Frantic week of football action in La Liga

A frantic week of football activity, starting Friday, will test the strength in depth of all Spanish clubs in the La Liga.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 21:52 PM IST
Frantic week of football action in La Liga

Madrid: A frantic week of football activity, starting Friday, will test the strength in depth of all Spanish clubs in the La Liga.

This weekend's round of matches sees Elche entertain recently promoted Eibar and quickly moves on to one of the main courses when Deportivo la Coruna play at home to Real Madrid, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid put two league defeats from three matches behind them Tuesday when they thrashed a weak Basel 5-1 in the Champions League. But they have traditionally had to dig deep to take anything from a well-organised Deportivo team, who will be content after showing their defensive strength away to Eibar Monday.

Athletic Club Bilbao will look for their second home win of the campaign when Granada come to the new San Mames Stadium. The visitors, who are led by former Athletic boss Joaquin Caparros, are unbeaten this campaign and are certain to put up stiff resistance.

It has been a strange week for Atletico Madrid, who followed up their win away to Real Madrid last weekend with a surprise Champions League defeat to Olympiacos. Coach Diego Simeone was criticised for resting goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya in Athens.

The shot-stopper will return as the reigning champions entertain a feisty Celta Vigo, another unbeaten team. Simeone will be without striker Mario Mandzukic, who broke his nose during Tuesday's defeat.

Espanyol will be looking for their first win of the season when they entertain Malaga Saturday.

Sunday's big game sees Barcelona look to retain their 100 percent league record away to Levante. Coach Luis Enrique will make wholesale changes to his team after resting key players against APOEL Wednesday. But the big question will be whether or not he brings goalkeeper Claudio Bravo back into the team after Ter Stegen's solid debut.

The day kicks off with Real Sociedad at home to Almeria. Real Sociedad's form has picked up after losing their first game of the season and crashing out of Europe while Almeria look as if they are in for another long season battling relegation.

Villarreal have started the season by continuing the free-flowing football they produced last year but it remains to be seen how much strain demands of European football puts on their squad Thursday.

Rivals Rayo Vallecano are once again working to form a cohesive side after another summer of numerous departures and arrivals.

Sevilla have an Andalusian derby against a rival wearing green and white shirts but this time it is not against neighbours Real Betis but Cordoba, who are back in La Liga after over 40 years and still looking for their first win of the season.

The poorly supported Getafe will take on Valencia at home. It could be a long season for Getafe while Valencia have made a bright start to the campaign after a summer of uncertainty over the sale of the club to billionaire Peter Lin.