Project Malaga faces sternest of tests at Real

HURDLE:Big spenders hoping to win at Bernabeu Playing today Zaragoza    vs Osasuna  19:00    Getafe    vs    Sociedad Granada    vs    Sporting
Former Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is part of project Malaga. Net photo
Former Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy is part of project Malaga. Net photo

HURDLE:Big spenders hoping to win at Bernabeu

Playing today
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.

CONGESTED TABLE

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.

 

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