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Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

Real lie one point behind leaders Real Sociedad and a win could see them go top.

Atletico meanwhile are eighth but have beaten or drawn with every team above them this season.

The Champions League holders are beginning to find their feet after a slow start to the season, they have won their last six. So how to stop this expensive, expansive attacking side?

The omens are good for Atletico: the last time the two sides met in the Bernebeu – in 1999 – Atletico won 3-1. Theircoach Luis Aragones was also the last man to lead a side to victory away in the Bernebeu, with Real Mallorca back in November 2000.

Luckily for Vincente Del Bosque, the home club have a full squad to pick from, so expect Raul and Ronaldo to take advantage of any Atletico nerves on the night.

Mallorca will rely upon teen sensation Fernando Torres. He has been a revelation this season, producing another match winning performance against Depor last week. He has 9 league goals so far this term, more than either Raul or Ronaldo.

Barcelona v Valencia

They lie ninthin the table, 14 points behind leaders Sociedad. A win against title holders Valencia may ease the pressure on beleaguered coach Louis Van Gaal.

The Dutchman is likely to recall young Argentinian playmakers Saviola and Juan Roman Riquelme, and may bring in Mendieta against his former club.

Valencia will start with tricky Argentine Pablo Aimar, who has served his suspension for his sending off against Real Madrid.

Real Sociedad v Celta Vigo

Celta, who began the season impressively but who have dropped off the pace in recent weeks, must do without injured Alexander Mostovoi and suspended defender Fernando Caceres.

Sociedad meanwhile, will be disturbed by reports Turkish striker Nihat has issued a “come-and-get-me” plea to Real Madrid.

Fixtures
18-01-03
Barcelona v Valencia Camp Nou

19-01-03
Alaves v Osasuna
Mallorca v Recreativo Huelva
Rayo Vallecano v Valladolid
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid

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