La Liga preview: Barca aim to maintain 100% record in weekend full of historical rivalries

La Liga , Friday 21 Sep 2018

Barcelona's Luis Suarez scores their first goal (Photo: Reuters)

Early La Liga leaders Barcelona aim to continue their 100% record in Sunday evening’s Catalan derby against Girona, with the weekend also featuring many more local and historical rivalries.

Ernesto Valverde’s Barça have four wins from four games so far, with attacking stars Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele having started the campaign in flying form. Visitors Girona will set out looking for their first-ever victory at the Camp Nou with confidence, as they start the weekend sixth in the La Liga standings.

Second-placed Real Madrid will take over at the top for at least 24 hours if Julen Lopetegui’s side can return to winning ways by defeating Espanyol at home on Saturday evening. Espanyol have not won at the Santiago Bernabeu in 22 years but have impressed so far this season under new coach Rubi.

Atletico Madrid's challenging start to LaLiga continues with a visit to Getafe, who currently sit two points above Simeone’s side. The Argentine coach’s record against Getafe as a manager is impressive, however - 11 wins, two draws and 13 clean sheets in 13 'derbi' meetings – and augurs well for Atleti.

The weekend action kicks off on Friday evening, when newboys Huesca welcome Real Sociedad to an El Alcoraz stadium which La Real last visited in 2010 when both teams were playing in LaLiga 1l2l3.

Saturday lunchtime sees Rayo Vallecano hosting Alaves in a LaLiga Santander fixture for the first time since 2002/03, when the two teams' coaches Michel and Abelardo Fernandez were still playing for their respective clubs.

It’s been five seasons since Celta Vigo and Real Valladolid last met in LaLiga, and both will hope that Saturday afternoon’s clash at Balaidos helps get their 2018/19 campaigns back on track.

Eibar at home to Leganes on Saturday afternoon brings together two clubs who previously met many times in the lower divisions and are now are shining examples of how traditionally smaller clubs can thrive in LaLiga’s top flight.

Sunday lunchtime sees two teams looking to return to winnings ways after difficult recent results, with Levante hosting Sevilla at the Ciutat de Valencia. Levante’s city rivals Valencia then travel to regional neighbours Villarreal, who have recently had the upper hand with five wins from their last six LaLiga meetings.

Two in-form sides then meet on Sunday evening, with upwardly mobile Real Betis and still unbeaten Athletic Club clashing at the Benito Villamarin.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: