Primera Liga preview
Eyes turn to European qualification at this early stage of the season
By Kristian Walsh - @Kristian_Walsh
Last Updated: 10/09/11 12:38pm
Four clubs with UEFA Champions League aspirations top the bill for this week's La Liga fixtures.
The quartet of Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal will all be looking to gain an advantage at the formative stages of the season. Wins for Sevilla and Valencia would put them on six points from six, leaving Atletico and Villarreal on one point between them. Even at this early stage, it's vital to keep in touch at the top.
Villarreal, who host Sevilla, will be keen to prove their 5-0 defeat to Barcelona reflected more on the La Liga champions than themselves; Sevilla, meanwhile, will look to continue momentum from their 2-1 win over Malaga - another team in Champions League contention.
Alvaro Negredo scored both goals in Sevilla's win and was again in fine form midweek with another brace, this time on the international stage in Spain colours. He will need to be in fine form if Sevilla are to make it two wins out of two, while Villarreal know avoiding defeat is imperative for both their points total and general morale.
Valencia and Atletico Madrid face off at 9pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports HD4, with very different outlooks after the opening week. Valencia were euphoric after their incredible 4-3 win against Racing Santander. 3-2 down with two minutes remaining, Roberto Soldado secured the win - and his hat trick - with a quick-fire double.
The story couldn't have been more different at Estadio Vicente Calderon, where Atletico Madrid toiled to a goalless draw with Osasuna. But all is not lost for Gregorio Manzano's men, who could start newly-signed attacking trio Diego, Arda Turan and Falcao for the first time.
Title race off to a flyer
The title race started at breakneck speed, with Barcelona scoring five and Real Madrid netting six. Real Zaragoza had no answer to Mourinho's men and especially Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be looking for more goals in his side's local derby at home to Getafe, 7pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports HD4.
Their performance will no doubt be stirred by what Barcelona do away to Real Sociedad at 5pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports HD4. Real Sociedad were the only side to inflict an away league defeat to Barcelona last season, so Pep Guardiola's side will have revenge on their minds. Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez settled in quickly in the opening weekend and will look to continue that against a Sociedad side who won 11 times at home last season.
Elsewhere, Betis look to build on their first win back in Spain's top flight at home to Real Mallorca, 11am on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Xtra. Mallorca sold talisman Jonathan De Guzman on deadline day, leaving Betis confident of picking up maximum points in their first two games.
Marcelo Bielsa returns to his former club as Athletic Bilbao travel to Espanyol, 9pm on Sunday, live on Sky Sports HD4, while Zaragoza look to bounce back from their Real battering away to newly-promoted Rayo Vallecano.
Racing host Levante, Osasuna take on Sporting Gijon and moneybags Malaga end the week's action on Monday night at home to Granada, Monday at 8pm, live on Sky Sports Xtra.
Malaga stumbled to a 2-1 defeat away to Sevilla on the opening weekend and will look to make amends against a Granada team still finding their feet in Spain's top division,