Spanish League Preview Week 15
The majority of this round’s big games in La Liga are on Sunday, with Barca’s game against Real closing the weekend ahead of Osasuna’s trip to Valencia on Monday, but there were some important results on Saturday too.
A 90th minute strike from Abin dealt a blow to Villarreal’s hopes of keeping up with the
leaders as they went down 1-0 to Getafe on Saturday evening , which opens up the chances for
Espanyol to go third ahead of next weekend’s derby if they can win Bilbao.
Meanwhile, Almeria’s shock 1-3 win in Seville puts the pressure on bottom club
Zaragoza, who receive Real Madrid, fellow strugglers Sporting and Levante who meet in Gijon, Malaga
and Hercules who play in Alicante and Racing who are away at Mallorca.
Seville’s woes continue
Seville’ s defeat to Almeria – a team who’d won just once on the
road so far this season- was their fourth defeat on the run and their third in their last three
home games and could see them drop into the bottom half of the table. Two goals from Piatti and one
from Vargas were enough to give Almeria the points, with a late Kanoute goal all that Seville could
offer. Villarreal also suffered a defeat when they lost 1-0 to Getafe, who move up to sixth, level
with Atletico Madrid, who beat Deportivo 2-0, on 23 points. It was an astonishing last minute win
for Michel’s team already down to 10 men after a red card for Diaz, before being followed by
Albin whose goalscoring celebrations earned him a second yellow.
Espanyol look to make top three spot
Villarreal’s defeat leaves them on 30 points with Espanyol just two behind ahead of
Sunday’s visit to San Mames. However, Pochettino will be without Javi Martinez and Baena for
the trip and given that the Basques are determined to bounce back after last week’s defeat at
Anoeta, and that Espanyol have not won at San Mames in the last 10 years, the Catalans are not
perhaps favourites to add to their two away wins so far this season. With Real facing a tough task
at the Nou Camp, Mallorca will be looking to jump up to fifth if they can get a big win against
Racing, a team who’ve taken just one point from their seven away games so far.
Tight in the relegation zone
Almeria’s win means that they are now level on 13 points with Malaga, who will be
hoping to build on last week‘s convincing win against Racing when they visit Hercules,
themselves in need of the points on 15. Levante are level on 14 points with Racing and although
they have won their last two home games, they’ve won just once away from home, but might
fancy their chances of doubling that record when they travel to next to bottom Sporting.