Tricky fixture for Madrid as Barca look to open gap

Madrid: FC Barcelona have the chance once again to pressure Real Madrid with the defending champions facing a tricky fixture against Zaragoza in the weekend action of the Spanish Primera Liga football.

Both sides play their respective matches at home Saturday, but the fact that Barca`s home game against Celta Vigo finishes before Real Madrid`s game against Zaragoza means that once again Tito Vilanova` s side can temporarily at least, open an 11 point gap over Real Madrid, reports Xinhua.

Barcelona are still waiting to see if Gerard Pique has finally shaken off the ankle problem which has kept him out of action for almost a month, while Carlos Puyol is still recovering after dislocating his elbow.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, are also hoping that Alvaro Arbeloa is fit after suffering a muscle injury during the last international break. Arbeloa will step into the left back position which has caused so much controversy in recent days with Jose Mourinho coach criticizing Real Madrid B-team coach Alberto Toril for playing youngster Nacho Fernandez in central defence and not as a left back.

Mourinho used his position as first team coach to criticise Toril, who as a subordinate can do little to defend himself without putting his position in jeopardy.

Meanwhile Zaragoza travel to Madrid on the back on consecutive wins that have given them solid start to the campaign.

Third placed Malaga will look to keep their form going when they entertain a Rayo Vallecano that has entered into a poor run of form capped by a 0-5 defeat at home to Barca last weekend.


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