In this season's first La Liga preview there are two excellent games, especially on a Wednesday night. Real Madrid look to continue their 100% record against Villarreal, who are themselves unbeaten. In the night's second match Barcelona host Atletico Madrid, in a heavyweight clash between two of La Liga's premier sides.

Real Madrid vs Villarreal – Wednesday 21st September 2016 – 19:00 - Sky Sports 1

Can unbeaten Villarreal compete against Real Madrid and their 100% record?
Can unbeaten Villarreal compete against Real Madrid and their 100% record?

Real Madrid welcome Villarreal to the Santiago Bernabeu this week, with Real retaining a 100% record after five matches in all competitions.

They come into this match on the back of a 2-0 win against Espanyol, with goals from James Rodriguez (45+2) and Karim Benzema (71).

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were unavailable for Los Blancos, it didn't matter though with Rodriguez and Benzema stepping up.

Significant Progress Made

Real Madrid's main challenge will be to win La Liga, they will also be targeting back to back Champions League wins this year, something no club has ever achieved.

They find themselves three points clear at the top of La Liga, with four wins against Espanyol, Osasuna, Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad.

Where Barcelona and Atletico have struggled Real have found a way to keep winning, they have the joint best goal difference in the league as well.

Madrid Favourites

Real Madrid come into this match as favourites, given their excellent start and home advantage.

Their European exploits mean that it is three games in just under a week for Zinedine Zidane and his men.

A hard fought victory against Sporting Lisbon will remind Los Blancos they won't have it all their own way though.

Villarreal will be tough opponents, they come into this match unbeaten in four matches, with two wins and two draws from their opening four matches.

Zidane will be wanting to maintain Real's excellent recent record against Villarreal, with just one defeat in twelve matches.

Real Madrid are 1/4 with Cristiano Ronaldo at 5/2 to open the scoring.

Real Madrid
Can Madrid make it 5/5 in La Liga this season?

 

Villarreal have had an excellent start to life this season, they remain unbeaten after two wins and two draws in La Liga.

They come into this match on the back of a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad, with two goals from Sansone in three minutes to give them the win.

The Italian winger scored two excellent goals in the 22nd and 25th to give the yellow submarine victory, with a 35-yard screamer the highlight.

Consistent Performers

Villarreal have had a consistent start to the season and enjoyed a fourth-placed finish in La Liga last season.

They have only lost two matches so far this season, they were both against Monaco in the Champions League play-off.

With a 2-1 defeat at El Madrigal and a 1-0 defeat away to consign them to a Europa League campaign.

Villarreal did win their opening match in the Europa League, with a 2-1 win against FC Zurich at home on Thursday.

Real Favourites

This will be another tough fixture for Villarreal, with Real in great form having won all of their opening four matches in La Liga.

Villarreal did win against Real Madrid last season, so they don't have to go too far back and can look to that result for inspiration.

With wins against Malaga and Sociedad, as well as draws against Granada and Sevilla, Villarreal will be positive that they can cause an upset.

Villarreal are 10/1 with Alexandre Pato at 12/1 to open the scoring.

 

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid – Wednesday 21st September 2016 – 21:00 - Sky Sports 1

Can Lionel Messi exact revenge against Atletico after last seasons Champions League defeat?
Can Lionel Messi exact revenge against Atletico after last seasons Champions League defeat?

 

Barcelona welcome Atletico Madrid to the Camp Nou this week, with both sides trailing rivals Real Madrid at this stage of the season.

The Catalans come into this match on the back of a 5-1 win against Leganes away from home.

Goals from Lionel Messi (15, 55), Suarez (31), Neymar (44) and Rafinha (64) putting the icing on the cake.

Another dominant performance, to follow up the Champions League thrashing of Celtic, banishing memories of the 2-1 defeat against Alaves at home.

Significant Progress Made

Barcelona's main challenge will be to challenge on both fronts this season, with another La Liga title and Champions League the target.

They find themselves three points behind Real Madrid who are at the top of La Liga, with three wins and a defeat from their opening four fixtures.

Wins against Leganes, Atheltic Bilbao and Real Betis with a solitary defeat against Alaves.

The 2-1 defeat in their last home match would have given Barcelona a much-needed wake-up call, this will guard them against complacency going forward.

Barcelona Favourites

Barcelona come into this match as favourites, given their great start and home advantage.

Their European exploits mean that it is three games in just under a week for Luis Enrique and his men, but it is also the same for Atletico.

Lionel Messi and co will need no reminders of Atletico's ability, they were the ones who knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League last year.

Atletico will be tough opponents, they come into this match unbeaten in four matches, with two wins and two draws from their opening four matches.

Barcelona will be wanting to maintain their excellent recent record against Atletico, with just two defeats in ten matches.

Barcelona are 3/5 with Lionel Messi at 3/1 to score first.

Barcelona
Can Barcelona avenge last seasons Champions League exit in this huge clash at the Camp Nou?

 

Atletico Madrid have had a solid start to life this season, they remain unbeaten after two wins and two draws in La Liga.

They come into this match on the back of a 5-0 win against Sporting Gijon, with a Fernando Torres double sealing the win.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea man scored goals in the 72nd and 91st minute to seal the win.

Atletico scored two early goals at the Vicente Calderon, with France International Antoine Griezmann opening the scoring in the second minute.

The second goal came from former Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro gave Atletico a 2-0 lead in the 5th minute.

Griezmann returned in the 31st minute to make it 3-0 to the hosts, before Torres ran riot late on.

Consistent Performers

Atletico have had a consistent start to the season and enjoyed a third-placed finish in La Liga last season.

They have yet to lose so far this season, after the heartbreak of last season's Champions League final loss.

Diego Simeone and his men will be challenging on both La Liga and Champions League front's this season, with the signing of Kevin Gameiro an excellent acquisition.

Atletico Underdogs

This will be another tough fixture for Atletico, with Barcelona in great form despite losing their last La Liga match at home.

Atletico will be looking to win their first match at the Camp Nou since 2006, an unwanted record on the part of Simeone.

Madrid will be looking to improve their overall record against Barcelona, with 15 wins, 11 draws and 26 defeats in 52 games.

Atletico are 9/2 with Antoine Griezmann at 7/1 to score first.

 

Betting Tips:

Tip 1: Morata to score first @ 3/1 and Real to win 3-2 @ 28/1

Tip 2: Messi to score first @ 3/1 and Barcelona to win 2-1 @ 7/1

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