Santiago Bernabeu

Next Game

R Madrid v Ath Bilbao

Sunday, 05 October 2014, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Last Game

Ludogorets 1 - 2 R Madrid

Wednesday, 01 October 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group B

La Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone hopes that striker Falcao can return from injury in time for Sunday's La Liga match against Real Betis as they bid to stay above rivals Real.

Last Updated: 01/02/13 at 09:52 Post Comment

Falcao: Hoping to return against Betis

Falcao: Hoping to return against Betis

Falcao was not listed in Simeone's 18-man squad for Thursday's Copa del Rey match against Sevilla as he recovers from a thigh injury suffered on January 20.

The Colombia striker accounts for almost half of Atletico's goals this season and they are desperate to get him back with Madrid just four points behind in third place, a gap that could be cut to just one before they kick off.

But, while recognising Falcao's importance to the team, Simeone insisted he would not be rushed back.

"We can't ignore the fact that he is a very important player for the team," he said.

"The reality is that Falcao is to us what Cristiano Ronaldo is to Real Madrid or Messi to Barcelona.

"I only want players of their calibre when they are on top form and not before."

Real Madrid will look to put the pressure on by beating Granada in their match on Saturday evening.

Raphael Varane will be hoping for another chance to impress after the 19-year-old emerged from last night's 1-1 Copa del Rey semi-final first leg draw with Barcelona as the man of the match.

"I'm very happy with how I played," said the Frenchman. "For me it was incredible and to score a goal is a dream. I still cannot believe it. It is the best match I've had at Real Madrid."

Barcelona start the weekend 11 points clear at the top, but face one of the tougher assignments in the league as they travel to Valencia, who have won seven of their 11 matches at the Mestalla this season.

While Barca streak clear and the Madrid clubs scrap over second, there is still a big gap to fourth-placed Malaga, who are under pressure from four clubs below them.

They host Real Zaragoza needing a win to hold off the challenges from Betis, Rayo Vallecano, Valencia and Levante, who are all within two points below them.

While Betis and Valencia will have a tough time doing anything to close that gap given their fixtures this weekend, Levante might be more confident away to struggling Levante while Rayo travel to mid-table Sevilla.

The battle at the bottom remains just as intense, with basement-dwellers Deportivo La Coruna away to Getafe, Mallorca travelling to Real Sociedad and Osasuna hosting Celta Vigo.

Victory for either Mallorca or Osasuna - or both - could see Granada drop into the bottom three if they cannot pull off a surprise against Madrid.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he 'where does it end' argument is an absurd one and completely misses the point of the Rooney Rule, which applies to all minorities. It doesn't force any team to appoint anyone, it merely requires them to interview at least one minority candidate.

foreverlostsoul
No Good Reason Not To Try The Rooney Rule

Y

ou make a lot of good points, but I still find myself instinctively against anything that makes it easier for Paul Ince to get managerial roles

stevenjameshyde
No Good Reason Not To Try The Rooney Rule

W

ow, that is so noble of you Rio. You're such an amazing guy, and so handsome too. Everyone wishes they were like the fantastic Rio Ferdinand.

Petulant_Radish
Rio: No grudge with 'gent' Moyes

Footer 365

England Under-21: Saido Berahino, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers in Euro play-offs squad

Saido Berahino, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers have been named in the England Under-21 squad for the Euro U21 playoffs.

Premier League: Vincent Kompany defends Manchester City colleague Yaya Toure

Vincent Kompany has defended Man City team-mate Yaya Toure from criticism over his form, saying he remains a key figure.

Transfer news: Barcelona's Dani Alves hints at move to Premier League next summer

Brazil defender Dani Alves says this is his last season at Barcelona as he will move to the Premier League next summer.

Mail Box

Danny, Champion Of Arsenal's World

It's a Mailbox filled with Liverpool glumness, but happiness surrounding Danny, champion of Arsenal's world. Plus, can someone try and teach Balotelli the offside rule?

It Was Better When City Were Rubbish

'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...

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