Welcome to the preview for Week 10 of the 2015/16 La Liga Season which sees Atleti head to Galicia to face Depor, a Valencian Derby at Mestalla, Barca in the Spanish Capital to face Getafe, Las Palmas at the Bernabeu to face Los Blancos and the game of the weekend which sees Sevilla head to the East Coast to face the Yellow Submarine at El Madrigal.
THIS BLOG SUPPORTS THE 'VILLAR VETE YA' CAMPAIGN
LA LIGA NEWS
Levante SACK coach Lucas Alcaraz after twelve months in charge after just one win in nine La Liga games
Barca declare war on UEFA and threaten date in court
Los Blancos are yet to fall behind in a game under Rafa Benitez
Benzema, Pepe and Carvajal will all return from injury against Las Palmas on Saturday at Santiago Bernabeu
Marcelino blasts Las Palmas's poor pitch
La Liga reach agreement with Mediapro to show all Copa Del Rey games this season excluding the final via YouTube for just under 20 Euros in an agreement that sees all Copa Del Rey games excluding the final this season shown all over the World including the UK and could see this season's Copa Del Rey watched by 2 billion football fans across the globe.
Barca appeal Mascherano's sending off against Eibar as fear grows that he could miss the El Clasico next month.
COPA DEL REY
VILLANOVENSE V BARCA(WEDNESDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
LA LIGA IN EUROPE
ASTANA V ATLETI(TUESDAY)
SEVILLA V CITY(TUESDAY)
REAL MADRID V PSG(TUESDAY)
BARCA V BATE(WEDNESDAY)
GENT V VALENCIA(WEDNESDAY)
MINSK V VILLARREAL(THURSDAY)
BILBAO V PARTIZAN(THURSDAY)
DEPORTIVO V ATLETI(FRIDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
6th placed Deportivo host third placed Atleti at Riazor in the Friday night game to kick off Week 10's action but this fixture when I see it now brings sadness, frustration anger and it really shouldn't do that, it just shouldn't.
We are on the brink of a year since 'Jimmy's murder on the banks of the Manzanares river which is beside the Vicente Calderon and the trouble that erupted can't and won't be forgotten, this fixture will now ALWAYS be HIGH-RISK whether it's at the Riazor or the Calderon.
News came on Monday that the four main suspects in 'Jimmy's murder last November have now been released because despite facing the judge the judge ruled that they weren't to blame and that the Police in Spain had this wrong.
There were many arrests made for the trouble that flared on the banks of the Manzanares river last November and whilst the Police in Spain remain adamant that they have this right they say that they respect the decision of the court and its judge in the case.
I don't want to go into how 'Jimmy' died because we've all seen it on video and those of you who don't follow Spanish Football that much won't have seen it and it's best it remains that way because it's not something I recommend you see.
The violence was pre-planned the ammunition was extremely high, it was extremely well organised, all Ultra groups involved in the violence knew a time to meet and as they spotted each other flares were sat off as clashes began.
Weapons used in last November's trouble included metal bars and knifes and 'Jimmy's death was the 11th death in Spanish football violence, hooliganism remains rife in Spanish football and the 'Ultras' are a big problem and Spanish football is still fighting to end violence in its game.
I visited the Manzanares river in January this year as I toured the Vicente Calderon and it's beautiful area of Madrid and so peaceful, it's quite central and for that trouble to happen on the morning of a matchday last November whilst tourists and the people of Madrid are going about their morning is disgusting.
It was hard to stand there looking at the river and not feel a tinge of sadness because at the end of the day a guy was murdered on the morning of a game and whilst many are split on whether we should be sympathetic towards a guy who was part of a large group intent on attending a pre-planned I'll let you decide which side you are on.
If you ever visit Madrid and don't have time to visit the Vicente Calderon for the tour make sure you walk to it and see the river and the beautiful area it resides in because it's a must, this stadium will be flats in two years time and is the most central football stadium in Madrid in walking distance.
Atleti fans weren't allowed to travel to Coruna last season and it could well be the same outcome this time around and with this fixture being scheduled extremely close to the anniversary of 'Jimmy's death this fixture will be as tense as ever.
Look I love the Riazor Blues (Depor Ultras) their backing for the team at home games is nothing short of fantastic and they are amongst the best in Spain for the backing and atmosphere they create and offer to their team.
Off the pitch they ruin themselves, that trouble last November in the Spanish Capital was pre-planned, well organised and everyone involved knew what was going on, the incidents last year off the field damaged the Riazor Blue's image.
Espanyol visited Riazor for a Friday night game and innocent Espanyol supporters were attacked in the city centre hours before the match, the Celta team bus pulled up with the players on it for the Derby at Riazor last season and the team bus was bricked, the Riazor Blues are superb in the ground but outside it they're scum.
It's always upsetting to see someone die from football violence and whether you have sympathy or not for 'Jimmy' in his death last November it's a split issue in Spain because there's some who had little sympathy for an Ultra who travelled to the Spanish Capital intent on a fight with the Frente (Atleti Ultras) whilst his child and mother were at home, you make your own minds up.
Simeone and his players will travel to Coruna and they will get a hostile reception that's far from welcome as they found out in last season's meeting but they'll travel to Coruna wanting to get the job done early on ahead of a trip to Kazakhstan in midweek for their Champions League meeting with Astana.
Depor have been brilliant this season and that's why they find themselves in the top six and seven points clear of the relegation zone but in Week 9 away to Malaga they produced quite possibly their worst performance of the season so far.
Riera came close with a shot from the edge of the area that hit the post but in the attacking areas Depor were far from their usual selves and even despite Malaga moving the ball far too slowly in the final third they still opened up Depor far too easily and punished them twice as they went onto to defeat Victor Sanchez's men in a 2-0 home success.
Atleti come into this after a massive win over Los Che in Week 9 at the Calderon as they recorded a 2-1 home success over the side from the East Coast in a fixture they drew 1-1 last season and they showed why they're bang in this title race this season.
In the first-half they were the Atleti at full level, full speed, full charge, full intensity, the lot and they had absolutely everything they were sensational and when they're like that there's only Barca and Real Madrid who can even come close to coping with them because I've always said they'd get the better of a Bayern Munich over two legs and I stand by it.
In the second-half they dropped off a little and were rocking towards the end but Simeone's sides dig in defensively and they are extremely good at seeing games out, the penalty was poorly given away but in the end Atleti saw the game out well and recorded a massive win and it could prove priceless come May.
Depor haven't beaten Atleti since 2009 and that came in a 2-1 home success at Riazor, Atleti have won four of the last five meetings and have won three of their last five visits to Riazor drawing one and losing the other, they won this fixture 2-1 last season.
Depor will have had an extra day's rest than Atleti heading into this game and this represents a tough away trip to Atleti that could become complicated, this Depor are a better side than the one we saw last season and in the attacking areas they're a threat and this could be tricky for Simeone's men up North.
REAL MADRID V LAS PALMAS(SATURDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
Los Blancos sit top with the best attack in La Liga and the best defence in La Liga and have overcome the two biggest tests they've had so far this season yet their coach still gets criticised, they host Las Palmas in this one in their final home game before November's international break.
Los Blancos were sincilating in Vigo on Saturday, they got the lead early on through Cristiano and then soon doubled it and that was the three points almost sealed but despite having the best attack and best defence in La Liga their coach still receives criticism.
Rafa Benitez has done an excellent job so far this season and the criticism is becoming laughable now and it's really getting me irritated, it's like there's people and pundits out there waiting desperately for him to fail, it's sad and it's also quite pathetic.
He's won at San Mames, he's won at Balaidos and drawn in Paris in the Champions League which is a result that sets up Los Blancos extremely well in terms of winning their group, what more do these people want?
I saw a pundit after the game on an American sports channel come out and say that Benitez was negative with his substitutions because he brought a defender on for a midfielder with ten minutes of the game remaining.
That pundit has his job and has his salary and I don't know how and why but he really needs to grow a brain or gather some facts before he comes out spouting rubbish, Isco and Cheryshev came on but I suppose that's negative eh?
Benzema, Bale, James are all INJURED, that means they can't play, Morata is on loan at Juventus so there's not really anymore options on the bench and it's about giving everyone playtime, Shaka Hislop you deserve to be named and shamed and I'm pleased to do it, you're a clueless buffoon.
Benitez has overcome tests in Vigo and Bilbao and Paris in the Champions League and yes the draws against Malaga and Gijon were frustrating but you can't have it all and he's just two wins away now from taking this side into the El Clasico as league leaders, what more can you ask for?
Los Blancos conceded with five minutes remaining in Vigo to an absolute peach of a goal from the wonderful Nolito and they were rocking after that and to be honest with you if that was last season under Ancelotti I don't think Los Blancos win the game.
I saw something extremely pleasing for Los Blancos in Vigo and that's that when they were rocking and under pressure defensively from Celta they dug in, remained stubborn and eventually hit Celta on the counter and finished the game off, Los Blancos are growing under Benitez whatever these pundits say.
If Los Blancos can overcome Las Palmas in this one they'll head to the Andalusian Capital next weekend knowing that success there will see them head into the El Clasico as league leaders after eleven games played, motivation will be extremely high.
Benitez and his men will be desperate to get this game won and to get it won early so they can rest players ahead of their Champions League game in midweek against PSG at Santiago Bernabeu in a game that would see them virtually win the group with a win.
To win in Vigo, Bilbao and Seville would put the icing on the cake for Benitez and don't forget the 1-1 draw at the Calderon in the Madrid Derby meaning only trips to Mestalla should really worry Los Blancos after this month.
Las Palmas showed on their visit to Camp Nou that they're not Manchester City who looked like tourists at the Camp Nou last season, they put up a fight and make it difficult for you and nearly nicked a point at the Camp Nou so Benitez's men can't go into this one too complacent.
Las Palmas come into this one after a 0-0 home draw with the Yellow Submarine in a game where they were the better side and put in a good level of performance overall and in the defensive areas especially but again they failed to take their chances and that remains their biggest worry.
Las Palmas will be pleased to have registered a point after that 4-0 thrashing at Getafe in the Spanish Capital in Week 8 but they'll also be frustrated that they didn't take their chances against the Yellow Submarine in Week 9 because the three points were there for the taking.
New coach Quique Setien has showed positive signs in his press conferences and in the team's performance on the pitch but he knows that a trip to the Santiago Bernabeu won't define his side's season but they must do the travelling supporters from Gran Canaria proud.
Las Palmas's last away game came in the Spanish Capital and so does this and this is a fixture that's likely to be extremely popular in Gran Canaria and with the Las Palmas supporters so you can expect a decent sized following from Gran Canaria for this one.
This is the 3PM kick-off on the Saturday and having been to Las Palmas I can safely say that this game will be on in every single bar on the Island and the city itself and it'll draw big crowds, all the Island asks is that Las Palmas give everything.
I'm desperate for Las Palmas to stay up as I repeat every week and all I want from this game is a Las Palmas performance that makes me proud of them and that's all I or any Las Palmas supporter can ask for.
Las Palmas have beaten Los Blancos before and that came in October 2001 in a 4-2 home success but Los Blancos won the other three meetings with scorelines of 7-0, 0-1 and 5-1, Las Palmas's last visit to the Bernabeu came in February 2002 as they were thumped 7-0.
If Las Palmas perform like they did at Camp Nou they have a chance here, Los Blancos haven't hit top form yet and they're already looking a tough nut to crack and that's scary for the rest of Europe, Las Palmas must reach the levels they showed in the Catalan Capital to have a chance here.
PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO! PIO!
VALENCIA V LEVANTE(SATURDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
It's the Valencian Derby at Mestalla as Los Che who are hurting from their defeat in the Spanish Capital against Atleti last weekend host a Levante side who's supporters are fuming and who were thumped 4-0 at home against La Real last weekend.
Los Che come into this one after last Sunday's 2-1 defeat at the Calderon against Atleti in a game that was lost in the first-half which meant that an improved second half performance from them was always going to count for nothing and mean very little.
Los Che defensively were all over the place for both Atleti's goals and once the first goal from Jackson Martinez went in you felt Los Che were in a position where Atleti could really destroy them in terms of the scoreline.
Aderlan Santos was at fault for the first goal but him and Cancelo are just not good enough for Los Che defensively and not only do they lack experience but they lack the quality required to be a Los Che player for me.
Los Che were much better in the second half and if they had started the game like that then there's a good chance they come away from the Calderon with a point but you can't be that poor in the first-half in a big game and expect to come away with something, especially at the Calderon.
Striker Alvaro Negredo has now been left out of the squad for the last three games and the Valencian press continue to question Nuno regarding this and it's going to be interesting to see if Negredo makes the squad for this one just days before a trip to Belgium to face Gent in the Champions League.
Negredo for me holds the play up well and brings others into play but Los Che need goals and he's just not good enough and he won't get enough goals for this Los Che side, Nuno has told the board he wants a new striker in January and it remains to be seen if he gets his wish or not.
It would be nice to see Los Che show some ambition once and make a bid for Nolito at Celta Vigo but this Los Che are likely to sign a striker that's a client of Jorge Mendes, the client that is causing uproar at the club whilst he looks at his bank account, laughs and carries on.
I warned of potential uproar happening at the club in the summer and it's happened, everytime a player who was signed and is a client of Mendes makes a mistake in a game you see Valencia fans tweeting 'Mendes client makes mistake'.
It's sad to see tweets like that but it's right, Peter Lim has brought financial gain to Los Che and helped them return to the Champions League but his friendship and relationship with Jorge Mendes stinks.
He's been involved in the club signing players that are clients of Mr. Mendes and the most of them whilst young and extremely talented right now aren't good enough for a club like Los Che, let's be honest here.
When you look at Los Che's business this summer compared to Atleti's it's embarrassing, Los Che have waited so long to return to the European stage and the big time and on a transfer front they've wasted it.
Nuno remains under huge pressure and his job still remains massively at threat, I do feel sorry for Nuno because he's an excellent coach and he's done a good job with this Los Che side but as I've said several times someone will pay for Mendes's involvement and it'll be the coach and that's Nuno.
The Valencian Press earlier in the season claimed that English coach and Nuno's assistant Phil Neville is being lined up as the club's new coach to replace Nuno if he is sacked, in a few years Phil Neville could make the jump but right now he's not ready.
Phil Neville has impressed at the club since he arrived earlier this summer and for an English coach he's impressed me because you know my feelings on English coaches, they're extremely poor but Phil Neville has impressed me very much so far.
Phil Neville is still learning the language but is beginning to communicate to the players in a little Spanish and that's encouraging, he is attending regular Spanish lessons and is dedicated to learning the language and improving as a coach out in Spain.
Nuno's future looks dark with Los Che facing Sevilla, Barca and Celta in three of their next six La Liga games and face a trip to the Basque Country to take on Eibar at Ipurua plus two massive away games in the Champions League in Belgium away to Gent and in Russia away to Zenit.
Failure to win their Champions League group and defeats to Sevilla and Barca could see the ever demanding Peter Lim call time on Nuno and sack him, Lim may run this club well financially but his friendship with Jorge Mendes and his running of the club from a football perspective isn't what I like, I don't like it one bit and nor does any supporter of Valencia.
Four wins in their last six games and still the club has much much tension around it and in the stands at Mestalla there's huge tension in the stands amongst Los Che supporters, one of the most demanding football arenas in Spanish football will soon welcome Barca and it could turn really tense if the Catalans come away with success, it's reaching boiling point on the East Coast and is threatening to blow up big time.
Levante come into this Derby bottom of La Liga after their worst performance in some time not just this season was produced against La Real as they were comfortably beaten 4-0 and the fans eventually lost support for Lucas Alcaraz.
Levante's supporters in the end ended up applauding La Real's goals as they turned on coach Lucas Alcaraz and they showed that they strongly wanted him out and despite being the worst defence in La Liga last season and still surviving but hours after full-time Alcaraz's time on the East Coast came to an end.
Lucas Alcaraz is the most defensive coach in La Liga and the most defensive coach I've ever seen in Europe let alone La Liga, his 5-3-2 attitude is disgusting and clearly doesn't work when his side are thumped by a La Real side 4-0 at home.
Alcaraz's sacking is definitely deserved because he's just not the manager to keep Levante up this season or give them a good chance of doing so, January signings bailed him out last season and you can't keep waiting until January every season to bail you out because eventually it won't.
It's another season where Levante sack their coach in October and last October Alcaraz took over and kept them up, Levante will be hoping their new coach repeats Alcaraz's achievement last season by keeping the club in the Primera but it won't be easy.
Levante say that they'll announce a new coach later this week but whoever it is has a big job on because even though the new coach is likely to play more attacking than Alcaraz did which will help Levante and give them more of a chance of survival it's still a tough ask.
Levante had the worst defence in La Liga last season with 70 plus goals conceded and their defence whilst it's been strengthened is already close to 20 goals conceded and close to having the worst defence again in La Liga and we're in November almost.
I tipped Levante as outsiders to go down this season back in July when they were 7/1 to be relegated and at the end of November we'll be able to see how their new coach has changed them and whether they're any better.
One thing is for sure though is that like I say Levante will be better to watch and probably better going forward under their new coach as he will have them playing more positively but is that really a good thing considering that this side just cannot defend? I'm far from convinced and I have many many doubts about this Levante side.
The takeover in the summer which was only just rejected as board members voted would have given Levante a huge transfer kitty and financial boost and the board members that voted to accept it were fuming at those who rejected the takeover bid and walked away from the club.
Levante as a club right now are a shambles, you had the fans applauding every goal they conceded last weekend in frustration, fans turning on the president and coach during the game and although Levante always find a way to stay up in La Liga, they rejected a takeover in the summer and have yet again for another season sacked their coach in October and maybe this season is a hurdle they can't overcome and when they'll see themselves relegated to Segunda, time will tell but there's major worries regarding this club on the East Coast right now.
In Week 2 his side were dominated by the weakest side in La Liga in Las Palmas and didn't have a shot on goal of real note and he literally put everyone behind the ball and I questioned things then, if you aren't going to have a go against the weakest side in La Liga when are you?
Lucas Alcaraz deserved to go in the end because even though Levante are poor his defensive approach to the game wasn't helping this Levante side one bit, Levante knew they had to make a change in coach because January signings will not save them like it did last season in my opinion.
Only Espanyol are ahead of Levante on goals conceded, they've conceded 20 but Levante have conceded 19 and with Espanyol facing a winnable and must win game at home whilst Levante head to Mestalla for the Derby who would bet against Levante becoming the worst defence in La Liga again this season before November?
Levante's record signing and star striker Deyverson will miss this Derby due to a second bookable offence seeing him sent off against La Real for a dive and Lucas Alcaraz is likely to look to Ghilas and Casadesus in attack.
Levante have enjoyed this Derby in recent seasons but not the ones at Mestalla, not only did they lose here last season but they've lost five of their last eight derbies at Mestalla with them drawing the other three, they haven't won a Valencian Derby at Mestalla and have failed to score in the last two Derbies at Mestalla.
If Nuno goes with Negredo from the start and Levante can produce a better performance defensively than the one we saw against La Real in Week 9 then they can upset Los Che in this Derby, they did it last season at their own stadium so why not at Mestalla? You never know in this Derby, I'll be on the East Coast in two weeks myself following my country against La Roja, I'll savour this Derby believe me.
VILLARREAL V SEVILLA(SATURDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
Europa League last season, remember? Well it's The Yellow Submarine against Emery's men at El Madrigal once again, Sevilla won this won 3-1 last season in the first leg and effectively knocked out the Yellow Submarine after the first leg as they eventually went onto win the Europa League again and they head to El Madrigal again but this time for a league game as we reach Week 10 and the game of the weekend.
The Yellow Submarine started last season on fire and then faded and their last two games are showing signs of a repeat showing and last weekend's 0-0 draw in Gran Canaria showed that as they failed to have a single shot on target.
A three hour flight for a league game just two days after a Europa League game was always going to be a test and the Yellow Submarine clearly didn't cope, they looked lackustre, tired and far from their best in Gran Canaria but to not have a single shot on target is extremely disappointing from them.
The Yellow Submarine face another big game at home and this time it's against the side which came to El Madrigal last season and knocked them out of the Europa League and that's Sevilla who are improving rapidly after a poor start to the season and are improving game by game.
The Yellow Submarine remain fifth but their lead over Sevilla and Valencia now only sits at two points and it looks like normal service could soon be resumed and a win here for Sevilla see that normal service resumed.
This game comes just days before very important European games for both sides with The Yellow Submarine heading to Minsk and Sevilla needing a win against English side City in the Champions League to avoid elimination.
The Yellow Submarine have one of the best defensive records in La Liga this season and at home they have the fifth best defensive record and the sixth best attacking record at home in La Liga this season too.
Celta are the only side to win at El Madrigal this season with the Yellow Submarine winning all their other home games so far and that includes the 1-0 win over Atleti and that victory will give the Yellow Submarine the confidence and belief in the big games in future including this one against Emery's Sevilla.
Sevilla come into this one after their 5-0 home success over Getafe and despite the first half being quite a poor performance from Sevilla in my opinion they came out in the second half and raced through the gears.
Sevilla although poor in the first half were excellent against Getafe and in the second half they showed their best performance of the season so far and it could have been more than a 5-0 home success for them in the end.
Banega proved why he's on his day one of the best midfielders in the World and in La Liga, he's extremely under-rated for me and it's no surprise that his return sees Sevilla scoring more goals and sees them more of a threat in the final third.
Konoplyanka is getting better as each game passes and was excellent in Manchester in the Champions League, Gameiro is proving to be a goal machine for Emery's men and took his goals against Getafe extremely well.
Sevilla frustrated me in the first half against Getafe because they were playing too many diagonal balls and they were so frustrating to watch but as they showed in the second half when they play the ball on the floor to feet they're a real threat and that's the Sevilla we want to see.
Sevilla last season on their travels struggled to keep a clean sheet and would always give the opposition a chance and they remain winless on their travels this season with three draws and two defeats from their five away games so far.
Two goals scored and four conceded with no wins away from home from five away games must be improved on by Sevilla but what will please them is their recent record against the Yellow Submarine.
Not only did Sevilla win this fixture 2-0 at El Madrigal last season but they've won three of the last four meetings against the Yellow Submarine and drawn the other one, Sevilla have won two of their last five visits to El Madrigal and are unbeaten on their visits scoring two goals on each of their last three visits to El Madrigal.
GETAFE V BARCA(SATURDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Barca head to the Spanish Capital for an away trip as they head to the Coliseum to take on a Getafe side who will be bruised and damaged after their 5-0 hammering in the Andalusian Capital last weekend against Sevilla whilst Barca continue to win without Messi and know that their next away trip after this one will be in the Spanish Capital again but for the El Clasico.
Getafe head into this one after a scoreline that may seem like they were absolutely outclassed in Andalusia last weekend but a scoreline that probably flatters Sevilla because in the first-half Getafe made a game of it.
The first-goal was unfortunate from a Getafe perspective as Banega struck a shot towards goal which Guaita saved but he couldn't keep hold of the ball and it was parried out toward Gameiro who fired home to give Sevilla the lead.
The second goal was an extremely well worked free-kick from Sevilla but defensively it was poor all around from Getafe and once Sevilla headed into a two goal lead it looked a tall order for Getafe to recover from that.
The next three goals all came via penalties and poor discipline from Getafe because not only were all three penalties but they were clumsy tackles and the poor discipline from Getafe that we saw in pre-season against English sides like Milton Keynes Dons and Port Vale still continues.
Vigaray was sent-off and he'll miss this game and the poor discipline from Getafe must worry their coach Fran Escriba because when I saw it in pre-season I brushed it off because it's pre-season but it's continued and it must be addressed because if it's not then Escriba is going to struggle to name a settled side this season.
Getafe played well in the first-half against Sevilla but poor defending saw them 2-0 behind at half-time and Sevilla's second half performance was far too strong for them but they certainly didn't help themselves with their poor discipline.
Barca may have won 3-1 against Eibar last weekend but for me it was another poor performance in general despite Neymar and Suarez linking up to see them over the line and Suarez producing a brilliant performance to secure himself a hat-trick a year after he made his debut for the club.
Barca fell behind against Eibar early on but soon equalised but defensively yet again they showed deficiencies and this is nothing against Eibar but when Barca are conceding against them at Camp Nou and limping over the line to get the three points that's when alarm bells should be ringing.
Eibar could quite easily like Las Palmas a few weeks ago come away from Camp Nou with a point, playing two defensive midfielders in Midfield is nothing short of madness, I've always said Luis Enrique isn't the right coach for Barca but luck continues to go his way.
Barca beat Eibar because of Suarez and Neymar let's not kid ourselves and without Messi as we saw in pre-season the side struggle, they're ordinary and quite average, yes they'll still destroy any side from England and any side in La Liga bar Atleti, Los Blancos and possibly Valencia but put this side without Messi in the Champions League against Bayern and it's 'Adios'.
You didn't see Barca's poor defence last season because although I mentioned it you didn't see it visually because that front three covered it up, papered over the cracks as you say and bailed Luis Enrique out.
Mascherano's constant ear-bashing of the referee was ridiculous and stupid from a man who has much experience and is likely to see him suspended for the trip to the Coliseum as Barca's appeal against his red card is likely to fall on deaf ears as he received a straight red card in last Sunday night's meeting with Eibar at Camp Nou for a foul mouthed remark towards the referee.
Barca will be in action just days before the trip to the Coliseum as they head to Western Spain for the first leg of their Copa Del Rey last 32 tie against Villanovense who play in the third tier of Spanish Football and stars like Neymar and Suarez etc are likely to be rested with only a few first team players featuring in the first leg tie in Western Spain.
Messi may be back for the El Clasico but he may not and he's good to see that he will return when the doctors decide because the second half of the season is what decides the title in La Liga and where Barca are in the table on New Year's's day will define things.
Those of you outside Spain may see this as routine for Barca and easy, far from it believe me and this is a big game in this season's title race, Barca failed to win here last season as they were frustrated and held to a 0-0 draw.
Barca have however won three of their last five visits to the Coliseum with them losing one and drawing one, they've won just one of their last three meetings against Getafe with two of them ending in draws including a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.
Without Messi this could be a game that quite easily sees Barca slip up, this is Getafe's last home game before the international break in November and the only Madrid ground I've yet to visit, I'll be seeing it in November though don't you worry!
SOCIEDAD V CELTA(SATURDAY 9.05PM UK TIME, 10.05PM SPANISH TIME)
English side Aston Villa sack their coach but to get Moyes they needed Alcaraz's men to beat La Real last Sunday and it just didn't happen, Moyes has rejected an approach from the English club and his side's victory on the East Coast sees him survive as La Real Coach for now and he did it in style but it doesn't get easier for him as fourth placed Celta visit Anoeta in Saturday's final game.
La Real were excellent on the East Coast even if Levante were poor and believe me they were poor, it was a performance that showed why Levante are heading for a relegation scrap yet again and it's no surprise.
For La Real to go to Levante and win is excellent but to go there and win in the manner in which they did win by winning the game 4-0 and winning the game quite comfortably in the end is something else.
The football in the final third and the quality of the goals were superb and it was the best performance from La Real that we've seen this season and even though Levante were poor you must give credit to La Real because they can only beat what's infront of them and they did that to perfection, to absolute perfection.
La Real got a huge win on the East Coast and it's just what they needed, it's their second away success so far this season and already they show slight improvement on their travels compared to last season.
La Real must make that win on the East Coast count for something though and they can only do that by building on it and continuing to get results and that must continue by them beating Celta here in this one.
It will be far from easy though because Celta are fourth in La Liga for a reason, Real Madrid and Celta are the only sides unbeaten on their travels this season and even though Anoeta is a tough place to visit in La Liga Celta's away successes at El Madrigal and the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan so far this season will see them travel to San Sebastian with little fear of trying to get a result at Anoeta.
Celta come into this one after a 3-1 home defeat to Los Blancos which saw their unbeaten record this season disappear but it's no disgrace to lose to Los Blancos and to be unbeaten after eight games is a fantastic record for Celta and something they should be proud of.
Celta are alongside Rayo the most exciting side to watch in La Liga and that's why I just don't buy the 'La Liga isn't entertaining' comments, watch Celta or Rayo, come back to me and say La Liga isn't entertaining and you'll get a free pint'.
I'm all for opinions and love debates and if you come to me with facts I'll always see you right but when we hear people say La Liga isn't entertaining and they haven't seen anything of Celta or Rayo it's hard to buy it.
La Liga is the best league in the world and whilst it may not be the the most entertaining league in the world it's certainly the best league in the world, technically and ability wise no league comes close and I'll be proud of La Liga forever but something I won't be proud of is the organisation which is poor but it's the best league in the world.
Nolito may leave in January to Barca but it's less certain than it appeared a few weeks ago because the Barca coach Luis Enrique wants him whilst the club want a experienced and aged striker to come in which will be cheaper as they see Nolito as an expensive option.
Nolito, Aspas and Orellana are an exciting front three and are one of the best attacking trios in the Primera and with a midfield of Wass, Augusto, Pablo Hernandez with Radoja on the bench it's one of the best midfield's in the Primera by some distance and that's without question.
Celta's away record this season has been where the majority of their 18 points have come from with 10 points picked up on their travels so far with three wins and just one draw recorded from their four away games so far.
The last three meetings between these two sides have all ended in draws with both sides scoring infact the last seven meetings between these two has seen both sides score, Celta have beaten La Real just once in the Spanish League system and that came back in January 2006 in a 1-0 home success.
La Real drew this meeting at Anoeta 1-1 last season which came in February this year and they have won three of the last four meetings at Anoeta, their last home success over Celta saw them record a 4-3 home success whilst their other two home successes over the Galician side saw them record 2-1 and 3-1 home successes respectively.
EIBAR V RAYO(SUNDAY 11AM UK TIME, 12PM SPANISH TIME)
It may be that early Sunday kick-off again but it's a Madrid team heading to the Basque Country and that's always going to be fiery as Paco Jemez's men head North to the tiny town of Eibar to face Eibar at Ipurua.
Eibar can be proud of their performance in the Catalan Capital on Sunday night and in the end can feel hard done by not to have come away from Camp Nou with a point because they impressed yet again.
The hardcore Eibar fans boycotted the game as they took a stand over their treatment at the venue last season in which they claim the treatment from the club's security team at FC Barcelona was poor and treated them poorly.
Eibar are 7th with 13 points and seven clear of the relegation zone with nine games played and if you had offered them this at the start of the season they'd have ripped your hand off but I'm still refusing to buy it.
Eibar did this last season, they started the season on fire as they flew into the top half and secured close to 30 points in the first half of the season and were virtually safe but ended up being relegated in the end.
The courts saved them due to the Elche situation in the summer and whilst they are impressing and continuing to do so I'm still not buying it because I would rather judge them in the second half of this season.
Eibar ran out of steam in the second half of last season, they completely flatlined and fell apart so I'm just not buying this and whilst it's under a new coach, do this Eibar side have it in them to stay up and maintain good enough in the second half of the season to survive in La Liga? I'm just not convinced.
Borja Baston on loan from Atleti has been a revelation for them so far and is a shining light and it was no surprise to see him net again at Camp Nou against Barca, the guy's on fire and at just 23 years of age he can be a star for Atleti in years to come.
Baston was on fire for Zaragoza last season in the Segunda and he's come up to the Primera and already proved he can cut it, La Roja face England in a friendly on the East Coast in two weeks time and I do feel that VDB has to try new options up top and at this moment who'd argue against a call-up for Borja Baston? I wouldn't, as long as he doesn't score against my country of course! :)
Eibar are more of a threat in the attacking areas this season and a little more solid defensively but you really have to judge them in the second half of the season, that will decide their fate because it's all well and good having a good first half of the season, if you can't have a good start to the second half of the season you'll hit a crossroads and find yourselves in bother, big bother.
Rayo come into this one after their 3-0 home success over Espanyol, wait, Rayo kept a clean sheet? Yes Rayo did keep a clean sheet and their goalkeeper Tono saved a penalty for good measure too and Rayo were excellent.
Paco Jemez said after the game that there are still things to improve on and they are because although Rayo were excellent on the night and their passing was yet again superb their counter-attacking must improve.
At times against Espanyol Rayo had situations where they had 2 v 1, 5 v 2 and so on and they wasted them, they must improve on the counter-attack because it could cost them in games, fortunately for them it didn't against Espanyol.
Lass Bangoura wasted a counter-attack at 1-0 up and Paco Jemez soon subbed him off and that's what you have to love about Paco Jemez, not only is he a fantastic coach with a great philosophy but he's not afraid to bring players off if they're not doing what he demands/wants.
Rayo were excellent against Espanyol and it's a fantastic win against a side who they have lost against in the last two seasons at Vallecas and it's a win that will give them huge confidence and belief heading into this one.
Eibar are likely to be in the relegation battle this season, their lack of home wins last season saw them relegated on the pitch and just one win from their four home games so far this season show that their home form could see them in danger again.
Rayo however love travelling to the sides that are in the relegation battle and Eibar will be in the relegation battle this season in my opinion, Rayo's record on their travels against the sides in the relegation battle last season was fantastic, only Elche managed to beat them, Rayo won the majority of their trips to sides in the relegation battle.
These sides met for the first time ever last season and met twice with Eibar winning 3-2 away in the Spanish Capital at Vallecas and Rayo winning the meeting at Ipurua 2-1 and they'll hope to repeat that here.
Both sides will feel they can win this one and they have every reason to, Eibar are more of a threat attacking wise than last season and slightly more solid defensively whilst Rayo remain the same all-out-attack forget defending and free flowing Rayo we all love, this'll be a fascinating, exciting Sunday early-kick off in the Basque Country and it should be a cracker.
ESPANYOL V GRANADA(SUNDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
Espanyol who were awful in the Spanish Capital last weekend face a very important home game against Granada who remain in trouble as the pressure on coach Jose Ramon Sandoval continues to remain.
Espanyol are a side who I tipped to struggle this season because they have lost around 30 plus goals and 15 assist from last season's strikeforce and sold their best defender Hector Moreno to Dutch side PSV.
Espanyol are a much weaker side overall, they're weaker defensively and are severely weaker in attack but they have a star in the attacking areas and that's Spain's Under 19 star Marco Asensio who has been involved in the majority of Espanyol's goals this season and has a good number of assists already.
Marco Asensio is an exciting talent and is extremely likely to be a star for La Roja at Senior level for years to come believe me, this lad's a huge talent with bags of potential and it won't be long until he hits the World stage.
Asensio is on loan from Los Blancos and was born in Majorca where he made his name in the Spanish game and his performances in Greece as La Roja become European Champions again at Under 19 Level.
La Roja are outstanding at international level, the youngsters coming through are exciting if you're Spanish, I'm English so the youngsters coming through are frightening and it'll soon be time to pack up and stop the international game because La Roja will soon dominate again.
Asensio is Espanyol's glimmer of hope, their shining light and even though I don't have them in my bottom three to go down this season or as an outsider to go down, one pundit in Spain who works for a Madrid based club has them in his three and I can see why.
He may work for a Madrid based club and you'll probably just say well he's going to predict a Catalan club to go down isn't he? Come on! Well you'd be wrong, Espanyol going down cannot be laughed at if anyone says it's a possibility say yes, if you say no you'll be staring facts in the face and will soon look quite silly.
Espanyol this season have defended quite poorly and have the worst defence in La Liga this season currently with 20 goals conceded and with 3 goals scored at home and 8 conceded from their four home games so far this season it's hard to be too optimistic.
Espanyol in the last few seasons and especially last season have been solid at home, they'd win games like these and when you would put them on your acca you'd know it was a near certainty, they're solid at home.
This season it's a completely different story because this is the worst and weakest Espanyol side in the last few seasons, I questioned the president's decisions in terms of selling their best players including last season's strikeforces in the summer.
It now appears the financial state of the company who sponsor the stadium 'Power 8' are close to financial ruin and Espanyol off the pitch could soon be in quite a dire dire position but on the pitch things must improve.
Espanyol have 12 points at the moment and I don't know they've got that much, people were fooled by their win at Betis, they backed them against Rayo on the basis of one good game away to a Betis side who were awful and defended like amateurs.
This Espanyol side are hard to predict yes but they can't defend and they struggle for goals, they scored three goals at Betis but that was down to abysmal defending and they only hit La Real for three because La Real had their keeper sent off and defended poorly so don't be fooled by those two games, just don't.
Espanyol going down would be a real shame because we'd lose that Catalan Derby but you can't say Espanyol will be safe, they'll be in a relegation battle at some point this season and if they're in one in March you might want to start watching videos of previous Catalan Derbies because Espanyol could head to the Segunda.
Granada come into this one after another draw and this time it came at home at Nuevo Los Carmenes, they drew too many games at home last season and drew last weekend's Andalusian Derby against Betis 1-1 despite taking the lead early on due to a defensive mistake from Betis.
Ruben Perez gave away the penalty that saw Ruben Castro bring Betis level as he stupidly decided that when the ball came into the box from a Betis corner that he could handle the ball to clear it and get away with it.
Referee Antonio Mateu didn't take long to award the penalty and Ruben Castro wasn't going to miss a penalty as he smashed the ball into the bottom left hand corner to send the 2,000 Beticos crazy in the corner.
Granada haven't won a game since Week 2 where they enjoyed success in the Spanish Capital as the Coliseum brought them success in a 2-1 away success over Getafe but since then things have hit a downward spiral.
Granada have drawn their last three games and two of those ended in a 1-1 scoreline and those of you who were regular readers of this blog last season will know Granada did tend to draw and used to like those 1-1 scorelines, they just adored them, no they really did.
Granada remain winless at home this season and we're approaching November and none of last season's top five have visited Nuevo Los Carmenes last season and that's alarming for Granada, really really alarming.
Granada have conceded in all four of their four away games this season losing two, winning one and drawing one whilst Espanyol have won two and lost of their four home games this season with them scoring in three of them and conceding in two of them.
Granada's next five away games including this see them face Espanyol, Levante, Malaga, Rayo and Las Palmas and if they come out of those games badly at the end of this year then you may aswell put them in the Segunda, no you may aswell, you may actually aswell put them there.
Granada's last away game came against a relegation rival where they were 3-1 up with two minutes remaining but decided to lose discipline and see them end the game with nine men and concede a goal in the 88th minute and 96th minute to draw the game 3-3 and that could prove extremely costly come May I'm telling you.
Espanyol away are likely to be a relegation rival for Granada and last season this would have been a home banker but you just can't say that this season and if you can I want what you're smoking, no I actually do, what you been watching??
Espanyol lost 2-1 at home to Gijon who are a newly promoted side in their last home game and if that's not a warning to you I don't what is, they levelled through Caicedo and then just as they regained control of the game and looked likely to win it their coach Sergio Gonzalez subbed him off for a holding midfielder.
Gonzalez's subs have brought anger and whistles from Espanyol supporters at home games this season and seen him criticised and they are to be honest quite baffling, you can't trust this Espanyol side, it's a game they must win but you just can't take them with any confidence right now.
Espanyol have enjoyed playing Granada in recent seasons with them winning the last four meetings against the Andalusians and in the last four meetings in the Catalan Capital Espanyol have won three of them including the last two.
Granada look better on their travels this season and will have the players who were sent off in Gijon back for this one and they could really do with three points and soon and away to an Espanyol side who can't defend and who struggle for goals this could be their weekend.
GIJON V MALAGA(SUNDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
Gijon were outclassed and well beaten on Monday night as they suffered for the majority of their game at San Mames against Bilbao and are now just outside the relegation zone and three points clear of it as they host La Liga's lowest scorers so far this season in Andalusian side Malaga.
Gijon have nine points on the board which is three more than Las Palmas and three less than Betis who were the sides who came up from the Segunda with them and they can't be too upset or down about what happened on Monday night.
Gijon started well at San Mames on Monday night and came close to taking the lead early on through the wonderful Halilovic a star in the making and a player who will reach the very top as he continues to impress for the Asturians on loan from Barca.
Gijon were poor on the night in Bilbao I thought but even at their best they couldn't have coped with Bilbao and Gijon know that trips to places like San Mames and games v Bilbao will be tough asks for them this season.
There's no disgrace to lose to Bilbao at San Mames and very few sides win there or draw there and the big boys struggle there too plus the quality Bilbao have compared to Gijon is a difference so Gijon shouldn't be too down about their defeat.
Along with La Real and Granada Gijon remain winless at home this season and if you're going to have any chance of survival this season then you must improve that fast and Gijon know that but their 3-3 draw with Granada that saw them come from 3-1 down to earn a point shows their spirit.
This Gijon team are full of talented youngsters and have a coach who works them hard, their spirit and attacking ability is brilliant and is much admired, they're great to watch too but their home form must improve.
To concede three goals at home to a relegation rival in Granada in their last home game would worry me defensively though because you need to win games against relegation rivals and to concede three in one against a Granada side who do struggle for goals is concerning and a little alarming.
Gijon know it's going to be one tough task to stay up this season, they were banned from signing players last season and are this season so their promotion was an incredible achievement and survival this season would eclipse that and be something else and they've shown so far this season that they can do it.
Gijon have shown that on their travels they can pick up points that could help their survival chances but they must improve that home form and this game presents another must-win home match against a low scoring team.
Gijon and their players are young and inexperienced at this level and another thing which worries me about them is how easily they are pushed off the ball because I've never seen a team in the Primera lose the ball so easily and be muscled off the ball as easily.
Gijon though are young, talented, vibrant, attacking, great to watch and their spirit and never say die attitude and attacking ability can take them a long way this season, I did have them in my three to go down at the start of the season and it would be great to see them prove me wrong as they're great to watch but I've not changed my mind.
Malaga come into this one after a much needed success last weekend as they overcome Victor Sanchez's new look and much improved Depor side as they recorded a 2-0 home success at La Rosaleda but still fail to really convince.
Malaga are a much weaker side than last season and you can only blame their owner for that but fortunately for them they at least have a fantastic young manager coaching the side in Javi Gracia who is doing his best with a side stripped by its crazy owner who has no place in Spanish football.
Despite scoring two goals and keeping a clean sheet in their win against Depor Malaga remain the lowest scorers in La Liga this season with only Las Palmas and Levante as bad as them and for Malaga to have scored just five goals so far this season from nine games played is extremely poor.
On the defensive side though Malaga do remain solid, stubborn and on the stats side they're up there and have a better defensive record this season so far than Barca, Sevilla and Celta and have conceded just seven goals so far.
Malaga beat Depor for me but it's still hard to be convinced by them, they scored three goals against La Real but La Real were a shambles defensively on the night and their two goals against Depor were quite fortunate against a Depor side who's been brilliant this season and a real threat in the attacking areas and who produced their worst performance of the season last weekend at La Rosaleda.
I'm not taking anything away from Malaga because defensively they've been okay but I'm just saying that we shouldn't get carried away with the two victories they have recorded so far because it tells far from the real story.
The first goal against Depor was a free-kick that ended up going all the way in despite the crowd of players in the area which included Depor players and the second goal was gifted to Malaga by incredibly poor defending from Depor.
Malaga aren't good to watch this season and I just do not enjoy watching them at the moment and against Depor it was painful, it was like watching the Depor of last season and they only just survived relegation!
Malaga won't be in the relegation battle for me but I do feel that a top eight finish this season is beyond them because although they don't concede many they struggle for goals and we've seen that already this season big time.
Amrabat their star player returns in a few weeks from injury which will strengthen them in the attacking areas of the pitch but even when he was playing earlier this season they still struggled for goals and this Malaga side continue to concern you, frustrate you and worry you.
If a top side in La Liga dispense with their coach anytime soon then Javi Gracia will be at the top of their shortlist and rightly so because as I've said he's a fantastic young manager and he deserves better than managing this ship-wreck on the Andalusian Coast which is being destroyed slowly by its crazy owner.
Malaga away from home are very very poor and I said this so many times in last season's blog and their away form in the second half of the season was pretty dreadful, even Eibar who couldn't win a game in the second half of last season managed to beat them!
We've seen it this season already as they lost to Getafe 1-0 at the Coliseum and that's a result that kick-started Getafe's season and now has them playing extremely well and has seen them pick up some good results of late.
But going into that game Getafe were bang off form and bang in trouble, Malaga can upset a big boy in La Liga on their travels though and their 1-0 win at Camp Nou against Barca last season proved that and their 0-0 draw away to Los Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu earlier this season proved that again but it's against the lesser sides who aren't big boys in La Liga where Malaga's away record can really be looked at and where it really counts.
Malaga have played four away games this season and have failed to score in any of them losing 1-0 away to Barca and Getafe, drawing 0-0 at Santiago Bernabeu against Los Blancos and losing 3-0 away to Los Che at Mestalla.
Malaga's last away success came last season and back in May as they beat Almeria 2-1 in the Andalusian Derby but before that they hadn't won on their travels since beating Barca 1-0 at Camp Nou in February and the Andalusian side have won just twice on their travels this year.
Malaga have only kept two clean sheets away from home in 2015 but defensively this season they've shown solidity and they now must show that on their travels and against one of the weakest sides in La Liga in newly promoted Gijon they really must show it.
These sides have met many times before in both the Segunda and La Liga, the four meetings in the Segunda saw Malaga win twice and draw twice with Gijon failing to win any of the four meetings against Malaga.
Gijon don't enjoy playing Malaga and have lost three of their last four meetings in La Liga and only beat them twice but the last meeting between these two in La Liga at El Molinon saw Gijon come out on top as they recorded a 2-1 home success and they'll draw confidence from Malaga's poor away record and the fact that Malaga have won on just one of their last four visits to El Molinon in La Liga.
BETIS V BILBAO(SUNDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Betis who are now winless in their last two games and who have also lost their last two home games come into this one after a 1-1 draw in the Andalusian Derby against Granada now host a Bilbao side who will be on a high after Monday night's 3-0 home success over Asturians Gijon.
THIS GAME FEATURES CASTRO V ADURIZ, SPAIN'S DEADLIEST STRIKERS DESPITE THEIR RESPECTIVE AGES OF 34, THE MATCH UP OF THE SEASON IF YOU'RE A PURIST AND LOVE YOUR STRIKERS
Betis come into this one after last weekend's 1-1 draw in the Andalusian Derby at Nuevo Los Carmenes and in the end they can be thankfully that they didn't suffer Andalusian Derby disappointment by losing the derby.
Betis started off extremely poorly and defensively they made a hash of things which allowed Granada defender Foulquier to nip in and stab the ball past Adan in the Betis goal to give Granada the lead in the derby after just two minutes.
Betis took 25-30 minutes to turn up to the derby last weekend and that's nowhere near good enough and if Granada could score more than one goal at home this season then the derby would have seen Granada success but Granada didn't convert their chances and just before half-time they presented Betis with a lifeline.
A Betis corner came in from the right into the area and to deal with it the best decision according to Granada midfielder Ruben Perez was to stupidly handle the ball inside the area, get away with it and clear the danger.
The referee isn't and wasn't that stupid as he made no mistake by pointing to the spot to give Betis a penalty, Ruben Castro was the man as always to step up and take the penalty, he just wasn't missing he rarely does and the 2,000 Beticos in the corner went absolutely crazy as Castro drew Mel's men level in the derby.
Betis grew into the derby and were the better side in the first-half and chances to win it in the second half but overall Granada were the much better side and they outplayed for Betis for large parts of that derby.
From a Betis perspective that's just not good enough a week after a 3-1 home defeat to Espanyol at the Benito Villamarin, to take 25-30 minutes to turn up to a big Andalusian derby away to a side who are winless at home this season and be outplayed for large parts of it is extremely worrying for Betis.
Granada actually scored in the second-half but we don't have goal-line technology in La Liga and even though Betis coach Pepe Mel has called it for to be introduced Betis can be thankful it's not in La Liga.
Granada defender Mainz looked to have given Granada the three points and the bragging rights over their Andalusian rivals as his header crossed the line but the referee didn't award the goal and Rennella managed to clear the ball away whilst behind the line and Betis got out of jail.
La Liga is the best league in the World and we simply must introduce goal line technology in but the RFEF with their president which is of course Mr.Villar don't want to pay for it because it's too expensive, incredible really.
'VILLAR VETE YA'
Bilbao after a poor start to the season just like last season are now hitting form and getting results to move themselves up the La Liga table and their 3-0 home success over Gijon was thanks to a performance which I thought was their best so far this season.
Bilbao are now unbeaten in their last four La Liga games with two wins and two draws from those four with eight goals scored and three goals conceded along the way and they are now starting to gain momentum and hit top form.
Against Gijon they were the Bilbao which we all love watching with the superb controlling of the game, the passing and the attacking football in the final third which was a joy to watch in a game in which they were utterly dominant in.
Benat in midfield was yet again magnificent and my man of the match and deserved his standing ovation from the Athletic faithful in the end but other players also impressed with the attacking trio of Williams, Susaeta and the wonderful Aduriz again destroying the opposition defensively.
Aduriz should be in France next summer, he should be called up by VDB for La Roja's friendly on the East Coast against England next month, he has a big case to be at the Euros next summer and not just be on the plane but start up top for La Roja.
Aduriz may be 34 but he's still scoring goals as he has been for the last few seasons and already has thirteen goals in all competitions this season and seven of them in La Liga already after just nine games played, what more does he have to do?
Age doesn't matter because this is a tournament like any other where La Roja will have the possession, no team in international football can cope with them in terms of possession and if you add a scorer to the mix like Aduriz then La Roja will destroy any international side and that's a fact, another fact is that age doesn't win you tournaments, goals do.
This Bilbao side though are stronger than last season and the addition of Raul Garcia as an attacking midfielder has been fantastic and key to the strengthening of this side and with the attacking trio of Susaeta, Williams and Aduriz up top with Raul Garcia behind him it can trouble any side in La Liga even the big boys and just you wait until Muniain is playing again, it won't be long and this Bilbao side will sizzle in the final third even more.
The Benito Villamarin has been somewhat of a fortress historically for Betis and played a big part in their promotion to La Liga last season but this season it's already seen two defeats and both have come against sides they need to be beating in their fight for survival as Depor and Espanyol have come away from the Benito Villamarin this season with victories whilst the Yellow Submarine drew there on the opening weekend and La Real were beaten.
Bilbao have struggled away from home so far this season and their victory in Serbia last week against Partizan in the Europa League was their first win on their travels this season but in La Liga they are winless on their travels and their last away game in La Liga saw them 2-0 up away to Depor at Riazor with ten minutes remaining and unable to see the game out as they recorded a 2-2 draw.
These sides met back in July in a pre-season friendly in Seville as they played out a 1-1 draw and last season they met in the Copa with Betis winning the first leg at the Benito Villamarin 1-0 but eventually being knocked out of the competition after a 2-0 defeat at San Mames in the second leg.
These sides have met in La Liga many times and are two of Spain's biggest clubs, Bilbao and Betis are both very big clubs in Spanish Football and this is a fixture that is always exciting and special and is a big game for both sides.
Bilbao have had the edge in this fixture overall and they've enjoyed the last three meetings with a draw in Seville, a win in Seville and a win at San Mames, they won 2-0 on their last visit to the Benito Villamarin and have won three of their last five visits drawing one and losing the other which came in 2012 in a 2-1 away defeat.
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