Things to watch on Matchday 29

The Clasico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona is the big game of the weekend in Spain in the last round of fixtures before the international break, but it’s not the only big game. Here are some things to watch for this weekend in Spain.

Can Barca keep improving?

Real Madrid have beaten Barca twice this season: 2-1 at Camp Nou with Ronald Koeman in charge and 3-2 in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia after Xavi Hernandez replaced the Dutchman.

Barça played much better in their second encounter, but were undone by Real Madrid’s efficiency at the break. Since then they have improved considerably with the arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore giving them more attacking options and although the 15-point gap between them and Real Madrid appears to be too wide. for a late title charge, three points on Sunday would confirm their progress under Xavi.

Chance for Real Madrid to confirm their dominance

With the title almost in the bag and two wins over their traditional rivals already this season, it looks like Real Madrid have more to lose than Barca, given that a loss won’t quite sap their title shot, but Carlo Ancelotti won’ I don’t want to see any slacking off from him.

Pride is the biggest stake for Real Madrid, the chance to beat their rivals for the third time this season and take an 18-point lead over them would bring Madrid’s dominance home this season, Xinhua reports.

There is a question mark over Karim Benzema’s fitness and it will be interesting to see if Barca have learned to manage Vinicius Jr’s pace during the break, but Madrid will consider themselves favourites.

Europe at stake in the Sanchez Pizjuan

Just before the Clasico kicks off, Sevilla host Real Sociedad at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. A win for Sevilla would reduce the gap to Real Madrid to seven points and perhaps put some pressure on Madrid and Barca (who are looking to finish second), but it would also strengthen Sevilla’s case for a return to the League. champions. season.

Sevilla must also react after Thursday’s painful Europa League exit to West Ham.

Real Sociedad are currently seventh and will miss captain Mikel Oyarzabal, who will be out for around nine months after suffering a knee injury on Wednesday. However, they also have to fix things in defense. ‘La Real’ have conceded eight goals in their last three away games, suffering heavy defeats against Real Madrid and Athletic Club Bilbao and with games against five of the six teams above them in the league by the end of the season, they’re going to need to tighten up at the back.

Huge game in Vitoria to avoid the fall

Although it won’t grab as many headlines as the Clasico, Saturday’s clash between Alaves and Granada is vital in the battle to avoid the drop. Granada travel north following Ruben Torecilla’s debut as first-team coach after Robert Moreno’s dismissal ended in a 1-0 home loss to Elche to extend their winless run to 10 games .

That leaves them on 25 points, three above Alaves, who are currently second from bottom after a narrow 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad a week ago.

A win for Granada would give them some breathing room, but if the home side can take all three points they will still have a chance of survival, although they will have to improve on their abysmal goalscoring record of just 21 goals all season to go. . this.

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