Home Events La Liga preview, 1-4 February 2019

La Liga preview, 1-4 February 2019

Round 22 of the 2018/19 La Liga season will see Barcelona having the chance to put pressure on nearest chasers Atletico Madrid, though they face a potentially tricky opponent in Europe-chasing Valencia.

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For the past several rounds of the Spanish top flight, Barca have had to play catch-up, responding to an earlier result from Atletico. This past weekend for example, Ernesto Valverde’s side had their lead cut to two points when Los Rojiblancos won at home to Getafe on the Saturday, only for the buffer to be restored on Sunday with Barca’s 2-0 win at Girona.

This time around the Blaugrana have the chance to stretch their lead out to eight points almost a full day before Atletico will be able to respond, yet Valencia will not be easy prey, even at the Camp Nou. Los Che have lost just one of their last seven La Liga matches and put together an impressive 3-0 home over Villarreal last weekend which featured goals from MouctarDiaby, Denis Cheryshev and Rodrigo.

Marcelino’s side are on the rise after a difficult first half of the season and now find themselves just two points short of the Europa League qualifying berth. They would love nothing more than the chance to put a spanner in the works as far as Barca’s title push in concerned, and they’ll also have the benefit of an extra day’s rest from their Copa del Rey midweek commitments.

Atletico Madrid’s ‘response’ match on Sunday is also a tricky one, as they travel to the Estadio Bonito Villamarin to face Real Betis. Yet Diego Simeone will be able to call on a new reinforcement up front, with Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata having joined on loan for the rest of the season. The ex-Real Madrid man will hope to make his La Liga debut for Atletico when they take on Los Verdiblancos.

Real Madrid will be involved in one of the round’s more intriguing clashes as they host Deportivo Alaves in the late game on Sunday night. Alaves have been one of the surprise packages of the La Liga season thus far, punching well above their weight to be placed in fifth position. There was a time a few weeks ago when they were dreaming of Champions League qualification, and a win at the Bernabeu could revive those hopes.

Coach Abelardo Fernandez led his side to a 1-0 home win over Real when the teams last met back in October and a ‘double’ over Los Blancos would be a sweet achievement for the former Barcelona defender.

Other key games in round 21 of La Liga include relegation battles such as Rayo Vallecano v Leganes and Villarreal v Espanyol, and the Basque derby which sees Real Sociedad host Athletic Bilbao at 
Estadio Municipal de Anoeta on Saturday evening.

Key match stats

Barcelona v Valencia – Head-to-head, all competitions

Matches played 59

Barcelona wins 31

Valencia wins 12

Draws 16

Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves – Head-to-head, all competitions

Matches played 17

Real wins 13

Alaves wins 2

Draws 2

Real Betis v Atletico Madrid – Head-to-head, all competitions

Matches played 44

Betis wins 11

Atletico wins 20

Draws 13

La Liga fixtures, 1-4 February

All times CAT

Friday 1 February

22:00: Huesca v Real ValladolidLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

Saturday 2 February

14:00: Levante v GetafeLIVE on SS7/SS10, Max2/Max360&SelGo2/SelGo4

17:15: Real Sociedad v Athletic BilbaoLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

19:30: Barcelona v ValenciaLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

21:45: Eibar v GironaLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

Sunday 3 February

13:00: Villarreal v EspanyolLIVE on SS7/SS10, Max2/Max360 & SelGo2/SelGo4

17:15: Real Betis v Atletico MadridLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

19:30: Celta de Vigo v SevillaLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

21:45: Real Madrid v Deportivo AlavesLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

Monday 4 February

22:00: Rayo Vallecano v LeganesLIVE on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

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