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Karim Benzema has started the season in impressive form, scoring twice and assisting a further three goals for Real Madrid
Karim Benzema has started the season in impressive form, scoring twice and assisting a further three goals for Real Madrid

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There will be a reduced schedule in LaLiga for Matchday 4, with Sevilla vs Barcelona and Villarreal vs Alaves both postponed due to the extended South American international break.

But that still leaves eight games and early table-toppers Real Madrid can extend their lead when they welcome Celta Vigo to the Bernabeu on Sunday night. 

Real’s rivals — reigning champions Atletico Madrid — travel to Espanyol.

Meanwhile, down at the bottom, Getafe will hope to put their first points on the board as they host Elche on Monday evening.

Athletic Bilbao vs Mallorca (Saturday, 8pm)

Athletic Bilbao go in search of a first home win of 2021-22 against fellow unbeaten side Mallorca, who have made an encouraging start to life back in LaLiga.

After draws against Elche and Barcelona, the hosts won 1-0 away to Celta Vigo last time out. 

Should they get the better of Mallorca at San Mames, they will record consecutive league victories for the first time since July 2020.

Having been relegated from the top flight in 2019-20, the visitors bounced back at the first time of asking by finishing second in the Segunda Division last term. 

Luis Garcia’s side backed up a 1-1 draw against Real Betis on the opening day, with 1-0 triumphs over Alaves and Espanyol following.

The omens are good for Athletic though — boss Marcelino Garcia Toral has never lost a home match to Mallorca in LaLiga as a manager, picking up three wins and a draw to date.

Saturday’s other game

Levante vs Rayo Vallecano (5.30pm)

Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid (Sunday, 1pm)

Atletico Madrid's famously miserly defence has been breached in two of their three LaLiga fixtures in 2021-22
Atletico Madrid's famously miserly defence has been breached in two of their three LaLiga fixtures in 2021-22

Espanyol face champions Atletico Madrid at the RCDE Stadium as they chase a first victory — and goal — of the season.

Atleti have opened up with two wins and a draw, although their uncharacteristic leakiness continues — Diego Simeone’s men have kept just one clean sheet in their past six LaLiga games, drawing 2-2 with Villarreal on Matchday 3.

Should they fail to find the back of the net here, Espanyol will set an unwanted record for the longest run without scoring in LaLiga history (nine matches). 

With that said, they have conceded just one goal so far — giving them the joint best defensive record in the division.

It is bound to be a tough test for the Periquitos but they can take heart from the fact that Atleti have failed to win on their last three trips to the white and blue half of Barcelona.

Osasuna vs Valencia (Sunday, 3.15pm)

Valencia's Carlos Soler has already created nine chances and three big chances this season
Valencia's Carlos Soler has already created nine chances and three big chances this season

Osasuna and Valencia meet at the Estadio El Sadar looking to preserve unbeaten starts to the campaign.

Both sides were on the scoresheet three times in their last game before the international break as the hosts came from behind to secure a 3-2 win away to Cadiz in stoppage time, while the visitors cruised past struggling Alaves 3-0.

Despite collecting seven points so far with a solid record of five goals scored and only one conceded, Valencia are still without an away win in 11 attempts — a run stretching back to January.

That could be good news for Osasuna, who have drawn a blank in each of their last three home outings.

Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo (Sunday, 8pm)

Celta Vigo's visit on Sunday night marks Real Madrid’s return to the Bernabeu, which continues to undergo renovations.

Not that Real seemed particularly affected by having to play their first three games of 2021-22 on the road, winning two and drawing one under the returning Carlo Ancelotti, as they chase a 35th LaLiga title.

The visitors have lost two and drawn one so far, although they did cause an upset last time they picked up three points — a 2-1 away win at Barcelona in the penultimate game of last season.

Eduardo Coudet’s team will have to sharpen up in the final third if they are to spring another surprise though, after failing to muster a shot on target in either of their last two matches.

No LaLiga player has scored more than Vinicius Junior's three goals this term
No LaLiga player has scored more than Vinicius Junior's three goals this term

Sunday’s other game

Cadiz vs Real Sociedad (5.30pm)

Getafe vs Elche (Monday, 7pm)

Getafe and Elche have collected only two points between them so far this season — both of which belong to the visitors, who drew 1-1 with Sevilla last time out.

The hosts’ three defeats have all been by a single goal, with the most recent a 2-1 loss to Barcelona at Camp Nou. They have never lost four in a row at the start of a top-flight campaign.

Elche have not had much joy on their travels of late, winning just one of their last 18 LaLiga away games — a 3-1 victory over Cadiz in May.

This contest could feature something of a clash of styles, with Getafe committing 55 fouls so far in 2021-22. That is more than any other side apart from Valencia, while Elche have given away the joint-lowest (29) in the division.

Monday’s other game

Granada vs Real Betis (9pm)

Tags

LaLigaReal MadridCelta VigoAthletic BilbaoMallorcaEspanyolAtletico MadridOsasunaValenciaGetafeElche

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