La Liga 11-13/03/2022: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in action on pivotal weekend for top four
It looks set to be another pivotal weekend in La Liga, especially in terms of the race for the top four. In this preview, we will look ahead to Atletico Madrid v Cadiz on Friday as well as Barcelona, who host Osasuna on Sunday evening. We will also share with you the latest match odds.
Atletico Madrid’s revival continues against Real Betis
After seeing their title defence collapse in a way that few would have imagined, Atletico Madrid are desperate to keep their seat at Europe’s top table — the Champions League — next season. After a 1-0 reverse at home to Levante last month, Atletico have won their last three matches on the trot.
They have conceded just once in that period, and last weekend, they cruised to a 3-1 win over Real Betis. Although they were pegged back on the stroke of half-time, Joao Felix added a second just after the hour mark before Thomas Lemar put some added gloss on the scoreline.
Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has positive message
Although things haven’t gone according to plan for Atletico this season, they are still chasing a top-four spot. And Atletico’s CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin explained recently how he still has a lot of faith in the squad. He said: “I have a lot of confidence in our players and coaches. We have to keep a cool head and calmly analyse the situation.”
Cadiz facing battle to beat the drop
While Atletico’s problems have been well documented, they pale in comparison to Cadiz. As things stand, Cadiz are in the drop zone, as they are 18th in the table, a point adrift of safety. However, they will have been relieved to end a five-game winless streak in Spain’s top-flight division with a 2-0 win at home against Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
Barcelona maintain winning habit under Xavi
You wonder where Barcelona might be if Xavi had taken over earlier than he did this campaign. As things stand, they are third in the table, and they needed to show some guts and determination to edge past Elche 2-1 last weekend. A late Memphis Depay penalty helped them see off Elche, who played most of the match with 10 men.
Barcelona facing another huge week in their season
As we approach the business end of the campaign, the games get bigger and bigger each week. And Barca are well aware that this week is one of them. Before they host Osasuna on Sunday, Xavi’s charges take on Galatasaray in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie on Thursday.
Of course, success in the Europa League would seal a place in the Champions League next season. But a more realistic way of getting into Europe’s elite competition would be to finish in the top four. Xavi’s side have muscled their way into the picture, and they can’t be complacent against Osasuna.
Meanwhile, Osasuna are sitting in mid-table. They are currently 11th with 35 points to their name from 27 games played. Their form has been mixed of late, although they picked up a 1-0 win at home to Villarreal last weekend, which will have given them some much-needed confidence.
Barcelona v Osasuna: A look back at past clashes
Although this may not necessarily be the most glamorous fixture in La Liga, Osasuna will be relishing pitting their wits against Barcelona this weekend. Earlier in the campaign, Osasuna came from behind to rescue a 2-2 draw at home to the Catalan giants, but Xavi’s men should pick up all three points at the Nou Camp.