La Liga Preview: Barca look to close gap

Updated: January 20, 2012

Click here for the latest odds to win the Primera Division from Betfair

Real Madrid are in action on Sunday against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu and Jose Mourinho’s side will be looking to put their midweek Copa del Rey defeat at the hands of Barcelona behind them.

Real and Bilbao’s match will be the late kick-off on Sunday which gives Barcelona the chance to close the gap on the league leaders earlier in the day, as they travel to Malaga; but the current champions’ away form is poor by their standards.

Barcelona have only three victories away from home in the league so far this season, as well as having drawn four and lost once on the road; while Malaga’s home record is decent enough, they are inconsistent and coming off the back of a 2-1 defeat away to Sporting Gijon.

Barcelona are favourites at 1.32 with but Malaga edging a draw isn’t a bad shout at 5.9; check out more prices on Malaga v Barcelona from by clicking here.

Real Madrid’s opponents Bilbao have only won six games this season yet find themselves in 5th place in the league and, despite a poor away record, they will be hoping to capitalise on some Madrid frailties exposed by Barcelona, as Real’s confidence has taken a hit.

Bilbao will be hoping not to be on the end of a similar reaction to the one Real inflicted on Sevilla the last time they were beaten by Barcelona in December, when Mourinho’s side won 6-2 away from home; checkout more prices on that match from by clicking here.

Valencia face a tricky trip to Osasuna on Sunday fresh from their 4-1 win over Levante in the Copa del Rey and with Osasuna losing their last home game 2-0 to Racing Santander.

Unai Emery’s side are already seven points adrift of Barcelona and the gap could be opened to more if Osasuna can hold out for a result.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Levante host Real Zaragoza while Mallorca travel to Rayo Vallecano and Sporting Gijon take on Villarreal at El Madrigal on Monday night.

Saturday’s fixtures see Atletico Madrid in action away from home against Real Sociedad, with Diego Simeone’s side fresh from their first victory under their new manager following a 3-0 win over Villarreal last week.

Real Betis can count themselves unlucky not to have picked up anything from their trip to the Nou Camp after battling back from a 2 goal deficit only for Barca to eventually win 4-2, but they can take the positives from that game into their home game against Sevilla.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Espanyol take on Granada at home while Racing Santander host Getafe.

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