Malaga and Betis will be looking to keep up a head of steam in their push for Europe while at the other end of the table Espanyol need something special in their visit to Real Madrid
There are four matches on Saturday of which the Andalus derby between Sevilla and Malaga will probably attract the most interest. Malaga is currently 4th in the table, seven points adrift of Real Madrid in 3rd, and with Betis, Levante and Getafe all within a point or two, Malaga boss Pellegrini will be looking for an away win to keep the chasing pack at bay.
Managers under pressure
It’s a similar story for Getafe manager Luis Garcia. His side is at home to a struggling Osasuna and will probably finish the weekend in the top six if they take the three points. In contrast, another defeat for Osasuna may see them slip into the bottom three.
Mallorca could also find themselves in the relegation zone going into the Christmas break unless they can turn around a disastrous run of form which culminated in midweek with a 0-5 thrashing in the Cup against Sevilla. However, visitors Athletic have problems of their own and it’s certain to be a nervous encounter for under-fire managers Joaquin Caparrós and Marcelo Bielsa. In the evening’s other match, Granada play host to Real Sociedad.
New managers in action
There is no doubt what the match of the day is on Sunday but there’s plenty of action earlier on as Zaragoza take on Levante and former Barça star Ernesto Valverde takes charge for his first home game as Valencia manager. Visitors Rayo have never won in the Mestalla.
Espanyol have had a torrid season so far and a visit to Real Madrid can’t be a pleasant prospect. However, recently appointed manager Javier Aguirre has a good record in the Bernabeu and could well take advantage of the nerves in the Madrid camp to pull off a surprise.
Finally, on Monday evening, there are two matches, with Deportivo – joint bottom on 11 points with Espanyol – desperate to put in a good showing against Valladolid, while Celta will be hoping to repeat their midweek Cup win against Real Madrid when they welcome Betis to Vigo.