Analysis: Four things to look out for in Spain's Matchday 13

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-08 19:20:27|Editor: mingmei
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MADRID, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Liga Santander prepares for another international break with 13 teams within just five points of each other at the top of the table and plenty of questions to be answered. Here are some things to look out for in Spain over the coming days.

1. Can Barca recover as old boy Oscar returns to Camp Nou?

Although Barcelona are still top of the table the questions are being asked louder than ever about the management of coach Ernesto Valverde after last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Levante and Tuesday's 0-0 draw at home to Slavia Prague. Barca were poor in both of those games and will be without the injured Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez for the visit of Celta on Saturday.

Valverde needs to get the midfield working as a unit again and get the best out of Arthur Melo, while Antoine Griezmann still has to find his place in the team.

Celta travel for Saturday's game third from bottom and with Oscar Garcia replacing Fran Escriba in the dugout to fresh things up, can the former Barca player cause another upset in the Camp Nou?

2. Which Real Madrid will be see in Eibar?

Real Madrid travel to Eibar after a run of relatively benign home games, which saw them beat bottom of the table Leganes 5-0 before putting six past a poor Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Sandwiched between those results was a disappointing 0-0 draw against Betis where Madrid produced a lackluster display to highlight that Zinedine Zidane's man struggle for consistency.

Last season saw Madrid (with Santiago Solari in charge) suffer a 3-0 thrashing in Eibar and the Basque side are going to make things much harder for Madrid than that from either Leganes or Galatasaray. The question is: will Rodrygo Silva de Goes, Eden Hazard, Toni Kroos and company turn on the style or will they struggle?

3. Tension in Seville

The Seville derby between Betis and Sevilla is perhaps the most bitter local rivalry in Spain and that rivalry was only highlighted earlier this week when police arrested 28 'ultras' from both clubs following a fight between rivals fans back in September.

Sevilla make the short trip across town fifth in the table and after booking their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on Thursday.

Betis meanwhile are in 15th place after holding Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw last week and should have regained some confidence after two weeks in the relegation zone.

A win for Betis will restore faith in coach Rubi, but Sevilla want to move into the top-four in a game where local rivalry means there may not be much for the purists, but it will be entertaining.

4. Big game in the Wanda Metropolitano

Atletico Madrid entertain Espanyol on Sunday needing to find some consistency after another disappointing display saw them lose 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in midweek. Atletico misfired in attack and defense and although they have produced some good football recently, they have tended to play 45 good minutes and 45 bad minutes in most of their games.

Espanyol are currently second from bottom of the table and defeat in Madrid will condemn them to spend at least three more weeks in the drop zone. Pablo Machin's side beat Bulgarian side, Ludogorets 6-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, but they played against just nine men for over an hour. With a lot at stake for both sides, this is likely to be closer than the table might suggest.