Carvalho wants Real quick start

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division, with Real Madrid facing lowly Osasuna.

Last Updated: 10/01/13 at 14:30 Post Comment

Ricardo Carvalho: Wants to start well

Ricardo Carvalho: Wants to start well

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Real Madrid believe they have found the right formula to ensure they keep at bay the demons that troubled them at the end of 2012.

Jose Mourinho's men have failed to mount a strong defence of their title - they head into this weekend's trip to bottom side Osasuna 16 points behind Barcelona - and off-field matters have dominated the headlines.

Mourinho's future has been a consistent talking point, especially after his decision to drop goalkeeper Iker Casillas, but two four-goal wins to start the year have lightened the mood somewhat.

And, according to experienced defender Ricardo Carvalho, better starts to games are helping his side.

"It's important to start the matches off well like we are now," the former Chelsea man told realmadrid.com after a morale-boosting 4-0 win over Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

"We did a good job and scoring first gave us more confidence."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and Carvalho added: "He's in good form and we're happy.

"January doesn't stop and we're continuing in Copa, Champions and Liga, but we have to take it step by step and try to win it all."

Athletic Bilbao kick the weekend's action off on Friday night when they host Rayo Vallecano, needing a win to arrest a two-game losing run.

The in-form Franjirrojos will pose a tough test, though, with Paco Jemez's men having won their last three games.

"We're having a good run of results and games," goalkeeper Ruben said.

"For three consecutive victories we have not gone so far in the league, but we are very happy.

"But that is in the past and we must think that Athletic will be very complicated to play against."

Barcelona face a tough trip to Malaga on Sunday night, where Tito Vilanova's men will come up against a side fourth in the table and playing with confidence.

"We've now got to focus on Sunday's league match against Barcelona, which will mark the end of the first round of the season," manager Manuel Pellegrini said.

"It's such an important match for us and hopefully we can get at least another point, or ideally three.

"We'll be determined to win this game from the start."

Second-placed Atletico Madrid will continue their pursuit of Barca, even if they trail them by nine points, against Real Zaragoza on Sunday, while Espanyol will look to recover from their 4-0 loss in the Catalan derby when they take on Celta Vigo.

Valencia and Sevilla meet in a battle of two sides to have found the going harder than expected this season - Los Che are in eighth and Sevilla 12th - while Real Betis play host to Levante.

Second-bottom Deportivo la Coruna head to Real Sociedad to take on a side who scored three against Real Madrid last weekend, while Valladolid are at home to Mallorca.

In Monday's game Getafe take on Granada, with the latter looking to pull away from the bottom of the table.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

L

oved the article. i remember at school, after failing an exam, I would become obscenely secretly happy if I discover that others failed as well. Misery loves company...Now here is to hoping Chelsea joins the party and Stoke city wins the league...Cheers!

gabu
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

C

haos reached its ultimate reckoning last weekend with Tony Hibbert looking assured at left back and Osman looking like a cultured ball playing midfielder before busting a gut to get to the back post for a Samuel Eto'o ball. Different chaos but chaos. If Kone scores the winner tonight I fear the world will end.

jelasfirsttouch
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

A

beautiful demonstration of why stats mean diddly-squat in football.

cheshire-gooner
WhoScored's PL Team Of 2014 So Far...

Footer 365

La Liga: David Moyes says he wants to 'excite' Real Sociedad fans ahead of Elche clash

David Moyes wants to "excite" Real Sociedad fans in his first home game in charge of the Basque club against Elche.

Europa League: Benjamin Stambouli fires Tottenham to win over Partizan Belgrade

Benjamin Stambouli's strike earned Tottenham a 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade and a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Europa League: Trabzonspor and Fiorentina among teams to reach last 32

Trabzonspor and Fiorentina were among the teams to progress to the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property