Bale back, Neymar suspended in La Liga weekend action
Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has some good news for his side’s home game against Celta Vigo on Saturday afternoon after Welsh forward Gareth Bale completed his recovery from a calf injury.
The Welshman can be expected to play at least some role as Real Madrid look to build on their 3-1 win away to Levante and calm at least some of the nerves of the home fans angry at another disappointing season, reports Xinhua.
Former youth team players, Borja Mayoral, Lucas Vazquez and Nacho Fernandez were key in midweek, but may find life tougher against a Celta side which is pressing for a top-six finish and has a rapid and potent attack consisting of Iago Aspes, Nolito and Fabio Orellana.
Fourth-placed Villarreal are also in action on Saturday and looking to confirm a place in next season’s Champions League against a Las Palmas side which has won their last two matches to climb out of the relegation zone.
Seven straight defeats, including a 0-4 thrashing to Las Palmas in midweek have seen Getafe fall in the other direction and coach Fran Escriba knows his side has to start scoring goals after not hitting the target in their last five matches if he is to keep his job.
Getafe welcome Sevilla to their Alfonso Perez Coliseum knowing that although Sevilla are currently fifth in the table they have not won away from home in the league all campaign. Unai Emery’s men may well consider this as their best chance of ending that surprising run of results.
Saturday ends with Deportivo la Coruna looking for their first win of 2016 at home to a well-organised Malaga.
There is an Andalusian derby to kick off Sunday’s action as Granada look for their third win under new coach Jose Gonzalez at home to Betis, who themselves took a big step towards safety with a 3-0 win away to Espanyol on Thursday.
Sunday afternoon sees Barcelona defend their eight-point lead at the top of the table away against Eibar in the Ipurua Stadium and Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique will no doubt look to move his squad around to ensure he keeps as many players fresh as possible.
The only players not to rest are strikers, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi, although Arda Turan, who scored his first league goal for the club on Thursday, could make a start as Neymar is suspended for the trip.
Athletic Club Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde can celebrate his contract extension with the Basque football club if they win away against struggling Sporting Gijon.
Athletic will be led by 35-year-old Aritz Aduriz, who scored his 28th, 29th and 30th goals of the season in the 4-1 win at home over Deportivo on Wednesday night.
Real Sociedad should return to winning ways at home against bottom of the table Levante, whose coach Rubi, could be in trouble should they lose, before second-placed Atletico Madrid could once again complicate matters for Gary Neville at Valencia in what could be a tense affair.
The round of matches ends on Monday when Espanyol entertain Rayo Vallecano.