La Liga: League leaders face Valencia as Barcelona look to leapfrog Atletico Madrid

(Football news) League leaders Real Madrid would like to make amends after their disappointing loss to Getafe. The Los Blancos are currently top of the table as they are five points clear of second-placed Sevilla, while Valencia are in ninth place with 28 points from their 19 matches of the season. Real Madrid have enjoyed an excellent 2021-22 La Liga campaign, winning 14 matches with four draws and two defeats to collect 46 points, which has left them at the top of the table. This game becomes very important for Madrid as Sevilla are only five points behind them who have a game in hand, and it will be fascinating to see whether Julen Lopetegui's side can stay in touch with the leaders.

For Madrid, Dani Carvajal is out due to a calf problem as Luka Jovic has tested positive for Covid 19. Along with that Mariano Diaz is also unavailable, having picked up a hamstring injury during Copa del Rey clash, while Gareth Bale is also absent. For Valencia, Hugo Duro will miss through suspension, while Gabriel Paulista, Dimitri Foulquier and Toni Lato are unavailable due to injury

Barcelona will face Granada as Xavi’s side look to break into the top four as they are only a point behind struggling Atletico Madrid. Barcelona will be looking to record their third straight win in all competitions Barcelona, who will take on Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup on January 12, have now picked up seven points from their last three league matches, which has seen them rise into fifth spot in the table. Xavi's side are also now within touching distance of Real Betis as they are only two points of them, so they are in a strong position to secure a top-four spot in La Liga this season, which could be considered a success considering their issues.

The Catalan club are now unbeaten in their last five away fixtures in the league but three of those games have finished level, and they have lost to Granada in two of the last five league fixtures between the two sides. For Barcelona, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Pedri remain on the sidelines through injury, while Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong are both out due to the problems that they picked up in the Copa Del Rey clash. 

Atletico Madrid take on Villareal as the pre-season favourites have severely struggled this season, as they are 14 points behind Real Madrid. Diego Simeone's team managed to end a four-game losing run in La Liga with  a 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Wanda Metropolitano. Atletico will not challenge for the title as they are sitting 14 points behind league leaders Real Madrid, but a top-four finish is the minimum requirement in the league. They will be hoping that the new year brings new fortunes to the team as they have a very difficult schedule in the second half of the season.

Also read: Bundesliga: Bayern lose to their bogey team Borussia Monchengladbach again

For Atletico Madrid, Luis Suárez and Jose Gimenez are also both suspended, so Antoine Griezmann and Mario Hermoso are going to start  as the Yellow Submarine will also be without Aissa Mandi, Boulaye Dia, Samuel Chukwueze and Serge Aurier, as all four players will be at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The other fixtures are:

  • Levante vs Mallorca
  • Real Sociedad vs Celta Vigo
  • Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis
  • Sevilla vs Getafe
  • Alaves vs Athletic Club
  • Osasuna vs Cadiz
  • Espanyol vs Elche


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