LaLiga is back from the international break with a busy weekend ahead. There are potentially some cracking games in store as European participants Real Madrid and Real Sociedad clash, as do Barcelona and Real Betis. It’s also the first match for Pacheta as Villarreal boss while Sergio Ramos could make his second Sevilla debut, nearly two decades after his first. Here’s our full 2023/24 LaLiga matchday 5 preview.
LaLiga Matchday 5 Preview
Friday 15th September 2023
21:00 – Rayo Vallecano vs Alaves
This is Rayo’s first home game since their 7-0 hammering at the hands of Atletico Madrid. They couldn’t have picked a better one really with newly promoted Alaves failing to offer any real goal threat in their two away games to date, although they’ve done well at home. With Oscar Trejo doubtful, the hosts could hand a first start to new signing Jorge de Frutos with few changes expected from the visitors.
Possible Home Lineup: Dimitrievski – Espino, Aridane, Lejeune, Balliu – Valentin, Kike Perez – Alvaro Garcia, Isi, De Frutos – De Tomas (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Sivera – Duarte, Abqar, Sedlar, Gorosabel – Blanco, Guevara – Rioja, Guridi, Alkain – Kike (4-2-3-1)
Saturday 16th September 2023
14:00 – Athletic Club vs Cadiz
Cadiz have been something of a surprise package so far, although they’ve benefited from 3 home games and an early red card meant they were up against 10 men for the majority of their home win over Villarreal prior to the international break. This will be a tough challenge for them, although the injury absence of in-form Nico Williams is a significant blow for Athletic.
Possible Home Lineup: Simon – Yuri, Yeray, Vivian, De Marcos – Sancet, Vesga – Berenguer, Muniain, Iñaki Williams – Guruzeta (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Ledesma – Javi Hernandez, Luis Hernandez, Fali, Iza – Machis, Alcaraz, Escalante, Alejo – Roger Marti, Maxi Gomez (4-4-2)
16:15 – Valencia vs Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have gone 3 weeks without playing after their last game was postponed. They’ve sold Yannick Carrasco since they hit 7 in Vallecas and Diego Simeone has plenty of options for replacing him on the left flank with Javi Galan, Rodrigo Riquelme and former Valencia loanee Samuel Lino all options. Los Che were beaten at Alaves last time out and have Sergi Canos, Selim Amallah and Roman Yaremchuk all pushing for full debuts.
Possible Home Lineup: Mamardashvili – Gaya, Mosquera, Diakhaby, Correia – Almeida, Pepelu, Guerra – Diego Lopez, Duro, Canos (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Oblak – Hermoso, Witsel, Savic – Galan, Lemar, Barrios, Llorente, Molina – Morata, Griezmann (3-5-2)
18:30 – Celta Vigo vs Mallorca
Celta secured their first win under Rafa Benitez with a 3-2 victory at Almeria last time out. There have certainly been some positive signs but the Galicians are still a work under progress and the same could be said of Mallorca after quite a busy summer. Javier Aguirre hasn’t quite found the magic formula yet but will be hoping new boys like Cyle Larin are a bit more settled at their new club now after a two year break.
Possible Home Lineup: Villar – Aidoo, Nuñez, Starfelt – Sanchez, De la Torre, Beltran, Mingueza – Bamba, Aspas – Larsen (3-4-2-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Rajkovic – Van der Heyden, Valjent, Giovanni – Costa, Darder, Samu, Maffeo – Rodriguez – Larin, Muriqi (3-4-1-2)
21:00 – Barcelona vs Real Betis
Barcelona and Real Betis have played out a host of entertaining matches in recent years and this has the makings of another one. The Catalans are expected to hand a full debut to Joao Cancelo while Joao Felix should feature off the bench again with teenage starlet Lamine Yamal tough to dislodge currently after a record breaking international break. Betis meanwhile have sold Luiz Felipe to Al-Ittihad since they last played leaving an angry Manuel Pellegrini with only two senior central defenders.
Possible Home Lineup: Ter Stegen – Balde, Christensen, Kounde, Cancelo – De Jong, Romeu, Gundogan – Gavi, Lewandowski, Lamine Yamal (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Rui Silva – Miranda, Pezzella, Bartra, Bellerin – Guido Rodriguez, Roca – Ayoze Perez, Isco, Luiz Henrique – Willian Jose (4-2-3-1)
Sunday 17th September 2023
14:00 – Getafe vs Osasuna
A match that screams bore draw sees Jose Bordalas’ Getafe entertain Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna. The visitors suffered the disappointment of an early European exit prior to the international break but will now need to knuckle down and put another strong campaign together. Much of the focus here will be on the potential involvement of controversial Getafe signing Mason Greenwood who should take his place on the bench.
Possible Home Lineup: Soria – Rico, Duarte, Mitrovic, Damian Suarez – Djene, Maksimovic, Arambarri – Mayoral, Latasa, Aleña (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Herrera – Mojica, David Garcia, Herrando, Pena – Torro, Oroz, Moi Gomez – Arnaiz, Budimir, Chimy (4-3-3)
16:15 – Villarreal vs Almeria
Villarreal sacked Quique Setien following their defeat to Almeria last time out with the relationship having almost completely broken down between himself and senior players. The Yellow Submarine failed to attract either of their top targets to replace him though so it’s former Real Valladolid boss Pacheta who is the new man until the end of the season. He has a favourable first match against an Almeria side that has been awful defensively so far this term. The visitors may throw new signing Cesar Montes straight into the team as they bid to tighten up at the back.
Possible Home Lineup: Jorgensen – Moreno, Cuenca, Albiol, Foyth – Baena, Parejo, Terrats – Yeremi Pino, Sorloth, Gerard Moreno (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Maximiano – Akieme, Montes, Edgar, Pubill – Robertone, Baba – Embarba, Melero, Ramazani – Luis Suarez (4-2-3-1)
18:30 – Sevilla vs Las Palmas
Sergio Ramos could make his second debut for his boyhood club this weekend. Although he’ll be forever associated with Real Madrid and was rarely given a warm welcome back at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla fans turned out in big numbers for Ramos’ presentation. He could have a big role to play for a Sevilla side that has yet to pick up a point this term but will be favourites here against a Las Palmas side that is yet to score from open play.
Possible Home Lineup: Dmitrovic – Pedrosa, Ramos, Bade, Navas – Rakitic, Sow – Lamela, Suso, Ocampos – En Nesyri (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Valles – Cardona, Marmol, Alex Suarez, Araujo – Kirian Rodriguez, Loiodice, Viera – Sandro, Kaba, Munir (4-3-3)
21:00 – Real Madrid vs Real Sociedad (Featured Game)
|Real Madrid||Real Sociedad|
Real Madrid and Real Sociedad meet in a battle between two teams who will be in Champions League action this coming week. The hosts are 16/25 favourites with 32Red but Real Sociedad took 4 points off Carlo Ancelotti’s team last season without conceding a goal.
The Basques did a good job of keeping Karim Benzema and Vini Junior quiet when they came here in January and they won’t have to contend with either of those players this time with Benzema in Saudi Arabia and Vini sidelined through injury. They will though, have to deal with the considerable threat of new Real Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham.
The England international has scored on all four outings in LaLiga so far. He pounced to score a 95th winner against Getafe last time out, ensuring his team maintained their 100% record and remained the only team in the Spanish top flight yet to drop points.
Real Sociedad dropped points in all of their opening three matches in what was a slightly underwhelming start after the highs of a top four finish last term. Imanol’s team finally clicked in the final third last time out though as they fired in 5 goals against a hapless Granada defence.
They used Mikel Oyarzabal in a false nine role in that game and it was a much more convincing performance while Arsenal loanee Kieran Tierney made his debut at left-back. La Real have since added a new right-back too with Alvaro Odriozola returning to the club from this weekend’s opponents Real Madrid.
Possible Home Lineup: Kepa – Fran Garcia, Alaba, Rudiger, Carvajal – Camavinga, Tchouameni, Kroos – Bellingham – Joselu, Rodrygo (4-3-1-2)
Possible Away Lineup: Remiro – Tierney, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Traore – Merino, Zubimendi, Brais Mendez – Barrenetxea, Oyarzabal, Kubo (4-3-3)
Featured Game Prediction: Real Madrid 1-1 Real Sociedad
Without the goalscoring instincts of Bellingham, Real Madrid might not be sitting quite so pretty at this early stage in the season and it’s clear that there is room for improvement across the pitch. This is a tough game against a really competitive Real Sociedad side and it wouldn’t be a major surprise if Los Blancos dropped points for the first time this term.
Monday 18th September 2023
21:00 – Granada vs Girona
Granada and Girona meet in what could be an entertaining Monday night clash. Granada’s four matches have produced 19 goals so far including a 5-3 defeat at Real Sociedad last time out. They look like a team that is going to concede far too many this season and Paco Lopez may consider changes here as he bids to improve things at the back. Girona will be tough opponents after a great start to the season but the Catalans are perhaps a little fortunate to have picked up as many as 10 points from their opening 4 games.
Possible Home Lineup: Ferreira – Neva, Miquel, Torrente, Ricard – Bryan, Gumbau, Ruiz, Melendo – Uzuni, Boye (4-4-2)
Possible Away Lineup: Gazzaniga – Miguel Gutierrez, Blind, David Lopez, Arnau Martinez – Herrera, Aleix Garcia – Savio, Ivan Martin, Tsygankov – Stuani (4-2-3-1)
LaLiga Matchday 5 Fantasy Picks
Sorare Cap Picks via @SorareLALIGA
Here are a few cap picks we like this week. Sevilla haven’t been great defensively so far but they’re strong clean sheet contenders against shot-shy Las Palmas which bodes well for Marko Dmitrovic. Defenders Antonio Rudiger and Dani Vivian are also really attractive picks in favourable fixtures with such low L15 costs.
Further up the pitch, Aleix Garcia’s average is creeping up again following an injury ravaged end to last term but he still looks good value this weekend against a Granada side that has LaLiga’s worst defensive record. Almeria are joint 2nd worst in that regard which also makes Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno look a tempting pick.
If you’re not on Sorare, sign up here to get a free Limited card after your 5th purchase on the primary market. You can also simply play for free by entering the LaLiga Amateur competition each week.
We’re going with Villarreal as our full team stack this weekend which is a bit of a gamble given the coaching change which can sometimes lead to new systems and personnel changes.
The riskiest pick is perhaps Filip Jorgensen (you may want to use a GK from another team!) who hasn’t been great so far this season which could yet hand Pepe Reina a fresh chance at the grand old age of 41. That’s a decision for Pacheta to make but it seems very likely that Dani Parejo will return to the starting lineup after he was left out in Quique Setien’s final game.
Alongside in-form Alex Baena and Gerard Moreno, this certainly feels like a great weekend to be playing a Villarreal midfield/attacking stack, with the potential for a new manager bounce against one of the worst defences in the division.