About Us   Jobs   Contact Us      


 
Google  

Last Chance for Real Madrid in Race for Primera Liga Title
    2008-12-20 00:26:22     Xinhua
Real Madrid kicks off match day 16 in the Primera Liga on Saturday, knowing it is their last chance to stay in the race for the title.

Last Saturday's defeat to Barcelona in the Camp Nou stadium left Juande Ramos' team sixth in the table, 12 points behind the league leader and knowing that no team has ever closed such a big gap in Spain.

The visit of Valencia gives Real Madrid the chance to recover some much needed morale and to pressure another rival for the title.

Valencia travels to the Santiago Bernabeu third in the Primera Liga, but its players may suffer tired legs following Wednesday's UEFA Cup game away to French side St Etienne.

Real Madrid is without long-term absentees Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mahamadou Diarra and Ruben de la Red, while Pepe is also sidelined and Sergio Ramos suspended. However, Marcelo and Arjen Robben return after missing last week's defeat.

Saturday's second game sees Atletico Madrid travel to Barcelona to face struggling Espanyol. Atletico has hit its best form in recent weeks and coach Javier Aguirre will be looking for strikers Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan to be on target against the side fourth from bottom in the Primera Liga.

Espanyol is without injured captain Raul Tamudo.

Barcelona is in Villarreal for Sunday's big match. Villarreal is currently fourth in the league and should Barca win, it would mean they had defeated their four main title rivals in the space of a month.

Defeat for the Catalans in a ground where they lost 3-1 last season, would give sides such as Valencia, Villarreal and Sevilla hopes of closing the gap at the top of the table.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has slight doubts over the fitness of Toure Yaya and Carles Puyol, while Villarreal is without suspended striker Joseba Llorente.

Sevilla aims to stay in the title race at the expense of struggling Mallorca. Sevilla is third in the league after beating Villarreal last week, while Mallorca slipped into the relegation zone after a 4-1 thrashing in Getafe.

The visitors have Freddy Kanoute out with a groin strain, while Gregorio Manzano knows anything other than a win will probably cost him his job as Mallorca coach.

Deportivo la Coruna aims to bounce back from their defeat to Valladolid last week by ending Recreativo Huelva's two game winning run, while high-flying Valladolid has a Castilian derby away to Numancia in Soria.

Athletic Club Bilbao will not be looking forward to their visit to play Betis. The same fixture had to be abandoned last season after Athletic's keeper Armando was hit in the eye by a bottle hurled from the crowd and the visitors will no doubt get a hostile reception.

The good news for Athletic, however, is that Betis' central midfield pairing of Mehmet Aurelio and Emana are both suspended.

Sergio Sanchez returns in goal for Sporting Gijon for the visit of Almeria. Defeat for either side will see them drawn into the battle to avoid relegation.

Finally Osasuna's players know they have to turn chances into goals as they take on Getafe. Getafe beat Mallorca 4-1 last weekend while Osasuna slipped back into last place following a 1-0 defeat in Huelva in a match where they created but missed enough chances to have won easily.
 
Share

               
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
Webcast  
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
 
View the Messages