Zaragoza-Real Madrid Preview: Los Blancos resume title chase at La Romareda
Jose Mourinho's side have won their last seven matches in all competitions and will hope to continue that impressive run of form against Los Blanquillos on Saturday
By Karthick Arvinth
Zaragoza playmaker Apono is available for the Primera Division encounter against Real Madrid after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Romaric (thigh) also returns following a three-month absence but Stefan Babovic is suspended.
Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has recovered from a hand injury and could make his first start in goal since January.
Boss Jose Mourinho has no injury worries but is likely to rotate his squad in order to prioritise Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Galatasaray.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Zaragoza are on a 12-match winless run in all competitions and remain the only team in La Liga to have not won a game in 2013.
- The Aragonese side have lost six of their last seven encounters against Real Madrid.
- Zaragoza's last victory came against Levante in the Copa del Rey on January 9.
- Real Madrid are on a seven-match winning run in all competitions - their best sequence of results since January 2012.
- Los Merengues need one more point to become the first club in Liga history to accumulate 4,000 points in 82 seasons of the Spanish top division.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored 21 goals in 20 appearances for club and country in 2013.
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Top 3 Predictions
Zaragoza 0-4 Real Madrid CF
- 15.25 %
Zaragoza 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 12.95 %
Zaragoza 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 11 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 30, 2013||Zaragoza 1 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 3, 2012||Real Madrid CF 4 - Zaragoza 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 28, 2012||Real Madrid CF 3 - Zaragoza 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 28, 2011||Zaragoza 0 - Real Madrid CF 6|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Apr 30, 2011||Real Madrid CF 2 - Zaragoza 3|
|Mar 9, 2014||Zaragoza 1 - Mallorca 1||ESP2|
|Mar 1, 2014||Recreativo 2 - Zaragoza 2||ESP2|
|Feb 23, 2014||Zaragoza 0 - Real Madrid Castilla 2||ESP2|
|Feb 15, 2014||Tenerife 1 - Zaragoza 1||ESP2|
|Feb 8, 2014||Lugo 1 - Zaragoza 0||ESP2|
|-||Henri Bienvenu N'Tsama||Striker|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
The 29-year-old midfielder has already found the net seven times this season and is Zaragoza's second highest goal scorer after Helder Postiga. Embattled boss Manolo Jimenez will hope Apono's return from injury sparks a revival in fortunes and delivers his first Liga win of the calendar year.
The Portugal captain failed to score for his country in the crucial World Cup qualifier against Israel and was forced sit out the following match against Azerbaijan through suspension. Ronaldo will hope to pick up where he left off for Real Madrid ahead of the Champions League quarter-final clash with Galatasaray.
Zaragoza are in horrendous form and will hope the visitors will be jaded following a gruelling international break. In contrast, Madrid are in excellent shape and will want to continue their winning run heading into the midweek encounter with Galatasaray.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed