La Liga

La Liga Preview Friday and Saturday Games (Week 3)

Levante vs Sevilla

Levante will still be without the services of Simao Junior, who is suspended, but head coach Alcaraz has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match. Ruben Garcia will also be hoping to feature from the onset, but the back five is expected to remain unchanged as Alcaraz looks for consistency in a defensive area. Emery also has a decision in goal, with Sergio Rico putting strong pressure on Beto, while summer signings Krohn-Dehli and Konoplyanka could replace Iborra and Jose Antonio Reyes. Llorente should continue as the central striker and the Spaniard has a good scoring record against Levante.

In total, these two teams have met on 20 occasions. Sevilla have won 10 of those matches, with Levante recording five victories and the further five fixtures ending level.
Prediction: Levante 0-2 Sevilla

Espanyol vs Real Madrid

Espanyol and Real Madrid will play their third game of the La Liga season at the Estadio Cornellà-El Prat on Saturday. Terms in the loan agreements of Marco Asensio and Burgui mean they are both unavailable to face off against their parent club, Gerard Moreno is expected to start up top alongside Felipe Caicedo once again. New signing Diop could be involved. James Rodriguez should be fit enough to start despite picking up a knee injury during the international break, Karim Benzema should be fit to start up top, after getting a 30-minute run out for France during the international break. Raphael Varane will be preferred to Pepe, while Gareth Bale will continue as a number 10. After missing out on David de Gea, Keylor Navas is expected to continue in goal.
Prediction: Espanyol 0-3 Real Madrid

Sporting Gijon vs Valencia

Unbeaten teams Sporting Gijón and Valencia  are set to face each other in La Liga match on Saturday, at the Estadio El Molinón in Gijón. Both squads are coming off two straight drawn games in the first two weeks of competitions of La Liga. Diego Alves and Mat Ryan are both missing between the posts due to injury, meaning that Yoel should step in for Valencia. Abdennour is set for his debut at the heart of the defence, after moving late during the transfer window. Alen Halilovic may be in line for a first start for his loan club Sporting Gijon, but Carlos Carmona has done plenty to impress early on in La Liga.
Prediction: Sporting Gijon 1-2 Valencia

Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona

Jackson Martinez is expected to replace Fernando Torres at the head of the attack, but Los Colchoneros have a lot of faith in El Nino. Koke and Oliver should feature in the wide areas to keep things tight, but Simeone can call upon Ferreira Carrasco to make things interesting. Atletico are undefeated in 36 of their last 38 home matches in La Liga. Claudio Bravo should be out of action for a few weeks, meaning that Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the undisputed number one for a while. Gerard Pique is still missing due to a ban, so Thomas Vermaelen is expected to continue at the heart of the defence. Barcelona have won 10 of their last 11 away matches in La Liga.
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Barcelona

Real Betis vs Real Sociedad

Rafael van der Vaart could make his Betis debut after recovering from injury, with Molina set to drop out of the side if that is the case. Dani Ceballos should start on the left-hand side of midfield, with Ruben Castro presumably left as a lone striker. Summer signing Westermann is expected to replace German Pezzella in the centre of the defence. Asier Illarramendi is in line to make his first start after coming back to the Basque club from Real Madrid, otherwise, no changes are expected from David Moyes, with Inigo Martinez probably able to shake off a minor injury problem.
Prediction: Real Betis 2-2 Real Sociedad



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