La Liga Matchday 15 preview: Four of Spain’s Champions League sides set to clash

A window on a packed weekend of action in the Spanish top-flight, with two star matches involving the division's biggest sides.

FC Barcelona will travel to the Estadio de la Cerámica to face Villarreal CF on Saturday at 9pm CET

Following a busy midweek of Champions League action, four of the five Spanish teams participating in the top continental competition will play against each other on Matchday 15 in La Liga. Villarreal CF will host FC Barcelona on Saturday night before Real Madrid take on Sevilla FC at the Santiago Bernabéu at the same time on Sunday.

Ahead of that, Athletic Club are in Friday night action once again and they’ll be looking for an overdue victory at home to Granada CF. The Bilbao outfit’s other two matches so far this November have also been on Fridays, but they suffered a disappointing home loss to Cádiz CF and a frustrating goalless draw at Levante UD in the last round. This Friday the Leones will hope to give their fans something to shout about to start the weekend.

La Liga action stays in the Basque Country on Saturday as D. Alavés face RC Celta in the early kick-off, with the club from Vitoria-Gasteiz hoping to keep up their excellent form. Alavés have won three and drawn two of their last five matches so they will be full of confidence for this one.

Valencia CF vs Rayo Vallecano follows, with the capital city side hoping to take their good home form on the road. They have been excellent at home all season but their away form has been below the league average. History is not on Rayo’s side, however, having won just once in their last 20 visits to Mestalla. Getafe CF will then look to improve their away form when they travel off the mainland to take on RCD Mallorca. Quique Sánchez Flores’ Azulones are improving, smashing four past Cadiz last weekend, but they’re still seeking that first away victory.

On Saturday at 9pm CET comes the first of the weekend’s huge blockbuster clashes: Villarreal CF vs FC Barcelona at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Both sides suffered frustrating results in the Champions League in midweek so will have maximum motivation for this crucial La Liga game as they look to earn a spot in the European competition for next year. This will be just the third match in charge for new Barça coach Xavi, whose side are showing a lot of positives even if they’re still struggling to find the back of the net.

Real Betis host bottom side Levante UD to kick off Sunday’s action. Levante may be struggling but they boast a very good recent record against the Andalusians. Over their previous six meetings, there have been four Levante UD wins against just two for Real Betis. With the 20th placed side still winless, this weekend would be a good time to take a first three-point haul of the season.

Second-placed Real Sociedad then return to action on Sunday afternoon with a tricky trip to play RCD Espanyol in Catalonia. La Real have not lost since the opening day of the season but they have had a few draws in recent weeks and will be looking to climb, at least temporarily, back to the top of the table.

Defending champions Atlético de Madrid are looking for another victory too and they will visit Cádiz CF on Sunday evening. Los Amarillos conceded four last weekend to Getafe, just as they conceded four in each of their meetings with Atleti last season. Diego Simeone’s array of star forwards might be smacking their lips.

Then it is all eyes on the Spanish capital; as Real Madrid take on Sevilla FC (9pm CET). Julen Lopetegui will return to the Bernabéu to face his former club which he has never beaten as a coach. Sevilla have historically struggled in this fixture although they drew 2-2 away at Real Madrid last year, that was at Valdebebas and they have not won at the Bernabéu in their past 13 visits since 2008. This is a strong Sevilla squad and they will take to the pitch with confidence.

The Matchday 15 action then concludes with a Monday night fixture: CA Osasuna vs Elche CF at El Sadar. This will be Elche’s first match since sacking Fran Escribá so all eyes will be on the Franjiverdes as they look to begin a new era with a win.

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