The winter break is finally over in Spain, and LaLiga will be kicked up a gear as teams begin to see the finishing line in the distance. But, can Real Madrid or Barcelona put down a marker this coming weekend?
Getafe vs Real Madrid
Not many people would have expected LaLiga to reach the winter with Real Madrid still being in the hunt for the top honour. Madrid spent a lot of money over the summer, and while the signing of Eden Hazard hasn't paid off as many would have hoped, they could still go back to the top with a win on the road against Getafe.
Real Madrid have been caught in a bit of a rot over recent weeks, and they could have been top had they not have dropped points in their last three LaLiga games. They have drawn their past three against Valencia, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. They have only scored once in these fixtures, and have only conceded once. The 0-0 draw at Barcelona may have been the best result during this time, and they may have even been appeased with a 1-1 draw against Valencia, as they had to salvage a point late in that fixture.
The game against Bilbao was another 0-0 draw and was the sort of game that Hazard was brought in to make the difference. On Saturday, they will come up against a Getafe side that have started the season excellently and may have hopes of achieving a top-four finish. They have only lost once in their last four league fixtures, with that defeat coming against Villarreal last time out. This will be a much bigger test, but they have made their home a fortress so far this campaign.
Real Madrid have won 19 times against Getafe, while the home side on Saturday have recorded five victories. Despite their solid home form, it is unlikely that Real Madrid will lose on Saturday, and punters should support them to get the win.
Espanyol vs Barcelona
Barcelona will play later on Saturday evening and could jump back to the top of the league should Real Madrid win, if they are able to see off Espanyol.
It isn't the hardest of games for the travelling side as Espanyol have only recorded two victories all season. They have conceded more goals than anyone else in the division, and have also scored the lowest number of goals. They haven't won in their last five, and have lost on three occasions during that time. Their last win in the league came back in October where they edged out a 1-0 win against Levante. Their last outing ended in a 2-0 defeat against Leganes just before Christmas, and it will be hard seeing them get the three points in this fixture.
Barcelona will head into the derby unbeaten in their last five, during that time they have edged out a draw against Real Madrid, and beaten Athletico Madrid. Their last out was against Alaves, and the Catalonian side picked up a comfortable 4-1 victory in that fixture. Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all scored in that victory, while Arturo Vidal also got his name on the scoresheet. Barcelona have scored the most goals in the division this season, and it is incredibly unlikely that they will lose this game against the team that are rock bottom of the division.