Round 29 of La Liga is getting set to kick-off and will be the last round as the league is set to go on two weeks break. The madrileño derby will take center stage on Saturday, while Valencia welcoming Sevilla to the Mestalla will also be an intense match up. Villarreal’s trip to San Mamés should also be an entertaining game.
Mallorca vs Real Zaragoza
Mallorca will welcome Zaragoza to the Iberostar on Saturday. Mallorca last weekend managed a draw on the road at Levante while, Real Zaragoza recorded an emphatic win over Valencia at La Romareda. When these two sides met at the beginning of November, the blanquillos earned a 3-2 victory. Coincidentally, the team’s first home victory of the season. Mallorca have been win-less in their last two league games and have only won once in the last five, drawing one and losing three. Meanwhile, Zaragoza have won twice, drawn once and lost twice in their last five. The home team haven’t lost against Zaragoza at home in the last four league matches between the two. There has been no fresh report of injuries from the Mallorca camp. However, Zaragoza will be without Lanzaro as he suffered an injury to his adductor muscle.
Barcelona vs Getafe
Barcelona will welcome Getafe to the Nou Camp in this weekend’s second match. The blaugrana, earlier this week, received some devastating news about defender Abidal, who underwent surgery for a liver tumor and the French man is expected to miss approximately five to six weeks. Barcelona last weekend drew against Sevilla, while Getafe came from behind to salvage a point against Athletic Bilbao. Getafe have never won at the Camp Nou in their seven games played there and have only ever left with a point on two occasions. Incidentally, both coming in April and November of 2008. In fact, Barcelona hasn’t lost to Getafe in league since November 10, 2007 when Manu and Albín scored for el geta. Getafe are currently on a poor run of form, winning only once in their last ten league games, drawing four and losing five. Also, el geta are on a win-less streak of six games. Puyol and Abidal will definitely miss the game on Saturday while Messi, Pedro and Maxwell are all doubtful. Getafe themselves have a long list of lengthy injuries- Rafael will be out for four months, Colunga will be out for five weeks, Gavilán will be out for six months and José Ortíz will be out for another two weeks.
Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid
El Derbi madrileño will take place this weekend and will be the final game on Saturday. Real Madrid on Wednesday made it through to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League, after a seven year hiatus, by defeating Lyon 4-1 on aggregate. The visitors have not lost to the colchoneros for the past 11 years, the last defeat coming October 30, 1999 when Atléti traveled to the Bernabéu and earned a 3-1 victory- Hasselbaink with a brace and José Mari with another for the colchoneros while Morientes scored the only goal for Real Madrid. Atléti have won only twice in their last ten games and have lost five of those ten games, drawing the other three. Both teams have met three times already this season; once in league and twice in the Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid winning all three encounters outscoring their rivals six goals to one. Despite being back on the pitch, Higuaín will continue his recovery process for a herniated disc and Kaká will also continue to miss out due to a knee injury. Atléti have not reported any new injuries in their camp.
Sporting Gijón vs Almería
Sporting will face Almería at El Molinón on Sunday. Both teams are coming off important draws last weekend against Villarreal and Atlético Madrid, respectively. When these two teams met earlier this season, Sporting left the Mediterráneo with a point following a 1-1 draw with the Andalucians. Of the seven meetings between these two at El Molinón, Almería has only ever won once, that victory coming in April of 2007. Sporting has only won once in their last five league games but has also only lost once. While, Almería has a similar record to the Asturians. Sporting will miss both Rafael Sastre and José Angel as both men were dismissed last weekend against Villarreal. The Asturians will also miss Cuéllar who is out injured and both Bilic and Carmelo are doubtful for the encounter. As for Almería, the only major concern is that of Piatti, who continues to recover from his injury.
Hércules vs Osasuna
Relegation threatened Hércules will welcome a visit from Osasuna at the José Rico Peréz Stadium on Sunday. The visiting team are undefeated in their last three league games, winning the last two. Hércules, however, are on a five game win-less streak and have lost their last three games. Osasuna are the league’s worst visiting team and only in their last away fixture did they manage to earn a victory after a year and 34 days without doing so. Osasuna have only ever won once at the José Rico Peréz, which came January 1982. Of the last five fixtures between the two in Alicante, Osasuna have walked away with a point on two occasions, losing the other three fixtures. Osasuna welcomed Oier back to the group on Thursday as he trained without limitations, Rúper partially trained with the team, while Aranda began physiotherapy and Pandiani trained on his own. Trezeguet is the only injury concern at the moment for the home team.
Racing Santander vs Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad will travel to Santander where they will face off against Racing. Both teams are coming off losses last weekend and are looking to rebound. The verdiblancos are currently on a four game win-less streak, losing two and drawing two. La Real is also win-less in the last four games- losing three and drawing one. Of the last five league meetings between the two at El Sardinero, Real Sociedad has won three, drawn one and lost one. Both teams are separated by five points but the home side is too close to the bottom three for comfort as they sit 16th with four points between them and 18th place, Hércules. Real Sociedad’s only injury concern at the moment is Demidov. Racing will be without Henrique, who has to serve a one match ban following his fifth yellow card last weekend. Also, the verdiblancos will miss the injured Arana, Adrián, Serrano and Tziolis.
Málaga vs Espanyol
The anchovies will welcome a visit from Espanyol on Sunday evening. Los Periquitos have been disastrous on the road this season and had it not been for their solid home performances probably wouldn’t sit in fifth as they have only picked up thirteen points from a possible 42 points. Málaga, however, are doing just as badly at home and in fact, are the league’s worst home team with only 11 points from a possible 39. When these two met back in early November, Espanyol edged the Andalucians 1-0. However, Málaga will have their chance at revenge on Sunday as the parakeets have a poor away record and coupled with that, the home team have only ever lost to the Catalans twice at home in their nine meetings at La Rosaleda. The home team will continue to be without Baptista and will also miss Cala. Both Javi Márquez and Duscher are doubtful for the visitors.
Deportivo la Coruña vs Levante
Levante will travel to Galicia on Sunday where they will face off against Deportivo in El Riazor. Deportivo are currently in 14th with a five point edge over 18th and a point behind their opponents, who are 13th in the table. When the two teams met in round ten of the league this season Levante fell 2-1 at home to the Galicians and will be seeking revenge when they meet on Sunday. However, the granotes have only ever won once at the Riazor, albeit, that came in a second division meeting in 1980. The last five matches between the two at the Riazor have ended in four wins and a draw for Deportivo. The home team’s only injury concern at the moment is to that of Riki and Morel. While, Levante hasn’t reported any injuries.
Athletic Bilbao vs Villarreal
Bilbao will on Sunday be seeking revenge against Villarreal following their 4-1 defeat in week 10 of the league this season. Villarreal on Thursday qualified for the next round of the Europa League after downing Bayer Leverkusen 5-3 on aggregate and will be seeking to add to that success with a victory in San Mamés. Of the last five meetings in the cathedral between the two teams, Villarreal have won three, drawn one and lost one- that loss coming last season. The yellow submarines have won only once in their last five league games, drawn three and lost once, whereas, los leones have lost three, drawn one and won one. Athletic will be without Toquero who is suffering from a muscle injury. Meanwhile, Villarreal haven’t reported any injuries.
Valencia vs Sevilla
In the final game on Sunday and of the round, we will see Sevilla travel to the Mestalla where they will face Valencia. Sevilla are coming off a huge point after they came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with league leaders Barcelona last weekend. Valencia, however, were well beaten by Real Zaragoza, 4-0. In round 10 of the league, when Valencia visited the Andalucians, were beaten 2-0 and will on Sunday look to “repay” the visitors by defeating them. Sevilla’s last five trips to the Mestalla have ended in four defeats and a victory for los nervionenses. The last three visits for the Andalucians ended in defeats, being outscored eight goals to three. Aduriz, Maduro and Albelda are all doubtful for the encounter, while Sevilla’s Cáceres and Fernando Navarro will miss the encounter due to suspension.