Barca aim to bounce back

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division, including the clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Last Updated: 28/02/13 at 18:03 Post Comment

Barcelona take on Real Madrid again this weekend.

Barcelona take on Real Madrid again this weekend.

More of the games that matter

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

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.

Barcelona will look to exact revenge on Real Madrid when the giants of Spanish football meet in Saturday's Primera Division 'Clasico' at the Bernabeu.

Barca suffered a painful 3-1 home defeat to Jose Mourinho's side on Tuesday as they were dumped out 4-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.

That defeat, allied to the Champions League loss against AC Milan, has led to suggestions from some in the Spanish media that teams have figured out how to counter Barcelona and minimise the threat of Lionel Messi, who is expected to feature this weekend despite feeling unwell earlier this week.

Barca hold a dominant 12-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid in the title race, with Real a further four points adrift, and the Catalan side have followed each of their five defeats this season with a victory.

But they will be keen to prove they have not been unduly affected by the absence of coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently in New York receiving treatment after having a second lump removed from his parotid gland last month.

Madrid may be effectively out of the race to secure the La Liga title, but their victory is a timely boost for Mourinho, who has come under severe pressure.

And midfielder Xabi Alonso has heaped praise on the Portuguese ahead of Saturday afternoon's clash.

Speaking to UEFA's Champions Matchday magazine, the Spain international said: "Above all I am struck by his ability to empathise with and reach his players, which is a hard thing to do. When you see a group in front of you that support you, believe in the ideas you are transmitting... that's what a leader does. And our coach is a leader like that. For me, he is one of the best coaches.

"Apart from his knowledge of the game, he masters many elements in terms of tactical variations within each match."

Elsewhere, Atletico, boosted by their own passage to the Copa del Rey final by seeing off Sevilla, will look to try to take advantage of any slip-ups from Barca when they travel to face Malaga on Sunday.

Coach Diego Simeone told a press conference: "For us it is the wrong time to talk about the final, although we are glad people will be going to work happy. But we now have to focus on our game against Malaga."

Sevilla will look to recover from their cup disappointment when they face struggling Celta Vigo, while bottom club Deportivo La Coruna desperately need a win at home to Rayo Vallecano if they are to boost their fast-fading survival hopes.

Valencia and Real Sociedad are snapping at Malaga's heels as the chase for the fourth and final Champions League spot hots up, and they will be looking to pick up victories against Levante and Real Betis respectively.

Relegation-threatened Real Mallorca travel to Granada, while Real Zaragoza - who lie just two points above the drop zone - meet mid-table Getafe.

Real Valladolid will travel to Espanyol and Osasuna host Athletic Bilbao.


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

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger says it is impossible for Chelsea to lose title

Arsene Wenger believes it is just a matter of time before Chelsea are crowned champions after their 0-0 draw at Arsenal.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho laughs off 'boring' Arsenal jibes

Jose Mourinho laughed off the Arsenal crowd's "boring" jibes by reminding the Gunners of their 10-year wait for the title.

Bayern title hat-trick confirmed

Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions for the third year running without even kicking a ball on Sunday as their nearest rivals Wolfsburg went down to a 1-0 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company