LaLiga Matchday 29: Barca gear up for Getafe clash
LaLiga leaders Barcelona can take another step closer to the title when they face Getafe on Sunday.
Chasers Real Madrid will be looking to avoid another slip-up at Cadiz after last weekend's home defeat to Villarreal.
Atletico Madrid are closing in on their city rivals and a home match against Almeria could provide a platform for Diego Simeone's men to leapfrog Los Blancos, should they stumble once again.
Champions League-chasing Real Sociedad meet Athletic Bilbao in a tantalising Basque derby, while relegation-threatened Valencia take on a Sevilla side that are not quite safe themselves.
Game of the weekend: Getafe vs Barcelona (Sunday, 3.15pm)
Barca boast a 13-point lead in the LaLiga title race going into the weekend but will be keen to avoid giving Real Madrid any further encouragement, after their 0-0 draw with Girona last time out.
The Blaugrana have been superb on their travels, though, winning 12 of their 14 away league games this term (two losses). Robert Lewandowski has been a key contributor to that record, having a direct hand in five of his side's last seven strikes on the road (three goals, two assists).
However, Getafe have won each of their last three on their own patch and are unbeaten in four, so are certainly no pushovers at home.
But Xavi's men boast an extraordinary defensive record, registering 21 clean sheets from 28 league outings — the joint-best record in the 21st century at this stage of a season across Europe's top five leagues.
Cadiz vs Real Madrid (Saturday, 8pm)
Real Madrid will be hoping to channel the momentum from Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Chelsea into their LaLiga clash at Cadiz.
Los Blancos have lost two of their last three in the league and will be keen to turn that form around. Cadiz, however, have lost just one of their previous six outings (two wins, three draws), so may prove stubborn opponents.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have hit the target with more shots than any other side in the division (173), while the Andalusians have registered the fewest (80).
Real’s Vinicius Junior is likely to add to that tally, given his stellar recent form. He has recorded two goals and two assists in his last four league games.
Atletico Madrid vs Almeria (Sunday, 5.30pm)
Atletico are unbeaten in 12 LaLiga outings (nine wins, three draws), having won all of their last five fixtures — so Simeone's charges will be in buoyant mood ahead of their match-up with Almeria.
The visitors, meanwhile, are winless in 20 top-flight away games (four draws, 16 defeats).
Antoine Griezmann's record against Sunday's opponents threatens to extend that run, after netting four times across his last two home meetings with them.
La Union may rely on Leo Baptistao, who has scored four times in 10 games against Atletico — his joint-highest tally against any team in the competition.
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Sociedad (Saturday, 3.15pm)
Athletic and Real Sociedad both come into this Basque derby in search of three points to bolster their respective European qualification bids.
The hosts are one place and five points off a Europa Conference League spot, while the visitors sit fourth — but Villarreal are just four points behind them.
Athletic's Inaki Williams has scored twice in his last two games and will hope to add to his record of five strikes against Sociedad in 16 LaLiga meetings.
La Real boast the division's joint-top assist provider in Mikel Merino (eight). The midfielder has the best positive difference between his expected assists total (2.9) and his actual total.
Valencia vs Sevilla (Sunday, 8pm)
Valencia are desperate for a victory, after their damaging defeat against Almeria last weekend saw them miss the chance to move out of the relegation zone.
However, they are winless in their previous eight meetings with Sunday's opponents Sevilla (three draws, five defeats).
Additionally, Los Nervionenses boss Jose Luis Mendilibar has lost just two of his last 11 league games against Valencia (six wins, three draws).
Los Che will need to be wary of the threat posed by Youssef En-Nesyri, who has netted seven times in his 10 most recent LaLiga outings.
And they will face a Sevilla team on a high, after coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in their Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie at Manchester United on Thursday night.
The weekend's other games
Rayo Vallecano vs Osasuna (Friday, 8pm)
Villarreal vs Real Valladolid (Saturday, 1pm)
Real Betis vs Espanyol (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Girona vs Elche (Sunday, 1pm)
Celta Vigo vs Mallorca (Monday, 8pm)
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