The two-week international break is finally over, paving way for the much-loved domestic action across Europe.
Like other leagues across Europe’s top-five, LaLiga returns with a number of mouth-watering clashes on the menu.
Here are the main talking points going into the weekend:
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
Arguably the biggest match of the weekend will bring together two of the most likely title contenders in Diego Simeone’s Atletico against Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona.
Atleti is one of the most in-form LaLiga teams, having won all their last four matches. Barcelona, on the other hand, have been blowing hot and cold, managing just a single win from their last five.
Both teams will miss key strikers with Atleti losing Luis Suarez to COVID-19 after he tested positive while on international duty with Uruguay.
As such, he will have to wait a little longer for a reunion with his former side.
Barca too will miss the services of Ansu Fati, who suffered a knee injury which will keep him out for up to four months.
Despite the two’s absence, the match will still have the usual spark that the two sides have exhibited in recent clashes.
Villareal vs Real Madrid
One other high-profile match will be at the Estadio de la Ceramica when Villarreal entertain Real Madrid in a La Liga derby.
Zinedine Zidane’s side will be keen on making amends after suffering a 4-1 defeat away to Valencia before the international break, but they know they’ll be facing a tough opponent.
Villareal are currently second, a point behind surprise leader Real Sociedad, and will be in the hunt for a fifth consecutive win in all competitions.
Celta new coach
RC Celta decided to part ways with Óscar García this past week, bringing in Eduardo ‘Chacho’ Coudet to replace him.
This is the Argentine coach’s first European managerial job, after achieving success with Rosario Central, Club Tijuana, Racing Club, and Internacional. It’s also a homecoming of sorts, as former midfielder Coudet played for Celta back in 2002/03.
Coudet will immediately be thrown into the deep waters with a tough match against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
Injuries, suspensions, and COVID-19
Luis Suarez is one of the players who have tested positive for COVID-19, and will therefore miss the match against his former side.
Eden Hazard and Casemeiro too tested positive before the international break but might be in line to return to the Real Madrid side.
A number of injuries will see some players miss weekend action, with the likes of Fatu Ansu and Sergio Busquets all out with serious injuries.