Real Win Will Upset the Whole of Barcelona

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Barcelona must try to gain ground over rivals Madrid as the title battle in La Liga heats up.

Real Madrid player scores a goal

The pick of La Liga action this weekend takes place on Sunday evening, as bottom face top at the RCDE Stadium – when Espanyol place host to Real Madrid.

Last week’s slip up from Barcelona has allowed Zinedine Zidane’s men to return to the top of the table, with Real winning all four matches since the league resumed.

Los Blancos have scored 10 goals and conceded just two on their return to action and it’s a daunting task for Espanyol, with Barcelona’s second team currently eight points from safety.

Back-to-back defeats for Abelardo’s men have left them drinking in last-chance saloon, with Sunday’s match now looking like a must-win for the hosts (23/4*).

The head-to-head stats though show just how difficult that will be, having lost six of their last seven meetings – including a 2-4 defeat in this fixture last term.

Barcelona Need to Put Pressure on Madrid

Second-placed Barca – now 5/4 to win the La Liga title – will hope to put some pressure on Real and hope their city rivals can do them an unlikely favour.

Quique Setien’s side are away to Celta Vigo on Saturday afternoon, with a draw or a win seeing them return to the top for at least 24 hours.

The Catalan giants have kept four consecutive clean sheets since the season resumed, but they have still lost top spot and might have to win all their remaining games to have a chance of retaining their title.

Barca did beat Celta 4-1 at the Nou Camp back in November but have failed to win on their last three visits to the Balaidos, including a 2-0 defeat there last season. Odds of a Barca win currently stand at 20/31.

Atletico Madrid are now up to third after three wins and one draw since their return to action and look to be back to their best at the back.

Its three clean sheets in a row for Diego Simeone’s men and they face an Alaves side who have failed to score in three of their last four games – a win to nil for Atletico, at 20/33, looks a solid bet.

Clash of European Hopefuls

The other standout game is on Monday evening, when two European hopefuls clash, Getafe and Real Sociedad (Getafe 6/4, Draw 41/20, Real Sociedad 21/10 – Match Odds).

It’s fifth against seventh, with both teams still having hopes of snatching the fourth and final Champions League qualification place.

Sociedad have lost their last three games and that has now left them six points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, with Getafe two points and two places above their opponents.

But the hosts have failed to win any of their last five matches – three of those at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez – and need a win to keep them on track to challenge for the top four.

Getafe – who are 8/1 for a Top Four finish – won the reverse fixture, coming from behind to claim a 2-1 success in October.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Warren has been employed as a sport journalist for over two decades and as well as years of written experience, has also worked in other areas of the media including radio and television. Football has always been his number one passion, but has also commentated and written on a number of other sports including golf, cricket, tennis and rugby.
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