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Saturday 26 February

Sporting - Zaragoza
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
Espanyol - Real Sociedad
Mallorca - Barcelona 19:00 GMT
Deportivo - Real Madrid 21:00 GMT

Sunday 27 February

Levante - Osasuna
Hercules - Getafe

Racing - Villarreal 18:00 GMT

Athletic Bilbao - Valencia 20:00 GMT

Monday 28 February

Malaga - Almeria 20:00 GMT

Sporting - Zaragoza

Sporting are currently enjoying a good run of form, with only one defeat in their last six games. A spirited 0-0 draw with Valencia at the Mestalla at the weekend continued their run, while they also held champions Barcelona to a 1-1 draw.

At El Molinon, the Rojiblancos have a golden chance to overcome Zaragoza who are mired in relegation trouble, albeit with a solitary point separating them and Saturday's hosts. The Blanquillos are yet to win in February, and Javier Aguirre’s men must double their tally of away wins if they are to pull away from the relegation zone.

Nevertheless, midfielder Ander Herrera believes his side can stay up, commenting: "We've already been down here before and many of the players in the squad are used to suffering. I trust the team and I know we're going to save ourselves.”

Striker Braulio has also ordered the fans for patience and trust which could run out if results go against them - as they could find themselves at the foot of the table come Sunday evening.

Team News:

Sporting:  Preciado plans to keep the 4-1-4-1 formation used effectively in recent matches. Jose Angel is expected to start, whilst Andre Castro and Nacho Cases(who recently signed a contract extension) are expected to partner Eguren in midfield.

Zaragoza: Leo Franco is expected to miss out due to a muscle problem, while Angel Lafita and Edmilson are also doubts.

Espanyol - Real Sociedad

The Blanc i Blau are on a miserable run of four straight defeats in La Liga, which continued with a crushing 4-0 defeat at the Reyno De Navarra at the hands of fellow strugglers Osasuna on Sunday.

Coach Mauricio Pochettino is desperate for victory, but with their strikers off form and Pablo Osvaldo missing through injury, that might be more difficult than it seems. At one point, they looked to be Champions League hopefuls, but their form has deteriorated abruptly with defeats to relegation-threatened Almeria as well as Osasuna. Narrow reverses to Real Madrid and Villarreal have further increased the gap between them and the Champions League.

On the other hand, Real Sociedad are gaining momentum and could even be pushing for a Europa League place. Slender wins over Mallorca and Osasuna have propelled the Basques to 8th in the table, and Martín Lasarte’s side could even move ahead of their opponents into sixth, if they win.

Striker Raul Tamudo spent fifteen years with Espanyol before moving to Sociedad in the summer, but he insisted that he has no score to settle with his former employers: “The only outstanding bill I have is that Real win the three points. I've always felt very supported and loved by the fans of Espanyol."

Team News:

Espanyol: Juan Forlin is out for a month due to surgery on a broken hand.

Real Sociedad: Elustondo Gorka is expected to cover for the suspended Mikel Aranburu.

Hercules - Getafe

Hercules are sliding towards relegation uncertainties; one win in their last four has pushed Esteban Vigo's side into 15th place, just two points above the bottom three. Hercules must take advantage of their home games, as their away form leaves a lot to be desired - a solitary win and only three goals scored on their travels, two of those coming at Camp Nou, is a dreadful record. Their strikeforce of David Trezeguet and Nelson Valdez can provide inspiration, as between them they have struck 18 goals between them from Hercules’ total of 24.

El Geta meanwhile are safely in mid-table, but recent results have seen the capital club throw away points, culminating in Pablo Pinillos’ late penalty for Racing to deny them at least a point. They also squandered a two goal lead against bottom of the table Malaga, and although Europe isn’t too far beyond their reach, the Azulones really need to start picking up points or risk sliding down to the bottom half of the table. They beat Hercules 3-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and this should provide some confidence to Michel’s men who can plug the gap on the European positions.

Team News:

Hercules: Nelson Valdez injured himself in training and is rated as very doubtful for the game. He joins Drenthe, Rufete and Pena on the sidelines. David Cortes is suspended; Sergio Rodriguez and Abel Aguilar are also out.

Getafe: Borja Fernandez missed training and is looking unlikely to play, so is Manu del Moral. Adrian Sardinero could be a surprise inclusion having recovered fully. Marcano is suspended

Levante - Osasuna

This match is a real relegation dogfight, with both contenders to go down at the end of the season. Levante are on a run of three straight clean sheet wins, and with the advantage of playing in front of their fans, will have real incentive to pick up three crucial points and go above their opponents. Felipe Caicedo could prove to be an instrumental figure in the fight to stave off relegation, with the Ecuadorian netting nine times so far in the current campaign.

It’s an entirely different picture for Los Rojillos. Without an away win in 21 league and cup matches stretching back over a year, they need to pick up as many points as they can in forthcoming matches to drag themselves away from the scrap.

After sacking Jose Antonio Camacho and appointing former Valladolid coach José Luis Mendilibar, they were encouraged by an emphatic 4-0 victory over Espanyol where Iranian Javad Nekounam bagged a brace. His return from Asian Cup action with Iran, along with team mate Masoud Shojaei has boosted Osasuna and supplied them with the assurance in midfield that they need.

Team News:

Levante: Juanfran and Javi Venta were both injured in training on Wednesday by team-mate Miguel Robuste, and it is unclear if they will play this weekend.

Osasuna: Miguel Flano and Carlos Aranda could return while Sergio Fernandez has been discharged from hospital and could be a shock inclusion on Sunday.

Malaga - Almeria

The bottom two meet on Monday evening at La Rosaleda, in what is effectively a relegation six-pointer. Neither side are in form, with Malaga on a winless run which stretches back to the start of 2011. Coach Manuel Pelligrini isn't being helped by key players finding themselves on the treatment table lately, and with pressure mounting, it is imperative that they get a result in order to escape the foot of the table.

Almeria, on the other hand, need this win just as badly as their Andalucian opponents, recording only one win in their last five. Jose Luis Oltra’s men were denied last weekend by none other than Deportivo's goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia, and must call on their attack to be more lethal or risk sinking deeper into relegation trouble.

Team News:

Malaga: Jesus Gamez has recovered from a broken jaw and would replace Manolo Gaspar on the right, while Julio Baptista is back in Brazil to undergo knee surgery and will be sidelined for 2-3 months.

Almeria: Albert Crusat is available after joining up with the rest of the group for training and should be available for Monday’s clash. Michel is also back after serving a one-match suspension.
Hercules are finding themselves sliding towards relegation uncertainties. One win in their last four has pushed the Herculanos into 15th place, a worrying two points above 18th placed Zaragoza. A narrow defeat to Sevilla last Sunday didn’t help at all as they pushed Los nevionesnses all the way with David Trezeguet spurning many chances to ease the pressure on coach Esteban Vigo. Hercules must take advantage of their home games, winning 6 out of 11 as their away form leaves a lot to be desired- a solitary win and only 3 goals scored away on their travels, two of those coming at Camp Nou. Hercules need to look towards their strikeforce pairing of David Trezeguet and Nelson Valdez for further inspiration, as they’ve notched up 18 goals between them out of Hercules’ total of 24.

Meanwhile, El Geta are seated safely in mid-table, yet are still well behind last season’s impressive finish in 6th place. Recent results has seen Getafe throw away points with three out of their last four matches have been defeats to teams below them in the table, culminating in Pinillos’ late penalty for Racing against Getafe to deny them at least a point. They also squandered a two goal lead against bottom of the table Malaga to leave their European dreams hanging by a thread. Although Europe isn’t too far beyond their reach, the Azulones really need to start picking up points or risk sliding down to the bottom half of the table. They beat Hercules 3-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and this should provide some confidence to Michel’s men who can plug the gap on the European positions. Adrian Colunga and Mika need to start finding their scoring boots to fire Geta up the table.

Team News: (HER) Nelson Valdez injured himself in training and is rated as very doubtful for the game. He joins Drenthe, Rufete and Pena on the sidelines. David Cortes is suspended; Sergio Rodriguez and Abel Aguilar are also out.
Team News: (GET) Borja Fernandez missed training and is looking unlikely to play, so is Manu del Moral. Adrian Sardinero could be a surprise inclusion having recovered fully. Marcano is suspended

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