Matchday 11 of the Spanish Primera Liga will see what could be one of the most fascinating and entertaining games of the season as FC Barcelona visit highflying Sevilla on Sunday.
Barcelona may have moved into second place in the table last weekend with a narrow win over Granada, but they suffered an important 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The game again exposed Sergio Busquets’ poor current form and highlighted just how important the injured Gerard Pique is to the side.
Pique is still out for the trip to the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, where Sevilla have won all seven games this season, as are Jordi Alba, Jeremy Mathieu and Andres Iniesta.
Unless Barcelona are back to their best, Luis Enrique’s side could go into the international break with the word ‘crisis’ in the air.
Real Madrid also disappointed in midweek as they struggled to a 3-3 draw away to Legia Warsaw, but Zinedine Zidane’s side have a much easier task as they look to get back on track as Leganes make their first ever league visit to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Leganes’ early season bounce has gone from their step with three defeats in three games and they look to be the perfect rivals to help Madrid get back on track, at least in terms of results.
Atletico Madrid booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday but have been given a day less to prepare for their trip to face an in-form Real Sociedad.
The Basque side moved into sixth place with their win away to Leganes a week ago and will be looking to confirm that against a rival who lose defender Stefan Savic through suspension, but recover Koke, who missed out last weekend due to a one game ban.
Jose Gimenez looks certain to replace Savic at the heart of the Atletico defense and Diego Simeone will have to decide whether to include Saul Niguez or Angel Correa in his starting 11.
The round of matches kicks off on Friday as Sporting Gijon have the difficult task of ending a run of 7 games without a win away to an improving Malaga.
Saturday sees a battle in the relegation zone as bottom of the table Granada look for their first win of the season against a Deportivo La Coruna side that is light on firepower.
Osasuna could take a step away from danger if they win their derby at home to Alaves, while Las Palmas and Eibar have what promised to be an entertaining match between two teams in mid-table.
Sunday sees Athletic Club Bilbao visit Cornella El Prat, where they have never beaten Espanyol in the league, before Celta and Valencia have what promises to be an entertaining game as Valencia look to turn improved performances under new coach Cesare Prandelli into points.
Betis need to take something from their visit to Villarreal otherwise coach Gustavo Poyet could be in danger of losing his job, before Sevilla and Barca draw the curtain on what should be an intense weekend of football.