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All domestic fixtures in Spain this weekend are dwarfed by the clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barcelona have endured a terrible season in La Liga and a victory against Real would salvage something for their fans. Their task is not helped by the fact Javier Saviola has lost his appeal to have his ban overturned and will miss the match. Phillip Cocu is another who will watch the game on the sidelines. Their build up has not been helped by reports of unrest in their camp between skipper Luis Enrique and Marc Overmars. Despite these setbacks and losing their last two league games, Barcelona go into the game confident and with complete focus in the game, despite the fact they play Juventus in the Champion’s League next week. Luis Enrique admits all the players are buzzing with anticipation for the game. “These are the matches that every player looks forward to playing in,” he explains. “It’s when the fans feel most identified with the players. This is the game when you can do your club and your teammates proud”. Luis Enrique went on: “I’m not even thinking about the Juve game. I know it’s a match which could define our season, but Saturday’s game is the big one and that’s what I am concentrating on right now.” Real are still three points clear despite last week’s defeat against Sociedad. They will want to bounce back quickly because they play Manchester United in the Champion’s League immediately afterwards. Striker Raul is currently struggling with an ankle problem, but he is expected to start up front with Ronaldo. Ronaldo missed the first match against his former side, which finished 0-0 and is anxious to do well in this one. “I really want to play in this match,” he said. “I missed the first meeting in Barcelona because of injury. “It would be great to score, of course, and if I do then I will celebrate like any other goal. We have to win because these will be three very important points for us. I want us to put in an unforgettable performance.” Elsewhere in the league, Deportivo play Sevilla and will want to keep up a fine run of form after beating Barcelona and Sociedad to keep in touch with the lead. Sevilla have European aspirations of their own so victory will not come easily. The other side in contention for the title, Real Sociedad, plays bottom side Rayo Vallecano in what will be Antonio Irondo’s first game in charge of the side three points adrift. The other games see Real Valladolid at home to Valencia, Villarreal play Mallorca, Malaga travel to Alaves, Espanyal face Bilbao, Osasuna play Celta Vigo, Racing Santander go to Recreativo Huelva and Betis take on Athletico Madrid.

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