La Liga resumes with the Seville derby kicking off 110 games in 35 days, on Thursday.
The Spanish title race picks up from where it left off this weekend three months ago with two points separating Barcelona leaders from Real Madrid’s second place.
At the restart, thus, Barcelona () is top of the pile but Real Madrid is hot in pursuit and both clubs have big players coming back- Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard, respectively.
Luis Suarez will be available for Barcelona’s trip to Mallorca on Saturday. Last January, he needed knee surgery and appeared to have played his last campaign game.
Last week the Uruguayan forward was again declared fit but cautious Barcelona coach Quique Setien said: “Suarez is in good shape but we should avoid risks.”
Meanwhile, the Real side will welcome Eden Hazard back.
Like Suarez, while cracking his shin bone in February, the Belgian international thought he had played his last game this season.
But now he’s back. As is Marco Asensio, who hasn’t played a game this season since fracturing a cruciate knee ligament in a summer-friendly against Arsenal.
As for Suarez, his return could mean that, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite starts upfront.
Incidentally, at the end of last week, Messi gave all Barcelona fans a scare when he missed a training session with a small muscle contraction in his right leg quadriceps.
“It was a minor cramp and we have controlled it, he is perfectly fine and will have no problem [to face Mallorca],” Setien said on Sunday. “Messi is not the only one who has missed a training session with some discomfort.”
If Barcelona slips up against Mallorca who has already beaten Real Madrid this season at their home stadium, then it will be on the side of Zinedine Zidane who is poised to take advantage.
On the other hand, Real play Eibar on Sunday but due to the delay associated with coronavirus the game will be a home-from-home fixture. The Santiago Bernabeu is experiencing a facelift and will not be available for the remaining six home games for the club.
The Stadium Alfredo di Stefano is where Madrid’s “Real Madrid Castilla” B-team will play. Zidane will be familiar with the 6,000-seater stadium at the club’s Valdebebas training ground from his days coaching Castilla.
The real doubt is how well the players of Real Madrid will cope with the change against an Eibar side that is used to playing in small venues-their own stadium has a capacity of 7,000.
Eibar is as desperate as Real Madrid for the money. Jose Luis Mendilibar’s side is circling the relegation zone, being just two points away.
Mendilibar was among those voicing concerns about the prospect of 11 rounds of matches played in 35 days.
“We are not prepared to play so many games in so little time,” he said. “Even in World Cups, this does not happen.”
Meanwhile, the race for the other two Champions League is focused on fifth-placed Getafe and six-placed Atletico Madrid ‘s attempts to displace fourth-placed Real Sociedad and third-placed Seville.
Also ,Julen Lopetegui’s Seville side is interested in matchday 28’s other major contest.
They host Real Betis in the Seville derby and the absence of supporters for the remainder of the season will be more felt at no fixture in Spain. On Thursday night the famous derby match kicks-off.
Granada face Getafe in the remaining matches and Valencia host Levante on Friday. Espanyol goes to Alaves, Villarreal visits Celta Vigo, and saturday Leganes is home to Valladolid.
And on Sunday, Athletic Bilbao meets Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad faces Osasuna.