Pace-setters Barcelona sit 11 points at the top of La Liga table as they visit rock-bottomed Huesca. Even with the likes of Messi, Suarez and co ruled out, will Barca get an easy win here?
Atleti, meanwhile, will look to bounce back to winning ways after a disappointing trip to Barcelona (2-0) last week as they face Celta on Saturday afternoon
In-form Leganes welcome Real Madrid in La Liga on Monday night and will be looking to cause an upset against their illustrious neighbours.
Here is APRECON’s preview to Gameweek 32 of the Spanish top tier;
Date: Saturday, 13th April
Stadium: El Alcoraz
Barcelona head into a busy week in great spirits and travel to Huesca for their Matchday 32 clash just days after their Champions League trip to Manchester United, as they look to build on an all-important win over Atletico Madrid (2-0) where late goals from Luis Suarez and Leo Messi brought the points once again.
The Catalans have bagged five wins in their last six outings across competitions and only saw a thriller 4-4 draw at Villarreal along the way, where Ernesto Valverde’s risks proved costly and the same duo saved a point at Estadio de la Ceramica. They will now want to build on the 11-point gap at the top of the table and come off as heavy favourites for a reason – even though the likes of Messi, Suarez, Pique and a number of other regular starters have not been included in the matchday squad.
However, Huesca have seen a thriller 3-2 loss at Real Madrid after the International break and only bounced back from it with similarly exciting draws against Celta Vigo (3-3) and Levante (2-2) over the past two weeks – which will still have them very motivated to keep it up against the pace-setters.
While the difference in depth of quality and ambitions are more than obvious, it’s fair to say Huesca remain underdogs in this tie – and Barca should not have any problem doing Barca thing despite the absence of their big men.
Match date: 13thApril 2019
Stadium: Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid have seen a very disappointing trip to Barcelona (2-0) last week, as Luis Suarez and Leo Messi both found the net late in the game to extend the gap at the top of the table to 11 points. Diego Simeone now has to find a quick fix as they host Celta Vigo for their Matchday 32 clash on Saturday afternoon.
Atleti have been very solid at the back but still fell short of an upset at Camp Nou, which was their third loss in five outings across competitions. However, they’ve managed to keep a perfect run at Wanda Metropolitano along the way – where they beat Juventus (2-0), Villarreal (2-0), Leganes (1-0), and Girona (2-0) since mid-February.
Celta have indeed picked it up lately as they used a somewhat more lenient schedule to escape the relegation zone, beating Villarreal (3-2) and Sociedad (3-1) in two exciting outings at Balaidos and holding off Huesca (3-3) in a similar thriller on the road along the way.
Celticos have finally rediscovered their fine form in the final third but breaking down Atleti should prove much more of a task, even after beating them 2-0 in front of the home fans earlier this term – now looking for their first win in Madrid in over three years and a rare double over the rivals will be a far greater uphill. Fingers crossed.
Date: Monday, 15th April
Stadium: Estadio Municipal de Butarque
Leganes are enjoying another fine season in Spanish football. They have spent the majority of their history in the lower divisions, but after winning promotion to the top tier for the first time in their history at the end of the 2015/2016 season, the side from the outskirts of Madrid have managed to establish themselves in the top tier, finish 17th in the last two seasons and being set for an even more comfortable finish this time around.
A run of three wins and a draw in their last four games leave Mauricio Pellegrino’s men looking solid in 11th place in the table and now they’ll be out to cause a famous upset against their illustrious neighbours – Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, however, have endured a disappointing fcampaign sitting in third position, 13 points behind arch rivals Barcelona with only seven games remaining. And Zidane’s return has not really made much of a difference. The Whites, definitely have their eyes set on next season already with nothing left for a grab for them again this campaign.
Although a Real Madrid victory seems logical here but considering the hosts have already managed to overcome Los Blancos earlier this campaign, they will come into this tie with confidence – and Zidane’s men will have to turn on class to earn reasonable points at Butarque on Monday night.