No lead is safe at the top of La Liga entering Week 23.
Atletico Madrid currently sits atop the 20 Spanish clubs with 57 points, but Barcelona and Real Madrid have been neck-and-neck with them all season long. While those three have dominated the league, the leader seems to change by the week.
Real Madrid will look to get back in the win column after a tough draw last weekend, with a home tilt against Villarreal on Feb. 8. A day later, Barcelona will travel to Sevilla to keep pace with Madrid while Atletico face Almeria on the road on Feb. 9 as well.
Plenty of eyes will be on those top three, along with the rest, during this crucial Week 23 as some key matchups have presented themselves to immediately impact the title race.
Here is a look at the most recent results and an overview of the La Liga Week 23 fixtures and table.
|La Liga Table: Week 23|
|La Liga Week 23 Fixtures|
|Feb. 8||Valencia||-||Real Betis|
|Feb. 8||Rayo Vallecano||-||Malaga|
|Feb. 8||Real Madrid||-||Villarreal|
|Feb. 8||Almeria||-||Atletico Madrid|
|Feb. 9||Real Valladolid||-||Elche|
|Feb. 9||Real Sociedad||-||Levante|
|Feb. 9||Sevilla FC||-||Barcelona|
|Feb. 10||Celta Vigo||-||Athletic Bilbao|
Espanyol 1, Getafe 0
Espanyol boasted 10 men for much of the contest and chased the ball more than they held possession, but they escaped with a 1-0 home win over Getafe on Feb. 7.
Victor Alvarez Delgado was ejected after notching a red card in the 30th minute, but it didn't phase Espanyol, who excelled while on defense most of the game. Granada held 61 percent possession on the match but only put one of their 13 shots on goal.
Espanyol, on the other hand, were able to strike the game's only goal when Hector Moreno netted the game-winner in the 79th minute.
Espanyol improved to eighth in the table after the win, but it's unlikely they will stay there with two teams just one point back and 18 clubs still left to play for Week 23.
Real Madrid vs. Villarreal
Madrid squandered a big opportunity last weekend in drawing Athletic Bilbao when three points would have put them within a point of the table lead, but they can make that a distant memory with a victory on Feb. 8 against Villarreal.
With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for a red card incident, they will need all of the help they can get. Ronaldo is the heart and soul of that offense, and without him, it needs for a number of players to step up.
Real Madrid could tie Atletico at the top of the table if the leaders were to somehow be defeated over the weekend, but the prospect of holding off Barcelona will also motivate Los Blancos to notch a victory in Week 23.
Sevilla FC vs. Barcelona
After coming up short in last weekend's league play in a 3-2 home loss to Valencia, Barcelona will look to keep their title hopes up and running with a win on the road against Sevilla.
The home club is sitting pretty in seventh place, but still a whopping 23 points short of Barcelona on the season. Sevilla also haven't won since Jan. 5 and have only garnered two points in their past four league contests.
Barcelona got back to their winning ways with a 2-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey on Feb. 5.
La Blaugrana's defense will look to dispel any and all doubters after giving up three goals in their last league appearance. But it won't get any easier as Jordi Alba will be suspended for the match, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan.
Like Real, Barcelona can end the weekend tied for first. But neither can afford to look ahead, given what's right in front of them.
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