Matchday 7 sees Barca aim to maintain 100% record, while Real Madrid look for home win

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-28 17:09:43|Editor: liuxin
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MADRID, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The last round of matches before the next international break is played this coming weekend with both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid waiting until Sunday before they play their games while Atletico Madrid make the short trip south of the capital to take on Leganes this Saturday.

Atletico fans may be surprised to see the fixture list give them a Saturday night game after being in Champions League action on Wednesday, while Real Madrid and Barca are given an extra 24-hours rest (48 hours in Real Madrid' s case given that they played on Tuesday). However, the game will give second place Atletico the chance to bounce back after their home defeat to Chelsea.

Diego Simeone is unlikely to make too many changes against a side that doesn't concede many goals, although Kevin Gameiro or Luciano Vietto have a chance of starting in the Atletico attack with Gabi returning in central midfield.

Barcelona's game at home to Las Palmas will probably take place in a strange atmosphere as it is being held on the same day as the Catalan independence referendum which has been declared illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court, with the club declaring itself to be in favor of the right to vote.

The game will see the debut of Paco Ayestaran as Las Palmas boss after Manolo Marquez resigned on Tuesday, while Barca look to make it seven wins in their first seven Liga Santander matches and temporarily at least open a 10-point gap over Real Madrid.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde has rotated his squad well during the first month and a half of the season, but with the international break looming, he probably won't move things around too much on Sunday.

Real Madrid entertain Espanyol and will hoping to return to the form that saw them win 3-1 in Dortmund on Tuesday, rather than the nervous football which has seen them fail to win their last 3 home games in LaLiga.

Espanyol impressed last weekend with a 4-1 won over Deportivo la Coruna, but have traditionally been easy prey in the Santiago Bernabeu.

Sunday also sees an in-form Valencia entertain Athletic Club Bilbao, who are still struggling for consistency under new coach Jose Angel Ziganda. Valencia meanwhile have their confidence sky high after a 5-0 win over Malaga and a 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad, with striker Simone Zaza in fine form.

Real Sociedad aim to bounce back after three league defeats at home to fifth place Betis, who appear to be enjoying life under Quique Setien and are playing attractive confident football as shown in Monday's 4-0 thrashing of Levante.

The round of matches kicks off on Friday night with Celta Vigo entertaining a Girona side that has failed to score in its last four games.

Saturday kicks off with Deportivo at home to Getafe, with Deportivo coach Pepe Mel knowing his job hangs by a threat if his sidefail to win. Michel Gonzalez could also be seeking alternative employment if his side lose an Andalusia derby away to Sevilla while Gianni De Biasi makes his debut on the Alaves bench as his side play away to Levante, who have only lost once at home in the last 14 months.

Finally Javier Calleja is the third debuting coach this weekend following Fran Escriba's sacking at Villarreal and he makes his debut at home to Eibar, who will look to improve after a 4-0 home defeat to Celta.