A busy December of LaLiga Santander football lies ahead and it kicks off with several intriguing fixtures in Matchday 12.
San Mamés in Bilbao hosts the first match of the weekend as Athletic Club welcome Celta Vigo to the Basque Country on Friday night. This will be a big test for new Celta Vigo coach Eduardo Coudet, who just won his first match since arriving in Galicia.
The Argentine is making small tweaks and looking to get the best out of Iago Aspas, who has five goals against Athletic Club across the past four seasons.
Saturday’s action then begins with a match that is so important for Levante UD and Getafe CF, as the former haven’t won since 27 September and the latter since 17 October. Both coaches know that a three-point haul is needed soon and there could be a cup tie feeling as they battle it out at the beautiful Estadi Ciutat de València.
Then, at 4:15pm, comes the huge fixture of Matchday 12. It’s Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid in the Andalusian capital, it’s fifth vs fourth, it’s Julen Lopetegui vs Zinedine Zidane and it’s one team in good form against a team in poor form.
Recent results have seen pressure mount at Real Madrid, who have won fewer than half their matches across all competitions in 2020/21 with seven wins from 15 games. Los Blancos won both meetings against Sevilla FC last season and would love for another victory on Saturday afternoon.
Atlético Madrid and Real Valladolid’s meeting in Spain’s capital follows as Atleti look for a victory that would – at least temporarily – put them top of the league table. With Real Valladolid unbeaten in their past three, it promises to be a very competitive match.
Saturday’s LaLiga Santander action then concludes with a Spanish football fixture of yesteryear, one that hasn’t been seen in a decade and a half.
Not since 2005 have FC Barcelona visited Cádiz CF’s Estadio Ramón de Carranza. Lionel Messi played in that 3-1 Blaugrana win, which was just his 16th LaLiga Santander match. This Saturday’s game will be his 495th and he’ll hope for another win.
On Sunday, SD Huesca’s quest for their first victory of the season will continue away at Granada CF. The 2019/20 LaLiga SmartBank champions haven’t been terrible since winning promotion, as they’ve collected seven points via their league-leading seven draws. But, everyone at the club knows that a win is overdue and they’ll encounter a Granada CF side suffering a mini slump in form.
CA Osasuna vs Real Betis follows and it’s a match that promises goals. So far this season, Real Betis matches have produced 3.18 goals per game on average, which is the most in all of LaLiga Santander.
Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini and his players, the goals have been falling for the opposition in recent weeks. It’s three defeats in a row for Los Verdiblancos and CA Osasuna will hope to make it four from four.
Two regional derbies then round off the Sunday slate of fixtures, both of which will use the special PUMA Adrenalina football.
First off, Villarreal CF will welcome Elche CF from the other end of the Valencian Community for a colourful duel between the Yellow Submarine and the Green Stripes. Elche CF keep good memories from Vila-Real with a couple of promotions in the last seven years, and want to add another successful chapter.
Later, in the Sunday night match, in-form Deportivo Alavés host league leaders Real Sociedad for a clash that will feature technical skill in addition to the grit usually associated with Basque derbies.
There’s then one more game in Matchday 12 as SD Eibar face one of their favourite victims. Over their past eight meetings against Valencia CF, SD Eibar have won five, drawn two and lost just one.
With Valencia CF struggling to start 2020/21 and with several of their starters missing for this match at Ipurua, Los Armeros might finally secure their first home win of this season. Like the other nine matches of this weekend, that should be well worth tuning in for.