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La Liga Preview – GW 16

In our new series of EPL, Bundesliga and La Liga previews, Soccer-Laduma had a look at the upcoming matches for Spanish giants Barcelona, Real and Atletico.

Match of the Week

Barcelona v Villarreal

Barcelona come into the match against Villarreal after their first league loss to Athletic Bilbao two weeks ago. However, the Catalan giants have already bounced back with a 4-1 Copa del Rey and and 6-1 Champions League victory.

These two wins were the ideal response to Barca’s shocking back-to-back defeat in the beginning of month/end of November. Now comes the match against fifth-placed Villarael and Tata Martino will be hoping that Neymar can again stand in for the injured Messi.

"The goal gave him confidence and from there he showed his repertoire,” Barca's coach said after Neymar’s first Hat-trick in Europe.

"I'm amazed at his level of commitment to the team. It's strange in players that are as good as him."

Barca head into the game on top of the standings but points-level with Atletico Madrid, having last lost a La Liga game to Villarreal in March 2008. The Yellow Submarine has already taken draws from both Madrid sides this season and will be hoping for another upset.

The other ‘big guns’

Real Madrid could also level both the leading sides on points when they face Osasuna on Saturday afternoon. Ancelotti will be happy that his star striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, will be fit again and Real should have enough fire-power to overcome their struggling opponents.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico are facing Valencia at home on Sunday evening. Atletico enter the game on the back of ten competitive games without a loss (8 wins, 2 draws) and Simeone will be hoping his side can build on their current run in form with another victory against Europa League participant Valencia.

The other games

Levante – Elche

Rayo Vallecano – Granada

Malage – Getafe

Almeria – Espanyol

Real Sociedad – Betis

Sevilla – Athletic Bilbao

Valladolid – Celta Vigo

Will all three big guns continue their run in form or will one of them slip? Have your say in the comment section below.

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