MADRID – Real Madrid will be seeking to strengthen its lead in La Liga’s standings during the competition’s 25th round when hosting Villarreal on Sunday, in a match in which the Blancos will attempt to continue the positive trend from their last two matches.
On the other hand, Barcelona will visit Granada, seeking to forget last round’s unexpected defeat against Malaga.
With midfielder Isco Alarcon back in Real Madrid’s lineup, the team played some stunning soccer in the last two games, both against German club Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League and against Elche during the latest La Liga round.
The Merengues will strive to win at their Santiago Bernabeu home stadium against Villarreal (sixth with 44 points) to consolidate their current lead in La Liga’s standings with 60 points.
Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Sami Khedira and James Rodriguez will all miss Sunday’s match due to injury, while Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti is still waiting for pending medical reports on Welsh winger Gareth Bale’s physical condition before composing his player list for the game.
Following last week’s unexpected 0-1 defeat against Malaga at the Camp Nou, Barcelona needs to win Saturday’s match against Granada (19th in the standings with 19 points), after the gap between leader Real Madrid and the Blaugrana, who occupy the second position, widened to four points.
Atletico Madrid will have to overcome Wednesday’s 0-1 defeat against German club Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the Champions League’s round of 16, when the Rojiblancos visit Sevilla next Sunday.
Atletico will attempt to chase Barcelona and Real Madrid from its third position with 53 points.
Sevilla will not be an easy rival for Atletico, as the team from Seville aspires to join the big four from its current fifth position, with 45 points.
Athletic Bilbao will be facing Eibar on Sunday, with both teams having earned the same amount of points; however, Eibar holds the 11th position ahead of Bilbao, who is 12th, as the former benefits from an advantage in the goal average.
Valencia will seek a home win against guests Real Sociedad on Sunday, which would make it its fourth consecutive victory, strengthening its current fourth position with 50 points. On the other hand, Real Sociedad comes in 10th place with 27 points.
In their fight for survival, Almeria (16th, with 23 points) will be hosting Deportivo La Coruña (17th with 24 points) on Saturday.
On the same day, Malaga, motivated by the recent Camp Nou victory that left it in seventh position with 38 points, will be hosting Getafe (13th with 26 points).
Rayo Vallecano (14th with 26 points) will be hosting Levante (18th with 22 points), also on Saturday.
Week 25 will begin on Friday with Espanyol (ninth with 29 points) hosting bottom team Cordoba (18 points), while this round will conclude on Monday, with Celta Vigo (eighth with 31 points) meeting Elche (17th with 23 points); the latter is very close to the standings’ dreaded relegation zone.