Primera Iberdrola Week 13 Preview: Battle for Champions League spots intensifies with Barcelona seeking to extend dominance
The first top-flight Basque derby is scheduled for this coming weekend as Athletic Club hosts Alaves at the Lezama Facilities on Saturday with both clubs fighting for a Champions League spot.
Irai Iturregi’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways in front of their home fans and keep building on their good form after suffering a 4-0 setback against Barcelona in their last match at the weekend while Alaves would be looking forward to building from their 3-1 win against Valencia in their last match.
Alaves has been a surprise package in their first season finding themselves in fourth position after 12 games with 21 points.
The two teams met once in a friendly match in August this year and Athletic Club came out 2-1 victors.
Barcelona vs. Real Madrid
Defending champions and log leaders Barcelona take on Real Madrid at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Sunday hoping to make it 13 out of 13.
Real Madrid are coming from a convincing 3-0 win over Icelandic side Breidablik in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Wednesday while Barcelona are coming from a 4-0 UEFA Women’s Champions League thumping of Arsenal on Thursday.
Barcelona enjoy the bragging rights of this fixture so far having won all the four matches they have played since 2019.
The visitors will be missing their top goal-scorer Asisat Oshoala who is still out due to injury.
The home side, however, have seen some great improvement and have not lost in their last five matches and a win will take them to 20 points.
Real Sociedad vs Sporting Huelva
Real Sociedad will welcome struggling Sporting Huelva at the Centro de Entrenamiento Zubieta on Sunday hoping to make it five wins in a row to cement their second position on the log standings.
Both teams will not entertain any slip up as the fight for Champions league football intensifies.
The two teams have met nine times at this venue and the home side have won on three occasions while the visitors have won four times and drawn twice. Although the home side have shown brilliant form this season, they will have to guard against complacency on account of these the head-to-head results.
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid make a trip to Seville on Sunday to play Sevilla at the Ramón Cisneros Palacios.
A win for the visitors may take them to second position on condition that Real Sociedad lose to Sporting Huelva.
Atletico Madrid will be wary of the hosts as their last two trips to Sevilla were not fruitful losing one and drawing the other one.
The home side, on the other hand, will be looking forward to a positive result after a goalless draw against Real Betis during the El Gran Derbi last weekend.
Levante vs Villareal
Levante will be hoping to turn around their campaign to entertain any chances of a second dance in the competition when they host Villarreal who are at the bottom of the log standings on Sunday at Ciudad Deportiva de Buñol - Campo 1.
Levante have been struggling of late and will look to collect maximum points against an equally struggling Villarreal side.
The visitors, on the other hand, have collected just a single point in their last five games.
The two teams have not met before.
Eibar vs Granadilla Tenerife
Granadilla Tenerife have been in fine form of late and look to continue with it as they visit Eibar at Unbe Sports Complex on Sunday.
The home side have not won in their last four matches.
The two teams won a match apiece in the two matches they have played. Eibar beat Tenerife 2-1 at home in May this year and hope to build from that head-to-head record to upset the visitors.
A win for the visitors, on the other hand, will boost their chances of a top three finish come end of season.
A defeat for the hosts may leave them facing relegation risk.
The visitors will be boosted by the record of having been scoring away from home, only failing to score against Real Sociedad in their last five away matches.
Valencia vs Madrid CFF
Madrid CFF travel to Valencia for a date on Sunday at the Estadio Antonio Puchades.
Valencia have been struggling for much of this season and find themselves in 13th position with just eight points after 12 games.
The hosts, however, enjoy the bragging rights when they play at home against their week 13 opponents whom they have defeated in all three home games they played.
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis
Rayo Vallecano hosts inconsistent Real Betis on Sunday at Ciudad Deportiva Fundación Rayo Vallecano Campo 1.
Real Betis have won three of their last five visits at this venue and this will be a motivation for them to continue their dominance over Rayo.
It is a relegation battle as Betis are not far from the bottom with only twelve points from a possible 36.
Both teams collected just a single point in their last four matches.
Fixtures (Saturday): Athletic Club vs Alaves (12:00)
Fixtures (Sunday): Levante vs Villarreal (11:00); Valencia vs Madrid CFF (11:30); Eibar vs Granadilla Tenerife (11:30); Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis (11:45); Real madrid vs Barcelona (12:00); Real Sociedad vs Sporting Huelva (12:00); Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid (12:00)
All times Central European Time (CET)
(Photo by Ivan Terron / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)