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31.10.2009 13:24

Spanish League Preview Week 9

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The top three are all in action on Saturday night with Madrid's under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini in need of a win at the Bernabeu against Getafe, whilst Seville travel to their struggling neighbours Jerez to keep up the pressure on the top two.


It's been a terrible week for Madrid following their 4-0 Cup humiliation against tiny Alcorcon and with the knives coming out for Pellegrini, it's one of his possible replacements Michel who brings his unpredictable Getafe to the Bernabeu – will it be as lambs to the slaughter, or to give the coup de grace ? Ruud Van Nistelroy is back in the Madrid squad, though the disgraced Guti is dropped, and Pepe returns to face Casquero – the player he tried to kick off the pitch last season.

Getafe are on a decent run, having won three of their last four games and leading scorer Soldado will be keen to impress on his return to the Bernabeu. Seville will fancy their chances at Jerez, who have won just the once so far this season, and get their challenge back on track after two league games without a win, though they will be without the injured Kanoute for what should be a sell out local derby.

Crisis clubs clash at San Mames

In Saturday night's late game, Bilbao take on Atletico Madrid at the San Mames in Quique Sanchez Flores' first league game in charge of the visitors. Bilbao will want to spoil the new manager's debut and put a halt to their recent terrible run - they've taken just one point from their last five games – but the Atletico fans will be looking for instant results from Flores whose team have only won once all season and lie fourth from bottom.

Valencia are at bottom club Malaga, whose manager Juan Ramon Mu˝iz reckons Valencia: “are having a great season – their great strength is their pace up front”. Deportivo, level on points with Valencia will be hoping to bounce back from last week's shock result in Valladolid and take the points against Sporting Gijon, who visit the Riazor unbeaten in their last three league games.

Villarreal look to build on win

Villarreal got their first win of the season last weekend, but will again be without Senna and Ibagaza for the visit of Tenerife, who have only lost once in their last four visits to the Madrigal. Racing Santander are just a point ahead of Villarreal and will do well to take anything from their visit to Mallorca who will be looking to extend their 100% home league record so far this season. A win for Espanyol against Valladolid could lift them into contention for a UEFA place with the team unbeaten in their last six league games. Finally Zaragoza need a result at home to Almeria if they are to avoid being dragged into an early relegation battle.

Spanish League Preview Week 9


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