Barca and Atletico on verge of making Spanish history

Madrid: Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both have the chance to make history in the eighth round of matches in the Spanish Primera Liga football this coming weekend.

Both sides go into their matches with seven wins from their first seven league games and the chance to make it eight wins from eight, something no side has ever done in the history of the Spanish league. Both will be optimistic they can set a new record start to the campaign.

Fate has dictated that Barca can be the first side to set this new record given that Tata Martino`s side play their home game against Valladolid Saturday night, while Atletico`s match at home to Celta is at mid-day Sunday.

Barca will be without Leo Messi, who is sidelined with a muscle problem and coach Tata Martino will make some changes to the side which battled to a 1-0 win away to Glasgow Celtic in the Champions League Tuesday and there is a chance that Carles Puyol could be among the substitutes after returning to full training.

Atletico Madrid have enjoyed an incredible week after beating local rivals Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and then following that up with a vital Champions League win in Porto.

Diego Costa was suspended in midweek and the club`s top scorer will be raring to go against a Celta side which has lost its way in recent weeks following a bright start to the season.

The mid-day kick off should assure a packed house and a celebratory atmosphere in the Calderon, but one things for sure is that Atletico coach Diego Pablo Simeone will not allow his players to let up their efforts for an instant.

Real Madrid took the pressure off following last weekend`s defeat with a 4-0 midweek win against a weak Copenhagen side, but will face a much tougher task away to battling Levante on Saturday.

Levante have only lost one game all season, and although that was a 7-0 thrashing in the Camp Nou, coach Joaquin Caparros has installed the Valencia based team with the same spirit all of his sides have.

Madrid are without the injured Gareth Bale, but Isco will return in midfield, while Angel de Maria has been in good form of late.

IANS