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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Villarreal - Celta
Barcelona - Alavés
Zaragoza - Athletic
Sevilla - Las Palmas
Rayo - Valladolid
Osasuna - R. Madrid
Tenerife - Betis
R. Sociedad - Málaga
Mallorca - Valencia
Deportivo - Espanyol

:cap: :cool:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
Joined
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
The Standings going into week 34 .....

Pos Team G W D L F A GD Pt

1 Real Madrid 33 18 8 7 64 34 30 62
2 Valencia C.F. 33 17 11 5 43 25 18 62
3 Deportivo de La Coruna 33 17 7 9 54 37 17 58
4 F.C. Barcelona 33 15 9 9 54 31 23 54
5 Celta de Vigo 33 14 12 7 59 40 19 54
6 Betis 33 13 14 6 35 26 9 53
7 Malaga C.F. 33 12 12 9 39 37 2 48
8 Alaves 33 15 3 15 36 37 -1 48
9 Athletic Club 33 13 9 11 46 56 -10 48
10 R.C.D. Espanyol 33 12 8 13 41 46 -5 44
11 Real Valladolid 33 11 9 13 37 51 -14 42
12 Sevilla 33 10 10 13 44 38 6 40
13 U.D. Las Palmas 33 9 11 13 36 42 -6 38
14 Villarreal C.F. 33 9 10 14 40 45 -5 37
15 Real Sociedad 33 10 7 16 39 48 -9 37
16 R.C.D. Mallorca 33 10 7 16 36 47 -11 37
17 Osasuna 33 8 11 14 29 43 -14 35
18 Real Zaragoza 33 9 8 16 30 46 -16 35
19 Rayo Vallecano 33 8 10 15 37 50 -13 34
20 Tenerife 33 8 8 17 25 45 -20 32

On PAPER both R Madrid and Valencia play very weak teams near the bottom of the table ...

:cap:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
View on upcoming round

MADRID, April 12 (www.DailySoccer.com)

Valencia face a stiff examination of their title credentials as they travel to the Son Moix to face Mallorca.

The Ches will without doubt have a fight on their hands on the holiday island as Mallorca are a side fighting to avoid the drop.

Last weekend Valencia put in one of their finest performances of the season when dismantling Real Sociedad 4-0 at the Mestella. It really was a terrific attacking display from Rafa Benitez' side and of the type that we have seen nowhere near enough of this season. It is crucial to the cause that the likes of Pablo Aimar, Kily Gonzalez and Ruben Baraja stay fit. The latter two scored in last week's win, while Aimar has been in mesmeric form of late. He offers something totally different to any other player in the side and has the potential to go on and become a genuinely world-class playmaker.

What a fantastic week its been for Real Madrid. They fully deserved their 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday and will now face Barcelona in the semi-finals. It was a stunning performance and the Germans can thank their lucky stars that it wasn't three or four nil. If it wasn't for some truly horrendous misses by Fernando Morientes, it probably would have been. Luis Figo supplied him with a beautiful chance in the first-half but the Spanish international mis-kicked. It summed up his night in many ways, he just couldn't hit the target.

This weekend, Real travel to Osasuna in a match they should certainly win, but against a side fighting against relegation, it won't be easy.

Barcelona also enter his weekend on the back of a terrific week in Europe, as they beat Panathinaikos 3-1 at the Nou Camp. They lived on their nerves a little at the end but eventually made it through to what will be a mouth-watering clash against Real.

In the league, it is not such a pretty picture. Barca kissed goodbye to the title a couple of week's ago when drawing 1-1 at home with Las Palmas. Luis Enrique put them ahead and the Spanish international had a golden chance to put the game beyond the side from Pamplona when he hit the bar with the goal gaping. That was perhaps the moment that cost Barca any realistic chance they had of winning La Liga. Orlando equalised and the rest was history.

Of course, even if Luis Enrique had found the net, the title would still have eluded the Catalans. In truth, most of the fans realised that it wasn't going to be their year back in January when they lost back-to-back games against Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna. The side have lacked balance for much of the season and still often look ill at ease in defence. The loss of Patrik Andersson was a blow indeed. Rivaldo, meanwhile, has suffered badly with niggling injuries and has been unable to get any sort of run going. These factors have all contributed to Barca's current Liga placing of fourth. This weekend Charly Rexach's men face Alaves.

Third placed Deportivo La Coruna play host to Espanyol this weekend, on the back of their Champions League exit to Manchester United. Many would say that coach Javier Irureta got what he deserved for sending out a semi-motivated team against Bayer Leverkusen in the last game of the group stage. They lost this match and as a result finished second in their group meaning they faced a seeded team.

The Galicians had high hopes of beating the English side after twice overcoming them earlier in the season, but fell to a piece of genius from David Beckham just 15 minutes into the first-leg. This was probably the most significant moment in the whole tie. From that moment on they were chasing the game and United were able to employ their counter-attacking game which has served them so well in Europe over the past two years.

Against Espanyol, Irureta's men will still be confident as they are facing one of the few sides who have nothing to play for in La Liga. Paco Flores has steadied the ship after coming under severe pressure for his job last December.

Elsewhere Celta Vigo will be looking to strengthen their claims for a Champions League spot away at Villarreal, while Real Zaragoza host Athletic Bilbao.

:cool::cap::cool:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Palermo hoping for weekend return to action

CASTELLON, Spain (Reuters) -

Argentine striker Martin Palermo is hoping to make a comeback for Villarreal in Sunday's league match against Celta Vigo after over four months out because of a broken leg.

Palermo broke his tibia and fibula in a freak incident when a wall collapsed while he was celebrating a goal in a King's Cup match last November.

"My leg is now fine, I have no pain and there is nothing that can stop me training just like the rest of the team," Palermo told reporters on Wednesday.

Doctors originally expected Palermo to be sidelined for up to six months, but the 28-year-old former Boca Juniors player has made a rapid recovery.

The powerful centre-forward, however, denied suggestions that he was returning to action so soon just because his team were struggling in the lower reaches of the first division table.

"I haven't rushed it just because the team is in trouble. I haven't forced it, but I am now ready to play the five games that are left this season and I am very happy about that," he said.

Villarreal lie 14th in the 20-team first division, just two points above the relegation zone.

Will he be @ 100% ????? :confused:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
Joined
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Barcelona 3 Alaves 2
Villarreal 2 Celta 1
Sevilia 1 Las Palmas 1
Rayo Vallecano 1 Valladolid 0
Real Sociedad 2 Malaga 1
Deportivo 3 Espanyol 1
Played on Saturday, April 13:
Mallorca 1 Valencia 1
Playing later:
Zaragoza v Atletic
Tenerife v Betis
Osasuna v Real



P W D L FA Pnt
1 Valencia 34 17 12 5 44-26 63
2 Real 33 18 8 7 64-34 62
3 Deportivo 34 18 7 9 57-38 61
4 Barcelona 34 16 9 9 57-33 57
5 Celta 34 14 12 8 60-42 54
6 Betis 33 13 14 6 35-26 53
7 Malaga 34 12 12 10 40-39 48
8 Alaves 34 15 3 16 38-40 48
9 Atletic 33 13 9 11 46-56 48
10 Espanyol 34 12 8 14 42-49 44
11 Valladolid 34 11 9 14 37-52 42
12 Sevilia 34 10 11 13 45-39 41
13 Villarreal 34 10 10 14 42-46 40
14 Real Sociedad 34 11 7 16 41-49 40
15 Las Palmas 34 9 12 13 37-43 39
16 Mallorca 34 10 8 16 37-48 38
17 Rayo Vallecano 34 9 10 15 38-50 37
18 Osasuna 33 8 11 14 29-43 35
19 Zaragoza 33 9 8 16 30-46 35
20 Tenerife 33 8 8 17 25-45 32

:cool::cap:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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94,480 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Spanish league title set to go to the wire

MADRID (Reuters) -

The race for the Spanish league title has been thrown wide open again after Deportivo Coruna closed in on leaders Valencia and Real Madrid at the weekend.

A shock 3-1 defeat for reigning champions Real at Osasuna, a 1-1 draw for Valencia at Real Mallorca and a 3-1 home win for Deportivo against Espanyol means that with just four games to go only two points separate the top three teams.

Valencia lead the table on 63 points, Real follow on 62 and Deportivo are breathing down their necks on 61. But fourth-placed Barcelona, who trail the leaders by six points, look to be out of the running.

Real Madrid sporting director Jorge Valdano believes that the fight for the title will go right down to the wire.

"The league is going to be open until the very last game, the competition is more intense than ever and we will have to play each game as if it were the last of our lives," the former Argentine international told Real's official website on Monday.

Real coach Vicente del Bosque agrees, but feels that his side missed a golden opportunity to open up a gap on their rivals after Valencia's draw at Mallorca.

"We missed a great chance to pull away at the top," he told reporters after the game. "In this edition of the championship winning is all that counts.

"Osasuna pressured us to the limit and didn't allow us to play comfortably...It just goes to show how open the league is and with three points for a win anything can still happen."

For Valencia frustration at their draw in Mallorca turned to celebration after the Real result, but the weekend's big winners were undoubtedly Deportivo.

"We are back in the battle for the league now," said Depor coach Javier Irureta. "But there is still a long way to go and we have got some tough matches yet to play."

The key to the championship could now lie in next week's encounter between Valencia and Deportivo at the Mestalla, while Real have the theoretically easier task of hosting bottom club Tenerife at the Bernabeu.

But most commentators believe the destination of the league title will not be decided until the very last day of the season when Deportivo play Real at their Riazor stadium and Valencia host Real Betis.

:cap:
 
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