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LaLiga Preview: Barcelona And Atlético Madrid Face Off in a Huge Top-of-The-Table Clash
- LaLaiga EA Sports matchday 15 returns this weekend at the various league centres
- Barcelona will welcome Atletico Madrid in a cagey encounter on Sunday evening
- Sports Brief previews all the matches coming up this weekend
Matchday 15 of the 2023/24 LaLiga EA Sports season could prove to be a decisive one in the title race, as two of the main contenders for the championship will face off on Sunday night, with FC Barcelona hosting Atlético de Madrid at the Estadi Olímpic.
That blockbuster match will be watched around the world, while there are several other attractive fixtures on the schedule too.
Las Palmas vs Getafe
One of those is UD Las Palmas vs Getafe CF, a contest between two teams that have different but effective styles.
While the islanders opt for a more possession-based approach and Getafe CF are known for their ability to get the ball to Borja Mayoral quickly, both these teams have been picking up positive results of late, making their Friday night duel a fascinating one.
Girona host Valencia
Four games will follow on Saturday and the first is at the Estadi Montilivi, where Girona FC will look to get back to winning ways against Valencia CF.
Although their five-match win streak ended with a draw against Athletic Club on Monday night, Girona FC remain joint-top of the table and are still scoring goals for fun.
Atletic Club welcome Rayo Vallecano
Later on Saturday afternoon, Athletic Club will look to build on last matchday’s positive result when they take on Rayo Vallecano at home.
The fans in Bilbao will remember how much fun this duel was last year, when the Basques edged a thriller against the team from Vallecas 3-2 at San Mamés.
Real Madrid aim to continue winning ways
At 18:30 CET on Saturday, new Granada CF coach Alexander Medina makes his debut in charge of the Andalusian outfit and he does so at the Bernabéu, kicking off his tenure with an away game at Real Madrid. That is certainly a tough way to start, but the LaLiga Hypermotion will travel to the capital city full of determination.
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Osasuna chase first win
On Saturday night, CA Osasuna will aim to secure what would be their first win against Real Sociedad since 2012.
Even though both these sides have been performing well in recent seasons, their head-to-head meetings have gone the way of Real Sociedad, with La Real having won each of the past five without even conceding. The fans at El Sadar will hope that changes this matchday.
Mallorca lock horns against Alaves
Sunday’s action begins in the Balearic Islands, where RCD Mallorca face Deportivo Alavés.
This will be a special game for the visiting coach Luis García Plaza, as he returns to take on the team he led to promotion back in 2021.
The Andalusian derby
An Andalusian derby follows, as UD Almería host Real Betis.
These two teams are in very contrasting periods of form, as the home side remain bottom of the table and still chasing their first win, while Real Betis haven’t lost any of their past nine in LALIGA EA SPORTS, inspired by Isco’s brilliant start to the season.
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Sevilla FC vs Villarreal CF follows, as Marcelino, the new coach of El Submarino Amarillo, returns to one of his former clubs. With Sevilla FC suffering a few suspensions and injuries, particularly in defence, Villarreal CF will hope to capitalise and José Luis Morales will look to build on the hat-trick he scored last weekend.
Barcelona host Atletico Madrid
Then, at 21:00 CET on Sunday night, it’s time for FC Barcelona vs Atlético de Madrid, one of the most important fixtures of the season. These two teams enter this matchday tied in third place on 31 points, although Atleti do have a game in hand.
The stakes could hardly be higher, while all eyes will be on João Félix and Antoine Griezmann as they lead their current attacking lines against the clubs they represented not so long ago.
It could also be a big night for Diego Simeone, who has never won an away match against Barça during his 12 years coaching Atleti, but who will look to do so for the first time at the Estadi Olímpic.
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The final game of Matchday 15 follows on Monday night, as RC Celta face off against Cádiz CF. With both these teams firmly in the relegation battle, this is an important six-pointer and one well worth tuning in to.