La Liga: Real Madrid and Valencia set for intriguing showdown while Real Sociedad faces Sevilla
There was a bucket load of goals last weekend in La Liga and, as we enter the fifth round of fixtures, you can expect plenty more entertainment. In this preview, we will look ahead to two fascinating clashes on Sunday — Valencia v Real Madrid and Real Sociedad v Sevilla. We’ll also delve into the latest match odds to see what the markets are saying.
Real Madrid mark Bernabéu reopening with emphatic win over Celta Vigo
After being shut for 18 months due to refurbishments, the Bernabéu is now fully reopened. Last weekend, Real Madrid marked their return with an emphatic 5-2 victory over Celta Vigo. It was however an inauspicious start for the hosts after they fell behind to a fourth-minute strike from Mina Lorenzo, and it was a bit of a topsy-turvy encounter in the first half.
However, after Real gained they never really looked back. It was a night to remember for Karim Benzema, who netted his first hat-trick for Los Blancos since April 2019. New signing Eduardo Camavinga also caught the eye as he came off the bench to score on his debut. Although Real didn’t have things all their own way, they now top the La Liga table.
Real Madrid set themselves up nicely for big week ahead
With the return of the Champions League this week, Real need to be firing on all cylinders to maintain a challenge on at least two fronts. The victory over Celta Vigo will have been the perfect morale booster. Real’s boss Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with his side’s display. He said: “We put in a good performance, with a top atmosphere and in this special stadium.”
Valencia maintain strong start to the season against Osasuna
After claiming a first-away win in eight months against Osasuna last Sunday, Valencia are on an upward trajectory. Gonçalo Guedes, in particular, was a constant threat against Osasuna, and he grabbed a double. But Valencia look organized in all areas of the pitch, and they will relish the visit of Real to the Mestalla this weekend.
Valencia ready to emerge from the doldrums
Valencia has been on the outside looking in, and have been cast as the underdog. But the transformation this season has already been nothing short of amazing. And Valencia will have fond memories of when Real made the trip to Mestalla last year. Despite falling behind to a Benzema strike, Valencia took over as they ran out 4-1 winners, with Carlos Soler hitting a hat-trick.
Real Sociedad building momentum after impressive start to the season
While an opening-day defeat against Barcelona may have been tough to take, Real Sociedad have responded brilliantly since. Sociedad has chalked up three wins on the trot, and they haven’t conceded. Against Levante, an Ander Barrentxea strike proved to be the difference, and they enjoyed more possession.
Sociedad will be happy with their return of nine points from four games, and they are currently fourth in La Liga. They are also in Europa League action this week against PSV Eindhoven. It will, therefore, be interesting to see how the Thursday/Sunday dynamic of these campaigns affects them.
Meanwhile, rumours have abounded that Arsenal are waiting in the wings for Alexander Isak. Although Isak elected to pen a new deal with Sociedad until 2026, the Gunners could come back in for him when the transfer window reopens in January. Isak was heavily linked with a move away from Sociedad over the summer, and interest in him hasn’t dwindled.
Sevilla facing critical juncture in their season
This week may feel like Groundhog Day for Sevilla, who have a tricky run of fixtures to navigate. After a two-week break, Sevilla host RB Salzburg in their opening Champions League group game before they lock horns with Sociedad, and then high-flying Valencia. There is little room for error.
Sevilla have managed to add some grit to their style of play, but they will need to have a creative spark to break down Sociedad. The head-to-head record shows Sevilla have had a stranglehold over Sociedad, but they will need to be patient if they are going to walk away with all three points.
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