Surprise LaLiga Leaders Granada & Betis Face Tests As Barça & Atletico Return To Action

Early LaLiga Santander leaders Granada and Real Betis are out to continue their 100% records this weekend, while Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid, Sevilla and newboys Elche all return to action.

The staggered start to the 2020/21 LaLiga season has given an unfamiliar look to the early standings, but the table will soon start to take shape with all teams playing three games over the next 10 days.

Saturday evening sees a cracker at the Benito Villamarin, where new Real Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini will welcome his old club Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane’s side began the defence of their LaLiga title with a 0-0 draw at Real Sociedad last Saturday and have only taken one point from their last three LaLiga games against los verdiblancos.

Sunday afternoon at the Wanda Metropolitano sees Atletico de Madrid getting their 2020/21 LaLiga campaign up and running against Granada CF. The Andalusians last won this fixture came back in 1959, but Diego Martinez’s side keep improving and making history year after year.

Later that evening, new FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman takes charge of the team where he won four LaLiga titles in the 1990s for the first time. The visitors to the Camp Nou are Villarreal CF, whose own new coach Unai Emery has guided his team to four points from their first two games, with Spain international forward Gerard Moreno in flying form.

SD Eibar at home to Athletic Club is a Basque derby between two sides yet to pick up their first LaLiga victory of the campaign. The close links across the teams include coaches Jose Luis Mendilibar and Gaizka Garitano respectively having both played and managed for both teams.

Saturday’s action starts with Deportivo Alaves at home to Getafe CF. The home side’s new coach Pablo Machin needs to start getting his ideas across quickly to his players, while Pepe Bordalas’ visitors began their campaign in familiar fashion with a 1-0 victory over Osasuna last weekend.

Valencia CF and SD Huesca have only met twice at LaLiga Santander level, with their second meeting in May 2019 bringing a 6-2 victory for Los Che. Their newly promoted rivals will be hoping for revenge when Valencia visit El Alcoraz on Saturday afternoon.

Elche CF kick off their 22nd LaLiga Santander campaign on Saturday evening. New coach Jorge Almiron’s first opponents are Real Sociedad, who have not won at the Estadio Martinez Valero since 2009.

Sunday’s programme starts with CA Osasuna at home to Levante UD. Goals could be plentiful as Levante have conceded at least two goals in their last three away matches in LaLiga, while Osasuna have hit four in this fixture twice in recent years.

Real Valladolid hosting RC Celta on Sunday might be a tighter affair as both LaLiga Santander meetings last season finished goalless, although the previous season brought a 3-3 draw.

Monday’s game should be a special Andalusian derby as newly promoted Cadiz CF host neighbours Sevilla FC for the first time in 14 seasons. The game will be extra special for Sevilla sporting director Monchi, who was born in Cadiz, as well as the home team’s centre-forward Alvaro Negredo, who spent four seasons at Sevilla earlier in his career.

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on Super Sports on DSTV and GOtv.