Written by Manuel Escuderi
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Friday, 27 September 2013

Hello and welcome to La Liga's Gameweek 7 preview. With non-stop La Liga action over the past few days, we again get into the groove of what is expected to be a crucial gameweek; especially for the four teams active in mid-week aftermath the league games.

Real Madrid take on city rivals Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night (Madrid time) in what is shaping up as a crucial encounter, even at this early stage of the season.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. will be looking to gain revenge for their loss to Diego Simeone's gritty side in the Copa del Rey final in May, while both teams are hoping to get ahead in the frantic race at the top of the La Liga table.

The outspoken Simeone recently proclaimed Real Madrid and Barcelona to be on a completely different plane to every other team in La Liga.

"Madrid and Barcelona play in a different league," Simeone said at an August press conference, as reported by Sky Sports.

"This is a boring championship for the rest of the supporters who can only aspire to be third or fourth," he said.

Such comments would seemingly indicate that Simeone gives Atletico little chance of toppling their archrivals on Saturday night, but few in the Real Madrid camp will consider themselves overwhelming favorites.

Nor will anyone expect Simeone to approach the task with anything other than total commitment. The Argentine will lock horns with new Real manager Carlo Ancelotti, and both will be looking to exploit perceived flaws in their opponent's tactical setup.

This will be a battle not just of individual players, but between two coaches searching for the perfect balance in their starting 11s.

Real Madrid themselves escaped with a narrow win in the dying seconds when Pepe was awarded a penalty in the box during a set piece situation.

"It's a robbery," said the Elche captain, Albácar. Half an hour or so later, Albácar was asked again, on the radio show Al Primer Toque. "If anything, [the anger] is worse now," he said, "because I've seen the replay of the penalty and it's lamentable ... the robbery is huge.

Pepe says it's a penalty? Then he's blind. I've just seen it again and it's a yellow card - for him. If he has so little shame as to say that it's a penalty, he's either lying or he's blind." Then Albácar added: "If it had been the other way round, the repercussion would be huge.

Elche would have to take heart from the way the team played against the Galaticos and with Albácar side-lined with a hamstring injury for 2 weeks during a pre-training, it would be hard for the newly promoted side to take any points from their trip to Celta.

Barcelona on the other hand travel to Almeria on Saturday looking to record their 12th consecutive La Liga win.

The reigning champions have taken 18 points from their six fixtures so far in the top flight, scoring 22 goals and conceding just five in the process.

This follows on from five straight wins at the end of last season, and means the Catalan side have now dropped just four points in their last 16 La Liga games.

On Tuesday, they swept Real Sociedad aside at Camp Nou, with Neymar, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Marc Bartra all scoring in a comprehensive 4-1 win.

Messi has begun the season in typical fashion, netting 10 goals in all competitions, but Brazil star Neymar has also enjoyed an impressive start to life in Barcelona after his move from Santos.

However, Dani Alves is not shocked by his compatriot's adaption to Spanish football.

I knew of Neymar's abilities and I knew that he'd fit in at Barca. I'm not surprised by his good start," he told Barcelona's official website.

Almeria's start to the season is in stark contrast to Barca's, as they have failed to pick up a win, earning just three points from their six games.

Elsewhere, Valencia would have to do without star-man Postiga who misses out because of an injury. Sevilla are also depleted with several players injured but would take heart with the news of Trochowski back to full fitness.

Stay updated for more La Liga news.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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