LaLiga Santander Matchday 11 Preview: Atlético Madrid Visit Valencia CF With Sights On The Title

09/07/20. Girona FC 19/20 contra la UD Almería 19/20. Liga SmartBank Jornada 39

With several big games on the fixture list, Matchday 11 of the 2020/21 season could have long term significance in determining this season’s champion.

The weekend’s action kicks off on Friday night with a match between two clubs trending in opposite directions. Real Valladolid vs Levante UD is a clash between a Valladolid side who come into the encounter on the back of two consecutive wins and a Levante side that hasn’t won since Matchday 3. 

On Saturday, the first game of the day is a duel between two of this year’s newly promoted sides as Elche CF host Cádiz CF. Both their meetings last season in LaLiga SmartBank ended in goalless draws, but both teams have added fresh attacking talent since then with the likes of Tete Morente, Lucas Boyé and Álvaro Negredo, so goals can be expected this time around. 

At 4.15pm on Saturday afternoon, Valencia CF face Atlético Madrid in arguably the most intriguing fixture of the entire weekend. Atleti just defeated Barcelona last weekend to spark talk of a title push and they’ll look to lay down a marker when they visit Mestalla.

Other title challengers such as Real Madrid and Real Sociedad have suffered defeats against Valencia CF this season and Los Che always step it up for the biggest occasions. It won’t be easy, but to take three points from this one would be a statement win for Diego Simeone’s men.

SD Huesca vs Sevilla FC sees the home side searching for their first win of the campaign, as they’re the only team in the division yet to enjoy a victory.

The newly promoted side haven’t performed badly this season, though, picking up seven draws. Sevilla may be tired from their midweek exploits in Russia in securing Champions League last 16 qualification and, if the Oscenses smell blood, they’ll go for it. 

Last year’s champions Real Madrid conclude the Saturday schedule with their home match against D. Alavés. This could be a tricky game for Los Blancos, though, given that the Basque side are in their best run of form of the season and are unbeaten in their past four. 

Sunday’s schedule contains four fixtures and the first of them comes at the Camp Nou, where FC Barcelona host CA Osasuna. It was in this fixture that Barça’s title challenge fell apart last season with a 2-1 loss. It’s still very early in the campaign, but Ronald Koeman’s men won’t want another setback against the side from Pamplona. 

Two difficult-to-call fixtures follow on Sunday afternoon with Getafe CF vs Athletic Club and then RC Celta vs Granada CF. Athletic Club arrive full of momentum after a huge 4-0 victory over Real Betis this week, while Getafe CF are seeking their first win in five matches. 

Then, in the latter, all eyes will be on Eduardo Coudet as he has his first home game on the Celta bench. With his side bottom of the table, there’s plenty of motivation for the new coach. 

Another blockbuster battle comes up on Sunday night as Real Sociedad welcome Villarreal CF to the Reale Arena. These two teams are currently inside the top three and have each earned the right to be considered title challengers.

There’s an extra special element to this game as well when it comes to the dugouts, as coaches Imanol Alguacil and Unai Emery came through the Real Sociedad youth academy together three decades ago. They’ve gone on to achieve so much since then, and now lead two of the clubs that have been the most impressive through the first ten matchdays of the season. 

Matchday 11 then concludes on Monday with Real Betis vs SD Eibar. It’s a second Monday game in a row for Betis and they’ll be determined to avoid a repeat of the four-goal hammering they suffered in Bilbao last time out.

Eibar may relish the chance to play at the Benito Villamarín as so far this season they’ve been earning just 0.5 points per game at home, but 1.75 points per game away.

We’ll see on Monday if they can keep that trend going.