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Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad

They have led the Spanish league since the first day of the season, a remarkable achievement considering they were favourites to be relegated from the start.

Atletico will have to make changes to the side that held Real Madrid at the Bernebeu last week. Centre-back Jose Calvo is suspended after his dismissal and Carlos Aguilera is still recovering from the blow to the face he took in the mid-week cup game.

Real Sociedad miss Russian playmaker Karpin, out with a thigh injury, and Xabi Alonso. Javi De Pedro returned last week to score against Celta Vigo, and the club will hope he is over his injury problems now.

Celta Vigo v Barcelona

Their position has many papers statingdefeat at Celta Vigo this weekend could spell doom for coach Louis Van Gaal. His job is not safe but he seems to have the support of his squad. The fact many of them are Dutch probably helps.

Van Gaal will field an adventurous attacking lineup in search of a win against sixth-placed Celta, themselves hoping for a Champions League spot this season.

Argentinians Riquelme and Javier Saviola will join Dutch pair Overmars and Kluivert up front.

After a bright start to the season, Celta have stumbled recently, losing their last three and will be looking for a change of fortune against the Catalans.

Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid

They will be without Ivan Helguera through suspension. Zidane is expected to have recovered from his ankle injury and will start for the visitors. Francisco Pavon will come into the team alongside Fernando Hierro in defence.

Fixtures

26-01-03
Celta Vigo v Barcelona
Malaga v Real Mallorca
Real Betis v Villarreal
Valencia v Sevilla

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