Four things to look out for in Spain's matchday 10

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-26 20:10:23|Editor: Yurou
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MADRID, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, commonly known as El Clasico, will dominate the headlines in Spain this weekend. But the clash in Barcelona is only one of 10 matches being played in La Liga and there will be drama in more grounds than just the Camp Nou.

Here are four things to look out for this weekend.

1. All or nothing for Lopetegui in the Camp Nou

The only certainty this weekend is that unless Real Madrid are able to win at the home of their traditional rivals, coach Julen Lopetegui's brief spell in charge will come to a premature end.

The club gave him its support on Tuesday after a tepid win over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and the players also said they were fully behind their coach.

However, the club and players also supported Rafael Benitez just before he was sacked three years ago and actions, not words, will finally decide Lopetegui's fate. Sunday will show just how much support the Real Madrid coach has from his squad.

2. Bounce-back time for Atletico Madrid?

Wednesday saw Atletico Madrid suffer their worst defeat since Diego Simeone took over almost six years ago as they were on the wrong end of a 4-0 drubbing away to Borussia Dortmund.

Some of Simeone's decisions during the game were strange with Rodri starting on the bench and Saul substituted in the second half, while Diego Costa continues to disappoint since his return.

Atletico need to react when they entertain Real Sociedad on Saturday, but they may find it difficult against a rival who will be willing to surrender the initiative to Atletico while looking to play on the break, which is normally the way Atletico like to play.

3. Who will end the weekend as leaders?

Although Barcelona will remain leaders if they beat Real Madrid, six different sides could end the weekend top of the table, which shows that La Liga has been open and entertaining so far this season.

Barca, Espanyol, Alaves, Sevilla, Atletico and Valladolid all have a chance to end up as leaders, although goal difference will make it tough for the last two.

Valladolid and Espanyol play on Friday night, Alaves will hope to beat Villarreal, and Sevilla will expect to beat bottom team Huesca, meaning the weekend could see the leadership change hands several times.

4. Tension in Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao's home game against Valencia will also be a tense one, but with the two teams looking over their shoulders rather than up at the top. Athletic have just one win all season, while Valencia have struggled to recover the form which saw them qualify for last season's Champions League.

Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia has players such as Rodrigo, Santi Mina and Dani Parejo playing within themselves and will probably look for his side to sit deep and try to exploit the space Athletic tend to leave on the break.

Meanwhile, Athletic coach Eduardo Berizzo will probably look for his players to press high up the pitch and win possession in their rivals' half.

The two sides have a combined total of 13 draws this season and a draw seems the most likely result, but a defeat for either coach would leave them in a delicate position.