the best of starts to the season. The Basque outfit suffered a shock loss at the hands of promoted side Eibar and were also knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday in the playoff round, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Krasnodar.
Madrid registered a comfortable 4-0 win the last time Los Blancos made the trip to the Estadio Municipal de Anoeta, and will be looking for a similar result this time around.
Carlo Ancelotti's men were not 100% on song during their 2-0 win over Cordoba, but a solid display against Sociedad could go some way to convincing Madridistas that their team is going in the right direction.
Villarreal vs Barcelona
Barcelona began the season in emphatic fashion, thrashing Elche 3-0. However it was the performance which would have pleased Luis Enrique the most. Munir El Haddadi was the headline act with a debut goal, with talisman Lionel Messi also grabbing a brace.
Barca are unbeaten in their last 13 matches against the yellow submarine, a record stretching back to 2008. But these games do often go to the wire as they did last season, when Villarreal gave away a two-goals advantage with consecutive own goals before Messi sealed the win for Los Blaugranes late on.
Villarreal will be looking for revenge, and buoyed by their 4-0 Europa League win over FC Astana may be able to shock last year’s runners-up.
Atletico Madrid vs Eibar
After a stuttering start away to Rayo Vallecano on the opening weekend, defending champions Atletico should have an easier time on paper against newcomers Eibar. However, the minnows sprung a surprise on Real Sociedad last week with a 1-0 win.
Athletic Club vs Levante
Athletic have been given a favourable Champions League draw, but cannot allow their league form to suffer. Picking up early points before the tournament starts is a must, and after last week’s 1-0 loss to Malaga, a win on Saturday crucial.
Thankfully for Ernesto Valverde’s men, they will be at home against Levante, who lost to Villarreal last week. The Valencia club should not pose too much of a threat.
Before those mouth-watering fixtures, Getafe will entertain Almeria on Friday looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Celta Vigo.
Getafe v Almeria
Valencia CF v Malaga
Athletic Bilbao v Levante
Cordoba v Celta de Vigo
Atletico Madrid v Eibar
Espanyol v Sevilla
Villarreal v Barcelona
Deportivo de La Coruna v Rayo Vallecano
Real Sociedad v Real Madrid
Elche v Granada CF