Saturday sees four La Liga games, including Real Madrid’s visit to Donostia to take on newly promoted Real Sociedad, whilst early pace setters Valencia look to defend their 100% record so far this season when they visit Hercules on Sunday.
Real Sociedad are unbeaten on their return to the top flight this season, but Saturday’s
game against Real Madrid is sure to be their hardest test yet. Xavi Alonso will make his return to
the club where he made his name and Mourinho can call on the same squad he used midweek against
Ajax, plus the returning Sergio Ramos. With just one goal in the two league games this season,
Madrid are hardly setting the world on fire and Mouribho warned: “Real Sociedad are a well
organised team who defend with all 11 players and then hit you on the break. This will be our
hardest game of the season so far”.
Valencia out to make it three out of three
Valencia travel to Alicante to take on Hercules who are still euphoric after last week’s result at the Nou Camp. Striker Juan Mata reckons: “winning 0-1 would do us just fine”, though Valencia have thumped in seven goals in their two away games this season. Third place Seville are also unbeaten in the league so far, with a win away to Levante and a goalless draw at home to Deportivo, and they visit Malaga on Sunday. Ferreira’s team hit five against Zaragoza last week, but the Malaga boss still reckons Seville are favourites to take the points despite losing Jesus Navas for the game after the World Cup winner picked up a ligament injury midweek.
Espanyol look to bounce back
Deportivo and Almeria are the other two unbeaten teams in La Liga. The Galicians, who’ve yet to score this season, are up against Getafe on Monday and Almeria away to Espanyol in Saturday’s opening game of the weekend. Espanyol made an encouraging start to the campaign with a 3-1 home win, but were drubbed 4-0 by Villarreal last week and boss Pochettino has admitted: “we have to work on our defence”, whilst insisting: “they are still young, but are capable of doing well, no problem”.
Stats against Sporting
Wednesday’s visitors to the Nou Camp, Sporting Gijon, are at home to Bilbao on Saturday and although their win over Mallorca last weekend will have given them a boost, the stats are against the Gijon team who’ve failed to beat Bilbao on any of their last eight visits to El Molinon. In the weekend’s other games, Levante and Racing will both be looking for their first points as they entertain Villarreal and Zaragoza respectively, whilst Mallorca travel to Pamplona where both teams are after their first win of the campaign.