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Tense at the top in Spain's matchday 23

English.news.cn   2014-03-06 17:02:15

MADRID, March 6 (Xinhua) -- After last weekend saw a subtle alteration at the top of the BBVA Primera Liga, matchday 27 promises to once again make the three title contenders dip deep for their results.

Last week saw Real Madrid take a draw from Atletico in the Madrid derby, a result which keeps them three points clear of their neighbors, while allowing Barcelona, who defeated Almeria 4-1 to close to within one point of the leadership.

Barca will have the chance to return to the top of the table on Saturday when they travel to third from bottom Valladolid.

On paper it should be a comfortable win for Tata Martino's players, but in reality it could pose problems given that the majority of the Barca squad have been away on midweek international duty and will return tired after their travels.

Meanwhile Valladolid may be in the relegation zone, but in recent weeks they have shown themselves a tough outfit to defeat with just one defeat in six games (against Atletico Madrid) and although they have won just one of those games the way the table stands at the moment, two dropped points in a draw would be disastrous for Barca.

Real Madrid have an easier game, although 'easy' is never an adjective that should be used to describe Levante, who visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Sunday.

Joaquin Caparros' side are known as one of the toughest sides in La Liga and are sure to present a stiff physical challenge to Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale and company.

Atletico Madrid meanwhile face a potentially fatal game for their title hopes as they visit Celta Vigo.

Celta may have lost in Elche last weekend, but Luis Enrique's side are now playing good attacking football and are more than capable of taking a point off Atletico Madrid in the Balaidos Stadium.

This game promises to be a contrast between Celta's open attacking football and Atletico's organization and speed on the break.

There are several other vital matches to be played and few more important that Getafe's visit to play bottom of the table Betis. Getafe have not won in 11 games and failure to beat a side destined for relegation would probably mean the sack for coach Luis Garcia.

Granada are another side in trouble and need three points at home to a Villarreal who are aiming to recover after drawing at home to Betis last week. Both sides need a win with Granada close to the drop zone and Villarreal pushing for a place in Europe.

Espanyol face Elche on Sunday lunchtime and Almeria entertain Sevilla on Sunday afternoon.

Almeria are battling just above the bottom three, while Sevilla are another side looking to play in Europe next season.

Sunday ends with a difficult match for fourth place Athletic Club Bilbao who travel to Valencia's Mestalla Stadium without injured forwards Ibai Gomez and Kike Sola, while Monday sees Real Sociedad at home to Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna against Malaga where Bernd Schuster is another coach under threat.

Editor: chengyang
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