Just eight rounds of the LaLiga Santander season remain and it could hardly be tighter at the top of the table, with Atlético Madrid on 67 points, Real Madrid on 66, FC Barcelona on 65 and Sevilla FC on 61. The drama will continue this weekend, with Matchday 33 having been brought forward and with eight fixtures taking place on a very intense Sunday April 18th. Not all LaLiga Santander teams will play this weekend, due to Saturday night’s Copa del Rey final between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona, but Spanish football fans are in for a treat on this action-packed Sunday.
There are four different time slots of matches on Sunday and, in the first at 14:00 CEST, CA Osasuna will take on Elche CF at the same time as Real Sociedad meet Sevilla FC. While CA Osasuna have moved towards mid-table safety, Elche CF have slipped back into the relegation zone and need every point they can muster. Then, in Real Sociedad vs Sevilla FC, this is a battle between the team currently fifth and the team currently fourth. If La Real have any hope of making the Andalusian side sweat over their Champions League status then they need to collect all three points.
At 16:15 CEST there are two more matches and they have immense implications for the title race and the relegation battle. Leaders Atlético Madrid will welcome bottom-placed SD Eibar to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, where they have drawn twice and lost once from three visits. Atleti have been struggling with injuries of late and have just one victory from their past four league matches, so need a positive result against the Basque side.
Just one point above SD Eibar are Deportivo Alavés, who this weekend’s host 16th placed SD Huesca, a team only three points away. It really is tight at the bottom and that makes this a crucial six-pointer, one that Deportivo Alavés will hope their new coach Javi Calleja can win.
Both matches in Sunday’s 18:30 CEST time slot take place in Andalusia, as Real Betis host Valencia CF for a fixture that has been a lot of fun in recent years. Not only have there been last-minute winners and great goals, but there have been 27 total goals over their past nine meetings for an average of three per game.
Meanwhile, Cádiz CF take on RC Celta Vigo at home and will be looking for revenge for the 4-0 thrashing they suffered when they visited Galicia earlier in the season. Now, it’s Celta Vigo’s turn to make the trip to the other side of the country and they do so after finishing on the losing side in a 4-3 Monday night thriller against Sevilla FC.
The last two of the eight Sunday fixtures are being held at 21:00 CEST and Getafe CF vs Real Madrid really stands out given its importance in the title race. Real Madrid are in great form as they’ve won their past four in LaLiga Santander, including last weekend’s ElClásico. Now they make the short trip to Getafe CF, but they’ll do so with some fatigue after their midweek trip to Anfield and they’ll do so with several players out due to suspension and injury. It won’t be easy against the Azulones, who have already taken points off Atlético Madrid and off FC Barcelona at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez in 2020/21.
Also at 21:00 CEST, there is a derby match in the Valencian Community between Levante UD and Villarreal CF. This should be a very interesting watch between two teams who know each other well and two teams who play attacking football. Villarreal CF got the better of their regional neighbours earlier this season in LaLiga Santander, but Levante UD gained revenge by knocking the Yellow Submarine out of the Copa del Rey. It’ll be fascinating to see who wins the battle this time around.
The other two fixtures of Matchday 33 are Athletic Club vs Real Valladolid and FC Barcelona vs Granada CF, but these will take place later in the season due to the two home teams’ participation in the Copa del Rey final. With eight fixtures in the same day, though, there will still be more than enough drama and excitement in Spain’s top division this weekend.