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La Liga Week Four Preview

Welcome to the preview for Week 4 of the 2015/16 La Liga Season which sees The Yellow Submarine host Bilbao which sees last season's 6th place take on last season's 7th place, Depor host newly promoted Gijon at Riazor, Benitez's men host Granada who they beat 9-1 in the same fixture last season and Los Che host newly promoted Betis at Mestalla.
GETAFE V MALAGA(FRIDAY 7.30PM, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
We head to the Spanish Capital and to the Coliseum to get Week 4's action underway as Getafe host Malaga in a fixture that promises to be well erm, promises to be erm pretty dull and one that's not likely to excite many.

Getafe sit rock bottom of the Primera and are the only side this season not to have picked up a point and it's been a dreadful start to this season for them and they really have picked up where they left off last season as they ended the season in dreadful form.

Their defeat in Week 3 at San Mames against Bilbao was to be expected but it's the same problems we've seen in all their three games so far this season and that's poor defending and it's a worry for Fran Escriba.

I don't believe Getafe will go down but they are worrying me a little at the moment and even though they always find a way to stay up it doesn't matter because in the end your luck eventually runs out and this season could be when it does.

Getafe's best news in the past week has been the fact that they are now the last Primera club to join social media and the last club in Western Europe to do so too and if you like you can now follow them on twitter @GetafeCF

Strangely enough Getafe played well at San Mames but a poor defensive display saw them lose their third game of the season and their defeat against Bilbao adds to defeats against Granada and Espanyol and all in all it's quite a poor start for the Madrid side.


Malaga themselves come into this after a poor start to the season because although they got a good point at home to Sevilla on the opening weekend and put in a superb performance in Catalonia and only just got beat by Barca a 0-0 draw at home to Eibar in Week 3 is two points dropped.

It's not two points dropped just because Malaga won that fixture last season but it's two points dropped because it's a great opportunity to get up and running by getting your first three points of the season and it's been wasted.

I expected so much more from Malaga in the final third and they looked poor when they got into the final third and looked lacking in ideas alot and Eibar did well on the night but they were there for the taking and it's a big opportunity blown by Gracia's side.

Malaga will now look to this game and see another opportunity and it's not really one that can be wasted either and even more so when you see their next three fixtures after this with two of those against Los Blancos and The Yellow Submarine, a defeat in Madrid would spark further worry.

Malaga may have won three of the last five meetings against Getafe but they don't like heading to the Spanish Capital and to the Coliseum and have lost their last three visits here including last season when they were beaten 1-0 and that game was in September too.

The last three meetings at the Coliseum have all ended in a 1-0 home success for Getafe and three of the last four meetings between these two in the Primera have all ended in a 1-0 scoreline and it could happen again here because there's no chance there'll be too many goals here in my opinion.
REAL MADRID V GRANADA(SATURDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
Los Blancos may not be top of the Primera but they head into this one full of confidence after their superb 6-0 away success in Catalonia in Week 3 against Espanyol and after hammering the Andalusians 9-1 at the Bernabeu last season they won't fear Granada's arrival on the tarmac at Barajas airport this weekend, they really won't.

Los Blancos were nothing short of outstanding and sensational in Week 3 and showed to me why I backed them to win La Liga before the start of this season and not only did they make me more confident in what I backed back in August but they delighted me.

This is the Los Blancos I really want to see and it's one that attacks but unlike under Ancelotti I now see a Los Blancos that attacks the opposition in a balanced way, a solid way and one that keeps them solid defensively and as threatening as ever in attack.

Benitez has found the balance and he's found it to absolute perfection and even if you try and test his side's defensive qualities this season you'll be punished in devastating fashion because on the counter-attack this side are something else this season.

Los Blancos are a much better side under Benitez than they were under Ancelotti and the fact I'm saying this after just three games shows you how good they have been and how impressed I've been with them.

Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo who by scoring five in Week 3 at Cornella El Prat against Espanyol ended Raul's record and becomes the all time top scorer in the Primera for Los Blancos and it's a truly fantastic achievement and one that will never be beaten.

I love watching Los Blancos but boy do I love watching them under Benitez and Los Blancos really can win the Primera this season and never rule out European success for a club the size of this one either.

I've always said James Rodriguez is crucial to this side in the final third and I stick by it but in Catalonia in Week 3 it was pleasing to see the side be so superb and brilliant in attack with Isco and Bale producing superb individual performances and Ronaldo and Benzema being excellent also.

Granada however lost in Week 3 and after conceding less than 20 goals at home last season they've already conceded six in their first two home games of the season and the amount of signings they've made this summer is possibly why.

Granada have signed many new players and it's going to take time for them to gel in but for Sandoval to leave a key attacking player in Ibanez on the bench is quite strange to be honest and it's also a poor call.

The result wouldn't have changed though because Granada were again weak defensively which we're not used to seeing from them and the Yellow Submarine's quality opened them up and despite Granada pulling one back they were to lose again at home this season.

Granada can't keep going two goals behind then pulling one back and hoping for a comeback because if you're always chasing games you'll always be suspect to the counter-attacks of the opposition and will really struggle.

Granada will be dreading their arrival on the tarmac of Barajas Airport this weekend because not only did they lose here last season 9-1 but they head to Madrid with Los Blancos full of goals and full of confidence and they also head to Madrid with themselves defending poorly and looking out of form.

Granada have lost every single time they've played Los Blancos but have scored on two of their last four visits to the Santiago Bernabeu and they'll look to that for inspiration but with La Real, Depor and Gijon coming up Sandoval and his side know big games are around the corner and they must gel quickly.

VALENCIA V REAL BETIS(SATURDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
Saturday's second game sees us on the East Coast as Los Che welcome new boys Real Betis to Mestalla in a game which sees us 4th v 5th in terms of club sizes but in terms of league position it doesn't.

Whilst Los Che are the fourth biggest club in Spain and Betis are the fifth biggest Los Che are likely to be in contention for fourth whilst Betis will be fighting to stay up in their first season back in the Primera.

Los Che will head into this one just three days after their first UEFA Champions League group stage game which is so important for them as is all six group games and to start at home to Russian side Lyon is just what they would want in what is a favourable group for them it has to be said.

So to head into two La Liga games back to back as after this game we head into a midweek set of fixtures they would want an easier game than Betis at home because although they are a new boy they're certainly the strongest side out of the three that's come up to the Primera this season.

Los Che were fortunate to win last time as they succeeded in Asturias in the City of Gijon as they came away from El Molinon with a 1-0 away success and when I say fortunate I mean about the luck they got.

Gijon had chances but didn't take them and whilst Los Che were the better side and more worthy of the three points than Gijon in the end their goal came via two deflections and was quite fortunate and Los Che and Nuno got out of jail.

Five points from a possible nine in your first three games of the season isn't too bad for a side like Los Che with top four aspirations but the last home game saw them draw 1-1 against Deportivo and that's two points dropped in a game they won comfortably last season.

Nuno must now realise why I and many Los Che supporters believe Alcacer must start as the striker and yes I understand he can't start every game due to the Champions League but he should be starting the majority of the Primera games, especially the ones away to Gijon and at home to Betis where you can come unstuck with a weaker frontline and Alcacer showed that in Gijon as he helped Los Che record success in Spain's Northern Region.

Betis have had only one away game so far this season and although they were quite poor defensively in that game we can't read too much into it as it was against Los Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu and to then have your second away game against Los Che at Mestalla it's quite harsh.

Betis will be full of confidence after their win in Week 3 at home against La Real and four points from a possible nine is a great start for Pepe Mel's men and the return of Joaquin saw him set up the reliable Castro for the winning goal in that game.

Joaquin's return with a young talent in Ceballos on the bench and experience and quality joining him on that bench too in Van Der Vaart shows Betis have good strength in depth and they looked very organised against La Real in Week 3.

At home they've looked organised in defence and a big threat on the counter attack but didn't away from home against Los Blancos but as I've said that was against Los Blancos and now they go to Mestalla so judge them away from home defensively in games against lesser opposition.

Betis have never beaten Los Che at Mestalla and have lost all their nine meetings against Los Che at Mestalla with eight of them coming in La Liga and one coming in the Copa back in 2008 and Betis have failed to scored on any of their last three visits to Mestalla losing by scorelines of 5-0, 3-0 and 4-0.

Los Che aren't at full level just yet and their performances so far have shown that and for this game to come days after a big Champions League game I don't see Betis getting a big defeat here and if they can keep it solid enough and be successful on the counter-attack they can come away from Mestalla like Depor did with a point.
EIBAR V ATLETI(SATURDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Eibar host Atleti at Ipurua in Saturday's penultimate game with Eibar sitting above Atleti in the La Liga title after just three games played and yes you've read that right and we are all set for a decent night of entertainment as La Liga spends a Saturday night in the Basque Country with Saturday's final two games taking place there.

Eibar come into this one unbeaten this season and sitting in a Europa League place (early days, early days) and with seven points from a possible nine so far they have just like last season started the season on fire.

Eibar are set for a season of struggle so don't let their great start fool you because they did this last season by starting off the season extremely well then collapsing in the second half of the season and eventually being relegated and then promoted days later.

Eibar's home form was poor last season and put more pressure on their away games in terms of them getting points but thankfully their away record was in the top ten of the Primera and saved them from relegation before Christmas.

To win away at a relegation rival like Granada on the opening weekend was superb but to then beat Bilbao in the Basque Derby in your own backyard and then hold Malaga at Rosaleda to record an away point is nothing short of a fantastic start for Eibar.

Eibar have so far looked very sharp and bright in the final third and very well organised and compact defensively and look a tough nut to crack but whatever they do in the first half of this season it's the second half of the season that will be crucial for them.

As for Atleti they'll arrive on the Bilbao airport Tarmac a little down after Week 3's 2-1 home defeat to Barca in what was such a huge game for them and after going 1-0 up through a great finish from 'El Nino' they'll be disappointed to have come away from that game with nothing to show for it in terms of points.

Atleti disappointed me against Barca because at times they sat far too deep defensively and we're talking about a Barca side that was severely weakened and weakened even more when Vermaelen was subbed off injured and Messi on the bench too is another factor.

When Atleti went 1-0 up you knew Barca had a massive ask because when you go 1-0 down to a Simeone side they're going to be even more difficult to break down but Atleti gave away a free-kick just minutes after El Nino's goal.

Up Stepped Neymar and a quality free-kick found its way into the net and the balance swung towards the Catalan side and with Messi on the script was written and Messi again scored at the Calderon to see Barca win at the Calderon two seasons running and twice in the same calendar year.

Atleti will still challenge for this title there's no doubt about it and it's just a shame the Barca game came early in the season when Atleti's new players and their attacking talent are finding their way into the side and adapting to Simeone's ways.

Atleti aren't out of the title race and they'll still challenge Los Blancos and Barca believe me but they know that Eibar away after a Champions League game and before a Madrid Derby in midweek is going to be very difficult and they will be in for a 90 minute battle at Ipurua on Saturday night and they know it.
SOCIEDAD V ESPANYOL(SATURDAY 9PM UK TIME, 10PM SPANISH TIME)
Saturday's action comes to an end, a dull end and it comes to that end in the Basque Country as we head to Anoeta for another game that includes two football nets and a football and sees La Real host Espanyol.

La Real head into Week 4 with just two points on the table with one defeat, one goal conceded and no goals scored and Moyes's time at La Real already looks like it will end before May and that's not being dramatic just ask the president.

I'm English and I'm proud of it and I always want to see British managers to do well especially when they come over to La Liga but I can't help but criticise Moyes now and I really feel that Week 3 saw him take a decent sized step towards the 'Salida' which means exit in Spanish for those of you who don't know much Spanish.

Against Betis they may have reached the penalty area a few times but not once did I ever feel they were going to score or even create something clearcut and La Real in the final third look so poor that if I was the president I'd be looking at making changes and it wouldn't be to the playing staff.

I'm not saying Moyes needs to be sacked but it's more likely to happen now than ever in my opinion and we've seen this in the second half of last season and yet again we're seeing it in this season even with new players!

Moyes has been backed and he has a stronger squad this season there's no doubt about that and if you don't believe that then I'm gobsmacked, he's been backed superbly in the transfer market and in Bruma and Jonathas plus Vela staying means La Real have a strikeforce more than good enough to challenge even Sevilla last season's fifth placed side.

La Real remain solid in defence and have Rulli who is an excellent goalkeeper between the sticks too but in the final third they look so poor it's frightening and Bruma and Jonathas are being made to look poor when they're actually excellent players who can be successes for La Real.

Either the players at La Real aren't understanding Moyes well enough in terms of language or he's restricting them far too much because this side should be finishing top seven and after three games they look years away.

Moyes can keep saying he's aiming for mid-table in these press conferences but it won't be long before I snap so it won't be long until the president decides to make Moyes the first managerial casualty in the Primera this season and right now who could blame him.

Espanyol lost in Week 3 6-0 at home to Los Blancos and although I felt Los Blancos would stroll to a very comfortable win I never saw such a hammering coming but the performance over the 90 minutes shows why I said Espanyol are set for a season that's long and one that'll be a struggle.

Defensively they look extremely weak and at times last weekend it was schoolboy like and their high defensive line against Los Blancos was madness and the space they left Los Blancos was quite incredible.

Espanyol have looked weak and deficient infront of goal this season and in Week 3 nothing changed, the goalkeeper is average, the wingers are average, the strikeforce is quite poor and defensively they look like they've never played in a back four.

Espanyol won't go down in my opinion but it's very very possible and it would be a crying shame to lose a Catalan side from the Primera but as I keep saying this season will be hard, it'll be a struggle and they must improve a great deal if they're to avoid relegation.

This is a massive game for both sides and both lack goals and both are also playing poorly and defeat for either will be a big blow so early on as we head to into a period where we see three games in seven days.

Espanyol have lost their last two visits to Anoeta and lost three of the last five meetings against the Basque side, their only wins here came in 2012 and 2006 respectively and they'd love another success here.

Moyes can't afford defeat in this one and with games coming up against Atleti and Malaga in the next few weeks he knows tough games are round the corner and after this he faces games away to Granada and the big Basque Derby against Bilbao, two defeats in the next three could well see Moyes on his way out.
SEVILLA V CELTA(SUNDAY 11AM UK TIME, 12PM SPANISH TIME)
The early Sunday kick-off continues and it showed itself again in Week 3 to be full of surprises, dull and a nightmare for punters and tipsters alike and it's back again in Week 4 as Sevilla host Celta at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Days after a Champions League game the last thing I would want is a La Liga game in the early Sunday kick-off whether it's at my home ground or not, I'd rather you gave me a Sunday night game so I can have a few more hours rest.

I don't like the early Sunday kick-off and for me if we're going to have the early Sunday kick-off why can't we have on the Saturday too? It makes no sense at all to me because it would certainly cut down the number of games on the Saturday or the Sunday.

Sevilla have injury problems and they continue with the news that goalkeeper Beto faces six weeks out with a knee injury and he finds himself on the sidelines with defenders Rami and Carrico and not only do Sevilla look light in numbers in defence but they look light in numbers in the goalkeeping department now too.

In Week 3 Sevilla drew 1-1 away on the East Coast against Levante in a game where they quite literally threw two points away because not only did they miss golden chances in the first-half to go in at half-time 2-0 up but their second half performance cost them.

Sevilla came out against a side who are destined for relegation this season and a relegation battle and decided it would be best to sit deep rather than go and attack to try and get the second goal that would kill Levante off.

It doesn't matter who you're against because if you sit deep then eventually you'll pay the price and when Levante equalised Sevilla paid the price and they deservedly did so because a poor second half performance cost them and saw them for me drop two points in a game they had control of.

Sevilla are miles away from the level they were at last season and considering they are now in the Champions League that's quite scary especially when Emery admits it himself in the press and the only positive thing about Beto being injured is that it makes Emery make a sensible decision and that's by starting his best goalkeeper in goal and that's Sergio Rico.

Celta come into Week 4 kicking themselves from Week 3 as they blew a 2-0 lead and a 3-1 lead against new boys Las Palmas and ended up drawing the game 3-3 and they'll certainly see it as two points thrown away.

They'll be right to because their first two home games of this season has already seen them have an incredible amount of luck and fortune because they've started the game and the opposition's goalkeeper has been sent off and they've then had a penalty and scored it to take the lead.

Against Rayo it saw them go onto cruise to victory and it looked like the game against Las Palmas would follow suit especially when they were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes but it wasn't to be even with a 2-0 lead and a 3-1 lead.

Celta's attacking style of all out attack no matter what the score is and their defensive mistakes and Las Palmas's incredible spirit and attitude saw Celta punished as they threw a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 and in the end they could quite easily have lost.

Celta look as exciting and as brilliant as ever and seven points from a possible nine is an excellent start to the season despite the dropped points against Las Palmas and they'll travel to the Andalusian Capital with no fear.

Fixtures between these sides hasn't seen many goals and the early Sunday kick-off rarely sees many goals but it does surprise as we've seen too many times, Celta have won two of the last four meetings between the two but lost four of their last five visits to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and failed to score on three of their last five visits.
DEPORTIVO V GIJON(SUNDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
After recording their first win of the season against Rayo with a 3-1 away success at Vallecas in the Spanish Capital in Week 3 Depor will look to record another win by beating Gijon at Riazor in Sunday's second game.

Depor were simply brilliant at Vallecas and in every department they looked a much improved outfit compared to the one we had to watch last season over the 38 games and it's a side I actually now enjoy watching and one that doesn't frustrate me.

I said before the season started that Depor had done superb business in the transfer market and done exactly what I said in terms of what they needed and in defence they've brought in proven, experienced and quality Primera level defenders and in attack they've found goals in Lucas Perez and he looks hot after just three games and was on the scoresheet again at Vallecas in Week 3.

Jonas Gutierrez is a superb signing on the flanks as are the two defenders from Sevilla in Navarro and Arribas and Luis Alberto formerly of English side Liverpool provides quality and great delivery on the flanks and he played a key part in the win at Vallecas in Week 3.

Depor actually look a threat now when they go forward so much so that I actually feel they're likely to score and failing that create an actual clearcut goalscoring chance and in defence they look much more organised and structured and in midfield they look like they can now control a game against sides like Rayo, Granada etc who will be their relegation rivals.

Gijon come into this one after suffering their first defeat of the season in Week 3 as they conceded a last minute winner against Los Che at El Molinon to lose the game 1-0 but they still produced another excellent performance despite the defeat.

Coach Abelardo Fernandez can be so proud of his players and so can the Gijon supporters and most of all the players should be so proud of how they've performed in their first three games back in the Primera and the way they've gone about it too.

Abelardo has his side set up fantastically well, they are well-organised, well structured and very hard to break down and at El Molinon this season they will be tough nuts to crack and even more so on their travels.

If you think just because Gijon can't sign players and are new boys they'll be 'cannon fodder' think again because in away games they remain organised and well structured but have a squad full of talented youngsters and high potential especially in the attacking areas which makes them a big threat on the counter-attack.

Gijon LOST JUST TWO GAMES last season as they finished second in the Segunda and gained automatic promotion back to the Primera and it was only the fact they drew too many games that denied them going up as Champions and winning the Segunda rather than Betis who were the eventual winners of the division last season.

Gijon have shown they can stay up and that their home form can be good enough but the question remains and that question is this: Can Gijon remain organised enough defensively in the games against their relegation rivals when will need to be more positive in attack to get the wins?

We'll get an early indicator in this one because although I do feel Deportivo will be safe from relegation this season and will survive easier than they did last season I do see them as one of the sides that will be in the relegation battle this season.

It's a huge game for both sides this one and Gijon will draw confidence from their performances in the first three games of this season and they'll draw further confidence from the fact that Deportivo have never beaten them.

These two sides have met eight times in Spanish football with six meetings coming in the Primera three of which were won by Gijon and three of which also ended in draws and one of those Gijon successes came in Coruna.

The last two meetings between these two sides came in the 2013/14 season in the Segunda and the meeting in Gijon ended in a 2-0 home success for Gijon whilst the meeting in Coruna ended in a 1-1 draw and infact Gijon's last three visits to Coruna to play Deportivo have all ended in draws and all ended in the same 1-1 scoreline.
VILLARREAL V BILBAO(SUNDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
The game of Week 4 takes place on the East Coast as last season's sixth placed team hosts last season's seventh placed team as The Yellow Submarine welcome Valverde's men from the Basque Country to El Madrigal.

This is a fixture I love between sides that are always going to be in the hunt for a Europa League place in La Liga with aspirations of a top four finish their dream and it's made more special this season by the fact that these two are the only sides from La Liga in this season's UEFA Europa League.

The Yellow Submarine face an away trip in the Europa League days before this clash whilst Bilbao have a home date with German side Augsburg so Bilbao will do less travelling than the Yellow Submarine in the days before this crunch clash.

This game could well prove to be decisive come May in the race for a Europa League place and it's worth remembering that Bilbao only got it last season via the Copa as they reached the final knowing that with Barca taking up a Champions League place Bilbao were assured of a place in the UEFA Europa League.

If you're a fan of an English side in the Europa League this season don't even consider under-estimating these two because even though La Liga only has two sides in the Europa League this season we can still see a La Liga side win it for the third year in a row.

The Yellow Submarine head into this one on the back of Week 3's superb 3-1 away success in Andalusia against Granada as they produced a wonderful second half attacking performance that proved to be too much for Granada.

The Yellow Submarine like last season have started this season very very well and with Denis Suarez coming off the bench they looked utterly sincilating in the final third in Week 3 and the third goal sums it up with beautiful one touch football leading to a beautiful goal that brought an end to a fantastic attacking move.

Not only do The Yellow Submarine have strikers like Soldado and Bakambu up top but they also have Adrian on the bench and in terms of attacking options they have Samuel Garcia and Denis Suarez on the bench with Castillejo and Nahuel in the starting eleven who are superb young talents and boy are they exciting.

The Yellow Submarine look hard to break down defensively and are exciting to watch as they are always are but so far this season I've yet to see them play well for the full 90 minutes, I've only seen it for 45 minutes in a game and let's hope those 90 minutes come soon.

Bilbao however have had a slow start losing to Eibar in the Basque Derby which was poor and whilst losing against Barca is no surprise given they're the Champions and with their front three being the best to play the game but all in all it's been a slow start.

They'll hope that the Getafe game will be the boost they need now to give them the confidence and belief they need that will enable them to start racking up the points and climbing the table now because another defeat would see them back to the drawing board.

Their reliance on Aduriz still continues but Raul Garcia scoring on his debut and fitting straight in the reliance on Aduriz should be lessened this season and it's going to be interesting to see if it is because Raul Garcia can certainly score close to double figures in this side.

Bilbao have games coming up against Los Blancos, Valencia and the Basque Derby against La Real and all three are huge games for Valverde and his men and they'd love to warm up for those three with a win on the East Coast.

It won't be easy at El Madrigal though a place where they have never won and have only ever drawn at twice but those two draws have come on two of their last three visits to El Madrigal as they have recorded a score draw on two of their last three visits to El Madrigal despite losing five of their last seven visits to El Madrigal.
BARCA V LEVANTE(SUNDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
The first of Sunday's final two games takes place in the Catalan Capital as league leaders and Champions Barca host Levante at Camp Nou as Barca look to continue their 100% start to the season.

Barca will come into this one after a Wednesday night in the Italian City of Rome in the UEFA Champions League as they take on AS Roma and as injuries mount up the amount of games now increase.

Following this game they'll play a Midweek La Liga game then one next weekend and another midweek game in the Champions League plus another weekend La Liga game then it's the international break.

Barca face a busy September and with Bravo, Alves, Douglas and Adriano all still out injured and Vermaelen joining them their wafer-thin squad gets thinner by the game but at least Busquets will be back for this one even though Pique will still be missing from the defence due to this being the final game of his four match suspension.

Without wanting to be disrespectful towards the players from the B side when I say this but the fact that Luis Enrique had to include two players from the B side in his 20 man squad that travels to Rome on Tuesday night shows the lack of depth even further and it's quite alarming it really is.

Whilst Barca lack enough quality in depth and the strength it is unlikely to cause them problems in the Champions League but over a 38 game season in the Primera where injuries and suspensions will play a big part it could cause them problems.

Barca can defend their title in La Liga this season and will come very close to doing so believe me but I do see them coming up short and their lack of strength in depth will be the main reason just you watch.

They beat Atleti because the front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar is the best front three to have ever played the game and when they turn it on it doesn't matter what the opposition does because it's game over.

As we saw in pre-season this side is frightening without the front three in it and frightening in a bad way because it's scary at how average the side is and with La Masia starting their season badly in the third tier of Spanish football it's not all bright at Barca despite victories and it's painful to see.

I feel for Vermaelen with his injury because he's impressed and done really well but when you have the next two options to replace him in Mathieu and Bartra it tells you that not only are neither of them good enough for a Barca side but it tells you the lack of depth is alarming.

You can add Turan and Vidal to this side in January but you'll still lack depth and signings must be made in January they really must and the state of La Masia in January must be brighter than it is now I'm telling you.

There are investigations of corruption into the summer elections we had at the club and if they are proven to be correct the elections will be recalled and Bartomeu this time really won't be so lucky because he'll be out, let's hope for the sake of this club the corruption in this summer's elections are proven to be correct.

Levante come into this one after a morale boosting second half performance against Sevilla in Week 3 which saw them record an excellent 1-1 home result against a side who finished fifth in the Primera last season and beat Sevilla in this exact fixture last season too so to draw it is progress for Levante in that respect.

Levante produced a poor performance overall though because whilst Feddal impressed in defence and whilst the side produced a second half performance where they were on the front foot and they showed spirit they still lacked real quality.

Levante ended up on the front foot because Sevilla sat too deep in the second half which was needless and strange to say the least and yes they equalised but in the final third Levante looked lacking in real quality and lacked a real spark.

I do feel Levante will go down but they do always find a way to stay up in the end like Getafe and I did them to be outsiders to go down this season but the way the three promoted sides and Eibar have started the season and what they've shown has shown me that one of them could survive and in the end push Levante down into the Segunda.

Levante's next two games after this are huge as they face Eibar at home in Midweek and then face a weekend in the Spanish Capital at the Coliseum to take on Getafe and failures from those two fixtures could well see our first managerial casualty of the season in La Liga in Lucas Alcaraz.

Barca face a midweek trip to Balaidos to face Celta after this and then take on new boys Las Palmas at Camp Nou before travelling to the Andalusian Capital to take on Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and if Barca head into October's international break with maximum points it could be absolutely decisive in the title race come May.

Levante have never beaten the Catalan giants and have lost every single visit to the Camp Nou including their last five which includes last season's 5-0 defeat and the 7-0 hammering before that in 2013, Levante haven't scored at Camp Nou against Barca since the 2-1 away defeat in January 2011.
LAS PALMAS V RAYO(SUNDAY 7.30PM)
The second of Sunday's and Week 4's final two games takes place in the Canary Islands in the city of Las Palmas as new boys Las Palmas host a Rayo side who have started this season poorly and this is a game I will be at!

Las Palmas head into this one after producing a fantastic result in Vigo in Week 3 as they came from 2-0 and 3-1 down to secure a 3-3 draw at Balaidos against an excellent Celta side and after having their goalkeeper sent off Las Palmas never gave up.


Las Palmas make you prouder as each game passes and their spirit, bravery, attitude and belief really has to be admired because not only is Balaidos a tough place to go for the top sides in La Liga but for the sides that are fighting relegation it's even harder and it's a mammoth task when you have your goalkeeper sent off early-on and go 1-0 down.

When Nolito slotted Celta's third in and made it 3-1 I only saw one thing as the game remained very open and that's the Las Palmas defence continuing to be sliced open by Celta's wonderful attacking ability and Las Palmas to end the game by being on the receiving end of a hammering.

Las Palmas have now shown more than enough to me and to others that they can survive at this level this season and avoid what happened to Tenerife when they came up as they went straight back down and what a wonderful achievement it would be if Las Palmas can stay up this season.

I really really hope Las Palmas stay up this season it's a wonderful story and something quite special and unique having a side from the Canary Islands back in the Primera again and to see them stay up would be something to celebrate big time.

Araujo and Viera were a duo that were nothing short of sensational last season and were key to Las Palmas's promotion and they were superb at Balaidos and now Araujo has scored his first goal in the Primera he will only get better and he can thrive at this level, what a talent he is.

If you want Araujo you better have 60 million Euros because that's his clause and at 23 years old he shows that Argentina in attack have a bright bright future because with Correa at Atleti, Vietto at Atleti and Araujo at Las Palmas all coming through they can be some force again in years to come on the international scene.

A player that's impressed me apart from Araujo and Viera is right-back David Simon born on the island he knows how much of an achievement it is for Las Palmas to be at this level and knows the task they face to stay up this season.

He was superb at Balaidos as he has been for Las Palmas last season, the season before that and he's showing it again this season and at Balaidos he set up Araujo for the first goal and then played a bigger part as he slotted home the equaliser.

Las Palmas could have easily won it the end when Wakaso came on and with El Zhar as another option in attack too Las Palmas have the attacking ability to stay up and in the process they can excite and score plenty of goals too.

Coach Paco Herrera said before the Celta game that he wasn't happy with his side's attacking showing in the first two games of the season and said he'd open the side up a little but remain the side's superb solidity defensively.

Now it may sound that they weren't solid defensively at Balaidos as they conceded three goals but Celta can make anyone's defence look poor because they are an excellent side who go all-out attack against you whether you're Barca, Real or Las Palmas and with the space they leave in behind it's always an open game against them.

I saw no real defensive deficiences from Las Palmas at Balaidos but attacking wise they look tooled up, they look good enough to hurt many sides at this level and if only we could have seen that in Week 2 against Levante at EGC.

They should have beaten Levante in Week 2 because they had the chances in a game they dominated from minute 1 to minute 90 and they'll be frustrated to have drawn the game because games like that at home are the ones you need to be winning.

Goalkeeper Javi Varas will be suspended for this game due to his red card at Balaidos in Week 3 but as he showed at Balaidos when he came on in goal Raul Lizoain who like right-back David Simon was born on the island that he is more than good enough to do a great job between the sticks for Las Palmas.

Rayo come into this one after a truly awful performance against Deportivo at Vallecas in Week 3 that saw them suffer a 3-1 home defeat and to be truthful it should have been more and it really could have been too.

Paco Jemez is a guy who is a superb coach and has done a great job at Rayo and we all know how crazy he is but to play a slow 6 foot defender on the right hand side of defence is nothing short of madness, he's turned bonkers.

Rayo's best form has always been in the second half of the season but that doesn't mean that the first half of the season can't be analysed and I'll do it in short form by saying that Rayo weren't just comical in defence and poor in defence against Depor but they looked years behind Depor who are a side that will be in the relegation battle and Rayo didn't look a Primera level side and both those facts are scary for Rayo as we head into Week 4.

Attacking midfielder Patrick Ebert decided to vent his frustration at the referee at his decision to award a goal-kick instead of a corner and he received his second bookable offence and was sent off, he completed a miserable Week 3 for Rayo and he'll miss this one in Las Palmas through suspension.

Rayo's next two games including this one are vital because they can't afford their wait for a win to go on for much longer and after their Sunday night clash in Gran Canaria they face a home game at Vallecas against new boys Gijon and if they pick up less than three points from these two games real worry will step into Rayo.

These two sides have met four times before competitively and once non-competitively as they met in a pre-season friendly in August this year just a week before the season started in a friendly Rayo were successful in with a 1-0 home success.

The four meetings on a competitive level have seen two meetings in the Segunda and two meetings in the Copa and in 2012 in the Copa Las Palmas won the first leg at home in Gran Canaria 1-0 and drew the second leg 0-0 at Vallecas in the Spanish Capital to progress to the next round and in the process knock Rayo out.

The two meetings in the league came in the Segunda division back in the 2010/11 season with Las Palmas again winning the meeting in Gran Canaria at home with a 2-1 home success but losing the meeting in the Spanish Capital at Vallecas 2-0.

This is the game Las Palmas have to win, the effort and the result at Balaidos must count for something and for it to count for something three points must be achieved on Sunday night against Rayo and I'll be there and I can't wait for this one.

PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO!

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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport: La Liga Week Four Preview
La Liga Week Four Preview
Welcome to the preview for Week 4 of the 2015/16 La Liga Season which sees The Yellow Submarine host Bilbao which sees last season's 6th place take on last season's 7th place, Depor host newly promoted Gijon at Riazor, Benitez's men host Granada who they beat 9-1 in the same fixture last season and Los Che host newly promoted Betis at Mestalla.
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TheSportMatrix | We Live For Sport
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