Some big games this weekend in LaLiga with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid all facing potentially tricky away fixtures. We’ve a full LaLiga matchday 3 preview below featuring win probabilities, analysis and predicted lineups for every fixture. There are also LaLiga fantasy football picks at the bottom.
LaLiga Matchday 3 Preview
Friday 25th August 2023
19:30 – Las Palmas vs Real Sociedad
|Las Palmas||Real Sociedad|
Las Palmas and Real Sociedad kick off matchday three with both sides looking for their first win of the season. La Real have been a bit disappointing so far on the back of a fine 4th place finish last term, but they are adjusting to life post David Silva while Mikel Merino’s injury was a further midfield blow last week. They still don’t look quite right in attack with Mikel Oyarzabal nowhere near his old level before an injury ravaged 2022/23 season. This is a good chance for them to record a first win though against a newly promoted Las Palmas side that has created precious little from open play so far.
Possible Home Lineup: Valles – Cardona, Marmol, Alex Suarez, Araujo – Kirian Rodriguez, Loiodice, Munoz – Viera, Sandro, Munir (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Remiro – Aihen, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Traore – Merino, Zubimendi, Brais Mendez – Barrenetxea, Sadiq, Kubo (4-3-3)
21:30 – Celta Vigo vs Real Madrid
|Celta Vigo||Real Madrid|
Celta Vigo and Real Madrid meet in a Friday night showdown at Balaidos. It sees Rafa Benitez up against his former club and while plenty of time has passed since he was sacked by Los Blancos in early 2016, he won’t be lacking in motivation here.
It has been a big week off the pitch in Vigo with Gabri Veiga’s big money transfer to Napoli collapsing, only for the 21 year old to sensationally agree to join Saudi side Al Ahli. Veiga was the biggest breakthrough act in LaLiga last season and most impressive young Spanish player so to see him move to the Saudi Pro League at such a young age is a transfer that has stunned many in Spain.
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos branded the move “shameful” but it will see Celta bring in more than €30m and they now face a race against time to identify targets and spend some of that cash. For this game, they are likely to again go with 19 year old Hugo Sotelo in midfield who they are hoping can make similar kind of progress to Veiga this season, although clearly that’s a very big ask.
Celta did play quite well and got a deserved draw away to Real Sociedad last weekend which serves a warning to Real Madrid that they may not have this all their own way. However Los Blancos have made an impressive start to the campaign with Jude Bellingham starring with three goals in his opening two LaLiga games. The kind of goals he has scored have been more of the type you’d expect from strikers than midfielders which tells you something about how advanced a role he is playing.
At the other end, there are more concerns about Real Madrid who are expected to drop Andriy Lunin after an error at Almeria and pick Kepa in goal this Friday. Otherwise few changes are expected as Carlo Ancelotti’s men aim to make it three wins from three away games to start the campaign.
Possible Home Lineup: Villar – Sanchez, Nuñez, Starfelt, Mingueza – Bamba, Sotelo, Beltran, De La Torre – Larsen, Aspas (4-4-2)
Possible Away Lineup: Kepa – Fran Garcia, Alaba, Rudiger, Carvajal – Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde – Bellingham – Vini Jr, Rodrygo (4-3-1-2)
Featured Game Prediction: Celta 1-2 Real Madrid
Celta are one of a number of LaLiga teams who may have a very different look to them a fortnight from now with funds to spend and some significant additions needed. Right now though, they look a little bit short in midfield to truly compete well against this strong Real Madrid side.
Saturday 26th August 2023
17:00 – Cadiz vs Almeria
Cadiz and Almeria are two of the relegation favourites after final day survival last term but they’ve taken very different approaches to the opening couple of weeks. Sergio has stuck with the players he knows and there is a continuity to Cadiz, even if they are quite a limited team. Almeria meanwhile have thrust new signings straight into the team with new boss Vicente Moreno picking five new faces in the eleven that lost to Real Madrid last weekend. The visiting boss is still looking for his first point and even at this very early stage in the season, this feels like a big game at the bottom.
Possible Home Lineup: Ledesma – Javi Hernandez, Luis Hernandez, Fali, Iza – Machis, Alcaraz, San Emeterio, Alejo – Roger Marti, Ramos (4-4-2)
Possible Away Lineup: Maximiano – Akieme, Chumi, Edgar, Pubill – Robertone, Baba – Embarba, Arribas, Ramazani – Luis Suarez (4-2-3-1)
19:30 – Granada vs Mallorca
Granada went unbeaten at home in the Segunda Division last season but they lost their first home game back in the Primera and they were well beaten in truth on Monday by Rayo Vallecano. That result and performance raises serious questions about their capability of competing at this level and they could really do with a response here against a Mallorca side who are still looking for their first win. The visitors will surely hand a first start to Sergi Darder this weekend after he was surprisingly only on the bench again for the defeat to Villarreal.
Possible Home Lineup: Ferreira – Neva, Miquel, Rubio, Ricard – Bryan, Gumbau, Ruiz, Melendo – Uzuni, Callejon (4-4-2)
Possible Away Lineup: Rajkovic – Copete, Valjent, Giovanni – Costa, Morlanes, Mascarell, Maffeo – Dani Rodriguez, Darder – Muriqi (3-4-2-1)
21:30 – Sevilla vs Girona
Sevilla underwent a rollercoaster campaign last season and the early signs suggest we could be in for something similar this term. Despite favourable fixtures against Valencia and Alaves, they are yet to collect a point with Jose Luis Mendilibar blasting his players after the 4-3 loss in Vitoria on Monday. We should see some form of a response here, but it won’t be easy against a Girona side that has started the season well with Cristhian Stuani firing a brace to see off Getafe last time out. The Catalans were impressive 2-0 winners on this ground as recently as May.
Possible Home Lineup: Dmitrovic – Pedrosa, Gudelj, Bade, Navas – Jordan, Fernando – Lamela, Suso, Ocampos – En Nesyri (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Gazzaniga – Miguel Gutierrez, Blind, David Lopez, Arnau Martinez – Herrera, Aleix Garcia – Savio, Ivan Martin, Tsygankov – Stuani (4-2-3-1)
Sunday 27th August 2023
17:30 – Villarreal vs Barcelona
Barcelona were frustrated again on matchday two but ultimately broke Cadiz’s resistance to record a first win of the season. However they’ve since lost the influential Pedri to a fresh injury that will keep him out for more than a month and that’s a big blow heading into a tough game like this. Villarreal produced a strong display last weekend to beat a physical Mallorca side who gave them real problems last year. That’s a positive sign for Quique Setien and his team who have a tendency for delivering in the big games and will fancy their chances of causing an upset here.
Possible Home Lineup: Jorgensen – Pedraza, Cuenca, Gabbia, Foyth – Capoue, Parejo, Terrats – Baena, Sorloth, Gerard Moreno (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Ter Stegen – Balde, Christensen, Kounde, Roberto – De Jong, Romeu, Gundogan – Gavi, Lewandowski, Yamal (4-3-3)
19:30 – Valencia vs Osasuna
Valencia made it two wins from two by seeing off Las Palmas last time out and despite plenty of pre-season pessimism at Mestalla, they’ve a real chance of making it three straight wins to start the new campaign against what will most likely be a much changed Osasuna side. Jagoba Arrasate’s side have a tough Conference League play-off against Club Brugge with the two legs of that tie falling either side of this match. It’s likely they’ll prioritise the European games given how long they’ve had to wait for a return to continental action.
Possible Home Lineup: Mamardashvili – Gaya, Ozkacar, Gabriel Paulista, Correia – Almeida, Diakhaby, Pepelu – Diego Lopez, Duro, Fran Perez (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Herrera – Cruz, David Garcia, Unai Garcia, Areso – Torro, Ibanez, Moi Gomez – Arnaiz, Budimir, Kike Barja (4-3-3)
21:30 – Athletic Club vs Real Betis
|Athletic Club||Real Betis|
Athletic-Betis is a fitting way to conclude Sunday’s action. The two sides will expect to be fighting in a similar area of the league. Athletic were very poor against Real Madrid but responded with an excellent win at Osasuna last time out with Nico Williams the star with two assists in a 2-0 success. He’s likely to be the main outlet for the hosts here against a Real Betis side that has started the season well with four points from two tough fixtures.
Possible Home Lineup: Simon – Imanol, Vivian, Paredes, Lekue – Vesga, Ruiz de Galarreta – Iñaki Williams, Muniain, Nico Williams – Guruzeta (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Rui Silva – Abner, Pezzella, Luiz Felipe, Sabaly – Guido Rodriguez, Roca – Ayoze Perez, Isco, Ruibal – Iglesias (4-2-3-1)
Monday 28th August 2023
19:30 – Getafe vs Alaves
This is another game which already feels like a bit of a relegation six pointer. Getafe have offered almost nothing in attack so far this season and they weren’t much better defensively in the 3-0 defeat at Girona last time out. Alaves meanwhile caused a major shock by beating Sevilla 4-3 on Monday with new signing Kike Garcia impressing with two goals while Luis Rioja was excellent on the left flank. That’s a big result for the new boys from which they’ll be hoping to build and they’ll fancy their chances of getting something here.
Possible Home Lineup: Soria – Gaston, Duarte, Mitrovic, Damian Suarez – Djene, Maksimovic, Alena – Mata, Latasa, Iglesias (4-3-3)
Possible Away Lineup: Sivera – Duarte, Abqar, Sedlar, Gorosabel – Blanco, Guevaral – Rioja, Guridi, Alkain – Kike (4-2-3-1)
21:30 – Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid
|Rayo Vallecano||Atletico Madrid|
Matchday 3 concludes with a Madrid derby in Vallecas. Rayo were tipped by many to go down but they’ve made a flying start with back-to-back away wins under new boss Francisco. They’ve also added a bit more depth to their squad over the past week with Sergio Camello and Jorge De Frutos completing permanent transfers and this will be a tough game for an Atleti side that is still struggling with injuries. Diego Simeone’s men didn’t offer much at Betis last weekend with Antoine Griezmann strangely subdued so far this term.
Possible Home Lineup: Dimitrievski – Espino, Aridane, Lejeune, Balliu – Valentin, Unai Lopez – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Isi – Nteka (4-2-3-1)
Possible Away Lineup: Oblak – Hermoso, Savic, Azpilicueta – Carrasco, De Paul, Llorente, Lemar, Molina – Morata, Griezmann (3-5-2)
LaLiga Matchday 3 Fantasy Picks
Sorare Cap 240 Picks via @SorareLALIGA
Our Sorare Cap 240 team has a total cost of 240 points again this week and features five players who barring late injuries look certain to start.
Giorgi Mamardashvili and Robin Le Normand both have a pretty good shot at clean sheets in favourable fixtures while David Alaba looks set to take on a lot more responsibility for Real Madrid in defence this season given the injury absence of Eder Militao.
In midfield, Nemanja Maksimovic has flourished again for Getafe since the return of Pepe Bordalas as coach with 50+ scores in 5 of his last 6 games. He ought to better 50 against newly promoted Alaves while Nico Williams, who was electric last weekend with two early decisive actions, should see plenty of the ball as Athletic look to open up Real Betis at San Mames.
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.
Best Full Team Stack: Kepa – Alaba – Bellingham – Vini, Rodrygo
There are plenty of pretty evenly poised games this weekend with all of last season’s top four away from home. The clearest favourites are Real Madrid though and Carlo Ancelotti has helpfully already confirmed that Kepa will start in goal which makes life a bit simpler than it was last weekend for Real Madrid stack holders.
They won’t have it all their own way against Celta but should win the game and on current form, there is only one man for the captaincy – Jude Bellingham who has posted SO5 scores of 100 in each of his opening two matches in LaLiga.