La Liga: Moyes’ Men Remain Defiant, Sevilla Continue Fightback


Welcome to La Liga Talking Points, a weekly column running throughout the season in which we take a look at the key stories and talking points from Spanish football’s top flight. With an inevitable focus on the biggest teams, such as Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, there will also be a worthwhile nod toward the rest, we take a look at how the league is shaping up each week and what to look out for going forward.

Real Sociedad vs. Celta Vigo

Real Sociedad will look to build upon last weekend’s victory, and save their floundering season, as they host the high-flying Celta Vigo at the Anoeta on Saturday night.

Real Sociedad’s woes this season have been as much – if not more – about David Moyes’ flailing position as manager, as much as the team’s poor performances.

With chants of ‘David Moyes go home’ clearly audible in English at the Anoeta recently, the pressure on the Scot couldn’t be higher.

And it is with such pressure that last weekend’s 4-0 victory away to Levante meant so much. Goals have been few and fear between for Moyes’s La Real side, so to score four goals was a visceral sign of defiance from Moyes.

Against Celta however, Moyes’ men will need a similar high-class performance, but will be without the services of Alberto De La Bella.


More from La Liga

The aforementioned Celta Vigo have indeed enjoyed a superb season so far, which has seen them top of the table for several weeks.

Although Celta now sit three points behind the unsurprising leader Real Madrid and Barcelona, the Galician based club can be proud of their efforts so far.

With just five points from a possible 12 available however, Celta will see Saturday’s clash as an opportunity to spoil Moyes’ revival and get their superb season back on track.

Celta will be without both Gustavo Cabral and Augusto Fernandez through suspension, while Andreu Fontas and Dejan Drasic are both being monitored ‘day to day’.

Real Sociedad vs. Celta Vigo Match Prediction

Saturday poses an opportunity for both sides, who each face unique shades of pressure. La Real’s consummate victory last weekend means Moyes’ tenure isn’t completely in doubt.

Meanwhile Celta are now faced with the opportunity of either regaining forward momentum and remaining at the top echelons of the table. However, a raucous Anoeta is a tough place to go, and given Moyes’ cautious style of play, a draw seems inevitable here.

Villarreal vs. Sevilla

Saturday evening seems Villarreal host Sevilla at El Madrigal in a game where the Yellow Submarine will hope to bounce back from a poor fun of results in La Liga.

Villarreal began the season in fine form, and after a few weeks found them top of La La Liga ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, a run of just one point from a possible nine has saw Marcelino Garcia Toral’s men drop away from the top, with Villarreal now currently sitting in 5th in the table.

Four points behind leaders Barcelona is not a big gap, but even more encouragingly given their realistic expectations, Villarreal are only one point behind Celta Vigo in that coveted 4th place, where Champions League qualification is the prize at the end.

More from Playing for 90

In terms of team news Eric Bailly returns from suspension while Roberto Soldado should be fit to start after shaking off a muscle problem in the week.

Sevilla have endured a disappointing season so far. The current Europa League champions ended last season in 5th position, and looked ready to continue improving under their iconic manager Unai Emery.

However, Sevilla currently sit 11th in La Liga, and don’t look too close to achieving European qualification this season.

Nevertheless, Emery’s men have accrued 10 from the past 12 available points and are showing signs of improvement following their horrendous start to the campaign.

Team news for Sevilla intrigues; Ever Banega has an ankle problem, with Vicente Iborra and Michael Krohn-Delhi able to push into a more advanced position as a result.

Yevhen Konoplyanka has been in fine form of late and should continue his berth on the left-wing.

Villarreal vs. Sevilla Match Prediction

Villarreal’s form has slowed of late, with Marcelino’s men now three games without a win in La Liga, while conversely Sevilla have picked up form with three wins and a draw from their last four matches.

Through a contrasting run of form, but with a meeting of relatively equal quality for both sides, a draw is the likely result here.