Madrid, Sep 9 (Ajit Weekly News) The fifth round of matches in La Liga this weekend is a key moment for two La Liga coaches and will also be the first test of the squad depth of the teams playing in Europe.
Here are some things to look out for this weekend.
1. Cadiz coach Sergio Gonzalez’s future depends on a good display against Barca
Cadiz coach Sergio Gonzalez and Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui are the early-season favorites in the ‘sack-race’ to see who will be the first coach to lose their job this season.
Despite leading Cadiz to safety last season, Sergio is under pressure after a start that has seen his side lose all four matches, while conceding 10 goals and not scoring any.
The fact Cadiz face FC Barcelona doesn’t help his cause, but he needs to see an improvement in both commitment and organization.
Barca travel to Cadiz after scoring goals at will in recent games and Xavi Hernandez was able to effectively rotate his squad as they won 5-1 in midweek. With Robert Lewandowski in fine form, they will expect another easy win on Saturday.
2. Espanyol also threaten Lopetegui
It has been a bad start for Sevilla, who have just one point from four games in LaLiga and whose Champions League campaign kicked off with a 4-0 defeat at home to Manchester City.
The end of that game saw protests against club directors (always dangerous for a coach) and Lopetegui, who is also questioned after a poor end to last season as well.
The former Spain coach has been dealt a poor hand with the sale of defenders Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde, but so far, he hasn’t come close to building a new defense.
The feeling is that if Sevilla lose against a solid Espanyol side on Saturday lunchtime, Lopetegui will be history.
Expect Espanyol to pressure high and force mistakes, which Martin Braithwaite and Joselu will aim to punish.
3. Will Europe be a factor as Betis play Villarreal?
Betis and Villarreal made their European debuts on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s meeting in the Benito Villamarin Stadium.
Villarreal travel to Seville unbeaten in LaLiga and without conceding a goal, while Betis’ 100 percent start to the campaign was ended by a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Real Madrid last weekend.
Manuel Pellegrini and Unai Emery made sweeping changes to their starting 11’s in midweek, and although Betis lost striker Juanmi to an ankle injury, Borja Iglesias didn’t play a minute.
Villarreal also rested their entire first team for an entertaining 4-3 win at home to Lech Poznan and the fact their match was at home, while Betis had to travel to Helsinki, could be a factor on Sunday.
4. No Benzema for Real Madrid
Real Madrid will be without Karim Benzema until after the international break after he limped out of their Champions League win away to Celtic on Tuesday.
Eden Hazard filled in effectively in midweek, but now Carlo Ancelotti has to decide whether to continue with the Belgian at home to Mallorca on Saturday, or to start with Mariano Diaz or Marco Asensio.
None of the trio is an exact replacement for Benzema, and Real Madrid’s problems last season tended to be when the 34-year-old striker was sidelined. The club decided not to sign a back-up striker for Benzema in the summer and in the coming days we will see if that was the right decision, or the wrong one.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S