By Jacob Ajom

There are several heavyweight battles coming up in Matchday 35 of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season, including the second Madrid Derby of the campaign. In just one weekend, football fans can savour Real Betis hosting Barcelona just as Villarreal CF entertain Sevilla.

The much anticipated Madrid derby will see Atlético Madrid will be at home to champions Real Madrid, with all six of those teams currently inside the top seven in the standings.

That means they’re all currently on course for European qualification, so will be fighting to stay there and book the most prestigious UEFA ticket possible.

The first game of Saturday is another huge one in its own right, as RCD Mallorca host Granada CF for a relegation six-pointer.

Both teams have changed their coach in the past few weeks, with Javier Aguirre coming in on the island and Aitor Karanka taking over the Granada CF hotseat. Each has already made a positive impact and will be battling for the three points at the Visit Mallorca Estadi.

Several other intriguing fixtures follow on Saturday afternoon. Athletic Club coach Marcelino takes on his former side Valencia CF at San Mamés as those two historic clubs aim to finish as high as possible.

In Vigo, RC Celta will host Deportivo Alavés as the Basque side look to keep their slim survival hopes alive. There’s also Cádiz CF vs Elche CF, an extra special fixture for striker Lucas Pérez given that he switched from the Franjiverdes to the Amarillos in January. 

On Saturday night comes the first of the weekend’s top-of-the-table clashes as Real Betis take on FC Barcelona at what promises to be an electric Estadio Benito Villamarín, as this will be the Verdiblancos’ first home match since winning the Copa del Rey.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini has urged his players to keep battling for a potential Champions League qualification spot, making this duel with a direct rival for a top four berth so important. 

Sunday is Madrid Derby day, yet it’s not only Atleti and Real Madrid who’ll face off. Before that, Getafe CF take on fellow Madrid side Rayo Vallecano in the first fixture of the day. It was in the reverse fixture that Radamel Falcao made his Franjirrojo debut earlier in the season, coming off the bench to score a goal.

Villarreal CF vs Sevilla FC and RCD Espanyol vs CA Osasuna follow on Sunday afternoon, with the first of these fixtures having major implications in the race for Europe.

Unai Emery’s squad will want to ensure they have continental competition again next season, following this year’s incredible run, while Sevilla FC want to qualify for the Champions League for a third season in a row, and also the Spanish Super Cup. 

Vanguard News

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.