Last Game

Granada 0 - 0 A Madrid

Saturday, 23 May 2015, 17:30

Spanish Primera BBVA

La Liga weekend preview

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been hailed as the greatest player of all-time by team-mate and fellow Argentinian Javier Mascherano.

Last Updated: 14/12/12 at 08:54 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Celebrates one of his goals against Betis

Lionel Messi: Celebrates one of his goals against Betis

The Primera Division leaders take on second-placed Atletico Madrid on Sunday, with Messi and Atletico's own hot-shot Radamel Falcao both likely to be on show at the Nou Camp.

Messi and Falcao have 39 league goals between them already this season with the former breaking Gerd Muller's all-time record for the number of goals in a calendar year, previously 85, in Barcelona's win at Real Betis last weekend.

Meanwhile Falcao, who missed training with a muscle injury on Thursday but is expected to play from the start on Sunday, smashed five goals in Atletico's 6-0 hammering of Deportivo on the same evening.

But it is the continuing goalscoring exploits of Messi, who has moved three ahead of Muller after netting twice against Betis and twice again in the cup win over Cordoba, which set him apart from the rest according to Mascherano.

"Messi is unique because he is already the best player in the history of this sport," Mascherano said. "We are talking about 88 goals as if it were something normal but what he has done is incredible. This is a lad who has been touched by a magic wand."

But the top-of-the-table clash is not just about the two main goalscoring protagonists as Barcelona look to extend their lead at the top of the table to nine points with a win over Atletico.

Arch rivals Real Madrid are already 11 points adrift but Barcelona midfielder Xavi is not ruling either of the Madrid giants out of the title hunt.

"Atletico Madrid are rivals and have not given up after they lost to Madrid, far from it," he said. "It is increasingly difficult to win - Madrid can overcome many things and it is far too early to predict anything and start speculating."

Madrid also play Sunday night when they host Espanyol at the Bernabeu, with the visitors languishing in 19th place in the table and with only one away win in the league so far this season.

Ernesto Valverde has won his first two games as coach of Valencia and will look to keep the improvement going against Rayo Vallecano at the Mestalla, while Sunday's other game sees Real Zaragoza take on Levante.

Malaga reached the knockout rounds of the Champions League as group winners and stand fourth in the Primera Division, on course for top-level European football again next season.

They travel to Sevilla on Saturday, with seventh-placed Getafe, only two points behind Malaga in the table, hosting Osasuna.

Elsewhere on Saturday two of the league's struggling sides will be looking to pull away from the relegation zone.

Granada, who occupy 18th place, host Real Sociedad while 17th-placed Real Mallorca take on Athletic Bilbao.

Bottom side Deportivo play on Monday when they host eighth-placed Real Valladolid, with Real Betis travelling to Celta Vigo on the same night.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Hull Abel Hernandez accepts FA charge and ban

Hull's Abel Hernandez will miss the first three games on the 2015/16 Championship season after accepting FA charge.

Ashely Young: Louis Van Gaal reignited my love for football

Ashley Young has praised Louis van Gaal, stating the Manchester United coach reignited his love for football.

Sepp Blatter: Tiny minority to blame for FIFA crisis

Sepp Blatter has told FIFA's annual congress he had no way of monitoring "a tiny minority" of officials accused of corruption.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

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