After a week’s break the La Liga is back with a real bang as the defending champions Atlético Madrid travel to Barcelona in Sunday’s stand-out game.
Having last won the league in 2019, Barça have been playing catch-up most of the season and with bitter rivals Real Madrid 15 points ahead – albeit with a game more – it seems likely that their fans will have to wait at least another season before they can add to their 26 titles.
Barcelona coach Xavi has managed to lure striker Adama Traore back to the club where he once played as a youth player before embarking on his professional career in England.
The Spanish international, who was also linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspurs, moved to the Catalan capital on loan from Wolves. The 26-year-old is the second big-name signing from the Premier League for Barcelona in the winter transfer period after Ferran Torres joined from Manchester City.
Right winger Ferran has already played twice for Barcelona, scoring once in the 3-2 Copa del Rey defeat at Athletic Bilbao and giving the assist for Frenkie de Jong’s 1-0 winner in Alaves.
Dutch international De Jong has admitted that they are disappointed with their performance so far. “I think that this current season is already a failure. We’re already out of the Champions League, the cup, and we’re far away from Real Madrid.
“It’s (Barcelona) not the best at the moment, but it’s still the most beautiful club in the world,” he told Dutch media.
The Blaugrana’s attempts to sign Alavaro Morata on loan from Juventus were apparently scuppered by Atlético. The Spanish international is on a two-year loan at Juventus from Atlético.
Having failed to land Morata, Xavi could well be making a last-minute bid for another player.
Like Barcelona, Atléti have seen city rivals Real open a comfortable lead at the top of the table and although Diego Simeone’s side are one place better in the standings than Barcelona – fourth compared to fifth – they are not where they would like to be in the La Liga table.
Atlético have strengthened their squad by signing midfielder Daniel Wass from Valencia, but have seen English international Kieran Trippier join struggling Newcastle.
Table-topping Real Madrid are also in action on Sunday as they welcome Granada.
African football fans will be able to watch all the best action from the La Liga as the games are being broadcast live and exclusively on the StarTimes channels.
Make sure you catch all the action.ends