La Liga preview, 31 August -2 September 2018

Round three of the 2018/19 La Liga season sees Real Madrid and Barcelona looking to maintain their 100 percent records, while the Valencia and Seville derbies promise fireworks on Sunday.

The action gets underway with three matches on Friday night. First up at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Amath Ndiaye and Djene Dakonam’s Getafe will chase a second straight win when they host Anuar Tuhami’s Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad will aim to continue their unbeaten start when they face Papakouli Diop’s Eibar, and Cameroonian attacker Karl Toko Ekambi will hope to get a start when Villarreal welcome Girona to Estadio de la Ceramica.

Saturday’s early kick-off sees Thomas Partey and Atletico Madrid looking to avoid a potential banana skin at the Abanca-Balaidos Stadium against Sofiane Boufal’s Celta de Vigo, followed by struggling Rayo Vallecano – who have Gael Kakuta and Abdoulaye Ba as regulars – looking to get their first point when they host Athletic Bilbao.

The night game on Saturday sees Real Madrid at home to Leganes. While Julen Lopetegui’s Los Blancos have claimed two wins from as many matches, they will still need to be way of Leganes – in particular Moroccan winger Nabil El Zhar, who scored two goals in their 2-2 draw with Sociedad last weekend to bring them a first La Liga point of the season. Yet with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in good form, the hosts will be clear favourites at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Sunday’s action is headlined by Barcelona hosting Huesca for a first-ever la Liga meeting between the teams. They have, however, met before in the Copa Del Rey, with the Catalan giants claiming an emphatic 12-1 aggregate win over two legs in December 2014.

Also on Sunday, a Levante team which can call on the likes of Moses Simon, Raphael Dwamena, Cheick Doukoure and Emmanuel Boateng, will face Marcelino’s Valencia in a derby clash which is expected to be fiercely contested, Mubarak Wakaso and Patrick Twumasi’s Deportivo Alaves take on Espanyol, and another derby closes out the weekend as Real Betis – boasting North Africans Zouhari Feddal, Aissa Mandi and Ryad Boudebouz – welcome Sevilla to Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Key match stats

Celta de Vigo v Atletico Madrid – Head-to-Head, all competitions

Matches played 38

Celta wins 10

Atletico wins 20

Draws 8

Real Madrid v Leganes – Head-to-Head, all competitions

Matches played 6

Real wins 5

Leganes wins 1

Draws 0

Barcelona v Huesca – Head-to-Head, all competitions

Matches played 2

Barca wins 2

Huesca wins 0

Draws 0

La Liga fixtures, August 31 – September 2

All times CAT

Friday 31 Aug

20:00: Getafe v Real Valladolid – Live on SS7 & Max2

22:00: Eibar v Real Sociedad – Live on SS6, SS10, Max360 & SelGo2

22:00: Villarreal v Girona – Live on SS7 & Max2

Saturday 1 Sep

18:15: Celta de Vigo v Atletico Madrid – Live on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4

20:45: Real Madrid v Leganes – Live on SS7 & Max2

Sunday 2 Sep

12:00: Levante v Valencia – Live on SS7, SS10, Max360 & SelGo4

18:30: Barcelona v Huesca – Live on SS7, Max2 & SelGo4 at 18h30

20:45: Real Betis v Sevilla – Live on SS7 & Max1