La Liga: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona meet again in El Clasico on Matchday 32 (preview)

Madrid, April 19 (IANS): With the season's second El Clasico -- the marquee clash between archrivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona -- on the schedule, Matchday 32 of the La Liga 2023-24 will be a special one. But apart from this interesting clash at the Santiago Bernabeu, there are several other important fixtures too, in addition to this latest duel between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Among those key clashes, the very first game of the round between Athletic Club vs Granada CF is huge in terms of the race for Champions League qualification.

The Basque side has fallen four points behind Atletico de Madrid in the battle to make the top four but will view playing at home against the second-bottom side as a great opportunity to get back on track.

On Saturday, attention turns to the relegation battle with Cadiz CF, RC Celta and Rayo Vallecano all in action. First up is RC Celta vs UD Las Palmas, as the Galician side looks to take advantage of the Canary Islanders’ poor form, with Los Amarillos having failed to win any of their past seven. Rayo Vallecano are still not safe from the threat of relegation, so they’ll hope to take all three points when they welcome CA Osasuna to Vallecas, especially given that their home form has been very good under new coach Inigo Perez.

On Saturday evening, there is another huge match. In the entire matchday, perhaps only El Clasico stands out above Valencia vs Real Betis in terms of potential significance. That’s because Valencia currently occupy the final European qualification position, but they’re only two points above Los Verdiblancos and could be overtaken if Manuel Pellegrini’s side storm Mestalla and take the win.

The final game of Saturday then sees Girona FC clash with Cadiz CF. The Catalan side may have won 1-0 when they met earlier this season, but it should be kept in mind that Cadiz CF went down to 10 men after just 10 minutes that day. They’ll expect to battle with 11 players for longer this time around.

Sunday is El Clasico day, and the action begins with Real Sociedad’s visit to Getafe CF, with La Real looking to make sure they qualify for Europe next season. For Takefusa Kubo, this means a return to one of his former clubs and he’ll look to prove himself at the Coliseum.

Next up, UD Almeria host Villarreal CF and everyone tuning in should make sure to watch until the very end of each half. That’s because Villarreal CF’s 2-1 victory from their previous meeting was achieved with a goal in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time and in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time.

Deportivo Alaves vs Atletico de Madrid is next up, and it’ll be interesting to see how Diego Simeone’s side respond to their midweek Champions League elimination. Keen to ensure they qualify for the same competition next year, Los Colchoneros will have to be at the top of their game, especially given that their on-loan striker Samu Omorodion can take on his parent club.

On Sunday night, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will put on a show at the Bernabeu, giving their maximum in search of the three valuable points on offer.

The home side knows that a win would extend their lead at the top to 11 points, but that defeat to Barça would reduce it to just five. With this being Xavi’s final El Clasico, he’ll make the trip with extra motivation, keen to make his mark at a stadium where he has achieved huge wins as a player and as a coach. It promises to be a spectacle that no football fan will want to miss.

There is one final Matchday 32 fixture on Monday night when Sevilla FC and RCD Mallorca meet in the Andalusian capital. For Javier Aguirre’s side, this means a return to the city where they just lost the Copa del Rey final, and they won’t want to board the flight home following another disappointing result.


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Title: La Liga: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona meet again in El Clasico on Matchday 32 (preview)

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