It’s all quite tight at the top of the La Liga table. However, Real Madrid will be in a buoyant mood after seeing off their El Clasico rivals Barcelona at the Nou Camp in their last outing. In this preview, we will discuss two clashes – Elche v Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid v Real Betis. We will also see how the match odds are looking.
Real Madrid pile the pressure as Ronald Koeman is sacked
Barcelona crashed to their second La Liga defeat last weekend, as Real Madrid claimed a 2-1 victory. David Alaba’s strike was the pick of the goals, as he dispatched a thunderbolt of a strike past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Lucas Vazquez netted in stoppage time to seal the points, and although Sergio Aguero pulled one back for the hosts, it was a mere consolation.
Real didn’t even have to be at their best to claim all the three points, however, it is usually the hallmark of the champions that a side can come through a stiff test with flying colours. Los Blancos have now won four Clasicos for the first time since they managed seven in a row in the 1960s.
Luka Modric racks up special milestone for Real Madrid
The El Clasico victory was sweet for so many reasons, and in particular, it was for Luka Modric, who racked up his 400th appearance for the Spanish giants. Reflecting on the milestone, the Croatian playmaker said: “I’m very happy and very proud. I hope to keep playing more games.” Modric would love to add to his tally against Elche.
Real Madrid dealt Fede Valverde blow after El Clasico win
Unfortunately for Real, there were a couple of injuries picked up in the El Clasico victory. The most serious of which was to Fede Valverde, who sprained a ligament in his left knee while contesting a high ball with Gerard Pique. Valverde could be out for a couple of weeks, and it’s far from ideal timing for Carlo Ancelotti.
Elche v Real Madrid: Unlocking the vault on past clashes
Real Madrid have generally travelled well, especially against Elche. Although Los Blancos were held to a 1-1 draw away to Elche last season, they have been prolific this campaign, racking up 24 goals at the time of writing. If Elche aren’t careful, they could be put to the sword.
Atletico Madrid still in title mix despite more dropped points
Atletico Madrid have become the hunted this season, and in recent weeks, it seems like the pressure has been getting to them. One win in their past four La Liga outings is hardly the stuff of champions, but Diego Simeone’s men are still in the mix for the title, as they are fourth in the table, three points adrift of pacesetters Real Sociedad.
At the time of writing, Atletico were preparing for a trip to face Levante. However, they will be hoping they remember the lessons learnt in their 2-2 draw to Sociedad last weekend. Sociedad surged to a two-goal lead, and Atletico had to rely on Luis Suarez to pull themselves out of a hole.
Of course, goals from Suarez are crucial, but Atletico need help from other areas of the pitch. Unfortunately, ahead of their trip to Levante, the reigning La Liga champions were missing Geoffrey Kondogbia, along with Marcos Llorente and Thomas Lemar. However, Stefan Savic has returned to training, and he could return to the fold soon.
Atletico Madrid v Real Betis: A look back on past encounters
Atletico Madrid will relish hosting Real Betis, with whom they have a favourable head-to-head record. Last season, Atletico ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Real Betis, with Llorente and Suarez grabbing the goals. Simeone has been trying to implement a new fluid attacking style, and he will be hoping it comes to fruition against Betis.
However, Betis have already shown they won’t just go quietly. Going into Sunday’s clash, they are currently fifth in the table, and they will give Atletico Madrid plenty of food for thought. Manuel Pellegrini has made Betis easy on the eye, and of Spain’s top four this season, only Real Madrid and Sevilla have scored more times than Betis (15).
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