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Spanish League Preview Week 5

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24.09.2011 17:10

Spanish League Preview Week 5

Leaders Betis again wrap up the weekend’s league programme, when they travel to Getafe on Monday night, with second place Valencia starting the proceedings against Seville at the Sanchez Pijuan at six on Saturday evening.

Photo: Valencia CF
Photo: Valencia CF

If Unai Emery’s team can follow up Wednesday night’s performance against Barça with a win against Seville, they could go top - for a couple of days at least – as could Malaga if they can take three points at Zaragoza on Sunday and Valencia fail to win. At the other end, Sporting seek their first points at home to Racing (drawn two and lost two so far) and Athletic Bilbao will hope to get their first win when they take on Villarreal at the San Mames.

Rivals meet in Seville

Like Valencia, Seville are unbeaten so far and have won both their games at home –against Malaga and Real Sociedad- and Valencia boss Unai Emery warned: “they are a direct rival- they’ll overtake us if they win and they are enjoying some great form. It’ll be an attractive game”. Miguel and Pablo Hernandez are both rested by the visitors, with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League game against Chelsea, whilst Seville should be at full strength.

Malaga out to make it four wins on the run

Malaga, on nine points, have won their last three after losing at Seville on the opening day and their expensively assembled squad will hope to extend that run at Zaragoza, who are still reeling from the arrest of their striker Braulio on sexual assault charges earlier this week. Llevant are also up with the leaders –level with Barça on eight – and they can count on talismanic Sergio Ballesteros, who suffered a nasty blow against Rayo in midweek, for Sunday’s visit of Espanyol, who have lost both their games on the road so far this season.

Madrid derby

Real Madrid will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of their games in Santander and Valencia when they face Rayo in a city derby at the Bernabeu, though Mourinho will be without central defenders Pepe and Carvalho. Athletic Bilbao suffered another blow this week with the news that Igor Martinez’s injury against Malaga in midweek was a broken leg and he joins Ander Herrera in the long term sick bay. Against Villarreal on Saturday, the Basques will be desperate for a first win, but their visitors seem to have put their own poor start behind them and come into the game on the back of a good win against Mallorca.

Need for points

Mallorca themselves have lost their last three games and they desperately need to improve on Sunday against Real Sociedad, whilst Sporting –who’ve lost all four- face Racing, whose boss Hector Cuper reckons: “it’s strange that Sporting haven’t taken a point, they aren’t playing so bad”. In Sunday’s other game, Osasuna look to continue their recovery from the thrashing at the Camp Nou with a visit to Granada.

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