Form team Real Sociedad play Barcelona in the big match inSpain this weekend.
Sociedad have won their last two games quite emphatically, scoring nine goals in the process, including four against league leaders Real Madrid. They are currently one point behind Real and level on points with Deportivo in what seems to be a three horse race for the title. Nihat has been in great form in the last few games and will start on Sunday.
Barcelona, on the other hand seem to be a team in disarray, both on and off the field. They need to win the game to help ease their relegation fears and mmaintain their slim hopes of finishing in the top six and qualifying for Europe.
Dutch defender Frank De Boer feels though that there is still a chance that the Catalanclub will qualify for Europe.
“It’s important to stick together, because otherwise, we’re going to have two very long months ahead of us.,” he said.
“We have to get stuck into our league programme and make sure we finish in the top six. That’s our objective and we have to focus completely on achieving it.” If they do not qualify, then a mass player exodous may occur and with the board of directors resigning today, the future does not look bright.
After progressing to the semis of the Champion’s League, RealMadrid need to get their league form back on track after only picking up a point from their last two games.
They travel to Sevilla on Sunday, who themselves are looking to secure a place in Europe.
The home side have been in inconsistent form however and Real will expect to get their title aspirations back on track.
Apart from the absence of Raul, Real have a full strength team to choose from.
Deportivo, the other team in the title race, are very much the form side in Europe at the moment, with eight wins in their last nine games.
Despite top goal scorer Roy Makaay’s desire to leave, Javier Irureta’s side will regard themselves favourites for the title.
They take on Mallorca at the weekend whose season looks over with the side languishing in mid-table. They are unbeaten in five games however and Samuel Eto’o has scored three goals in his last two games.
Champions Valencia play a crucial game against relegation-threatened Alaves. Both sides are in the middle of terrible runs: Valencia have only picked up four points outof a possible 24 and have slipped behind Celta in the battle for the final Champion’s League spot. Alaves are on an even worse run that has seen themgo into free-fall. They are without a win in nine games and have slipped into the relegation zone, level on points with Osasuna.
Elsewhere, two games are taking place on Saturday, Athletic Bilbao take on Betis while Athletico Madrid take on Osasuna, The other games on Sunday see Celta play Valladolid, Racing Santander travel to Malaga, bottom side Rayo Vallecano take on Espanyol and Recreativo Huelva play Villarreal.