El Centrocampista

Easter Weekend to shape La Liga season

The term ‘six pointer’ is often overused, but for a couple of fixtures this season, nothing could be more true.

First up, 3rd and 5th placed teams in Atletico Madrid and Valencia will do battle at the Vicente El Calderon. Atletico may already be virtually guarenteed Champions Leauge football next term, but Valencia still have an awful lot of work to do to reach Europes premier competition.

Key to Valencia’s fortunes this weekend must be on how they contain Atletico’s strikers. Now that Falcao is scoring less, Diego Costa has filled the void and is scoring like he never has done before.

His movements through the left of the attack as well as his determination and strength made him as one of the most fearest strikers for defenders. On the contary, Falcao is a predator, and Valencia must be wary of his natural goalscoring instinct.

To win the match Valencia probably should play on counter attack.

With an abundance of pace throughout the squad, they should do it fast, clear, with few touches on the ball and moving away from defenders.

After recent health issues, Tito Vilanova arrived back in town this Wednesday and Barcelona will no doubt want to put on a good performance to impress their boss.

Playing away at Celta Vigo, it is expected that David Villa will continue his stint up front. The Spaniard has impressed since returning to the line up and when acting as a central point, gives the likes of Messi, Pedro, Alexis and Iniesta more depth and space in which to operate.

Another crucial game will be between Rayo Vallecano and Malaga, both of whom will want to win to maintain their Europa League aspirations.

Elsehwere, Osasuna travel to a Valladolid whom be intent on performing better than their heavy lost last time out against Real Sociedad.

Real Sociedad have been peforming above all expectations so far this season and will try to maintain the good results they are having when they face Espanyol.  Having scored four times against Valladolid, they will face an Espanyol side who have really improved defensively in the second half of the season.

Athletic Bilbao and Granada face each with both teams knowing that they need 3 points to make sure they stay away from relegation zone.

Speaking of which, Mallorca host Deportivo in what can only be described as the stereotypical ‘sixpointer’.  Sitting rock bottom,time is running out for Deportivo and there is very much the feeling that if they are to have any chance of avoiding relegation to the Segunda, then they must avoid defeat this weekend.

Themselves sitting in the bottom three, Mallorca must know that as chances come to get three points on the board, they aren’t going to be any better.

And finally, Betis face Getafe. They are respectively 7th and 8th on the table.

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