La Liga Preview: Real face tough away test

Barcelona are chasing Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish Primera Division again this weekend with a home game against Real Sociedad while Real Madrid travel to in-form Getafe.

Three of the top four sides are in action on Saturday as Levante kick things off at 5pm (GMT) as Racing Santander come to town but it appears Real Madrid will face the toughest test on paper with their trip to Getafe.

Getafe have only lost one game at home all season in the league, a 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano in September, and have also beaten Barcelona at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez already in this campaign.

Real Madrid have beaten Getafe in their last six meetings together in the league but the home side are on an unbeaten run of 6 games in the league as well as an eight game unbeaten run at home.

Barcelona’s home record stands them in good stead for Saturday’s game at the Nou Camp, having dropped just two points at home this season, while Sociedad’s away record has seen them beaten five times on the road so far.

Pep Guardiola’s side drew 1-1 with Valencia in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night as Lionel Messi missed a penalty; a home win against Sociedad will surely calm the nerves of an increasingly jittery Barcelona camp.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Espanyol can leap frog Levante in 4th spot if they can beat 6th place Athletic Bilbao away from home; Mallorca host Real Betis with both teams looking to steady their form after defeats last weekend.

On Sunday, Valencia have the tough task of stopping their stuttering progress in the league with a tricky away trip to Atletico Madrid, where Diego Simeone has turned his side’s fortunes around and won three out of the last four games without conceding a goal in the league yet.

It’s quite the opposite for Unai Emery’s team in the league, as they haven’t picked up a win in their last four games, drawing three and losing one; Valencia will hope to be the side to end Atletico’s unbeaten streak under Simeone.

Two former Champions League teams of the past ten years will go head to head on Sunday as Villarreal travel to Sevilla, knowing a win could lift them out of the relegation zone and will surely be buoyed by last weekend’s scoreless draw with Barcelona.

That feat is easier said than done however, as the Yellow Submarine still haven’t won on the road this season, losing seven and drawing three.

Elsewhere on Sunday, bottom-side Real Zaragoza host Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna travel to Sporting Gijon while Granada have a home game against Malaga on Monday night.


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