LaLiga Matchday 3: Atleti and Sevilla out to maintain perfect starts
LaLiga enters the third weekend of the season with only Atletico Madrid and Sevilla maintaining perfect records so far.
They will both look to continue that against Elche and Villarreal, as Real Madrid and Barcelona try not to drop any more early points.
Mallorca vs Espanyol (Friday 7pm)
After earning promotion back to LaLiga at the first time of asking, Mallorca have impressed with four points from their opening two games.
And Luis Garcia’s men will hope Los Piratas’ strong home record against Espanyol means they can continue that at the Visit Mallorca Estadi.
They have won 18 of their 26 home games against the side from Barcelona, though their three defeats have all come in the past six clashes on the Balearic Island.
Espanyol make the trip after following up a woeful end to last season with a similarly bleak start to this one.
Though back-to-back goalless draws does not sound too bad, it means they have not scored in seven LaLiga games nor tasted victory in 12.
Friday's other game
Valencia vs Alavas (9.15pm)
Elche vs Sevilla (Saturday, 6.30pm)
Sevilla head to Elche knowing a third consecutive victory will give them their best start to a La Liga campaign since 2005.
That was the last year they finished in the top three and with Barcelona and Real Madrid weaker than in previous campaigns, Julen Lopetegui will be hoping that they can replicate that this season.
They have won seven and draw two of their past 11 LaLiga away games, though one of those defeats was a 2-1 reverse at Elche in March.
Elche followed up a creditable 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao on the opening weekend with a narrow 1-0 defeat to champions Atletico on Matchday 2.
Their lack of goals may worry boss Fran Escriba — it is the first time they have failed to net in the first two games since the 1988-89 season.
Real Betis vs Real Madrid (Saturday, 9pm)
Free-scoring Real Madrid head to Real Betis looking to put last week’s topsy-turvy draw at Levante behind them.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real drew 3-3 at the Estadio Ciudad de Valencia, making it seven goals in two games to start to the campaign.
Their unbeaten run now stands at 20 games, with Betis’ 13-game run the second best in LaLiga currently.
Los Blancos have only managed one win in their past five games against Los Verdiblancos, though the form of Vinicius Junior could see that change.
The young Brazilian has scored three in two games — the best goalscoring start to a season by a Madrid player since Cristiano Ronaldo 10 years ago.
Saturday's other games
Celta Vigo vs Athletic Bilbao (4pm)
Real Sociedad vs Levante (6.30pm)
Barcelona vs Getafe (Sunday, 4pm)
Getafe travel to Barcelona still looking for their first points of the LaLiga campaign.
One of only three sides to lose their first two games, they have never won at Camp Nou in 16 attempts, losing 12 of those clashes.
Despite all their off-field troubles and losing Lionel Messi in the summer, Ronald Koeman has overseen a decent start to Barca’s season.
A 1-1 draw at Athletic Club followed a resounded 4-2 success against Real Sociedad and the form of Memphis Depay has been key.
Depay notched an assist in the opening day victory before netting the equaliser in the Basque Country and could become the first Barca player since Cesc Fabregas in 2011 to be involved in a goal in his first three LaLiga appearances.
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal (Sunday, 9pm)
Champions Atletico Madrid have made the perfect start to their title defence but face the toughest test yet against Europa League winners Villarreal.
Though they have not lost in six games against The Yellow Submarine, who are yet to taste victory in LaLiga in 2021-20.
Unai Emery has seen his side play out goalless draws with Espanyol and Granada — the last time they failed to score in their opening three games was back in 2006.
It will be another tight affair at the Wanda Metropolitano too, with Atleti winning each of their past five LaLiga games by a single goal.
And if Angel Correa nets for a third successive game, he will be the first Atleti player since Fernando Torres 17 years ago to achieve that feat at the start of a campaign.
Sunday's other games
Cadiz vs Osasuna (6.30pm)
Rayo Vallecano vs Granada (6.30pm)