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12.12.2009 16:30

Spanish League Preview Week 14

Nick Bedson

Ral Madrid could go into their game against Valencia on Saturday eight points adrift of Barca, who kick off against Espanyol a couple of hours before the clash in Mestalla.

Kaka and Ronaldo miss Mestalla trip

Real Madrid face Valencia at the Mestalla at 22.00 on Saturday and will be without their two big summer signings – the injured Kaka and Ronaldo who is suspended following his red card against Almeria last week, whilst Valencia are still without the injured Silva. A win for the hosts, who are unbeaten at home this season, could see them move into second, but Madrid boss Peregrine warned: “we're going to Valencia to look for a win, we'll not be happy with just a draw”. For Seville, a draw might well be the best possible result at Mestalla, as a win on Sunday night against Sporting would leapfrog them over Valencia back into third spot.

Deportivo aiming for top four spot

A win for Deportivo at Almeria on Sunday could also take them back into the top four if Valencia or Seville slip up and Almeria boss Hugo Sanchez reckons: “ they are a tough team to play and are showing themselves to be strong at home and away. They don't score many goals, but they are very patient and hit you at speed on the break”. Mallorca currently lie sixth, a point behind Deportivo, but their success this season has so far been down to their 100% home record and they've yet to win on the road. Sunday's trip to the always tough Reyno de Navarra is unlikely to change that stat, with Osasuna looking to force their way into a UEFA spot for next season.

Atletico and Villarreal clash in Madrid

Two teams who many thought would be fighting it out for a place in Europe are Atletico Madrid and Villarreal who meet on Sunday , but after disastrous starts to the season, both are now concentrating on moving clear of the strugglers in the bottom half. Villarreal have made the better recovery of the two, but have not taken a point on the road since the opening day of the season, whilst Atletico have won their last two games, scoring six goals. Tenerife are sandwiched between Atletico and Villarreal in 12th spot on 14 points and they travel to 9th placed Getafe who have 18. A win for the Canary Islanders would be their first on the road this season.

Racing look to build on Espanyol win

At the bottom, Racing's 0-4 win at Espanyol last week should give them a boost for the visit of fellow strugglers Jerez to Santander, whilst Malaga face a difficult trip to Valladolid, who are undefeated in their last five home games. Meanwhile, Zaragoza, who are just one place and two points above Racing, are at home to Atletic Bilbao on Saturday night. Zaragoza have conceded more goals, 27, than any other team in the league, though only 6 of them have been at home, just one more than Barca and the same as Real Madrid and Valencia, whilst Bilbao have chalked up 9 goals in their last three away wins in domestic and European competition.

Spanish League Preview Week 14

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