Barca turn focus to title quest

A look ahead to this weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Liga as Barcelona look to close in on the title.

Last Updated: 11/04/13 at 17:51 Post Comment

Barcelona reached the last four of the Champions League

Barcelona reached the last four of the Champions League

The Open Championship

We're paying 8 places! Plus get a free £50 matched bet

After securing their place in the last four of the Champions League, Barcelona's focus returns to the Primera Division as they close in on their 22nd title.

Tito Vilanova's side make the trip to Real Zaragoza on Sunday with a 13-point buffer between themselves and second-placed Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi came on as a substitute against Paris St Germain in midweek, but it remains to be seen whether he is risked for this match.

With eight games to go the title is all but assured, but for their opponents where they finish in the table is far from certain.

Zaragoza are one place and one point above the bottom three and have not won in the league since beating Athletic Bilbao in December.

However, Alvaro Gonzalez believes his side could get a positive result at La Romareda, pointing to a recent draw against Real Madrid as proof they can compete against the league's best.

"We should be optimistic. It was said it would be very difficult against Real Madrid but we snatched a point - why not against Barcelona?" he said.

Madrid travel to the Basque country to take on an Athletic Bilbao side who come into the game in decent form.

They may have lost 2-1 at Sevilla last time out, but Marcelo Bielsa's side had won three of their previous four and midfielder Ander Iturraspe says his side will not be playing for a point at the San Mames.

"It is a complicated game and we are all in to try and win," he said.

"We will try to press, build up pressure and to maintain our way of playing is the most important thing we can do."

Atletico Madrid are three points off their city rivals and host Granada in a game boss Diego Simeone is desperate to win.

"If we move away from the most important thing, which is to win on Sunday, it will not be good either for the club or for the players and for the fans," he told reporters.

"We have to prepare and play the way we've been doing all year. We have to win on Sunday because it is an important match for our future."

Sunday is an equally important day for fourth-placed Real Sociedad as they travel to Rayo Vallecano in the lunchtime game and try to cement their place in the Champions League places.

"Getting the three points there is going to be difficult because it is a stadium complex and so is the time of 12 noon," said Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann.

Real Betis and Sevilla kick off the weekend's action tomorrow in the Derbi Sevillano, while on Saturday Real Valladolid host Getafe, Levante take on Deportivo and Malaga face Osasuna.

Valencia travel to Espanyol knowing a win is vital if they want to pip Sociedad to a place in the top four.

"We play every game to be in the next edition of the Champions League," said visiting coach Ernesto Valverde.

In the last game of the round, Real Mallorca face Celta Vigo on Monday evening.


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


The Open Championship

We're paying 8 places! Plus get a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

ony Barrett knows his onions, quality journalist. If he says its b*ll*cks, it is. Unfortunately.

King_Kenny
The Old Team Gossip

Y

eah, that'll do nicely. Guess they're feeling pretty flush after the World Cup and see a few successful years ahead with our new manager. Get Vidal in asap now, and let's get things back on track.

badwolf
Man Utd secure adidas kit deal

I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

Footer 365

Transfer news: Lazar Markovic has Liverpool medical with deal close

Liverpool are very close to completing the signing of Benfica winger Lazar Markovic, who has been having a medical.

Transfer news: Egypt international Ahmed Fathi to train with Arsenal

Egypt international Ahmed Fathi is set to link up with Arsenal for pre-season training, Sky Sports can confirm.

Premier League: Manchester United secure adidas kit deal

Manchester United have agreed a deal with adidas worth a minimum of £750million over 10 years from the 2015-16 season.

Mail Box

How Rotten Were South American Giants?

They might have made up half the semi-finalists but they never really wowed, did they? That was poor from Brazil and Argentina. Plus, how do you solve a problem like...

Are Germany Now Going To Dominate?

We have your World Cup final reactions - some were wowed and others think it was all an anti-climax. We have lots of thoughts on Lionel Messi too. Has he flopped?

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