Tuesday, January 19

Spanish giants, Barcelona, Real Madrid, others in action as La Liga returns

Following three months without domestic top-flight football, La Liga returns this weekend with the division’s big three—Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid—all in action.

The league leaders Barca are the first team in action, taking to the field away at Real Mallorca in Saturday’s late kick-off.

With 11 games to play, the Catalan giants are two points clear at the top of the table, with their advantage having been cut before the lockdown with their 2-0 Clasico defeat by Real Madrid.

They’ll take encouragement from the fact that Mallorca have a miserable track record against Barca; they’re winless in their last nine league games against the leaders—drawing just one—and have conceded, on average, four per game in their last six defeats.

Expect goals aplenty when Barcelona return to action, even if Lionel Messi picked up an injury ahead of the comeback and has had to train alone at times this week in order to be fit for the restart.

Mallorca will surely be desperate for the Argentina superstar to miss out; he’s netted in each of his last six games against the islanders—11 goals in total including two hat-tricks—and the Vermilions will surely be relieved if he misses out!

<img class="aligncenter" src="data:;base64,” srcset=”https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=640 640w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=900 900w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1080 1080w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1408 1408w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1260 1260w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1b/c6/lionel-messi-barcelona-2019-20_1hk1ikv3y8hvx1k21medgohxdb.jpg?t=242816633&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1600 1600w” alt=”Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20″ width=”420″ height=”236″ />

However, on the other hand, this one may not be an entirely done deal.

Mallorca may be struggling, but Barca have already lost five away games in the top-flight so far this term—more than they’ve lost away from the Camp Nou in any season since the 2007-08 campaign.

Can Mallorca exploit these failings, or will Barcelona extend their advantage to five points before Real return to action?

On Sunday, both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are in action, away at Athletic Bilbao and at home against Eibar respectively.

Atleti, down in sixth, are in the midst of a season of transition, although they’ve only won 11 matches—leaving them 13 points off the pace—they’ve only lost four, demonstrating that the same resiliency and organisation that have been hallmarks of Diego Simeone’s tenure remain present.

Nonetheless, Atleti have a fight on their hands to return to the Champions League next term, and an away game in the Basque region to return to action represents a tough assignment.

<img class="aligncenter" src="data:;base64,” srcset=”https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=640 640w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=900 900w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1080 1080w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1408 1408w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1260 1260w, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/de/85/karim-benzema-real-madrid_uwr2vs9uevuo1t4bqw0e3em9c.jpg?t=-2141125400&amp;quality=60&amp;w=1600 1600w” alt=”Karim Benzema Real Madrid” width=”412″ height=”232″ />

Real are overwhelming favourites for the visit of relegation battlers Eibar.

They’ve lost just one of their top-flight matches against the strugglers—3-0 away last term—and they also have a superb record against Basque sides, losing just one of their last 36 against opponents from the area at the Bernabeu.

Eibar’s all-time La Liga record against Real doesn’t make for encouraging reading, as the minnows have conceded 29 and scored only seven across all of their matches against Los Merengues.

The strugglers will be particularly wary about France’s Karim Benzema, who has netted twice in each of his last two La Liga outings against Eibar.

In fact, he’s scored more braces against The Gunsmiths than against any other side, and Jose Luis Mendilibar will be desperate to keep the star striker at bay this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *