Preview: Absentees a factor in 10th round of games in La Liga

Source: Xinhua| 2020-11-19 19:38:50|Editor: huaxia

MADRID, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- La Liga returns to Spain this weekend with a series of matches that promise to reveal a lot about the possible future destination of this season's title.

It is also a weekend in which injuries and players out after testing positive for the coronavirus could be a major factor.

The ball gets rolling again on Friday night when Osasuna entertain Huesca, who are still looking for their first win of the season after returning to the top flight, while Saturday's first match is an east-coast derby between third from bottom Levante and Elche, who will be content with a start to the season that has seen them take 11 points from seven matches.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has an injury crisis as his team travel to play third-place Villarreal, whose strikers Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer are the most lethal strike duo in La Liga.

Although Dani Carvajal will probably return at right back for Real Madrid, Zidane will be without Sergio Ramos with a hamstring injury, while Eder Militao is still unavailable after a positive test for COVID-19, Fede Valverde has a cracked shinbone and Karim Benzema is struggling with a muscle problem.

Casemiro should be able to play after overcoming the coronavirus, but the Brazilian has been inactive for a fortnight and may lack some match fitness.

Real Madrid lost their last game 4-1 away to Valencia before the break and another defeat would continue to pile the pressure onto Zidane.

New Celta coach Eduardo Coudet makes his debut with a difficult visit to Sevilla before the big game of the day sees FC Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

This should have seen Luis Suarez face his former club, but Suarez's positive for COVID-19 means that will have to wait, while Atletico are also without Stefan Savic, Hector Herrera and Mario Hermoso.

Barca will be missing Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati, but Philippe Coutinho should be able to play in a game that Koeman's side cannot afford to lose or else they would slip nine points behind Diego Simeone's men.

Eibar need points at home to Getafe in a game that promises few goals on Sunday lunchtime, before league leaders Real Sociedad look for their sixth consecutive win away to Cadiz.

Cadiz have four wins from five away games, but have only two draws and two defeats to show from their four appearances to data in their Ramon de Carranza Stadium.

Granada coach Diego Martinez returns to his side's dugout and recovers several players after a coronavirus outbreak decimated his squad before the international break. Granada are at home to Valladolid, who remain in the relegation zone despite their 2-1 win over Athletic Club before the break.

Valencia will look to build on their win over Real Madrid in their visit to face Alaves on Sunday night while the round of matches ends on Monday with Athletic Club at home to Betis.

Betis are without the suspended Aissa Mandi, while Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales are both injured, while Athletic coach Gaizka Garitano is under increasing pressure after the defeat to Valladolid and could face the sack if his side lose again. Enditem