By LaLiga Santander
A busy December of LaLiga Santander football lies ahead and it kicks off with several intriguing fixtures in Matchday 12.
San Mames in Bilbao hosts the first match of the weekend as Athletic Bilbao welcome Celta Vigo to the Basque Country on Friday night. This will be a big test for new Celta Vigo coach Eduardo Coudet, who had just won his first match since arriving in Galicia. The Argentinian is making small tweaks and looking to get the best out of Iago Aspas, who has five goals against Bilbao across the past four seasons.
Saturday’s action then begins with a match that is so important for Levante and Getafe, as the former have not won since 27 September and the latter since 17 October. Both coaches know that a three-point haul is needed soon and there could be a cup tie feeling as they battle it out at the beautiful Estadi Ciutat de Valencia.
Then comes the key fixture of Matchday 12. It’s Sevilla vs Real Madrid in the Andalusian capital, it’s fifth versus fourth, it’s Julen Lopetegui versus Zinedine Zidane and it’s one team in good form against a team in poor form.
Recent results have seen pressure mount at Real Madrid, who have won fewer than half their matches across all competitions in 2020/21 with seven wins from 15 games. Los Blancos won both meetings against Sevilla last season and would love for another victory on Saturday afternoon.
Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid’s meeting in Madrid follows as Atletico look for a victory that would – at least temporarily – put them top of the league table. With Real Valladolid unbeaten in their past three, it promises to be a very competitive match.
Saturday’s LaLiga action concludes with a Spanish football fixture of yesteryear, one that hasn’t been seen in a decade and a half. Not since 2005 have Barcelona visited Cadiz’s Estadio Ramon de Carranza. Lionel Messi played in that 3-1 Blaugrana win, which was just his 16th LaLiga Santander match. This Saturday’s game will be his 495th and he will be hoping for another win.
On Sunday, Huesca’s quest for their first victory of the season will continue away at Granada. The 2019/20 LaLiga SmartBank champions haven’t been terrible since winning promotion, as they’ve collected seven points via their league-leading seven draws. But, everyone at the club knows that a win is overdue and they’ll encounter a Granada CF side suffering a mini slump in form.
Osasuna vs Real Betis follows and it’s a match that promises goals. So far this season, Real Betis matches have produced 3.18 goals per game, which is the most in all of LaLiga Santander. Unfortunately for Manuel Pellegrini and his players, the goals have been falling for the opposition in recent weeks. It has been three defeats in a row for Los Verdiblancos and Osasuna will hope to make it four from four.
Two regional derbies then round off the Sunday slate of fixtures, both of which will use the special PUMA Adrenalina football. First off, Villarreal will welcome Elche from the other end of the Valencian Community for a colourful duel between the Yellow Submarine and the Green Stripes. Elche CF keep good memories from Vila-Real with a couple of promotions in the last seven years, and want to add another successful chapter.
Later, in the Sunday night match, in-form Deportivo Alaves host league leaders Real Sociedad for a clash that will feature technical skill in addition to the grit usually associated with Basque derbies.
There’s then one more game in Matchday 12 as Eibar face one of their favourite victims. Over their past eight meetings against Valencia, Eibar have won five, drawn two and lost just one. With Valencia struggling to start 2020/21 and with several of their starters missing for this match at Ipurua, Los Armeros might finally secure their first home win of this season.
Like the other nine matches of this weekend, that should be well worth tuning in for.
Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on your local broadcasters.