La Liga Weekend Preview: Real Madrid face Sporting Gijon

April 13, 2012

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La Liga Weekend Preview - Real Madrid face Sporting Gijon

European leagues are winding down and with nothing decided, these final weeks will be the most exciting.

On Saturday Real Madrid face Sporting Gijon, a team that will be fighting for their first division lives with seven points between their current position in 18th and a seemingly unlikely escape from relegation. The team, coached by former Spain manager Javier Clemente, narrowly overcame Champion’s League chasers Levante in their last outing – a positive result that will buoy fan’s hopes of reaching safety as well as the spirits of Barcelona loyalists who find themselves forced to rely on opposition clubs to hinder Madrid’s steady accumulation of points.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Real Madrid : 1/12 | Draw: 14 | Gijon: 40

Two hours later Levante will play Barcelona in yet another ‘must-win,’ for the Catalan powerhouse. Barcelona are favorites in any match they enter, but Levante will know that this season has seen the title defenders drop points to lesser sides and that will be enough to reinforce the underdog’s hope that they can emulate the efforts of Espanyol, Getafe, Sociedad, Seville, Osasuna and Valencia, preventing Barca’s 11th successive victory when Messi brings his magic to the Levante home ground.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Levante: 14 | Draw: 13/2 | Barcelona: 2.9

Sunday matches will kick off with Espanyol against Valencia. Espanyol has only one win in six games while Valencia, wary of Malaga threatening to pinch the last automatic qualification spot for next year’s Champions league, are fresh off a four to one route of Vallecano.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Espanyol : 21/10 | Draw: 5/2 | Valencia: 24/17

Zargoza, desperate for a win to jump-start a last minute dash to beat the drop, will play against Granada, who may be happy to settle for a third draw in three games, knowing their own future in La Liga is far from guaranteed, but confident maintaining an 8 point edge over fellow stragglers at this late stage may prove decisive in the end.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Zaragoza: 5/4 | Draw: 5/2 | Granada: 13/5

Meanwhile Malaga will need to over come Sociedad in order to cement their claim to the last Champions league spot, with four teams threatening five points or less off their pace. Arsenal loanee Vela is in fine-form with four goals in his last three games and Malaga will have to come up with some way to contain the winger in order to give their game-changing forward, Van Nistelrooy a chance to play the decisive role in this match.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Malaga: 8/15 | Draw: 18/5 | Real Sociedad: 6

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