LaLiga Matchday 25: Table-toppers Real look to extend lead over Sevilla
LiveScore are the exclusive global sponsors of LaLiga's Replay 360° technology.
The title race is still alive in LaLiga and Real Madrid will be aiming to stay at least four points clear at the top when they host Alaves this weekend.
Challengers Sevilla then head to Espanyol on Sunday before the Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad gets underway later that evening.
Elsewhere on Matchday 25, Valencia entertain top-four hopefuls Barcelona and reigning champions Atletico Madrid travel to Osasuna.
Game of the week: Real Madrid vs Alaves (Saturday, 8pm)
Real have been inconsistent since Christmas but the advantage is still theirs in the title race — and they ought to be confident of a ninth home win of the season against struggling Alaves.
It has now been more than a year since Los Blancos lost a league game at the Bernabeu. But they have dropped points in two of their last four such matches, drawing 0-0 with Cadiz and then 2-2 with Elche.
As for Alaves — who sit four points from safety in 18th — their 2-1 victory over Valencia on Matchday 24 ended a run of 11 matches without a LaLiga win. Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side have lost their last five on the road, though.
When these teams met in the reverse fixture on the campaign's opening day, Real ran out 4-1 winners with Karim Benzema bagging a brace.
Here are the other big games to watch this weekend…
Valencia vs Barcelona (Sunday, 3.15pm)
Barcelona left it late to salvage a 2-2 draw against Espanyol in their last LaLiga outing, so Xavi will want to see more from his players as they make the trip south to out-of-form Valencia.
Luuk de Jong’s 96th-minute equaliser stretched Barca’s unbeaten run to eight top-flight games — and the Blaugrana have also gone eight without defeat on their travels, having lost two of their first four away fixtures this season.
The hosts have lost four of their six matches in the competition since the winter break, with their last league victory coming in a thrilling 4-3 win away to local rivals Levante in December. That said, Jose Bordalas’ side have only tasted defeat twice at the Mestalla this term.
Jose Gaya gave Valencia an early lead when they last played Barca in October before the Catalans came back to win the match 3-1.
Espanyol vs Sevilla (Sunday, 1pm)
Victory for Sevilla could see them close the gap on Real to a single point, while Espanyol are still searching for their first win of 2022 after heartbreak against Barca last weekend.
Following three successive draws, Sevilla beat Elche 2-0 last Friday to get back on track in the title race. Julen Lopetegui’s outfit make the long journey to Catalonia with the league’s best away defensive record, having conceded just six goals on the road.
Prior to that draw with Barca, the hosts had lost their last two home games — 2-1 to Elche and 4-1 to Real Betis.
But they might draw inspiration from their pre-Christmas home form, when they went on a seven-match unbeaten run that included six wins.
These two last faced off in September, with Sevilla winning 2-0 despite Thomas Delaney receiving a red card midway through the second half.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad (Sunday, 8pm)
Athletic are looking to move within a point of rivals Sociedad in the battle for European qualification when they meet in a tasty encounter on Sunday night.
The hosts will also want to bounce back from their 3-2 loss at Mallorca on Monday, which was the club's first league defeat since the turn of the year.
This could be another closely contested affair though, with all but one of their home games so far this term ending in a draw or being won by a single-goal margin either way.
The visitors could also contribute to a tight encounter, having not conceded in any of their last four LaLiga outings, while scoring only three goals themselves. However, they have won on three of their previous four visits to San Mames.
There was a dramatic finish when the sides met on Halloween, with Iker Muniain’s stoppage-time free-kick salvaging a point for Athletic — who had gone down to 10 men just seven minutes earlier.
Osasuna vs Atletico Madrid (Saturday, 3.15pm)
Champions League-chasing Atleti have won their previous seven league meetings with Osasuna — but the side from Pamplona are in good form after picking up three wins from their last five matches.
However, the hosts do have one of the division’s worst home records, having secured only two victories and 12 points from a possible 36 on their own patch.
Atleti have been in miserable form away from home in the league recently too though, losing four of their last five and not winning on the road since late November.
Not that the reigning champions have enjoyed a great campaign in general, with Wednesday’s shock 1-0 home loss to Levante the latest disappointment.
It took an 87th-minute winner from Felipe for Diego Simeone’s men to secure three points when these teams met earlier in the season.
The weekend’s other games
Elche vs Rayo Vallecano (Friday, 8pm)
Granada vs Villarreal (Saturday, 1pm)
Cadiz vs Getafe (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Real Betis vs Mallorca (Sunday, 5.30pm)
Celta Vigo vs Levante (Monday, 8pm)
Follow each game with our unbeatable live scores service. Simply tap the Scores tab on the web or download the LiveScore app from the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android.