Barcelona face Valencia as Levante look to bounce back: Liga F Week 22 Preview
Log leaders Barcelona welcome Valencia at the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Friday night.
The Blaugranes have been unstoppable this season and still maintain their 100% run with immediate focus being to negotiate their way past Valencia who have hit top form at the right time of their season.
The hosts will be banking on their marauding forwards led by Liga F top goal scorer Asisat Oshoala who is assured of able support from the returning Caroline Graham Hansen and Salma Paralluelo. Their midfield also looks compact with Aitana Bonmatí, Patri Guijarro and Keira Walsh running the show whilst Mapi León will be marshalling the defence alongside roving wingbacks Fridolina Rolfö and Lucy Bronze.
However, midfielder Clàudia Pina, who has scored crucial goals this season, is out of the tie with a sprained ankle.
On the other hand, the visitors will be banking on forwards Marta Carro, Macarena Portales Nieto and Anita Marcos to lead the team to victory and be the first to end Barcelona’s 100% run.
The teams have met 25 times with Barcelona winning 21, losing two and drawing two.
Meanwhile, second-placed Real Madrid will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing derby stalemate with Atlético Madrid last weekend when they clash with struggling UDG Tenerife at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts will be hoping that their forwards led by Esther González will be in good form supported by midfielder Caroline Weir who has chipped in with goals and assists that have taken the team thus far.
The Madrid side have not thrown in the towel in their bid to end Barcelona’s dominance and need to collect maximum points if they are to reignite their hopes as they trail the log leaders by seven points.
Tenerife, on the other hand, have managed to ease their relegation fears in recent matches as they now find themselves nine points above the relegation zone and will approach this match without much pressure so as to avoid capitulation.
The teams have met six times with Real winning two, losing one and drawing three.
Levante will be aiming to bounce back from their weekend setback when they visit Campo del CD Lamiya for a date with hosts Sporting Huelva on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors had a 4-0 hiding by Barcelona last weekend and are looking forward to collecting maximum points when they meet struggling Huelva who are at risk of relegation as they are just two points above the relegation zone.
Forward Alba Redondo fired blanks last weekend and will be aiming to bounce back on the scoresheet again in her fight for the golden boot and is hoping to get a clean supply from her attacking counterparts Mayra Ramírez, Erika González and Tatiana Pinto.
On the other hand, the hosts are aware of the danger posed by the visitors who are targeting a top three finish.
The teams have met 21 times with Levante winning 10, losing three and drawing eight.
Fifth-placed Madrid CFF will be looking to collect maximum points against Athletic Club at the Estadio Fernando Torres on Saturday afternoon.
The Madrid side will be hoping that forwards Racheal Kundananji and Flo Bonsegundo are at their best to lead the team to victory. On the other hand, the visitors will be banking on forwards Clara Pinedo, Arana Paula and Yulema Corres to carry the day as they seek to move further from danger being only five points from the relegation zone.
The teams have met 12 times with Athletic Club winning seven and losing five.
Having played to a goalless draw against Real Madrid last weekend, fourth-placed Atlético Madrid turn their attention to Sunday evening's fixture against bottom-placed Alhama CF ElPozo at the Campo de Fútbol José María Soriano Muñoz.
The visitors trail third-placed Levante by 10 points and will be aiming to collect maximum points to mount a final push for top three finish.
They will be hoping that forwards Rasheedat Ajibade and Marta Cardona are in top form to lead them to victory following the injury of club top scorer Ludmila last weekend.
On the other hand, Alhama will be missing the services of defender Olivia Oprea and will be hoping that experienced forward Jade Boho and fellow forward Kuki are at their best to cause the Atlético defence some problems.
The teams have met once in competitive matches with Atlético winning the match.
Buoyed by their 3-1 win over Alhama last weekend, Villarreal will be hoping to make it two wins in a row in their bid to survive relegation when they host Levante Las Planas at the Ciudad Deportiva on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams are tied on 18 points, only three points above the relegation zone with the winner set to move further to safety as they fight to survive the chop come end of season.
Villarreal will be banking on dependable forward and skipper Sheila Guijarro for goals whilst Las Planas will be hoping forwards Laura Martínez and Irina Uribe are at their best to lead them to victory.
The teams met once last year in December and played to a two-all draw.
Real Sociedad have an opportunity to save their season when they clash with struggling Alavés at the Instalaciones de Zubieta on Sunday afternoon.
Sociedad will be looking to utilise home advantage having been winless in their last five matches whilst Alavés will be hoping to build on last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Sporting Huelva to push for another full set of points.
The teams have met three times in competitive matches with Real Sociedad winning all the matches.
Sevilla will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing last two games when they host relegation-threatened Real Betis in the El Gran Derbi at the Ramón Cisneros Palacios on Saturday evening.
Their last fixture ended with Betis enjoying the bragging rights after beating their closest rivals 3-0 at home and would want to repeat the same feat away from home.
The teams have met nine times with Betis winning four, losing two and drawing three.
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Fixtures (Friday): Barcelona vs Valencia (19:00)
Fixtures (Saturday): Real Madrid vs UDG Tenerife (12:00); Madrid CFF vs Athletic Club (12:00); Sevilla vs Real Betis (18:15)
Fixtures (Sunday): Villarreal vs Levante Las Planas (12:00); Real Sociedad vs Alavés (12:00); Sporting Huelva vs Levante (16:00); Alhama CF ElPozo vs Atlético Madrid (18:00)
All times are in Central European Time (CET)