Late show for title favorites in Spain's Matchday 15

12:07, December 11, 2010      

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BBVA Primera Liga favorites FC Barcelona and second placed Real Madrid will have to bide their time before playing their respective matches in matchday 15 in Spain.

Barcelona take on sixth placed Real Sociedad in the Camp Nou Stadium this Sunday night and Pep Guardiola will call on his strongest possible side against the Basque outfit that moved up to sixth in the table after beating neighbors Athletic Club last weekend.

Leo Messi will lead the attack along with David Villa and in form Pedro Rodriguez, while Real Sociedad will be without striker Zurutuza, who suffered an injury in Thursday' s training session.

Real Madrid' s striker Karim Benzema will look to take his new found confidence to la Romareda Stadium, where his side visit bottom of the table Zaragoza.

Benzema' s hat-trick against Auxerre on Wednesday night confirmed him as a viable alternative to the injured Gonzalo Higuain. Meanwhile all eyes will of course be on top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who will pose Madrid' s main threat against a side that has picked up two draws in three games since Javier Aguirre replaced Jose Aurelio Gay as first team coach.

Third placed Villarreal kick off the weekend matches with what promises to be an entertaining trip to Getafe on Saturday evening. Villarreal are five points behind Madrid, while Getafe are just two points off sixth place and a spot in the European positions.

The visitors will, however, be without striker Giuseppe Rossi, who is suspended after picking up five bookings this campaign.

Saturday also sees Sevilla aim to end a four game losing streak when they play at home to second from bottom Almeria. Gregorio Manzano appears to have lost the confidence of the Sevilla players after a very public dressing down a fortnight ago, while Almeria have improved since Jose Luis Oltra replaced Juanma Lillo as coach. That improvement, has yet to be reflected in results, however, with a narrow defeat in Valencia and a draw against Zaragoza last week.

Saturday will be an emotional night for Atletico Madrid defender Felipe Luis as Atletico host his former club, Deportivo la Coruna.

Deportivo are comfortable in mid-table, while Atletico have dropped to eighth place, which is disappointing for a side that had high hopes at the start of the campaign.

Sunday' s sees fourth place Espanyol travel to Bilbao to face an Athletic Club still smarting after a poor performance in the Basque derby. Athletic has, however, been tough to beat in the San Mames Stadium, where they have won their last four matches.

Elsewhere Sporting Gijon have to beat fellow strugglers Levante or popular coach Manuel Preciado could lose his job, Hercules and Malaga both need points, while Mallorca can expect to take a good result from Racing Santander.

The round of games comes to an end on Monday night when Valencia entertain Osasuna.

Source:Xinhua
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