Deportivo v Rayo Vallecano

Depor are third in the table – three points off the lead – and will look to La Liga’s leading marksman Roy Makaay to bring them victory in their attempt to catch Real Madrid and Real Sociadad at the top.

But they will be without the suspended Cesar, Pedro Duscher and Victor. Defenders Donato and Pablo Amo are injured.

Coach, Javier Irureta will be looking for a good performance from his team.

Talking about the game against Juve he said: “We’re out of the competition and now we’ll be focusing all our efforts on the league.” Irureta is hoping European games will distract hischampionship rivals.

“The fact Real Madrid and Valencia are still in Europe and will have to split their efforts in two competitions could work in our favour,” he said.

Both of the top two face away trips to mid-table opposition, but are expected to return with three points.

Real Madrid travel to 12th placed Villareal knowing they must win to hold on to first place, but they will be high in confidence after their Champions League victory over Milan. Ronaldo has a thigh strain and may miss out.

Real Sociadad go to Racing Santander who are 15th and Sociadad will be hoping Madrid slip up so they can reclaim top spot. Winger Javi De Pedro is their only injury worry. Should Racing lose they may find themselves dragged into a relegation fight.

Fourth placed Valencia also face an away trip. Thedefending champions go to 14th placed Atletico Bilbao knowing a win is vital, if they are to stay in touch with the leaders.

Elsewhere 5th play 6th when Atletico Madrid entertain Celta Vigo.


Racing v Real Sociadad

Madrid 16 March
A. Bilbao v Valencia
Espanyol v Malaga
Real Betis v Recreativo