Matchday 9 of the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander season will have a distinctly Valencia taste, with the round of matches both kicking off and finishing up in Spain’s eastern province.
Valencia CF vs Real Madrid will conclude this weekend’s action on Sunday night and, given what happened at Mestalla last weekend and the result of this fixture last season, it promises to be a game packed with entertainment.
But first up, kicking off the matchday, will be Elche CF vs RC Celta, a clash of teams from opposite sides of the country. Celta will make the long trip east in search of much-needed points without a win in six and will come up against a newly-promoted side full of confidence after a bright start to the season.
The first fixture up on Saturday is SD Huesca vs SD Eibar, a match which could be a very Japanese affair. For the first time ever, there could be three Japan internationals involved in the same LaLiga Santander match, with Huesca’s Shinji Okazaki going up against the visitors’ Takashi Inui and Yoshinori Muto.
Up next is FC Barcelona welcoming Real Betis to the Camp Nou for a match of many reunions. Los Verdiblancos’ Claudio Bravo, Marc Bartra, Juan Miranda, Martín Montoya and Cristian Tello all used to call the Camp Nou home, while Barca’s Junior Firpo and Carles Aleñá have played for Real Betis in the very recent past. As soon as the ball gets rolling, though, all thoughts will turn to targeting the three points, especially for the Catalan club who come into the game on the back of four LaLiga matches without victory.
Sevilla FC have also failed to win any of their past four league outings and they’ll be looking to put that right when they play at home to CA Osasuna on Saturday evening. Then, on Saturday night, there’s yet another Andalusian team in action as high-flying Cadiz CF visit Atlético de Madrid in the Spanish capital. Considering that Cádiz just became the first-ever newly-promoted side to win their first four away games of a season without conceding a single goal, Atleti can’t afford to take this game lightly.
An action-packed Sunday follows with five fixtures, the first of which is Getafe CF vs Villarreal CF. This was a very fiery game last season in which four players were sent off in stoppage time as the Yellow Submarine won 3-1 at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. There’s no question that Getafe CF will be out for revenge this time around.
Next up are leaders Real Sociedad entertaining Granada CF. This is matchup between the teams who finished sixth and seventh last season and two of LaLiga’s representatives in the Europa League. Any talk of fatigue following European action in midweek will be put to one side, however, and a closely fought match between two of LaLiga Santander’s in-form sides can be expected.
On Sunday evening, there are two matches in the 18:30 CET timeslot as Levante UD host D. Alavés and as Real Valladolid welcome Athletic Club. These are two really important matches for the home teams considering Levante UD and Real Valladolid are both inside the relegation zone as things stand. They need to get points on the board soon and will hope to start this Sunday.
Then, at 21:00 CET on Sunday night, Matchday 9 reaches its conclusion with a blockbuster match. Valencia CF vs Real Madrid is a classic LaLiga Santander fixture and has been a very competitive one in recent times too. Over the past 10 years, the head-to-head record in LaLiga Santander stands at eight Real Madrid wins, seven draws and three Valencia wins. Last season, for example, this fixture ended in a 1-1 draw with incredible drama, with Real Madrid equalising in stoppage time thanks to a Karim Benzema goal assisted by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who was up for a corner.
That was a wild finish to a match, just like Valencia’s home game against Getafe last Sunday night when both sides scored in stoppage time in a 2-2 draw, with Carlos Soler converting a 100th-minute penalty to earn Los Che their point. It’s never boring when Valencia CF play a huge match at Mestalla under those Sunday night lights and it surely won’t be this weekend when Real Madrid are in town.