La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick downs Atleti in Madrid derby

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-15-56-09 by JACK PRENTICE

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid struck a hammer blow to local rivals Atleticos title hopes with a dominant 3-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon.

Portuguese forward Ronaldo struck an incredible 39th Real Madrid hat-trick to put Los Blancos nine points clear of Atletico after just 12 matches.

Having not won at their nearest rivals for three years and only once in ten meetings, this was a display that suggested Real could win their first Liga title since 2012.

Ronaldo set the ball rolling with a deflected effort midway through the first half to set Real on their way.

He followed that up with a penalty 10 minutes before the end and completed his treble with 13 minutes left to condemn Diego Simeone to his worst defeat against Real Madrid throughout his time with Atletico, who are now sixth.

Barcelona also dropped points to leave Real Madrid four points clear at the top of La Liga.

Barca, who were missing Lionel Messi through illness, could only manage a goalless home draw at home to mid-table Malaga.

Los Cules had 30 shots on the Malaga goal including numerous chances for Neymar, but couldn’t break down nine-man Malaga.

Diego Llorente. (Image Credit:

The visitors had ex-Real Madrid man Diego Llorente sent off for a challenge on Neymar, Juankar followed his teammate for an early bath in stoppage time for dissent.

Sevilla bounced back from their 2-1 home defeat to Barcelona with victory away at struggling Deportivo La Coruna.

Goals from Ryan Babel and Florin had put the hosts 2-0 up two minutes before half-time.

Ryan Babel found himself on the scoresheet, but his side couldn’t hold on against Sevilla. (Image Credit:

However, a minute later and Sevilla were back in the game through ex-Stoke and Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi.

Sevilla completed the turnaround in the dying embers when Victor Perez levelled on 87 minutes, before Gabriel Mercado won it in stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Villarreal suffered a 1-0 defeat away at Athletic Bilbao to slip to fourth in the table, while Bilbao rise to seventh, and Real Sociedad are up to fifth courtesy of their 3-1 win away at Sporting Gijon.


Real Betis 2-0 Las Palmas
Eibar 1-0 Celta Vigo
Alaves 0-1 Espanyol
Valencia 1-1 Granada
Leganes 2-0 Osasuna

League Table

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La Liga Preview: Madrid derby in the spotlight.

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-15-56-09 by JACK PRENTICE

Atletico Madrid host bitter rivals Real Madrid in what is without doubt the biggest game of the La Liga season so far.

Real may travel to the Vicente Calderon with some trepidation after a poor recent record at their neighbours, who in recent years have risen from an annoyance to equals with Los Blancos.

Real haven’t won any of their last three league matches away at Atletico, have lost four in six to Los Rojiblancos and Diego Simeone has lost just once in the past three years in regulation time in all competitions.

Atletico had a shaky run before the international break as they lost two straight away games at Sevilla and at Real Sociedad and a win would move them three points closer to their city rivals.

Real Madrid went into the international break top and unbeaten this season after beating Leganes 3-0 in another Madrid derby.

However, Zinedine Zidane has several injury concerns with Alvaro Morata certain to miss the game with a hamstring injury, while Pepe, Carlos Casemiro and Karim Benzema are all doubtful.

Simeone on the other hand has only one big injury concern, although it is top scorer Antoine Griezmann who is doubtful with a foot injury sustained on international duty with France.

Greizmann was replaced by N’Golo Kante for France. (Image Credit:

Barcelona host Malaga on Saturday looking to put pressure on their El Clasico rivals at the top of La Liga.

Barca are two points behind Real Madrid and know that a victory against the Andalusians would put them top of the table, even if it could be temporary.

They will check on the fitness of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar as the attacking trio arrived back from international duty in South America later in the week but they are expected to all be fit.

Could Arda Turan be in line to start against Malaga? (Image Credit:

Elsewhere, Sevilla will be looking to avenge the disappointment of losing their unbeaten home record to Barcelona with a win away at struggling Deportivo La Coruna, and surprise top three contenders Villarreal face a difficult trip to Atheltic Bilbao.


Real Betis v Las Palmas
Eibar v Celta Vigo
Alaves v Espanyol
Sporting Gijon v Real Sociedad
Valencia v Granada
Leganes v Osasuna

La Liga: Gareth Bale bags a brace and Barcelona defeat in-form Sevilla.

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-15-56-09 by JACK PRENTICE

Two goals from Gareth Bale proved decisive as Real Madrid comfortably swatted aside fellow Madrid side Leganes with a 3-0 victory.

After a trouble-free 38 minutes for the visitors, Isco’s pass set Bale away and the Welshman rounded the goalkeeper and turned in from a tight angle.

Bale then made the most of hesitant defending from Toni Kroos’ free-kick on the stroke of half-time to double Madrid’s lead from a mere foot away.

Alvaro Morata completed the scoring with 15 minutes left to play to leave Real two points clear at the top of La Liga.

Barcelona had to come from behind to end Sevilla’s unbeaten home record courtesy of goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Best partnership in world football? (Image Credit:

Vitolo’s finish gave Sevilla the lead on fifteen minutes and after missing numerous chances they were punished by Messi two minutes before half-time.

That was Barcelona’s first real attack and it seemed to sting Sevilla, who found themselves behind when Suarez turned home to complete the turnaround.

Sevilla are now detached from the top two having been top as recently as two weeks ago, while Barcelona keep pace with Real Madrid.

Atletico Madrid succumbed to a firm Real Sociedad side, with as the in-form Basques celebrating a 2-0 victory at the Anoeta.

Atleti are now falling adrift of Real Madrid and Barcelona courtesy of their second straight away defeat, following a 2-1 reverse at Sevilla.

Carlos Vela was unplayable against Atleti. (Image Credit:

It was a tale of two penalties for Sociedad and Carlos Vela scored the first nine minutes after half-time with Yuri adjudged to have been brought down.

Vela then won the second penalty for Willian Jose to power home on 76 minutes, while Antoine Griezmann struck the post on his return to his previous club.


Malaga 3-2 Sporting Gijon
Granada 1-1 Deportivo La Coruna
Osasuna 0-1 Alaves
Las Palmas 1-0 Eibar
Celta Vigo 2-1 Valencia
Espanyol 0-0 Athletic Bilbao
Villarreal 2-0 Real Betis

League Table

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La Liga Preview: Top of the table clash as Sevilla face off against Barcelona.

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-15-56-09 by JACK PRENTICE

Barcelona travel to Sevilla knowing that their hosts have a fearsome record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this season.

Sevilla have lost just once in La Liga and look like possible title contenders after ending Atletico Madrid’s unbeaten run in their last home game. However, they could only draw 1-1 draw away at Sporting Gijon last time out.

In midweek, they comfortably dispatched Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 to take a big step toward Champions League Knockout qualification.

Barca meanwhile lost 3-1 away at Manchester City to end a two game winning run in England but remain top of Group C.

Los Cules are second in La Liga, two points off Real Madrid having recovered from a blip earlier in the season that saw them lose to Celta Vigo and at home to Alaves.

However, they’ll have to perform better than their 1-0 victory over bottom of the table Granada in their last Liga match.

Real Madrid host struggling Leganes in one of the less famous Madrid derbies at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Madrid are currently top of the table and two points clear of Barcelona having failed to lose a game all season despite a run of four league matches without a win.

Gareth Bale signed a new six-year deal at Real Madrid this week. (Image Credit:

Real go into the match having drawn 3-3 away at Legia Warsaw despite having been 2-0 up in an empty stadium and are second in their group behind Borussia Dortmund.

This is Leagnes’ first season in La Liga following promotion last season and Madrid’s new third best team are currently 16th, a point clear of the bottom three.

Atletico Madrid needed a last gasp winner from Antoine Griezmann in midweek as they beat Russian club FC Rostov 2-1 at the Vicente Caldreon, and it doesn’t get any easier for Diego Simeone.

Atleti travel to San Sebastian to face a Real Sociedad side that never fail to raise their game against bigger teams.

Can Diego Godin lead Atleti to a much needed La Liga victory? (Image Credit:

Los Rojiblancos were able to get over the disappointment of losing their unbeaten record at Sevilla to beat Malaga 4-2 in a pulsating game in Madrid, while Sociedad are sixth and in the Europa League spots.


Malaga v Real Sporting Gijon
Granada v Deportivo

Osasuna v Alaves
Las Palmas v Eibar
Celta Vigo v Valencia
Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao
Villarreal v Real Betis

La Liga: Atleti defeat in Seville paves the way for rivals to move back top.

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Atletico Madrid were knocked off top spot with their first defeat of the season away at Sevilla, who ensured that former striker Kevin Gameiro endured an unhappy return to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Steven N’Zonzi’s goal after 73 minutes was enough to deservedly catapult Los Nervionenses to second in the table as the hosts leapfrogged their opponents, who had Koke sent off for a second booking.

Prior to the only goal of the game, both teams had good chances as Angel Correa missed when it was easier to score for Atletico and Vitolo had a volley saved by Jan Oblak in the Atleti goal.

Diego Simeone’s men have dropped to fourth having been top going into the weekend’s round of fixtures.

Real Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Atheltic Bilbao was enough to see them replace their city neighbours at the summit of La Liga.

Ronaldo and Benzema celebrate. (Image Credit: Newsody)

Karim Benzema needed only seven minutes to put the hosts ahead at the Bernabeu against a Bilbao team that haven’t won there since 2005.

The Basques suddenly had hope midway through the second half as Merino took advantage of a defensive mix up between Pepe and Dani Carvajal to poke the ball past Keylor Navas.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a glut of chances and the game looked like petering out into a draw, before Alvaro Morata scored on his 24th birthday with seven minutes on the clock to steal a narrow victory.

Like their Clasico rivals, Barcelona needed late drama to ensure they came away with maximum points at a resurgent Valencia.

Lionel Messi’s injury-time penalty sealed a 3-2 victory, although that was marred by crowd violence as both Luis Suarez and Neymar appeared to be struck by bottles thrown during the celebrations.

Messi penalty ensures all 3 points return to Catalunya. (Image Credit:

Messi had earlier but Barca ahead in the first half but Valencia turned the game on its head as Munir El Haddadi – on loan from Barcelona – and Rodrigo scored twice in four second half minutes.

Just after the hour, Luis Suarez equalised for Luis Enrique’s side before Messi swung the game decisively from the spot after Luis Suarez was fouled, though Barcelona lost Andres Iniesta to a knee injury.

Elsewhere, Kevin Prince Boateng’s sublime goal for Las Palmas away at Villarreal wasn’t enough to stop the Gran Canarians losing 2-1, while Celta Vigo humiliated Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 in the Galician Derby.

Other Results

Osasuna 1-2 Real Betis

Espanyol 3-3 Eibar

Real Sociedad 3-0 Alaves

Malaga 4-0 Leganes

Granada 0-0 Sporting Gijon

League Table

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LA LIGA Preview: Barcelona travel to rejuvenated Valencia in game of the week.

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After a comfortable 4-0 drubbing of Deportivo La Coruna last weekend before a similarly easy victory over former coach Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it’s a potentially tricky trip to Valencia for Barcelona.

In what was to be Phil Neville’s only game in charge of Los Che last season before brother Gary took over, these two drew 1-1 at the Mestalla, before an infamous 7-0 scoreline at the Nou Camp in the Copa Del Rey.

Barca are nursing an early season 100% away record but despite this are only fourth after slip ups at home including a defeat to Alaves.

Since a 0-0 draw with Atletico however, they have four straight league victories, and Cesare Prandelli’s Valencia may need the help of the Mestalla roar to abruptly end that run on Saturday.

Real Madrid demolished Real Betis last weekend by scoring six at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, before a 5-1 home win over Legia Warsaw at the Bernabeu in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Madrid eased by Legia in midweek. (Image Credit:

On Sunday they play host to an Athletic Bilbao team who themselves were in European action, going down to a defeat to Belgian side Genk in the Europa League on Thursday, after winning the Basque Derby versus Real Sociedad on Sunday.

After a run of four straight draws that cost Los Blancos top spot in the process, Real Madrid are now back on song with 11 goals in two games and are on the back of a run of 23 games unbeaten.

Bilbao’s horrendous record at the Bernabeu is another reason to be cheerful for Real manager Zinedine Zidane, with Bilbao not beating Real Madrid since 2005.

Atletico Madrid remain top of the table but have a difficult assignment away at third placed Sevilla.

Jorge Sampaoli has made a good start to life in Seville. (Image Credit:

Both teams won on their travels in the Champions League in midweek as Atletico kept up their 100% record in the competition so far with victory over Sporting Lisbon, while Sevilla’s nicked a 1-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb.

Atletico have won five league matches in six after starting the season with disappointing draws at home to Alaves and away at Leganes, and beat bottom of the table Granada 7-1 at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Sevilla have adapted well to life under Jorge Sampaoli after Unai Emery left to manage PSG in the summer and find themselves just a point away from top spot.

Other Fixtures

Osasuna v Real Betis

Espanyol v Eibar

Real Sociedad v Alaves

Granada v Sporting Gijon

Celta Vigo v Deportivo

Villarreal v Las Palmas

Malaga v Leganes

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid looking for much needed win against Betis.

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Real Madrid go into their first match since the international break against Real Betis looking to end their worst run under manager Zinedine Zidane.

Real have failed to win any of their last four matches and despite opening the scoring at home to SD Eibar in their last match, they could share the spoils 1-1, making it five draws in succession. 

Having left AEK Athens take over in the summer from Pepe Mel, Gus Poyet has had a shaky start in charge of Real Betis and the Seville side are 15th having taken eight points from seven games.

On paper, Atletico Madrid v Granada has only one winner but despite being top of the league, Atleti haven’t always done it the simple way.

Can Atleti stay on top after this weekend? (Image Credit: Betting Adda)

The Rojiblancos began their season with a 1-1 draw at home to Alaves despite taking a 93rd minute lead before they fired blanks during a 0-0 draw with Leganes in the first, if not most significant, Madrid of the season.

If Atleti have been somewhat unpredictable this season, then the same cannot be said for Granada and their dismal start to the season.

The Andalusians have gained just two points from the first seven games this season and have already sacked manager Paco Jemez, who only joined from Rayo Vallecano in the summer.

Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday looking to bounce back from a 4-3 defeat to Celta Vigo before the international break.

The second part of Barca’s Galician double-header sees them take on a side that has failed to win away this season, with Gaizka Garitano’s side sat 13th in La Liga.

Barcelona have won only one of their three home games this season having famously lost to Alaves before a 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid, but Depor will need to improve on a goal tally of just five to keep that stat alive.

Elsewhere, Athletic Bilbao are at home to Real Sociedad in the first Basque Derby of the season at the New San Mames.

The Derby of the Basque region in Spain. (Image Credit: inside Spanish football)

Bilbao are just three points three points off top spot having made a solid start, something that in previous years has been their Achilles heel, while Sociedad are ninth and can leapfrog their neighbours with a win on Sunday.


Las Palmas v Espanyol

Leganes v Sevilla

Alaves v Malaga

Sporting Gijon v Valencia

Villarreal v Celta Vigo

Eibar v Osasuna

La Liga: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid closing in on Real at the top after more dropped points by Zidane’s side.

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Real Madrid drew for the second successive match as Las Palmas stole a late point in the Canary Islands.

Zinedine Zidane’s visitors were ahead after 33 minutes when young midfielder Marco Asensio scored his first for the club, only for Tana to equalise just seven minutes before half-time.

Karim Benzema restored order after the hour with a neat finish and looked to have won the game for Real, but Sergio Araujo had other ideas five minutes from time and earned the Gran Canarians a famous home point.

There were no such problems for Barcelona away at Sporting Gijon as they kept up their perfect away record in La Liga this season with a 5-0 thrashing.

Neymar celebrates his brace. (Image Credit:

After a tight half an hour, former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez set the ball rolling before Rafinha quickly gave Barca some breathing space.

It was to stay 2-0 until the final nine minutes, with Neymar scoring twice for the Catalans and Arda Turan getting the other after Alberto Lora was sent off for the hosts.

It is the second time in a week Barcelona have hit five as they capably plugged the void left by the injured Lionel Messi, while Gijon have conceded five for the second match in three after a 5-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

This weekend it wasn’t so easy for Atletico as they eventually bettered 10-man Deportivo La Coruna 1-0.

Faycal Fajr’s brainless second booking in the dying embers of the first half meant Gaizka Garitano’s visitors played the entire second half a man light.

Antoine Griezmann ensured that Atleti finally took advantage of that with 20 minutes left and that was how it stayed as Deportivo went into damage limitation mode.

Antoine Griezmann nets his fifth goal of the season. (Image Credit:

The result leaves Atletico third, two points behind leaders and city rivals Real while Deportivo are 16th and clear of the relegation zone by goal difference only.

Other Results

Real Betis 1-0 Malaga

Eibar 2-0 Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao 3-1 Sevilla

Leganes 1-2 Valencia

Villarreal 3-1 Osasuna

Espanyol 1-2 Celta Vigo

Alaves 3-1 Granada

League Table

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La Liga: Real finally held by Villarreal to end history-equalling run.

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Real Madrid failed to break the La Liga record set by Barcelona for consecutive wins as they fell at the 17th hurdle at home to Villarreal.

The current Champions League holders could only draw 1-1 against the Yellow Submarines, who led in a frantic first half injury-time courtesy of a Bruno penalty.

Real were level after half-time however, as Sergio Ramos – who had conceded the penalty in the first half, thumped home a towering header from a James Rodriguez corner.

Los Blancos huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the Villarreal house down, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all missing chances. Real remain top with 13 points, while Villareal have 9 and are fifth.

It was honours even at the Nou Camp as the titanic clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid finished 1-1.

Lionel Messi and Felipe Luis compete for the ball. (Image Credit:

As always, Barcelona dominated possession and made that ball retention count five minutes before half-time, although Ivan Rakitic’s header from a corner is not by any means the Barca way.

The second half was to be stinging for Barcelona as Atleti rallied following Diego Simeone’s teamtalk.

The hosts lost main man Lionel Messi to a groin strain that will sideline him for three weeks on 59 minutes, and two minutes later Atleti were level.

Javier Mascherano’s slip set livewire midfielder Angel Correa away, and the Argentine made no mistake.

Both sides had chances to win this and the point keeps Atleti well in the early running, while Barcelona haven’t won either of the last two home league matches.

Elsewhere, Sevilla’s 1-0 victory in the Seville derby ensured that Betis boss Gus Poyet’s tough start continued, while in-form Las Palmas were thumped 4-1 by Real Sociedad and Valencia won their first game of the season after Pako Ayesteran was sacked.


Malaga 2-1 Eibar

Celta Vigo 2-1 Sporting

Osasuna 1-2 Espanyol

Valencia 2-1 Alaves

Granada 1-2 Athletic Bilbao

Deportivo 1-2 Leganes


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At the weekend, Barcelona go to Sporting Gijon nursing a perfect away record, while their hosts have stuttered recently after a solid early start after a 5-0 defeat away at Atletico Madrid and 2-1 reverse against Celta Vigo.

Las Palmas will have to recover from a 4-1 defeat to Sociedad by trying to undo Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid, who despite losing their run of consecutive wins with that 1-1 draw with Villarreal, are still 17 matches undefeated.

Atletico Madrid host Deportivo La Coruna at the Vicente Calderon looking to maintain a solid if unspectacular unbeaten start, while Depor have made a poor start and will be looking to make amends for a 2-1 home defeat to Leganes.


Real Betis v Malaga

Eibar v Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao v Sevilla

Leganes v Valencia

Villarreal v Osasuna

Alaves v Granada

Espanyol v Celta Vigo

La Liga: Barca and Atleti win ahead of showdown on Wednesday.

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Lionel Messi scored twice and Neymar and Luis Suarez once each, as Barcelona secured an easy victory away at newly-promoted Leganes.

After a slip-up at home to Alaves last weekend in an embarrassing defeat for the Catalans, Luis Enrique included his big guns from the start to ensure no such problems against another of the pre-season relegation favourites.

Leo Messi scores for Barcelona. (Image Credit:

Rafinha scored the other in a 5-1 thrashing in Madrid, as Leganes got a goal back late on through Gabriel’s excellent free-kick.

Real Madrid left Espanyol with a record-equalling 16th consecutive La Liga victory, courtesy of a 2-0 cruise in Catalonia.

With both Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo left in Madrid with slight injuries, it was left to Zinedine Zidane’s bit part players to maintain Real’s 100% winning record.

And it was one of those bit part players in James Rodriguez who opened the scoring minutes before half-time.

The Colombian played a one-two with Karim Benzema before gliding past two defenders and firing into the bottom corner from distance.

Benzema was himself to get on the scoresheet in the second half, finishing a Lucas Vazquez cross with aplomb.

Atletico Madrid shot down Sporting Gijon’s impressive start to the season in emphatic style with a 5-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon.

The hosts were 2-0 up inside five minutes as Antoine Griezmann notched the first of his two goals and Kevin Gameiro got his second league goal for the club.

Gameiro finds the net against Gijon. (Image Credit:

Griezmann got his second after half an hour before the second half turned into the Fernando Torres show.

The experienced striker, who appears to have regained his lethal streak since his return to the club, bagged two goals late on to complete the rout.

Elsewhere, Las Palmas recovered from their first defeat of the season last week to see off Malaga 1-0, and Eibar drew 1-1 with Sevilla despite being down to nine men.

Other Results

Real Betis 2-2 Granada

Osasuna 0-0 Celta Vigo

Villarreal 2-1 Real Sociedad

Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Valencia

Alaves 0-0 Deportivo

League Table

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La Liga’s first batch of midweek games sees two title favourites go head-to-head at the Nou Camp, with Atletico Madrid looking for their first win in Barcelona in ten years.

Following the fruitful return of the Messi-Suarez-Neymar partnership at Leganes, Luis Enrique is expected to name an unchanged side for the titanic clash.

Likewise, Diego Simeone could name an unchanged side, although Fernando Torres may start following his two-goal cameo on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Real Madrid host a Villarreal side that beat Real Sociedad 2-1 at El Madrigal on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane is likely to include Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale after resting them for the 2-0 victory over Espanyol at the weekend.

In another midweek match, Sevilla take on Real Betis in the Seville Derby at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Sevilla drew 1-1 with Eibar at the weekend, while Betis came from 2-0 down to draw with fellow Andalusian club Granada.

Other Fixtures

Malaga v Real Betis

Celta Vigo v Sporting

Granada v Athletic Bilbao

Valencia v Alaves

Deportivo v Leganes

Osasuna v Espanyol

Real Sociedad v Las Palmas