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Ramos able to play for Real Madrid against Valencia

English.news.cn   2013-12-19 20:15:21            

MADRID, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid got good news ahead of the short Christmas break when the Disciplinary Committee of the Spanish Football Federation decided to annul the first yellow card he was shown in last weekend's 2-2 draw away to Osasuna.

The decision means Ramos will be able to play for his side as Real Madrid travel to face Valencia and takes a major problem away from coach Carlo Ancelotti, who was already without the suspended Pepe and the injured, Rafael Varane and facing the prospect of playing with a makeshift defense.

Madrid's trip to Valencia on Sunday is one of the big games of the weekend and Madrid know they cannot afford any slip up against a Valencia which sacked coach Miroslav Djukic on Monday and so far has failed to find a permanent replacement.

Barcelona meanwhile play in Getafe and will be without Leo Messi, who looks on track to be fit for the New Year, and Neymar, who is suspended. That will allow Cesc Fabrigas, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez to lead the Barca line against a side which beat them 1-0 last season.

Meanwhile the fact Barca play on Sunday means Atletico Madrid can go top of the league on Saturday night if they take a point from their home game against Levante, but Diego Simeone knows his side can actually spend the holidays on top of the table if they win their game and score more goals than Barca, should Barca win in Getafe.

Expect a party atmosphere in the Vicente Calderon as striker Diego Costa looks to run rampant over a side which has put up stiff resistance away from home this campaign.

Elche and Malaga will for once be grateful they play on Friday night, if only because the fact they kick the weekend off means their players can enjoy two days extra Xmas holidays, while there promises to be a thrilling game in Villarreal on Saturday afternoon.

Villarreal progressed in the Copa del Rey knockout tournament on Tuesday night and take on a Sevilla side which was a shock victim of third tier Racing Santander.

That defeat should not hide the fact both sides have been in good form of late and looking to climb towards the top four.

Two sides in anything but top form are Betis and Almeria and the two teams in the relegation zone go head to head in a game where new Betis coach, Juan Carlos Garrido needs to pick his side up after a 5-1 hammering against Real Sociedad a week ago and a less than convincing 2-2 draw against Lleida in the Copa del Rey.

Saturday ends with Granada, who have been excellent on their travels, looking to show that form against a Real Sociedad side that has been steadily climbing the table in recent weeks.

The big game on Sunday sees fourth place Athletic Club Bilbao aim to remain unbeaten in their San Mames Stadium by taking three points from relegation haunted Rayo Vallecano.

Rayo play attacking football and could pose Athletic problems on the break, but if Athletic's strikers are on song, the home side will be confident of taking the points.

Sunday kicks off with Espanyol at home to Valladolid, while Celta and Osasuna play a match between two contrasting styles of football as Celta's all out attack faces the visitors' organization and strength.

Editor: Yang Yi
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