La Liga 05/06/03/2022: Real Madrid entertain Real Sociedad, Real Betis host Atletico Madrid
While there weren’t many shock results to speak of in the last round of La Liga fixtures, things are hotting up in the battle for the top four. The title race isn’t done and dusted either. Check out our previews below of Real Madrid v Real Sociedad on Saturday, while the following day, Atletico Madrid travel to Real Betis.
Real Madrid ticking off the games in title pursuit
As we fast approach the final run of games, Real Madrid have to just take each match one at a time, and not look too far ahead. And as long as they keep picking up three points, they won’t mind if they are not at their absolute best. This was evident against Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
Vallecano gave an excellent account of themselves. However, a late Karim Benzema winner settled the game in Real’s favour, and they are now six points clear at the top of the table. It was disappointing for Vallecano, who are still winless in Spain’s top flight in 2022, In fact, they have tasted defeat in their last five La Liga outings on the trot.
Real Madrid facing critical week in their season
As we head into March, and with spring getting closer, games take on increasing importance. And for Los Blancos, the upcoming match against Real Sociedad, as well as the second leg of a Round of 16 Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain, are both crucial fixtures. The stakes couldn’t be much higher!
Real Sociedad back on track after Osasuna win
After a recent wobble in Europe and La Liga, Real Sociedad got back on track last weekend with a 1-0 win over Osasuna. They will be looking to at least get a Europa League berth as they are just a point behind Villarreal, who are sixth. A Champions League spot isn’t out of the question as they’re just four points adrift of the top four.
Real Madrid v Real Sociedad: A look back on past encounters
Real Sociedad have generally found things quite tough against Real Madrid. When the two sides met earlier this campaign, Carlo Ancelotti’s charges claimed a 2-0 win against Sociedad. Then Vinicius Junior and Luka Jovic were both on target. Ancelotti will be hoping that Vini Jr. and Benzema can help his side take another step towards the title.
Atletico Madrid desperate not to drop out of the top four
After their La Liga success last season, Atletico’s title defence has fallen way short of what Diego Simeone demands from his side. Atletico have been inconsistent, although they will have been pleased with their display during their 2-0 win over Celta Vigo. A Renan Lodi double helped seal all three points.
However, Atletico have now dropped to fifth in the table, albeit level on points with Barcelona, but they have played one game more. With other teams breathing down their neck, Atletico can’t afford to finish the season out of the top four. Otherwise, it could spell disaster in terms of the types of players they hope to attract during the summer transfer window.
But Real Betis are arguably one of the surprise packages of the season, as they are third in the table. For them, a top-three finish is eminently possible, and they are a well-drilled unit under Manuel Pellegrini. However, they will be eager to put their 2-1 defeat to Sevilla to the back of their mind.
Real Betis v Atletico Madrid: A tale of past encounters
While there have been some classic encounters down the years, Atletico Madrid will be targeting a league double over Real Betis. Earlier this season, Atletico Madrid outclassed Real Betis as they ran out 3-0 winners. Yannick Carrasco, a German Pezzella own goal, and a late Joao Felix strike gave Atletico all three points.
This is a huge match for both teams in the context of their seasons. Although Atletico have been underwhelming at times this campaign, they have the nous and experience to handle such matches. Atletico Madrid could end up edging out Real Betis, but it will make for compelling viewing!