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24.10.2009 14:21

Spanish League Preview – Week 8

Nick Bedson

Seville and Real Madrid both play on Saturday night and with Deportivo also kicking off four hours ahead of Barca on Sunday, Guardiola's team's chasers have the chance to put some pressure on the current champs.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid's new boss Quique Sanchez Flores won't be officially presented till Monday.

Tough trip for Madrid

Real Madrid's midweek Champions League defeat against Milan has set nerves jangling at the Bernabeu and they could have hoped for an easier game this weekend than their trip to Gijon. Sporting are unbeaten at home and are currently seventh in La Liga, whilst Madrid are without a host of big names - Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzamin, Higuain and Van Nistelroy are all out leaving them with just Raul as the only available forward for the game. Seville enjoyed more luck in midweek, beating Stuttgart 1-3 to maintain their 100% Champions League record, though they too face a tough test against Espanyol at the Sanchez Pijuan. Espanyol are on a great run, unbeaten in their last five games,and although Raul Tamudo is again left out of the squad, morale is high in Pochettino's team, who are eighth in the table. Of the chasing pack, Deportivo face the easiest looking fixture, away to Valladolid, who have taken just one point from their three home games so far this season.

All change at Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's Abel Resino became the first La Liga manager to walk the plank this season, resigning on Friday after his team's terrible start to the campaign culminated in Wednesday's 4-0 hammering by Chelsea, but his replacement Quique Sanchez Flores, will not be on the bench for Saturday's home game against Mallorca, whose striker Arduriz is out for a month with a leg injury. Sanchez Flores' last managerial job was at Valencia, who need to bounce back from their own disappointing European result with a win on Sunday at Almeria, who are still unbeaten at home in La Liga.

Villarreal in basement clash (part 2)

For the second weekend on the run the bottom two clubs meet, with Villarreal, who lost again in Europe in midweek, at home to Malaga as Ernesto Valverde desperately looking for a first win of the season. Jerez, whose win against Villarreal last week took them to the heady heights of third from bottom, are away to Tenerife, just a point above them. In the weekend's other games, a win against Racing could take Osasuna into a European classification spot, whilst Bilbao will be looking to stop their disastrous recent run – four league games without a win – boosted by their European midweek success when they visit Getafe.
Spanish League Preview – Week 8

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