Sun, 24 Oct 2021

MADRID, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The seventh round of games in LaLiga comes without a break after a round of midweek matches and will test the depth of the squads in the Spanish top-flight. Here are some things to look out for this weekend.

1. Another tough test for Real Madrid

Real Madrid was a bit fortunate to win away to Valencia last weekend, before breezing past Mallorca 6-1 on Wednesday night. Now Carlo Ancelotti's side faces a formidable rival as Villarreal visits the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Ancelotti rested some players on Wednesday and will be able to bring Casemiro (who has looked off his best form), Luka Modric and Vinicius Jr back into his starting 11 against a rival that has four draws and one win from their first five games of the season.

Real Madrid have looked impressive in attack so far this season, but a defense lacking Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal has looked vulnerable at times and even without Gerard Moreno, Unai Emery's well-drilled Villarreal will look to keep their discipline and hit Real Madrid on the break. 2. Which Atletico Madrid will we see in Vitoria?

Although they won away to Getafe on Tuesday thanks to an injury-time goal from Luis Suarez, Atletico Madrid have looked to be below their best in recent games after being held to draws by Athletic Club Bilbao and Porto.

Saturday sees Diego Simeone's side travel to play Alaves, who, like Getafe, have lost all of their games this season, and anything other than a win for Atletico would be a surprise. However, the coach will want to see his side start to click in attack with tougher rivals on the horizon.

This season, Angel Correa has been Atletico's best striker, while Suarez's goals on Tuesday hint at a return to form. Will Atletico be able to turn on the style against a rival that so far has looked relegation fodder? 3. Last chance for Koeman?

FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta gave timid backing to coach Ronald Koeman ahead of Thursday's game in Cadiz, but another unconvincing performance, coupled with Koeman's decision to read out a communique rather than give a pre-game press conference and his sending off at the end of the Cadiz game, has further increased the pressure on the coach ahead of Sunday's game against Levante.

Barca's long injury list means Koeman has little capacity to make changes at the weekend, although Philippe Coutinho will probably start in attack, but with the speculation reaching fever pitch, it is hard to see how Barca can find the calm they need in the current situation. 4. Williams to make history

Athletic Club striker Inaki Williams will make his 202nd consecutive league appearance when his side play away to Valencia on Saturday afternoon, equalizing the record set by Real Sociedad defender Juan Antonio Larranaga, who made that number of appearances between 1987 and 1991.

The last time Williams missed a league match was when he was rested in the 33rd week of the 2015-16 campaign in April 2016 and since then he has led the Basque side's attack.

Williams is arguably the fastest player in LaLiga and although his finishing has been criticized at times, he is still a key player for Athletic Club, whose coach Marcelino will be looking for three points against his former club after their surprise defeat to Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday.

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