FCB - VALENCIA CF

Real Madrid face Racing on Saturday, whilst Levante have a home game against Rayo to try
and maintain their fourth spot, under siege from Espanyol – away to Getafe, Atletico Madrid –
away to Sporting and Malaga, who playing Bilbao at San Mames.

Madrid out for revenge

Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw in Santander in September – one of just two league
games they’ve not scored in this season – and they have the chance for revenge on Saturday
when Racing visit the Bernabeu before Mourinho’s men travel to Moscow for their Champions
League tie on Tuesday. Espanyol also play on Saturday – starting the weekend’s games with
an away match at Getafe – as they try and bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat to
Zaragoza, but they will have to do so without midfielder Joan Verdu, who is injured.

Michel home debut

Saturday’s third game sees Osasuna try and build on last week’s great win with a good result
at the Sanchez Pijuan, where Michel makes his home debut in charge of Seville. Seville have
taken just two points from their last eight games and instead of fighting for a Champions
League spot, they find themselves staring a relegation battle in the face, with third from
bottom Racing just three points behind them. Osasuna on the other hand, are still very much
in the hunt for a European spot following last week’s win over Barça, though only Sporting
have conceded more goals on the road, where the Basques have only managed a single victory
this season.

Clemente starts Sporting rescue job

Barça’s next two league opponents, Sporting and Atletico Madrid, meet in Gijon on Sunday
when Javier Clemente takes his first game in charge of the struggling Asturians. Atletico are
riding high in sixth place, a point off a Champions League spot, whilst Sporting are second
from bottom and six points off safety and the contrasting fortunes of the two sides since
Christmas, with Sporting shipping 16 goals in their four defeats, one draw and single win,
whilst Atletico have had three wins and three draws without conceding a single goal, make the
visitors favourites to take the points, but against one of his many ex-clubs, Clemente will be
determined to get off to a winning start.

Malaga travel to Bilbao

Apart from the second vs third clash at the Camp Nou, Sunday’s big game has to be the Bilbao
vs Malaga clash at San Mames. After their narrow defeat in Moscow midweek, Bielsa’s team
are in with a good shout to progress in the Europa League – where a mouth watering tie
against Manchester United could await them- but first, the Basques will be looking to get their
challenge for a Champions League spot back on track by seeing off a direct rival after two
games without a win. Malaga have fought their way back into the fight for European spots
with two home wins, but they have won just one of their last nine games on the road.

Villarreal and Real Sociedad look to consolidate

Villarreal have lifted themselves clear of the bottom three with wins against Seville and
Granada following their draw against Barça and they have the chance to move further up the
table if they can win at Mallorca , who are just a point behind them. Real Sociedad have also
improved since the start of the year and although boss Phillipe Montanier insists survival is still
the main objective, a win away to Granada at noon on Sunday, could take them into the top
half and open up the chance to challenge for a top six spot. In Sunday’s other game, Levante
entertain Rayo, whilst bottom club Zaragoza are at home to Betis on Monday night.