The action in Spain burst back into life this past weekend, and all the attention over the coming mid-week round of fixtures will be on the tight title race between Barcelona and Real Madrid. But, will either side slip up during this round of fixtures?
FC Barcelona vs CD Leganes
Barcelona appears to be determined to fire their way towards another league title this year, and they showcased their league credentials with an excellent result on the first round of fixtures back.
Barcelona’s away form had been a struggle throughout much of the season, but there was an indicator that their away troubles could be over after a convincing 4-0 away success over Real Mallorca last time out. Arturo Vidal and Martin Braithwaite scored in the first half for Barcelona, who had the lion share of possession. The Catalonian side added further goals in the final eleven minutes, as Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi added goals. The result means that Barcelona remains two points clear of Real Madrid.
It was a difficult weekend for Leganes on the return, as they were beaten. The result means that there is still a three-point difference between themselves and survival. Espanyol’s victory means that the bottom two are now level on points, and it could be a nervy final ten games of the season for Leganes. Their defeat over the restart weekend came against Real Vallodolid. Enes Unal and Ruben Alcatraz put Valladolid in complete control, but Leganes did pull one back in the final ten minutes through Oscar Arnaiz.
Leganes have beaten Barcelona once in this history, with that success coming back in September 2018. Since then, Barcelona have won the last three competitive meetings and have averaged 3.33 goals per game. This will be a comfortable evening for Barca, and gamblers will foresee a big win for the hosts.
Real Madrid vs Valencia
Real Madrid have restarted the season like a team on a mission. Before the suspension of play, Real had lost two of their previous three. But, that disappointing run seems to be a thing of the past judging by their attacking display at the weekend against Eibar. Zinedine Zidane’s side were dominant against Eibar as they secured a comfortable 3-1 win in their temporary home at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
Toni Kroos opened the scoring in the game after four minutes, before the fixture was put out of sight before half time thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos and Marcelo. Pedro Bigas did pull one back for Eibar, but they never looked like getting back into the game. Real will still be hoping that they can win the league title, but they will need to win all their games to ensure that they have the best opportunity.
Valencia still have hopes for themselves this season, as they are targeting a finish in the Europa League spots. They currently have a two-point advantage over Villarreal and Granada, which means that they can ill-afford a run of poor results. They returned to action in LaLiga with a second straight draw. Valencia would have been disappointed that they didn’t get all three points as Rodrigo opened the scoring in the 90th minute after Roger Marti was sent off for Levante. However, there was still drama in store, as Gonzalo Melero levelled the scores from the spot in the 98th minute.
Real Madrid have enjoyed dominance over Valencia over the past couple of years, as they have won three of the five meetings. Zidane’s side won 3-1 earlier in the season, and gamblers will be betting on Madrid doing the double over Valencia this season.