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Spanish Leaguer Preview Week 8

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22.10.2011 18:48

Spanish Leaguer Preview Week 8

Nick Bedson

Real Madrid come up against their old boss Pellegrini on Saturday evening, whilst Llevant are away to Villarreal on Sunday night, when Valencia also face Bilbao. At the bottom, Sporting host 18th placed Granada, whilst Racing are at home to Espanyol.

Spanish Leaguer Preview Week 8

It’s third versus sixth at the La Rosaleda on Saturday night, when Malaga host Madrid with boss Manuel Pellegrini and Dutch veteran Ruud van Nistelroy both up against their old employers, though Julio Baptista will miss his chance to get one back on his ex-team as he is still out injured. Madrid will be without Coentrao and Mourinho will have to choose between his leading scorer Higuain and Karim Benzema who started and impressed midweek against Lyon.

Sporting and Racing after first wins

With Llevant not playing till Sunday and Barça kicking off at 22.00, Madrid could go top for a couple of hours if they can overcome Malaga, whilst Saturday’s two other games involving the bottom three. Sporting are still after a win and face Granada in Gijon in a clash between the league’s two lowest scoring sides, whilst Racing are also without a win – though they have four points from their four drawn games and they will be hoping Espanyol’s poor away record continues when Pochettino’s side come to Santander.

Champions League hangovers?

Llevant are away to Villarreal, who will need to bounce back from their disappointment against Man City on Tuesday if they are to get a result against the league’s best defence. Villarreal have won one and drawn two at home so far this season, whilst Llevant have beaten both Rayo and Betis away and drawn at Racing. Fifth placed Valencia were also beaten in their midweek Champions League game and they will face a tough test against an improving Atletico Bilbao who will look to Llorente to take advantage of the absence of Valencia centre half Adi Rami who is suspended.

Noon kick off for Betis agian

Betis again kick off at noon on Sunday and after a poor run of three defeats they will be looking to get back to winning ways against Rayo. Atletico Madrid will pounce on any Betis slip up if they can overcome their goal drought – three games without scoring –though they may be without Falcao who is doubtful with a neck injury against Mallorca at the Vicente Calderon. Zaragoza are level on 9 points with Atletico, but they face a tough trip to Pamplona, where Osasuna are still unbeaten this season.

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