The LaLiga season will resume this week, with a huge 20 fixtures taking place over seven days. The action this weekend will focus on the sides at the top of the league standings, as the title race has all the focus on it. But, will Real Madrid or Barcelona make the first move when the season resumes?
RCD Mallorca vs FC Barcelona
Barcelona will be the first of the title challengers in action this weekend, as they travel to Mallorca on Saturday evening. The Catalonian giants may have been forgiven for thinking that their stranglehold on the domestic title was going to come to an end after defeat in El Clasico before the season was halted. However, success coupled with a defeat for Madrid on the following week saw Barcelona go back to the top of the league standings.
There is just a narrow two-point gap between the two sides at present, but that could extend to five ahead of Madrid’s first game back. Barcelona have scored an incredible 63 goals to this point and had won five of their previous six before the break-in play. Their chances of winning the league title have been improved, as they will welcome back Luis Suarez when the action gets back underway. The Uruguayan striker had been on the sidelines since January. Before the break, they edged out a 1-0 win against Real Sociedad, with Lionel Messi scoring the only goal of the game.
This isn’t the worst fixture to restart the season for Barcelona, as Mallorca are struggling at the wrong end of the table. They are currently in the relegation places and are one point from safety. Mallorca have conceded the second-highest number of goals this season, with their tally of 44 only beaten by Espanyol’s 46. They did begin to hit a little run of form before the break as they had lost just once in their previous four. Before the suspension, Mallorca beat Eibar 2-1.
However, gamblers will be aware that there is a gulf in class between the two sides, and that means that the solid choice would be Barcelona.
Real Madrid vs Eibar
Real Madrid will also be hoping to take control in the title race, as they welcome Eibar to the Bernabeu. Real have been in excellent form throughout the season, as they have lost just three games all season. However, draws have been their problem, as they have recorded eight. Their recent form before the break-in play was disappointing as they had lost two in three and won just once in four.
Regardless, they have been excellent at home this season, as they have won nine of the 13 matches. They have conceded just nine goals in their home games and scored 27. Their last home game was against Barcelona, as they recorded a 2-0 win. Away defeats against Levante and Real Betis means that there is still a title fight ongoing, but if they can rediscover their best form, then they could deliver a first title for three years.
Eibar have targets of their own over the remaining eleven games of the season, as they are looking nervously over their shoulders. They are just two points above the relegation places at present and come into this game against Madrid having won just once in their last six. They have also lost four of their previous five. Scoring goals has been their biggest problem this season, as they have scored just 27, which is an average of one goal per game. Their last outing before the break came against Real Sociedad, where they were beaten 2-1.
Real have a dominant record over Eibar, as they have won nine of the ten meetings. Gamblers will be betting on the home win in this fixture.
Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico Madrid
The fixture of the weekend in the LaLiga this weekend will see Atletico Madrid travel to Bilbao. Both sides will still have targets of their own this season, as they both are looking to finish in European places. Atletico will have their eyes on the top four, while Bilbao will be hoping to put a run of form together that could see them finish in the Europa League spots.
It has been an unusual season for Atletico this year, as they currently find themselves in sixth spot. Their biggest problem this season has been scoring goals as they have just recorded 31. They are currently one point outside of the top four, which means that a good start to the resumption of the league is essential. Draws have been their biggest problem throughout the season as they have recorded 12. That has been evident in their form over the last six games as they had drawn three and won just twice. Their last two outings have both ended in draws.
Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao were just putting some good form together before the season was paused. They ended a run of four successive defeats by winning their previous two. They still have an outside chance of finishing in the Europa League places, but they will need to make up a five-point difference. If they can continue their excellent form from before the suspension, then they will have an excellent chance.
Atletico have an excellent record against Bilbao as they have won 22 of the 31 meetings. Bilbao have won just seven times. Atletico won the meeting earlier in the season 2-0, but gamblers may feel that the draw is the best option in this fixture.