LaLiga Santander Matchday 11 preview: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid set for big nights in the Spanish capital

Matchday 10 of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season produced a season-record goal haul as of Sunday night, including the three strikes in Real Madrid’s 2-1 ElClásico victory over FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou. And there’s no let-up in the LaLiga calendar now, with Matchday 11 set to be played in midweek across Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

The action gets underway on Tuesday evening with D. Alavés vs Elche CF, a match which pits together two sides who only just avoided relegation last campaign and are looking to make a stronger start this term. RCD Espanyol vs Athletic Club follows later on Tuesday night, with these two founding members of LaLiga to take part in their 171st league meeting.

Tuesday night is rounded off by Villarreal CF vs Cádiz CF, a fixture that stands out as one of the few matches in club football featuring two sides known for their distinctive yellow kits. Neither side has started the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season as well as they would have liked, so this will be an opportunity to put points on the board.

On Wednesday, there are two early games at the timeslot of 7pm CEST. One is RCD Mallorca vs Sevilla FC, as Julen Lopetegui’s men look to continue their strong start to the season against the newly promoted islanders. The second fixture also involves a team that just came up from LaLiga SmartBank: Rayo Vallecano welcome FC Barcelona to the neighbourhood of Vallecas in the Spanish capital. Rayo coach Andoni Iraola has built a fun and effective squad at Rayo, and they actually come into this match one point ahead of Ronald Koeman’s Barça in the standings.

At 8pm CEST on this busy Wednesday night of Spanish football, two of the country’s biggest clubs come together in Real Betis vs Valencia CF. After the former started this season slowly and the latter started well, their fortunes have changed and now the Verdiblancos are up to fifth, while Valencia haven’t won in six.

Wednesday night throws up one final game, as football returns to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu at 9.30pm CEST after almost a month of Real Madrid playing on the road. They’ll face high-flying CA Osasuna on their homecoming, which is a game to be wary of since the Rojillos have won all four of their away matches so far this campaign.

Three more games follow on Thursday, starting with LaLiga Santander leaders Real Sociedad and their trip to Spain’s north-western coast to face RC Celta. This is a fixture La Real won 4-1 last season and they’d love a repeat of that scoreline this time out.

Granada CF vs Getafe CF pits together two recent Europa League participants who now look to be facing an early-season relegation battle, before Matchday 11 concludes with Levante UD vs Atlético de Madrid. Even though Atleti won the title last season, Levante proved to be a bogey side for Simeone’s men, winning 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano and drawing 1-1 at the Ciutat de Valencia. Come this Thursday (9.30pm CEST), Atleti will try to do what they couldn’t manage last season and get some points on the board against the Valencians.

Watch LaLiga Santander live this midweek on BeINSports

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This Week in LaLiga…

What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? From the first ElClasico of the season to a brand-new contract for one of world football’s biggest rising stars, here’s all you need to know.

Real Madrid triumph in El Clásico

Real Madrid came out on top in the first ElClásico of the 2021/22 season, winning 2-1 in a thrilling contest at the Camp Nou. David Alaba’s first goal for Los Blancos was timely and brilliant, before Lucas Vázquez and Sergio Agüero traded stoppage time goals for the 2-1 final score. This is the fourth ElClásico win in a row for Real Madrid, the first time this has happened since 1965.

Sevilla win an eight-goal thriller

Sevilla vs Levante kicked off Sunday’s action with an end-to-end match that produced eight goals, the home side winning 5-3. There were seven different scorers in the game, with only José Luis Morales, Levante captain and all-time top scorer in LaLiga Santander, netting more than once.

A weekend with 35 goals

From start to finish, this was a weekend of goals in LaLiga Santander. 35 goals went in over the first nine fixtures of Matchday 10, with every team netting at least one except Cádiz CF, who lost 2-0 to D. Alavés. This is already the highest scoring round of the 2021/22 season, with a Monday night fixture between Getafe CF and RC Celta still to come.

Real Sociedad stay top of LaLiga Santander

Still at the top of the standings are Real Sociedad, who earned an impressive 2-2 draw away at Atlético de Madrid on Sunday night. The Basque side’s ‘Two Alexanders’ scored the goals, with one for Sørloth and one for Isak, before a Luis Suárez brace levelled the scoreline for the defending champions.

A European win for La Real too

Real Sociedad also earned a positive result in Europe in midweek, defeating Strum Graz 1-0 away from home in the Europa League. In the same competition, Real Betis played out an entertaining 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen.

Spanish victories in the Champions League

In the Champions League, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Villarreal defeated Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and Young Boys respectively, while Sevilla drew at French champions Lille and Atlético narrowly lost a close thriller to Liverpool.

Ansu Fati’s new Barcelona contract

Ansu Fati has signed a new contract with Barcelona, committing to the Catalan club until 2027. This is great news for the Blaugrana, who have great expectations for one of world football’s best young talents. Coming just a week after Pedri agreed his own new deal, this latest contract extension is something for Barça fans to smile about.

Cádiz’s young star commits to a long-term deal too

At Cádiz, they’re celebrating a contract extension too. 17-year-old midfielder Álvaro Bastida has put pen to paper on a new deal that will run until 2026, which is great news for the Andalusian club as Bastida is one of the top talents to have emerged from their academy in recent years. Already, despite his young age, Bastida is part of the first-team setup.

A new deal for Fidel

Another player to sign a new contract this past week was Elche winger Fidel. The 31-year-old, who first joined the club in 2012 and who is a club captain, has agreed to a two-year extension that means his deal now runs until the summer of 2024.

Midweek action across LaLiga Santander

There’s no let-up in the LaLiga calendar, with Matchday 11 being played in midweek across Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There are some fascinating games scheduled, such as Real Madrid’s home match against an Osasuna side with just two points fewer, or Barcelona’s visit to a Rayo Vallecano side who sit one point ahead of them.

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