HURDLE:Big spenders hoping to win at Bernabeu
Zaragoza vs Osasuna 19:00 Getafe vs Sociedad
Granada vs Sporting
Sevilla vs Barcelona 21:00
Rayo vs Betis 23:00
Playing on Sunday
Levante vs Villarreal 13:00 Mallorca vs Atlético 17:00 Athletic vs Valencia 19:00
Real Madrid vs Málaga 22:30
Playing on Monday
Espanyol vs Racing 22:00
MADRIDMalaga’s splurge of more than 100 million euros ($130.3 million) of Qatari cash finally appears to be paying off but their grip on fourth and a Champions League qualification spot faces the sternest of tests at leaders Real Madrid on Sunday.
Led by former Real coach Manuel Pellegrini and owned by a member of the Gulf state’s royal family, the Andalusian club splashed out 20 million euros for Spain playmaker Santi Cazorla alone in the close season.
Others including former Manchester United and Real striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, France midfielder Jeremy Toulalan and former Spain winger Joaquin have also joined the project and will be fired up for their team’s bid to achieve what no team apart from Barcelona has managed this season: beat Real at their imposing Bernabeu arena.
Full back Jesus Gamez is hoping some of the Real players will be weary after their exertions in Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League victory at home to CSKA Moscow, which put them through to the quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate.
“Madrid have a great squad, although hopefully some of those who played (against CSKA) will play again and that could help us,” Gamez told a news conference on Wednesday.
Real, who have won 11 league matches in a row since their reverse to Barca in December, have a 10-point lead over their great rivals with 12 games left and are closing in on a first league title since 2008.
As they prepare for their game at erratic Sevilla on Saturday, Barca are still waiting for coach Pep Guardiola to announce whether he is staying on beyond the end of the campaign, when his current contract expires.