Battle royale as Barca, Madrid face off, Levante face Sociedad: Liga F Week 23 Preview
It is battle royale in the Liga F title chase as Barcelona welcome fierce rivals Real Madrid at the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Saturday evening.
The clash will definitely decide the course of the league title as Real will be all out trying to end Barcelona’s dominance whilst the Blaugranes will be aiming to continue with their 100% run.
Both teams boast of good players, though the hosts are stronger both in attack and defence with their forwards having scored 98 times but their defence conceding just five goals in 22 matches this season.
Their forwards include Pichichi contender forward Asisat Oshoala, with 19 goals, 19-year old sensation Salma Paralluelo, the talented midfield workhorse Aitana Bonmatí and experienced defensive stalwart Mapi León.
The visitors, on the other hand, boast of Spain forward Esther González who has been scoring goals for fun, complemented by the evergreen Scotland international midfielder Caroline Weir who has done great in her first season in Liga F.
A win for the hosts will put them on 69 points, 13 above their opponents who are their closest rivals in the title chase.
The teams have met 12 times with Barcelona winning all of them.
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Meanwhile, a potentially explosive match pitting Levante and Real Sociedad will be at the Ciudad Deportiva de Buñol - Campo 1 on Sunday evening.
Hosts Levante have been doing well in their bid to finish in the top three for a second time in three seasons whilst Sociedad have been a pale shadow of themselves, having finished second behind Barcelona last season
Forward Alba Redondo, on 20 goals, was back on the scoresheet last weekend in her bid to win the Pichichi at the end of the season and will be looking to add more goals to her name and help her team win the match. Redondo will be assured of able support from fellow attackers Mayra Ramírez and Erika González whilst the visitors will be banking on inform midfielder Nerea Eizagirre and forward Amaiur Sarriegi for goals.
The teams are separated by 23 points with Levante being third on 53 whilst Sociedad is eighth on 30.
The teams have met 24 times with Levante winning 12, losing five and drawing seven.
Valencia have an opportunity to bounce back from their 5-1 weekend drubbing by Barcelona when they clash with visiting Alhama CF ElPozo at the Ciudad Deportiva de Paterna on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts will be looking to collect maximum points against a struggling Alhama side that is bottom of the standings with just 14 points from a possible 66.
Valencia have their eyes on finishing as high as they can with a victory this weekend to take their points tally to 36.
The teams have met twice with each team winning once.
Sevilla aim to continue with their best run this season when they visit San Mamés Barria for a date with hosts Athletic Club on Friday night.
Sevilla are buoyed by their 3-0 drubbing of Real Betis in the El Gran Derbi last weekend whilst the hosts will be looking to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat to Madrid CFF last weekend.
The visitors’ hopes for a good game are on midfielder Amanda Sampedro, who has chipped in with goals, and defender Silvia Meseguer to shut the Athletic Club forwards whilst the hosts will be banking forward Peke and midfielder Clara Pinedo for goals.
A win for Sevilla will take them to 33 points whilst Athletic club’s victory will take them to 23 points to boost their survival chances.
The teams have met 17 times with Athletic Club winning 11, losing three and drawing three.
UDG Tenerife, motivated by their 1-0 victory over second-placed Real Madrid last week, will be hoping for another big performance against an equally struggling Sporting Huelva at the Estadio La Palmera on Saturday afternoon.
With home advantage, Tenerife will be hoping that forwards Jassina Blom and María José Pérez González are at their best supported by midfielder Koko Ange.
A win for the hosts will take them to 30 points.
On the other hand, Huelva cannot afford to lose as they are just two points above the relegation zone.
The teams have met 15 times with Tenerife winning six, losing three and drawing six.
Atlético Madrid face hosts Alavés at the Mendizorroza on Sunday afternoon.
Atlético have managed to be consistent in their last five games only dropping points in a one-all draw against city rivals Real Madrid.
On the other hand, the hosts find themselves in the murky waters of relegation having collected 15 points from 22 matches and will have to be at their best to win against a motivated Atlético side who feel they still have a chance to finish in the top three.
Forwards Rasheedat Ajibade and Eva Navarro will lead the line for the visitors in the absence of Ludmila whilst the hosts will bank on forwards Sara Carrillo and Carla Armengol for goals to move out of relegation.
The teams have met three times with Atlético winning two and drawing one.
Smarting from a 3-0 defeat at the hands of close rivals Sevilla in the El Gran Derbi, Real Betis will turn their attention to facing visiting Villarreal at the Ciudad Deportiva Luis de Sol on Saturday afternoon.
Betis, who find themselves in the cusps of relegation as they are hanging by a thread of one point above the relegation zone, will be aiming at nothing short of victory against the visitors, who are also fighting for their survival as they are only four points above the drop zone.
Villarreal will be hoping that skipper and midfielder Sheila Guijarro will inspire them to victory whilst Betis will be hoping that forward Rinsola Babajide will use her experience to help them collect maximum points.
A win for Betis will take them to 19 points and overtake their opponents on goal difference whilst a win for the visitors will take them to 22 points and possibly move to 10th on the standings.
The teams have met three times with Villarreal winning two and losing one.
Madrid CFF turn their attention to hosts Levante Las Planas at the Camp Municipal Les Planes on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors had to work for their three points last weekend after they survived a late charge from Athletic Club.
On the other hand, Las Planas will be looking forward to winning after registering four draws and one defeat in their last five matches.
They will hope that experienced forward Mari Paz is at her best to lead the line alongside young forward Irina Uribe whilst Madrid CFF will be banking on the exploits of Zambian forward Racheal Kundananji and her fellow attacking partner Lucia Pardo.
A win for Las Planas will take them to 22 points and boost their survival hopes as Madrid CFF aim to finish in the top five this season.
The teams have met once with Madrid CFF winning 3-1 in September last year.
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Fixtures (Friday): Athletic Club vs Sevilla (20:00)
Fixtures (Saturday): UDG Tenerife vs Sporting Huelva (12:00)*; Real Betis vs Villarreal (16:00); Barcelona vs Real Madrid (18:15)
Fixtures (Sunday): Levante Las Planas vs Madrid CFF (12:00); Alavés vs Atlético Madrid (12:00); Valencia vs Alhama CF ElPozo (16:00); Levante vs Real Sociedad (18:00)
All times are in Central European Time (CET)*Peninsular Time