La Liga Preview: Valencia look to spoil fightback

Updated: February 17, 2012

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It’s 2nd versus 3rd in the Primera Division on Sunday as Valencia travel to the Nou Camp to take on Barcelona.

Barcelona slipped to ten points behind Real Madrid in the league last weekend with a 3-2 defeat away from home at the hands of Osasuna, while Valencia closed the gap on Barcelona to eight points after their first win in five, with a 4-0 demolition of Sporting Gijon.

Valencia have a chance for revenge against the Spanish champions after they were beaten 2-0 at the Nou Camp last week in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey to end their hopes of domestic silverware this year.

Despite Barcelona’s poor away form in the league, their home form is second to none and Pep Guardiola’s side will also be boosted by their 3-1 away victory against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

Atletico Madrid travel to second from bottom placed Sporting Gijon on Sunday with their unbeaten streak under Diego Simeone still intact after their 3-1 victory in the Europa League over Lazio in Italy on Thursday; a brace from Falcao and a goal from Adrian wrapped up the tie.

There’s an important clash a Champions League spot on Sunday as Atheltic Bilbao host high-spending Malaga, with both teams knowing that a win could potentially move them into fourth place, depending on results elsewhere.

The current 4th place team Levante are at home to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday while Villarreal travel to Mallorca, and Sociedad have an away trip against Granada to get proceedings going on Sunday for the early kick off.

Real Madrid are in action on Saturday evening at the Bernabeu as they host relegation candidates Racing Santander, with Jose Mourinho knowing a win would put his team 13 points clear at the top of the table before Barcelona play on Sunday.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Espanyol face a tough away trip to Getafe while Sevilla and Osasuna will go head to head in Seville; Real Zaragoza host Real Betis on Monday night.

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