Real Madrid, Barcelo resume fight for title

Madrid, May 1: Spanish football clubs Barcelo and Real Madrid will wage on in the fight for the La Liga title on Saturday in two starkly different confrontations as Barcelo will visit bottom team Cordoba at the Estadio Nuevo Arcangel while ‘Los Blancos’ will be hosted by Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

Luis Enrique’s squad, which is defending its top spot by a two-point advantage, will be hosted by the officially worst team in the competition, while Italian Carlo Ancelotti’s team will be hosted by the team that has not lost a home game in the whole season.

Though Barcelo have only conceded two points since the ‘Clasico’ win when they did lose the two points it was at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, demonstrating the apparent impenetrability of the ground.This ground in particular represents a dilemma for ‘Los Blancos’, which has failed to win there ever since December 2011, when it thrashed Sevilla in a 6-2 victory.

Sevilla, led by coach Ui Emery, went all out in their battle to take fourth position, which secures them a place in the Champions League next season. They have already qualified for the Europa League, which it won last year.

Real Madrid’s 3-0 win against Almeria on Wednesday has been dealt with as a transitiol game, as Ancelotti has admitted, as he lessened the team’s intensity and included many irregulars to reserve energy for the most demanding challenges in Seville, and later in Turin in the first leg of the Champions League semifils against Juventus.

Therefore, Saturday’s game is of high importance to Real Madrid and they will be mindful of Barcelo’s result as the latter will open Saturday’s games against desperate Cordoba, which is getting close to relegation. Anything other than a Barcelo victory would be a major upset.

On the other hand, defending champions Atletico have clutched on to third position with a difficult 1-0 victory against Villarreal, thanks to a Ferndo Torres goal, and will host Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao entered the fight for qualification to the Europa League partially due to Malaga’s setbacks and will host Elche.

Valencia, on the other hand, cannot give an inch in their fight for fourth place before meeting Eibar, who are getting close to relegation with no signs of improvement.

Sixth place Villarreal will conclude Saturday at the Estadio Riazor, home stadium of Deportivo La Coru, which escaped the danger zone.

Grada will be risking it all against Getafe, who are yet to secure an escape, so they can breathe regardless of other results. IANS

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