Almeria vs. Barcelona 6PM
Getafe vs. Elche 8PM
Real Madrid vs. Vallecano 10PM
Celta Vigo vs. Granada MIDNIGHT
Malaga vs. Eibar MIDNIGHT
TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 9
Sevilla vs. Levante 2PM
Espanyol vs. Villarreal 8PM
Valencia vs. Bilbao 9PM
Sociedad vs. Atletico 11PM
Real Madrid head into today’s home clash against Rayo Vallecano in outstanding form after 12 straight wins.
A slow start to the season – which saw them drop consecutive league games against Real Sociedad and local rivals Atletico Madrid – saw Real coach Carlo Ancelotti come under question.
Much was made of Ancelotti’s decision to let Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso leave the club but the critics have since been silenced by a scintillating run of form.
In Real’s 12 successive triumphs in all competitions, they have scored a stunning 47 goals, highlighting their potency in attack.
And it is not like Real’s wins have come against Spanish strugglers – successes against Barcelona, Liverpool (twice) and Basel have come in the hot streak.
Real were not at their best in the final third against Liverpool in the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday, but still dominated in their 1-0 win. Karim Benzema scored the only goal on that occasion – his fifth in as many games – as Real qualified for the competition’s last 16 with two Group B matches to spare.
And playmaker James Rodriguez has urged his team-mates to keep their foot on the pedal as they try to add to their one-point lead atop La Liga. “I think that we have been on a roll in our last seven or eight games, and we have scored goals,” Rodriguez said.
His thoughts were echoed by the red-hot Benzema. “We are going through a great period at the moment,” he said.
“I am really enjoying [it] on the pitch at the moment, just like every player. We are all involved in every play. We defend and we attack together.” With 17 league goals already, Cristiano Ronaldo is comfortably La Liga’s top scorer – some eight goals ahead of Barca star Neymar – and after a rare off night in front of goal against Liverpool, he is sure to be fired up. And that spells bad news for Rayo, who have the fourth-worst defence in the top flight.
Rayo have been inconsistent this season and sit 12th in the table with three wins from their first 10 matches.
Almeria are likely to wince at the sight of Lionel Messi when Barcelona come to town.
The four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner has tormented Almeria in the past and enters the clash on the brink of more goal scoring history.
Messi netted both goals in Barcelona’s 2-0 Uefa Champions League win at Ajax on Wednesday – a result that sealed their progression to the competition’s last 16.
The Argentina star’s brace saw him equal the all-time record for goals in Europe’s premier club competition. Messi has now scored 71 times in the Champions League, equalling the mark set by Real Madrid legend Raul.
Messi also sits just one adrift of the all-time La Liga scoring record set by Telmo Zarra (251 goals) – and history suggests this weekend could be the time he surpasses that mark.
The 27-year-old has scored in his last six matches against Almeria – netting 11 goals in the process. Almeria have scored just four themselves in those six clashes, and the club have had no answers for Messi.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor