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La Liga preview: Real look to bounce back
Feb 08, 2013 4:00 PM GMT
A shock 1-0 loss to Granada last weekend has placed pressure on Real Madrid as they host Sevilla in La Liga at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo's own goal condemned Jose Mourinho's men to their fifth loss of the season and the Portuguese tactician's job may be under threat if they don't overcome their 10th-placed challengers.
Real are third, 16 points behind leaders Barcelona and seven points in arrears of city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Valencia last round - a rare happening with the Catalan club winning 19 of their 22 games this season - and will be confident of getting a win at home against 12th-placed Getafe on Sunday.
A win last week against bottom-placed Deportivo La Coruna was Getafe's first victory since December 2 last year and they will have their work cut out against a Barcelona side that haven't been beaten in home in 12 matches.
On Sunday, second-placed Atletico travel to surprise packets Rayo Vallecano, who despite having the smallest budget in the league, are seventh and in the hunt for a continental competition place next season.
Still nine points behind Barca, Atletico must keep winning and hoping the near-flawless Catalans slip up to retain any hope of title glory.
Despite only one win in their last five contests, Malaga hold down fourth position and their contest against ninth-placed Levante on Saturday is crucial as the three point gap between the sides is testament to the congestion in that area of the table.
A three-game winless streak will spur on fifth-placed Real Betis against Real Valladolid on Monday as they attempt to not their poor run of form drive them down the standings.
In other matches on Saturday, 17th takes on 19th as Osasuna travel to Mallorca in a battle that will shape the relegation zone, fellow strugglers Celta de Vigo face a tough home contest against Valencia and rock-bottom Deportivo hope to snap three straight losses as they face Real Madrid's conquerors Granada.
On Sunday, Real Zaragoza lock horns with Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao battle against Espanyol.