La Liga Preview: Promising weekend for Real, Barca
By Football News
Real Madrid and Barcelona will look to prolong winning streaks over Levante and Real Valladolid respectively in La Liga this weekend.
The Bernabeu-based side have won their past four matches against Levante, including 5-1 and 4-2 wins the past two times they have welcomed them to Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti's men need to bounce back after a 2-2 draw with rivals and title challengers Atletico Madrid at their last start but should chalk up a victory on Sunday to preserve their advantage over second-placed Barcelona.
Gerardo Martino's men are one point in arrears of Real, and can maintain the pressure on the leaders if they take all three points from their trip to Valladolid, a side they have beaten eight times in succession.
Barca will go provisionally top of the table should they avoid defeat on Saturday, with Real kicking off 24 hours later.
Atletico Madrid, three points behind Real, are on the road at Celta de Vigo, who have not lost at home in seven matches.
Celta have won four and drawn three at their Estadio de Balaidos venue, meaning Diego Simeone's men have work to do if they are to break down the hosts and end a two-match winless run.
Front-runners for the fourth and final Champions League spot, Athletic Bilbao travel to Valencia on Sunday.
The Basque outfit are hovering in the unusual position of being comfortably fourth, six points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal but some 11 points behind Atletico in third.
The other Sunday fixture sees Almeria, three points above the drop zone, host seventh-placed Sevilla, while on Monday, Osasuna and Malaga go head to head and Real Sociedad - who occupy a Europa League spot in sixth - take on relegation-placed Rayo Vallecano.
Other Saturday clashes see Villarreal on the road at Granada, Real Betis welcoming Getafe and Espanyol hosting Elche.