Welcome to the preview for Week 11 of the 2015/16 La Liga Season which sees Moyes face a potential last stand in Gran Canaria, Celta host Los Che at Balaidos, Barca host the Yellow Submarine, An Andalusian Derby at La Rosaleda and the game of Week 11 in the Andalusian Capital as Sevilla host Los Blancos at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
THIS BLOG SUPPORTS THE 'VILLAR VETE YA' CAMPAIGN
LA LIGA NEWS
Atleti arrive in Khazakstan ahead of Tuesday's night's Champions League game after an eight hour flight with temperatures -11 degrees
Barca players apologise for their 'Halloween' antics as they interrupt Getafe midfielder's Victor Rodriguez's post-match press conference by entering the media zone wearing Halloween masks and costumes as Getafe are livid
Gameiro to miss Sevilla's Champions League decider with City and is a doubt for the weekend's visit of Los Blancos to the Sanchez Pizjuan
La Real's Carlos Vela claims Coach David Moyes hasn't lost the dressing room and the players are trying hard to turn the club's poor form around
In an interview with El Pais Los Blancos's Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that he is a better player than Barca's Lionel Messi
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)
LAS PALMAS V SOCIEDAD(FRIDAY 7.30PM)
Week 11's action begins in Gran Canaria on Friday night as we head to the City of Las Palmas, oh beautiful Las Palmas as La Liga's 19th placed Las Palmas host La Real in a game which could see Moyes reach the exit door.
Las Palmas lost 3-1 last weekend at Santiago Bernabeu against Los Blancos and despite becoming the first team to score at the Santiago Bernabeu this season and giving a performance that was good overall and something to be proud of major issues in key areas remain.
Defensively Las Palmas do still look levels behind what's required in the Primera and the first goal showed that as they carelessly gave the ball away in their own half and Los Blancos soon punished them by going ahead after just FOUR minutes.
To go behind at Santiago Bernabeu against Los Blancos after just four minutes is a disaster and less than ten minutes later they were 2-0 down and you felt that Las Palmas could be on to a real hiding at Santiago Bernabeu.
However they did manage to pull one back through Hernan before half-time but Jese's brilliance opened them up and he fired past Varas to send Los Blancos into the break 3-1 up and effectively ended the game.
Las Palmas did deliver a performance that I am proud of, the Island, the supporters and the players and everyone at the club can be proud of the performance that the players delivered in the Spanish Capital last weekend.
For me though major issues in those key areas remain, defensively Las Palmas just don't look up to it at this level and that hurts me to say but I can't lie and say I've seen anything good because I haven't, offensively they just are not clinical enough.
Las Palmas had some great chances in the second half to get pull the game back to a 3-2 scoreline but the belief was lacking and the conversion rate was poor, it was like Las Palmas thought 'What's the point of scoring here and getting it back to 3-2 when Los Blancos will just hit us with a fourth goal?'
That's the wrong attitude completely for me but Las Palmas did show things that are encouraging and gave a performance I and many of the Island are proud of but like I say there's still issues and Las Palmas need wins soon.
As for La Real they were beaten by Celta at Anoeta 3-2 last weekend in a game which was a great game to watch but also a game where La Real had the lead twice and blew it twice as they went on to lose the game.
Moyes's men had a great chance to win this one having had the lead twice and winning back to back games would have reduced a significant amount of pressure on their coach David Moyes and even a point would have done so.
To lose though puts Moyes back in the position he was heading into the game away to Levante in Week 9 and that's that failure in this game against Las Palmas in Gran Canaria is quite likely to see his sacking confirmed over the international break.
Moyes tactically as I've said already this season a few times looks miles away from anything that's required of a coach in La Liga and when you are leading against Celta not just once but twice you have to address things tactically, you must be shrewd and have a plan.
You're 2-1 up at home at half-time against a brilliant Celta side who despite being brilliant find it hard against sides who are hard to break down, Moyes should have addressed things at half-time tactically so that his La Real side weren't as open and were hard to break down defensively because if he did that then La Real most probably win this game for me.
La Real have two wins, two defeats and one draw from their five away games so far this season and with just four goals conceded on their travels so far this season they have the third best defence in La Liga on their travels.
La Real played well away to Levante and played well against Celta with Agirretxe continuing his red hot form infront of goal whilst Vela and Zurutuza impressed but tactically Moyes cost La Real big time in my opinion.
Las Palmas have scored just two goals at home this season which is the lowest of any side in La Liga at home this season and have only managed to record one home success from their five home games this season with Eibar and Rayo both coming away from the EGC with three points.
These two sides haven't met in La Liga since 2000 with Las Palmas drawing 1-1 in San Sebastian and winning the return fixture 2-1 in Gran Canaria and then the following season the two meetings both saw draws but the majority of their meetings have come in the Segunda with Las Palmas failing to win any of them whilst La Real managed to win four of them.
La Real have won four of the last six meetings against Las Palmas and won two of their last five visits to Gran Canaria with them drawing the other two and losing one, Las Palmas have only ever beaten La Real once in a league meeting in Gran Canaria and haven't beaten them in a league meeting since 2001 with La Real unbeaten in the last six meetings.
This is a game hard to predict, one that could go either way and also one that could see Moyes depart La Real if his side fail to come away from Gran Canaria with all three points, it's a winnable game for both, both have the right to believe they can win this.
CELTA V VALENCIA(SATURDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
Saturday's action begins as we head to Northern Spain and to Galicia to the city of Vigo as we head to Balaidos to see third placed Celta host seventh placed Los Che in a game that's extremely important for both sides.
Celta come into this one after a superb performance in the Basque Country last weekend as they managed to overcome Moyes's men at Anoeta despite falling behind twice as they recorded a 3-2 away success in a thrilling encounter.
Celta can be extremely pleased and extremely proud of their start to this season with 21 points from their first ten games and only one defeat which came against current league leaders Los Blancos and the Galicians sit just three points behind Los Blancos and Barca.
I do feel that a draw was probably a fair result at Anoeta last weekend but Celta always looked the more likely to nick it in the final third and a stunning strike from Hernandez from outside the box won it and it was a goal well worthy of winning any game.
Celta are exciting to watch, an excellent side who don't get anywhere near enough credit for me and that's not just in Spain, that's outside of Spain, their midfield on their day is one of the best in La Liga and Nolito is sincilating.
Nolito, Aspas and Orellana is one of the best attacking trios in the Primera there's no doubt about that and if Celta can manage to remain consistent throughout this season then they have every chance of securing a top four finish this season.
Celta have the third best attacking record in La Liga this season and defensively they are the joint eight best defence in La Liga this season along with Bilbao and Celta can remain organised defensively despite their open and attacking style of play.
Only Barca and Los Blancos have scored more goals at home this season than Celta and Celta have only been beaten at Balaidos this season by Los Blancos who are league leaders but have only won twice at home this season from their five home games so far.
Those draws came against Getafe and new boys Las Palmas and both against sides who will make it difficult for you and that's Celta's only flaw really, they really struggle against sides who are hard to break down defensively and who make it difficult for them.
Los Che won the Valencian Derby against Levante last weekend 3-0 but the scoreline for me flattered them in the end because they were far from great and despite their recent run of form they still are far from their best.
Nuno is clinging on his to job as Los Che coach but he'll point to three wins from their last five La Liga games with the two defeats coming away at tough places like the Vicente Calderon and San Mames.
His team selection at times this season has baffled many including myself and his team selection at the Calderon was extremely poor, his decision to leave Negredo out of the squad for the last four games hasn't gone down too well too.
There were chants in support of Negredo during the Derby last weekend and whistles for Nuno from the Los Che fans so it's clear which side the Los Che faithful are on and it's certainly not Nuno's and for a man who's clinging on to his job that's far from positive.
Los Che are far from the Los Che we saw last season, they aren't as good to watch and are slightly weaker in terms of the squad overall compared to last season and there's huge games coming up for them and Nuno has to deliver in them otherwise he'll find himself out of a job.
Los Che were poor away on their travels last season and nothing's changed so far this season with just one away success on the their travels this season with it coming away to new boys Gijon and needing a last minute goal from Alcacer.
Los Che have lost their last three away games against Espanyol who are a side who will be fighting against relegation at some point this season, Bilbao and Atleti and Nuno needs a win away from home and pretty soon.
Los Che have lost two of their last five visits to Balaidos with them drawing one and winning the other two, the last two meetings between these two have ended in draws and that includes last season's meeting at Balaidos which ended in a 1-1 draw despite Los Che taking the lead and going into the half-time break in the lead.
This game promises much excitement with opportunities for both sides, if Celta win they'll go nine points clear of Los Che whilst Los Che will want to succeed at Balaidos to cut the gap to three points and this promises to be a belter!
LEVANTE V DEPORTIVO(SATURDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
We're on the East Coast as Rubi takes charge of his first home game as Levante Coach as his side look to bounce back from last weekend's disappointment at Mestalla as they host Depor who will come into this one on a high after holding Atleti to a 1-1 draw at Riazor last Friday night.
Levante may have lost the Valencian Derby last weekend at Mestalla but if they had taken their chances then the Derby could have had quite a different outcome and one that was in favour of the underdogs.
Levante looked much more of a threat in the attacking areas but failed to take their chances and when you do that in La Liga especially against a top side like Valencia you'll be punished but the 3-0 defeat was harsh.
Levante defensively were still poor and the second goal showed that as an individual mistake proved that, Ruben was silly to continue to come out of his goal to deny a goal and in the end he ended up committing a foul to give away a penalty.
Alcacer stuck away the penalty to give Los Che the lead in the Derby and if Ruben doesn't make that error of judgement then Los Che quite possibly don't win the game but we'll never know for sure now because of a poor mistake from Ruben.
Rubi impressed me with how he has Levante playing because there's certainly a little better in the final third even though they didn't take their chances at Mestalla, it's still encouraging but defensively I still have major doubts about this Levante side.
We've now played ten games and Levante have the worst defence in La Liga this season with 22 goals conceded and they are also the second lowest scorers in La Liga this season with six goals scored.
Levante have won just once at home this season and that came against the Yellow Submarine in the Valencian Derby but they have drawn at home to Sevilla and Eibar and lost to La Real 4-0 and also lost 2-1 to Celta.
Levante have conceded in four of their five home games this season and scored in four of them but they've only managed to score more than one goal in a home game this season on just one occasion and that's not good enough.
Depor come into this one after coming from behind against Atleti last Friday night to record a 1-1 home draw and prove that they can upset one of the big boys this season and that their impressive start to the season isn't a fluke.
Depor were poor in the first-half against Atleti and deservedly went into the half-time break a goal down but in the second-half we finally saw a response from them and with 13 minutes remaining the fantastic Lucas Perez pounced on a mistake from Gimenez and levelled for Depor.
Depor probably deserved a point in the end and it's a result that will do wonders for their confidence and for their belief because they've now no reason to fear one of the big boys in La Liga because they've now shown that they can not only hurt them but that they can get a result against them.
Depor have lost just once on their travels this season and that came against Malaga in Week 9 in what was their worst performance of this season so far, Depor have 14 points and sit seven points clear of the relegation zone with ten games played.
Jonas Gutierrez started against Atleti but despite the fact it's great to see him playing again he really did struggle and once Luis Alberto came on the real Depor returned and they could have even nicked it in the end late on.
Depor have scored seven goals on their travels this season from their five away games with wins away to Rayo and Betis and draws away at Mestalla against Los Che and away to Granada and with three of their next four away games after this one in the Spanish Capital Depor know that reaching 20 points by the end of this year would be massive.
Depor's Derby with Celta is violent, fiery, special and just magical, such a shame it's on the same weekend as the El Clasico? Miss it and you'll miss much, highly likely to be one of the best games this season, christ I love the Galician Derby.
Levante's home form played a large part in keeping them up last season so they'll be concerned that they've only ever recorded one home success over the Galicians and that came back in September 2006 in a 2-0 home success although they did record one in the Copa back in December 2011 in a 4-1 home success which saw them knock Depor out.
Depor have won two of the last five meetings between these two sides with one ending in a draw and Levante winning the other two, Depor have won three of their last four visits to the East Coast to take on Levante with them also unbeaten in their last four visits despite last season's 0-0 draw.
Rubi knows these games are huge, if Levante are to survive again this season then these games at home are absolutely key, I went to Madrid this January and this was in a bar, it was hidden away and probably right so, worst game of last season on a Friday night and ended 0-0.
Thankfully I was already very drunk, Depor were awful but are a much better side this season as I've already mentioned and Levante are much better attacking wise, can you improve this side defensively Rubi? Show me something, this game is far from clearcut, huge game for both sides and no-one wants to spend the international break on the back of a defeat.
Spanish East Coast? See you Thursday, you beautiful creature.
RAYO V GRANADA(SATURDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Rayo lose away to Eibar 1-0 in Week 10 and are now just three points clear of the relegation zone with 10 points from their first 10 games this season so let's all panic, let's all panic as they host those Andalusians Granada who are 18th.
Let's not panic, we'd be wrong to because Rayo's best form always comes in the second half of the season and the side haven't really changed that much despite the squad changing massively each season, I've already seen more than enough from their ten games this season to suggest Rayo will be fine in terms of surviving relegation this season.
Rayo were dominated by Eibar for large parts last weekend but it's not like they didn't have chances because they did and to be honest with the way Eibar are playing at the moment I really don't think it's a result that should spark any real panic or worry in the Rayo camp.
What concerned me in the lead-up to the Eibar game was that Paco Jemez sent the players home from a training game against the B team which he ended halfway through because he was livid with the attitude of the team and sent the players home.
'We're going nowhere with this attitude' was Paco Jemez's words and that for me is a little worrying days before an away game in the Primera, Paco Jemez does this kind of stuff though and we love him for it but regardless of this, it's a little worrying.
Lass Bangoura's attitude stunk as claimed by Paco Jemez which again is a little worrying especially when the player's reaction to the events was far from positive, a brilliant player Barca are watching but attitude wise it does appear he needs to improve things.
Rayo at home this season have held Los Che to a 0-0 draw on the opening weekend of the season, beaten Gijon and Espanyol but been beaten by Betis and Deportivo so it's been hit and miss for the club at home so far this season.
Six goals scored and six conceded from their five home games this season just about sums Rayo up, there's no middle ground, it's either win or lose, there's no draw well very rarely, Rayo's win or bust approach is what I love and it's widely admired in La Liga.
Granada come into this one after last Sunday's 1-1 draw in the Catalan Capital against Espanyol and yet again Granada's failure to score enough goals sees them miss out on an away day success because they should have had one in the Catalan Capital last weekend.
Granada don't score enough goals, we say it every season and historically Granada have proven to be low low scorers and they really did deserve to win away at Espanyol last weekend but if you don't take your chances you run the risk of being punished at the other end.
Espanyol punished them in the 94th minute with a fortunate goal that for me wasn't deserved but if you aren't going to take your chances, what the hell do you expect? Granada remain in the relegation zone and they continue to worry.
Granada have won just once on their travels this season and that came back in August in Week 2 at the Coliseum in the Spanish Capital against Getafe and that's their only win this season and considering we've now played ten games that's alarming.
Three of Granada's last five games have ended in a 1-1 scoreline, something which became a regular trend at times last season because very rarely do you see Granada find the net more than once in a game.
They drew half of their home games last season with alot of them ending in a 1-1 scoreline, their home record is already more or less set to be worser than last season and considering they only just stayed up last season, I really worry for them despite their business in the summer in the transfer market.
Granada may have lost three of the last five meetings against Rayo and lost here last season 3-1 but they can draw hope from the fact that this game comes in the first-half of the season where Rayo aren't at their best form wise and can draw belief from their 2-0 win here in December 2013.
Granada can come out of the relegation zone with a win here whilst Rayo could enter it so it's a big game for both sides but with Rayo involved it's highly likely to be an exciting one, the pressure's on in this one for both sides and that pressure's pretty high.
EIBAR V GETAFE(SATURDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
Eibar win again as they see off Rayo in a 1-0 home success, but please please judge them in the second half of the season, they host Getafe in this one who will look to bounce back after two successive defeats.
Eibar are now 6th in La Liga on 16 points with ten games played it doesn't get better, it's a dream start, Eibar have been fantastic, maybe they'll even survive before Christmas, infact forget it they will.
Don't be that naive and don't be that silly, Eibar did this last season as I keep saying and yes they do look a much better side this season and they're certainly more of a threat in the attacking areas but I refuse to judge them until the second half of the season.
Eibar had practically secured survival come Christmas last year but in the second half of the season they completely collapsed and ran out of steam and were relegated on points before Elche's financial situation saw them survive relegation via the courts.
They dominated the game against Rayo for large parts and could have scored more in a game which they lost last season and Eibar will now look at things and say that they now need around eight more wins this season to secure survival.
It doesn't sound a lot but remember that last season Eibar had more than 20 points at Christmas and struggled in the second half of the season and went down with less than 37 points so like I say although Eibar have been brilliant so far judge them in the second half of the season.
Eibar have lost just once at home this season and that came against Atleti and they put up a good fight in that one, they've recorded two home successes this season, three more and they'll better anything achieved in their home record last season.
Eibar have picked up eight points at home and eight points away from home this season and it'd be great to see them continue that record but as I've said judge them in the second half of the season because I certainly will be doing.
Eibar are averaging a goal every home game and have scored in four of their five home games this season and conceded in three of them but keeping a lead against Rayo and winning a game at home 1-0 was impressive.
Eibar's last two home games before the Rayo game saw them take a 1-0 lead in both games and then concede late on and have to settle for a 1-1 draw so it was pleasing that against Rayo they managed to hold a lead and keep a clean sheet at the same time too.
Getafe will be disappointed to be heading into this one after two successive defeats but they can't be too downhearted because those two games came against Sevilla and against Champions Barca and they'll be desperate to return to winning ways soon.
Getafe started the game well against Sevilla but couldn't establish a lead and eventually went on to make silly errors defensively which saw them give three penalties away and come away from the Andalusian Capital on the back of a 4-0 hammering.
It was quite similar against Barca too because they started well and were putting Barca under a good amount of pressure and Scepovic should have really taken his chance inside the area and given Getafe the lead.
Overall though Getafe just didn't do enough in the final third to trouble Barca enough and as soon as Barca's brilliant play saw Suarez fire home to give the Champions the lead Getafe competed even less.
I'm not saying Getafe gave up, not one bit but as soon as Barca took the lead Getafe were never in the contest for me and the game petered out in the end and Barca had a comfortable at the second-half and at the Coliseum that shouldn't happen.
Two of Getafe's next three games after this one see them face two Madrid Derbies and they are also to welcome the Yellow Submarine and La Real to the Coliseum in upcoming home games so a crucial period is coming up for Escriba's men.
Malaga have scored 0 goals on their travels this season, Levante have scored 1 goal on their travels this season and Getafe are in that little group as just like Levante they've only managed to score 1 goal on their travels this season.
Getafe have lost four of their five away games this season and have failed to score in any of their last three away games conceding seven goals in the process and haven't recorded an away success April 2015 as they won 1-0 on the East Coast away to Elche.
I watched this game in Madrid this January and Eibar won it, these sides also met in the Copa last season with Getafe winning the first leg at the Coliseum 3-0 before a 2-1 away success at Ipurua to knock Eibar out.
In La Liga they met for the first time ever last season with Getafe drawing 1-1 at the Coliseum but losing 2-1 at Ipurua and they'll hope for a different outcome this time around, Eibar's good form is due to end soon and Eibar need to win soon and can draw belief from their win here in the Copa last season.
MALAGA V BETIS(SATURDAY 9.05PM UK TIME, 10.05PM SPANISH TIME)
La Liga's lowest scorers Malaga who need to find the net on a more regular basis pretty soon before they find themselves deservedly in the bottom three host Pepe Mel's Betis in the Andalusian Derby who come into this one after a 3-1 home defeat against Bilbao.
Malaga come into this one after a 1-0 away defeat in Asturias against Sporting Gijon last weekend and it's a very disappointing and damaging defeat against a newly promoted side and if Malaga are in the relegation battle this season then the head to head stakes is unlikely to be in their favour against a side like Gijon.
Malaga remain beyond poor on their travels and it's no surprise to me that they lost to Gijon because anyone can beat Malaga in La Liga and I said it last season if you're a team fighting against relegation then Malaga at home must be on your winnable home games list.
Not once did I think that Malaga were going to score at El Molinon last weekend and there lies the problem, they aren't the lowest scorers in La Liga this season for no reason, five goals scored in ten games is not good enough.
Javi Gracia is an excellent manager and he deserves much better than this ship-wreck, if Moyes is sacked at La Real which I believe he will be if things go badly on Friday night then La Real could do much worse than approaching Javi Gracia.
Malaga are going nowhere under this moron of an owner and anyone who believes Malaga aren't in a relegation battle this season are nothing more than deluded, anyone who thinks Malaga going down won't happen because it's Malaga, look at Villarreal a few seasons back and then also watch a Malaga game this season.
Malaga are in the relegation battle and they're stuck firmly in it, don't even tell me these new players still have to bed in either, we've played TEN GAMES, TEN so don't come to me with the 'It's still early days' rubbish.
It won't wash with me and it certainly won't wash with the Malaga supporters, this side isn't going to finish in the top ten and I said that before the start of the season, Malaga have a chance of going down this season, there's no doubt about that.
Malaga have scored NO GOALS, NONE, ABSOLUTELY NONE from FIVE AWAY GAMES this season, that is nowhere near acceptable, Malaga may not concede many and they may fool you into a false sense of confidence with that but face facts, they're not good enough.
They lose to sides like Gijon and Getafe away from home from the same regular scoreline and that's the typical 1-0, don't read those scorelines as if Malaga were unlucky and only just lost because they didn't, Getafe could have scored more and so could Gijon.
Betis come into this one after last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Bilbao which is their third home defeat this season and they've only played five home games this season and the game against Bilbao was over at half-time.
Betis didn't compete or fight against Bilbao until the second-half and that's just not good enough, I said it in last week's blog that it took them until 25-30 minutes to get going in the Andalusian Derby away to Granada and they were already 1-0 down by that time.
Luckily against Granada they came up against a side who can't score more than one goal in a game and a Granada defender who decided to needlessly handle the ball inside the area and give away a penalty.
Castro scored the resulting penalty to give Betis a point in the end but not before a second-half domination from Granada and a goal scored which crossed the line but as there's no goal line technology in La Liga the goal wasn't given.
There are some sections of the Betis support that are calling for Pepe Mel to be sacked because they feel that's he too focused on results rather how the side play and they want their side to play with more flair.
I understand the Betis fans but it's also a careful what you wish for response because they made a mistake in sacking Pepe Mel the last time and at the moment I don't see any reason for him to go I really don't.
Betis lost the ball far too easily and far too many times against Bilbao and they were dominated right from the start of the game and struggled to get out of their half and defensively they looked at shambles and it's a worry.
Betis are now without a win in their last three games and have conceded seven goals in those three games but have managed to score in eight of their ten games this season which does give encouragement.
Away from home this season they started on a bad note by being thumped 5-0 at Santiago Bernabeu by Los Blancos but since then they've gone unbeaten in their last four away games with wins away to Rayo and Gijon and draws away to Los Che at Mestalla and away to Granada in the Andalusian Derby.
Betis have scored five goals on their travels so far whilst all of Malaga's five goals this season have come at La Rosaleda but this is a fixture that Malaga do enjoy with them winning three of the last five Andalusian Derbies against Betis and Betis winning the other two.
Betis have won two of the last six Andalusian Derbies at La Rosaleda with Malaga winning three of them and the other one ending in a draw, the last Andalusian Derby at La Rosaleda ended in a 3-2 home success for Malaga who have won the last two Andalusian Derbies against Betis.
Malaga beat La Real at home but a large part of that was down to La Real's poor defensive showing on the night and despite Depor producing their worst performance of the season at La Rosaleda Malaga were fortunate to beat them in that one and with Betis's away record this season impressive Betis could hit Malaga in this one, it's an Andalusian Derby after all.
BILBAO V ESPANYOL(SUNDAY 11AM UK TIME, 12PM SPANISH TIME)
An in-form Bilbao with an Inaki Williams who is now adding goals to his game host an Espanyol side who continue struggle for wins and for goals and this is a game both sides will believe they can win ahead of November's international break.
Bilbao are in excellent form right now with them unbeaten in their last five La Liga games as they now show consistency and are finally showing the Bilbao we love much earlier than it took them last season.
Inaki Williams as I've said so many times on this blog is some talent and for me he'll reach the top level and I'm so pleased that he's now adding goals to his game because hopefully that will start to get him noticed and get him the recognition that he deserves because he gets nowhere near enough of it as far as I'm concerned.
Benat and San Jose are one of the best defensive midfield duo's in La Liga for me, they're right up there they know when to press and their reading and understanding of the game is excellent, their passing ability is to be admired because it's superb it really is.
The attacking trio behind Aduriz that features Raul Garcia and Inaki Williams will get the most credit but San Jose and Benat don't get the credit they deserve for me and it's a real shame, if they played for Los Blancos or Barca maybe they would.
Bilbao have winnable games coming up and will be confident of continuing this good run and to go into the international break unbeaten in six games would be just the tonic for Valverde's men, it really would.
Bilbao have lost twice at home this season but those two defeats have come against Los Blancos and Champions Barca so it's nothing Bilbao should lose any sleep over really and their three home successes this season prove that.
Bilbao have one of the best attacking records at home in La Liga this season and one of the best defensive records at home in La Liga this season too and now lie six points off the top four but let's remain realistic.
I don't see Bilbao in the mix for an outside chance of a top four finish but I do see them with a potential chance of success on the European stage this season, their last five games have been brilliant and after ten games they now lie 8th just one place behind the position of seventh which they finished in last season.
Espanyol however can be far from pleased because as I keep saying on this blog every week now and as I said before this season started this side are far weaker from last season, they're weaker as a squad overall, they're weaker defensively and lost last season's main strikeforce which produced 30 plus goals and 15 assists.
I also said this side would be in a relegation battle this season at times because they can't defend and they struggle for goals and anyone near intelligent enough realises instantly that that isn't a good recipe at all.
Espanyol were good at home last season and have been over the last few seasons but despite wins over Los Che and Getafe this season they've still been thumped 6-0 by Los Blancos and drawn 1-1 at home to Granada and lost 2-1 at home to Gijon, two games they really need to be winning.
If Espanyol are in the relegation battle this season come next Spring then they'll be in big bother and they won't be able to count on the head to head stakes the way they're going because they're already in deep water in regards to their records with Gijon and Granada.
Espanyol have the second worst defence in La Liga this season but really should have worst because Granada really should have buried them and won the game by at least two goals last weekend, Espanyol were extremely fortunate to come away with a point in the end.
Espanyol's next three home games see them take on Malaga, Las Palmas and Levante before the Catalan Derby comes to town and the Yellow Submarine and with trips to the Calderon, Sanchez Pizjuan, Ipurua and Balaidos after this Espanyol could be in deep deep trouble come the New Year.
Espanyol have historically been poor on their travels but this season they've improved and they did improve on their travels for some part of the latter stages of last season and wins away to La Real and Betis this season and the star they have in Asensio shows they can't be taken lightly.
Espanyol enjoy their games against Bilbao with them winning four of the last five meetings against the Basque side despite losing 3-1 at San Mames last season they've managed to win on two of their last four visits with them drawing the other.
Bilbao can be inconsistent at times and that will give Espanyol real hope in this one and they'll certainly have the motivation because remember that Bilbao came to Cornella last season and dumped Espanyol out of the Copa to reach the final and deny Espanyol the chance of meeting Barca for a Catalan Derby in the final and that still hurts Espanyol now.
BARCA V VILLARREAL(SUNDAY 3PM UK TIME, 4PM SPANISH TIME)
Barca were far from their best at the Coliseum last weekend but they still overcame Getafe to pick up another three points and pick up their first clean sheet in La Liga since late August while the Yellow Submarine saw off Sevilla 2-1 at El Madrigal.
This game sees second host fourth and considering we've played ten games and you can no longer say it's early days shows you what a fantastic start to the season it's been for the Yellow Submarine and they'll come into this one with confidence.
Barca struggled in the first-half against Getafe and if it wasn't for Sergi Roberto's superb assist to set up Suarez for the opener on 37 minutes then Barca would have gone in at the break level at a ground they historically struggle.
The thing with Barca is that they have to play a different way without Messi and it effects them but they remain level on points with Los Blancos and Neymar and Suarez are stepping up to the plate and that's extremely pleasing.
Fourteen of Barca's La Liga goals this season have been scored by Neymar and Suarez with them scoring seven goals each and whilst Messi isn't in the team I would like to see others step up to the plate.
Now they have finally got a clean sheet in La Liga something that's taken them two months by the way, it must be a base for them to build from now and they must look to record clean sheets regularly again just like they did last season.
Sergi Roberto set up both goals in the win at the Coliseum last weekend and both were fantastic and he has proved this season that not only does he have a bright future but he's more than capable of doing a very good job at right-back and as a midfielder for Enrique.
Iniesta is now back too which should see Barca control games better than what they do without him which should relieve pressure on their defence and this one will be a test defensively against the Yellow Submarine who love scoring.
The Yellow Submarine have been superb in the big games this season against last season's top five with wins now over Atleti and Sevilla and both coming at El Madrigal showing that they can hurt the big boys in Spain at El Madrigal.
The Yellow Submarine started extremely well against Sevilla and could have gone infront early on but what pleased me was that they performed like this for the majority of the 90 minutes, they were relentless and had Sevilla under pressure for large parts of the game.
Gaspar's goal was a little fortunate as no-one seemed to be able to get the ball clear from a Sevilla perspective but Gaspar eventually came out of the scramble with the ball and poked it into the corner past Rico.
The Yellow Submarine went into the half-time break 1-0 up but the second half didn't seem the drop off or look to protect things at 1-0, they remained relentless and on 61 minutes after great play down the flanks Denis Suarez set up the wonderful Bakambu inside the area who tapped home to end the game.
That second goal woke Sevilla up who eventually pulled one back through Llorente with a little less than 15 minutes remaining but the Yellow Submarine managed to remain organised defensively and saw the game out.
The Yellow Submarine had a poor result away at Las Palmas before the Sevilla game and it seemed the goals were drying up for them as their last few games suggested but they managed to come back strongly against Sevilla and pull off a fantastic win.
It's a win that's massive because with ten games played they now have a five point lead over Valencia an eight point lead over Sevilla and if the Yellow Submarine can remain consistent this season they can finish in that top four, no doubt about it.
The Yellow Submarine are one of the best attacking sides in La Liga and not only are they the joint fourth highest scorers in La Liga this season along with Depor and Atleti but they've scored in three of their five away games this season and kept a clean sheet in two of them.
Only Levante have beaten the Yellow Submarine on their travels this season with the Yellow Submarine drawing away to Betis and Las Palmas and recording wins away at Granada and Malaga but with respect to those five sides the Yellow Submarine haven't played any of the big boys away from home yet.
The Yellow Submarine have proved though this season in their home games against Sevilla and Atleti that they can perform in a big game against one of the big boys and that they can get a result so it'll be interesting to see how they do on their first big away test of the season away to one of the big boys in La Liga and it's against the Champions.
Barca have the second best attack in La Liga this season with 22 goals scored and at Camp Nou they have the best attacking home record this season in the whole of La Liga with 15 goals scored after five home games which is an average of three goals a game at Camp Nou.
Barca have however conceded in their last four home games with their last four home games seeing Barca find the net fourteen times and conceding five goals and all those came against four sides that are likely to be fighting relegation this season.
These sides met in the latter stages of last season's Copa with Barca winning the first leg at Camp Nou 3-1 before ending the tie at El Madrigal in the second leg with a 3-1 away success as they eventually went on to win the competition.
In La Liga the Yellow Submarine have won at Camp Nou before and that came back in 2008 as they recorded a 2-1 away success over the Catalans which saw do the double over Barca in the 2007/2008 season as they also beat them 3-1 at El Madrigal in 2007.
The Yellow Submarine have lost their last four visits to Camp Nou but have managed to find the net on six of their last ten visits and have scored a total of eight goals on their last six visits to Camp Nou with them conceding a total of 17 goals on their last six visits.
This is a Barca side without Messi and a Barca side that's far from their best whilst the Yellow Submarine have shown twice this season that they can perform in the big games and get the results aswell.
This presents Barca's final test before the El Clasico and it's one tough one, the Yellow Submarine are very dangerous on the counter-attack, this is far from clearcut, The Yellow Submarine have every right to believe they can take something back with them on their flight to the East Coast after this one.
ATLETI V GIJON(SUNDAY 5.15PM UK TIME, 6.15PM SPANISH TIME)
Sunday's penultimate game sees us head to the Spanish Capital as we head to the Vicente Calderon as fifth placed Atleti host new boys Gijon who will be in dreamland with them five points clear of the relegation zone as we enter November.
Atleti come into this one after dropping crucial points in Coruna last Friday night as they let their first-half lead slip up as a Gimenez mistake was pounced on by Depor's star man Lucas Perez who punished them as Atleti were held to a 1-1 draw.
Atleti showed in Coruna why I didn't tip them for the title this season and why they won't win it and that's because they don't finish teams off,we saw it two weeks back against Los Che and fortunately they managed to win in the end 2-1.
However you can't keep getting away with it and Atleti didn't learn their lesson, they had the chances to go into the half-time break at least two goals up if not three but yet again their conversion rate remained poor, they didn't finish Depor off and were deservedly punished in the second half.
Simeone also disappointed me because with no disrespect towards Astana but it wasn't like Atleti were facing Benfica away in the Champions League in midweek, it was a team they have just beaten 4-0 in the game at the Calderon so taking off Carrasco who was their best player on the night at 1-0 with more than 30 minutes remaining baffled me.
Simeone thought the game was won and you can never think like that in La Liga unless you're two goals up and I was really disappointed in Simeone because despite the fact that Atleti were abject and poor in the second half and Depor were controlling things he remained confident his side would still win the game and was happy to sit back and take the 1-0.
After great wins and performances this season it's such a shame and frustration to see Atleti drop two points away to Depor because it's a game that despite Depor's excellent second half showing that Atleti should have killed in the first half and they didn't.
Look at the game against Los Che for a prime example, Atleti dominated Los Che in the first half and looked like they could win the game 3-0 or 4-0 or even more but once they got to 2-0 they seemed to take their foot off the gas and sit deep.
Atleti were well in this title race and I do believe that they will still challenge but I don't see them being in the mix come April/May time and to be four points off the pace in November is far from great, I see Simeone's men looking back on the result in Coruna last Friday night and the fact that they can't finish teams off come next May.
Gijon come into this one after recording their first home success of the season as they overcome a poor Malaga side in a 1-0 home success and it's a result they really did deserve and if they had been more clinical infront of goal they'd have won by more.
Gijon have 12 points after ten games and sit seven points clear of the relegation zone and if you told them they'd be in this position after ten games at the start of the season they'd have begged you to not be telling them a joke and then ran off in celebration, in sheer delight infact.
Gijon are a joy to watch they really are and in Halilovic they have a guy who's going to reach the top levels with Barca or another big European giant in my opinion but for now they must enjoy him and cherish him.
Halilovic can drive Gijon to survival and prove many including myself wrong because I had them to go down at the start of this season and I do stand by it but at the moment they look well placed to pull of the unbelievable feat that would be survival this season.
Sanabria being injured was a blow for them in the attacking areas but they've managed to cope without him extremely well and despite just five points from their five home games this season it's not all bad considering Los Che and Los Blancos have visited El Molinon this season so Gijon are making the oldest ground in Spain a tough place to go again and it's something they must do to have any chance of survival.
Gijon have some tough games coming up against Sevilla and Celta after this but they also have home games coming up against Levante and Las Palmas and those are two key games that could quite easily be the difference between survival this season and relegation.
Gijon have won two of their five away games this season with them drawing one and losing two and have picked up seven points on their travels this season and shouldn't travel to the Spanish Capital with any fear.
Atleti have lost just once at the Calderon this season and that came against Barca in a 2-1 home defeat despite taking the lead and they have won two of their last three home games but conceded in their last two home games so Gijon have real hope.
These two sides have met before with Atleti winning all four meetings at the Vicente Calderon keeping a clean sheet and winning by the same 4-0 scoreline twice, the four meetings at El Molinon have seen two draws and win for each.
Gijon with their never say die attitude and attacking ability can upset at the Calderon, do remember that Atleti will come into this one after a long midweek trip to Khazakstan in the Champions League and Gijon have some hope.
SEVILLA V REAL MADRID(SUNDAY 7.30PM UK TIME, 8.30PM SPANISH TIME)
The game of Week 11 takes place in the Andalusian Capital as Sevilla who are eight points off the top four with ten games played now face a home game at the Sanchez Pizjuan against league leaders Los Blancos.
Whatever happens in the Champions League as Emery has said La Liga is the side's bread and butter, they're quite off the pace already in the race for the top four and there's pressure starting to build on Emery.
Sevilla have been brilliant in the last few games but against the Yellow Submarine in a big game away from home with a chance to get close to the top four they produced an abject performance and it was from the Sevilla we're used to seeing.
Sevilla created very little in the final third and even when they did it was still not enough and yes Llorente's goal was a great header and finished off a great move which ended with Konoplyanka's superb cross into the box but it was too little too late.
You can't wait until you are 2-0 down to start playing and then suddenly wake up and start to attack, Konoplyanka was a disappointment on the night because like many players he came alive at 2-0 down and by then the game was lost.
Defensively on their travels last season Sevilla were naive and struggled to keep a clean sheet and yet again the same problems exist this season, Adil Rami always seems like he has a mistake in him and Emery's subsitutions continue to mystify.
Emery cost Sevilla the game against City in Manchester with his negative subsitutions and although his subs didn't really cost Sevilla on the East Coast they were still poor, baffling and incredibly mystifying.
I don't get Emery's idea of bringing N'Zonzi on all the time and to bring him on against the Yellow Submarine to gain control of the midfield was just madness, N'Zonzi is a car crash and if you are going to bring any player on to gain back control of the midfield it's not N'Zonzi.
Sevilla have conceded in their last four away games and haven't kept a clean sheet on their travels in all competitions since Malaga away on the opening weekend of the season and they yet again continue to struggle at the back on their travels.
Sevilla also remain without an away win this season and are one of the lowest scorers in La Liga on their travels and that's nowhere near good enough for a side which finished fifth last season, attacking wise in general 14 goals from 10 games this season is okay, conceding 14 goals just isn't okay.
After this game against the league leaders Emery takes his side to the Basque Country to take on La Real then faces Valencia so things aren't going to get easier for Emery and he needs to get this Sevilla side moving up the table because they're well off the pace for a top four finish already and cannot afford any more slip-ups.
Los Blancos come into this crunch clash in the Andalusian Capital after a 3-1 home success over new boys Las Palmas last weekend at Santiago Bernabeu in a game which saw them concede at home for the first time this season under new coach Rafa Benitez.
The performance against Las Palmas was quite possibly one of the worst performances so far this season from Benitez's men and in my opinion it was one of the worst and in the second half defensively it's the worst I've seen them this season.
The goal they conceded was in the first-half and for a newly promoted side to have a free header in the box at Santiago Bernabeu does give some cause for concern, Hernan had a free header six yards out from a corner and headed home.
Los Blancos understandably took their foot off the gas in the second-half with PSG in the Champions League in mind but the space they allowed Las Palmas in the final third was quite incredible and to be honest they're quite fortunate they only conceded just the one goal in the end.
I don't want to hear anyone saying that Los Blancos conceded because Navas wasn't there because although Navas is the club's best keeper and the best keeper in the world right now on current form there's no guarantee he saves it for starters and if someone has a free header six yards out from a corner and you blame the keeper you're incredibly harsh.
Los Blancos got the game won without being brilliant and Las Palmas contributed to it with defensive mistakes as Isco's opening goal showed, Los Blancos won the game and headed into this one as leaders, it wasn't a good performance but it was another three points and that's all that matters.
Benitez doesn't like conceding and he especially doesn't like conceding from set-pieces where an opposing player has a free header six yards out and you can bet your bottom dollar that he will have worked on defending set-pieces in the week ahead of this trip to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Benitez has had three big tests in La Liga this season and he's come away from San Mames and Balaidos with victories and a draw from the Vicente Calderon in the Madrid Derby, a place where Los Blancos lost 4-0 last season.
Los Blancos picked up three points under Ancelotti last season from those three away games and Benitez has come away with seven so he's proved his ability in the big games and I never doubted it because in the big games tactically there's very few who get it right and Benitez generally does as he's proved this season.
Los Blancos have scored the most goals in La Liga this season and conceded the least and on their travels they've also scored more than any other side in La Liga this season and conceded the least, Los Blancos have scored in four of their five away games this season with only Gijon keeping them out with Los Blancos scoring twelve goals on their travels this season.
Los Blancos were the only side to win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season in the whole of Europe but before that they had lost their last two visits to the Sanchez Pizjuan and find it tough here and have lost two of their last five visits.
Los Blancos have lost at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan six times and lost two of their last five visits to the Sanchez Pizjuan with them winning the other three, these sides have met in La Liga, the UEFA Super Cup and the Copa.
Sevilla won the Copa in 2007 with a first-leg win at the Sanchez Pizjuan 1-0 before winning 5-3 at Santiago Bernabeu to clinch the trophy, this sees two of Spain's most successful clubs go head to head and is simply unmissable.
This is the only hurdle in Los Blancos's way, win it and they'll head into the El Clasico as league leaders, Benitez knows he must come through this big test successfully and if he manages that then there's only Camp Nou, Mestalla and El Madrigal left to visit which could present problems for his side.
Sevilla proved against Barca a few weeks back that at the Sanchez Pizjuan they can see off a big boy and their home record proved that, Los Blancos may have won here last season but it was with a different coach and a different style, huge test for Benitez and it's vital he comes through this test successfully.
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