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Action on the bill at the top and bottom of La Liga as winter break approaches

7:27 PM GMT+4 20/12/2019
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20
Movement at both the top and bottom of the table is expected as Barcelona and Real Madrid return to action this weekend

Some historic clashes among the final round of fixtures before La Liga Santander head to its winter break.

Barcelona’s first game after Wednesday’s Clasico at the Camp Nou is back at home on Saturday afternoon, against Deportivo Alaves. The Basques famously won on their visit to the Catalan capital in September 2016, but Barca have won all six of their meetings since, five times in La Liga and once in the 2017 Copa del Rey final.

Real Madrid are in action on Sunday evening when they welcome Athletic Club to the Santiago Bernabeu in a game often known in Spain as El Viejo Clasico – ‘the ‘Old Clasico.’ Athletic’s draw at the Bernabeu two seasons ago is the only time that Los Blancos haven’t taken the three points from this fixture in the past 14 seasons.

The final La Liga Santander weekend of 2019 starts Friday evening with Eibar at home to Granada; the Basque side have won all four of the most recent La Liga Santander meetings between the teams.

Saturday’s programme begins with Mallorca at home to Sevilla. Vicente Moreno’s islanders come into the game boosted by a valuable away point at Celta Vigo last weekend, while Julen Lopetegui’s Andalusians will want to bounce back after losing at home to Villarreal.

That result should mean Villarreal's Yellow Submarine will be buoyant ahead of Saturday afternoon’s welcoming of a Getafe team whose tremendous run of four straight victories has lifted them to fourth in the LaLiga Santander table.

Saturday’s late game has a Real Valladolid team with two points and zero goals in their last five games hosting a Valencia side who have found the net in 16 of 17 La Liga Santander games so far this term.

Sunday starts with a real relegation six-pointer in the Spanish capital as 19th placed Leganes host bottom side Espanyol. Both have showed signs of improvement lately and picked up useful points last weekend but will still see a win at Butarque as crucial.

There’s another Basque derby early on Sunday afternoon where Osasuna host Real Sociedad; the team from San Sebastian unbeaten on their last three LaLiga visits to their neighbours in Pamplona.

Real Betis hosting Atletico Madrid is further classic La Liga fixture given the close historical ties between the clubs and their fanbases. It could be another tight affair on Sunday afternoon given that their four most recent clashes have produced just three goals in total.

By contrast, Levante against Celta is almost a guarantee of goals with 22 scored in their last five LaLiga meetings. Levante won 4-1 on their most recent visit to Balaidos last February.

Watch La Liga Santander live this weekend, starting Friday evening and into the weekend on SuperSport 7 HD.