LaLiga Santander is back with a bang this weekend following the October international break with all four of Spain’s Champions League representatives in action on a blockbuster Saturday.
With continental competition coming up in the midweek after Matchday 6, LaLiga has scheduled Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Sevilla FCto play on Saturday October 17th in order to give these sides maximum rest time before their international clashes. Six more matches follow on Sunday October 18th, including one of the most intriguing derbies in Spanish football.
It all gets under way at 13:00 CEST on Saturday with Andalusian rivals Granada CF vs Sevilla FC facing off, a clash between last season’s seventh-placed and fourth-placed sides. It promises to be competitive, just as it was last season when Julen Lopetegui’s team returned to Seville with a hard-fought 1-0 win. This match also sees Sevilla’s Carlos Fernández return to Los Cármenes after impressing so much last season while on loan at Granada.
Next up is RC Celta vs Atlético de Madrid, with Atleti looking to get their season back on track. Following a huge 6-1 win over Granada CF in their first match, they were later held to goalless draws by SD Huesca and by Villarreal CF. Diego Simeone’s side will be desperateto pick up the three points in Vigo, but they’ll also know they’ve not won in the Galician city on either of their previous two visits.
On Saturday evening, Real Madrid host Cádiz CF in the top division for the first time since 2006. This became a classic fixture during the 1980s and it’ll bring back fond memories for many fans as it returns to our screens for the first time in over a decade. The match at the Alfredo Di Stefano also promises to be a very special fixture for the Fernández family: Álex Fernández is set to start for Cádiz CF while his brother Nacho Fernández could play at right-back for the reigning champions in place of the injured Dani Carvajal.
Saturday night sees FC Barcelona visit Getafe CF. Or should that be Fe CF? The Azulones are temporarily changing their name to Fe CF – ‘Fe’ being the Spanish word for ‘Faith’ – in a gesture of solidarity with those who have suffered so much during the coronavirus pandemic. The side from the capital would love for nothing more than to mark this special occasion with a win over Barça, which would be their first since 2011.
Six more matches come on Sunday, the first of which sees CA Osasuna make the short trip to Ipurua to take on SD Eibar. These are two teams made up with the perfect mix of tough battlers and technical talents and a fascinating duel is expected in this Sunday lunchtime matchup. After that, LaLiga Santander is staying in the Basque Country for Athletic Club vs Levante UD, a match between two teams who surprisingly come into Matchday 6 in the relegation zone. It’s still very early, but neither club will want to stay near the bottom for much longer.
At 16:00 CEST on Sunday afternoon, there’s a Valencian community derby as Villarreal CF host Valencia CF. This fixture always creates headlines and that’ll certainly be the case this year as the Yellow Submarine’s Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin go up against the club they left just a couple of months ago, while new Villarreal coach Unai Emery will also be taking on his former club.
Sunday evening sees two 18:30 CEST games which could have huge implications for the relegation battle come the end of the season. D. Alavés will host Elche CF and SD Huesca will welcome Real Valladolid to the Pyranees region, with these four sides all currently in the bottom six along with Athletic and Levante.
Sunday night then presents a can’t-miss clash between two of LaLiga Santander’s most entertaining sides, Real Betis and Real Sociedad, at the Benito Villamarin. These are two of the most exciting teams in the division, boasting two of the most talented squads outside of the Champions League clubs, and two World Cup winners – Betis’ Nabil Fekir and La Real’s David Silva will be pulling the strings.
All in all, it promises to be an action-packed weekend of football from start to finish, the perfect way to return from this month’s international break.