Barca seek quick end to La Liga title race

MADRID. Barcelona have a second chance to wrap up their fourth La Liga title in five years this weekend as they stumble towards the end of the season and a much-needed re-grouping at the club after their Champions League humiliation.
Messi (C), who remained on bench for Barca against Bayern Munich in midweek, could return to the starting team on Sunday. Net photo.
Messi (C), who remained on bench for Barca against Bayern Munich in midweek, could return to the starting team on Sunday. Net photo.

Saturday
Valencia     vs     Osasuna    16:00
Granada     vs     Malaga    18:00
Real Madrid     vs     Valladolid    20:00
Deportivo     vs     Atletico    22:00
Sunday   
Mallorca     vs     Levante    12:00
R Zaragoza     vs     Rayo    17:00
Sevilla     vs     Espanyol    19:00
Barcelona     vs     Betis    21:00
Monday   
Getafe     vs     R Sociedad    22:00
   
MADRID. Barcelona have a second chance to wrap up their fourth La Liga title in five years this weekend as they stumble towards the end of the season and a much-needed re-grouping at the club after their Champions League humiliation.

The leaders host Real Betis on Sunday having been swept out of their semifinal 7-0 on aggregate by a far superior Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

With five games left, Barca hold an 11-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid, who host Real Valladolid on Saturday.

A victory for Barca and a defeat for Real would be enough to secure Tito Vilanova the league trophy in his debut season at the Nou Camp helm.

“We are very deflated but there is still a La Liga title to secure,” Barca midfielder Cesc Fabregas told reporters after the Bayern game.

Defender Gerard Pique added: “We need to sort it out as quickly as possible.

“We haven’t known how to compete effectively in the King’s Cup or the Champions League but we have been very consistent in the league.”

Central to wrapping up the trophy will be getting top scorer Lionel Messi back to full fitness from his hamstring problem after he surprisingly sat out Wednesday’s 3-0 home defeat.

Vilanova said the World Player of the Year was not injured but felt a “strange sensation” before the Bayern game, and decided it was best to start with him on the bench.

 

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