Madrid, 26 Nov : This weekend’s 15th round of Spanish La Liga matches includes three crucial games in the race to the title and another test for Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona’s new coach.These are some of the things you should be aware of this weekend in Spain.1.Villarreal is another Barca testIt has been a difficult first week for Barcelona’s new coach Xavi.His side started his reign with a 1-0 win at Espanyol, followed by a 0-0 draw at Benfica, which puts them in danger of missing the Champions League final 16.
Barca’s games in the Champions League were a good example of how Barca can produce better football, but they also highlighted their limited resources, with Ansu Fati and Pedri both injured, and Kun Aguero out with a heart condition.
Barca’s only goal from their two games under Xavi came from a controversial penalty.This is where the problem lies.Barca will seek to sign a striker in January but until then, Xavi will have with him what he has.
2.Real Madrid’s new CEO is KroosReal Madrid’s success this season has been attributed to Karim Benzema’s consistent attack and Vinicius Jr’s ability to fulfill the promise he made in his first three years.Real Madrid’s leadership is not just that.
Toni Kroos has a lot to answer for with his controlled and creative play at the park’s middle.
Kroos was injured earlier in the season but he has been able to play a more important role in the midfield.Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti needs Kroos to perform well with third-place Sevilla at the Bernabeu.
3.Atletico Madrid’s past failures are backAtletico Madrid’s visit is scheduled for Cadiz following a midweek defeat by AC Milan, which leaves their European future in doubt and once again highlights their failings in front goal.
Atletico was able to field an attacking team in midweek but failed to score.
The game took place after last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Osasuna, where the only goal came from a set piece in the final minutes.
Cadiz welcome Atletico after a 4-0 win in Getafe.
They will be much more difficult to score against this weekend.Atletico has a lot of attacking talent but they need players like Rodrigo de Paul and Yannick Carrasco to be able express themselves.However, Diego Simeone’s conservative nature sometimes prevents that from happening.
4.Real Sociedad is in a difficult place to bounce backReal Sociedad were defeated by Valencia subterranean last weekend, which saw Real Madrid replace them at top of the table.On Thursday, San Sebastian suffered a 2-1 loss in Monaco that left them struggling to get out of their Europa League group.Espanyol will now host Imanol Alguacil’s team.Espanyol is still reeling from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Barcelona in a game where Raul De Tomas was twice on the woodwork.
Espanyol’s main threat will be De Tomas once again, and even though Mikel Oyarzabal returns for Real Sociedad this will be a huge test of their character as well as their squad depth.
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