sport news LALIGA WEEKEND PREVIEW: Barcelona and vying for the top

We've got a full weekend of LaLiga action ahead, with things still wide open at both ends of the table.   

Barcelona and can hardly be separated after 20 games, with just two goals the difference between the sides. Meanwhile at the bottom, there are still a few teams who will be feeling anything but safe at this stage. 

Here, Sportsmail breaks down the upcoming games over the next few days, giving you a taste of what to expect. 

Barcelona may have won against Ibiza, but it was a tough game as they head into the weekend

Barcelona may have won against Ibiza, but it was a tough game as they head into the weekend

Valencia v Barcelona, Saturday 3pm

Usually a trip to Ibiza ends in a party, but Barcelona had a bit of a scare in midweek during their match in the Copa del Rey round of 32. The minnows went 1-0 up within 10 minutes, nearly had a second if it weren't for a foul, and then only the post denied them again later on. 

It took Antoine Griezmann equalising in the 72nd minute followed by a smash and grab at the death for Barcelona to progress unscathed. New manager Quique Setien was unimpressed, saying 'I didn't like the team, I would've preferred that it was all done in a different way.'

With that out of the way, Barcelona are back to league action, as they look to create some breathing room at the top. They're up against seventh-placed Valencia, who had an awful time last week against Mallorca, losing 4-1 and having a man sent off. 

Barcelona haven't been their usual convincing selves of late, so Valencia might have an upset on their minds. 

Barcelona had to rely on late goals from Antoine Griezmann to win their Copa del Rey match

Barcelona had to rely on late goals from Antoine Griezmann to win their Copa del Rey match

Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao, Saturday 12pm

Espanyol are rock bottom of the league but they got a handy 2-1 win last week over Villarreal to boost their confidence. 

Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao are without a win in five, and have actually drawn their last four, and some against opponents where they would've been expected to get results.

It means they're starting to lose ground on those all important European spots. They're still only five points behind third place, but Bilbao will need to start stringing some wins together soon if they're going to make a serious run at the top four. 

Athletic Bilbao are without a win in five, and face bottom team Leganes on Saturday at midday

Athletic Bilbao are without a win in five, and face bottom team Leganes on Saturday at midday

Atletico Madrid v Leganes, Sunday 11am

Leganes will be making the short

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