• FT





  • FT

    Celta Vigo




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    Real Madrid




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    R Sociedad



Santiago Bernabeu, Spain

Attendance: 68655

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Real Madrid

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4 - 0


Real Madrid v Real Valladolid: Preview

Real Madrid will hope to make up some ground on Primera Division leaders Barcelona this weekend.

Carlo Ancelotti's side host 17th-placed Real Valladolid and will be in confident mood following their emphatic 5-0 win at Almeria last Saturday.

The Catalans, six points clear of third-placed Los Blancos at the top of the table, face a daunting trip to Athletic Bilbao, who are unbeaten at their new San Mames Barria stadium.

Madrid will be without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, however.

The Portuguese suffered a hamstring strain at Almeria and sat out the midweek 4-1 thrashing of Galatasaray in the Champions League.

He had been expected to return at the weekend but Ancelotti confirmed on Friday Ronaldo would again miss out.

``He doesn't feel comfortable and we have decided not to risk him,'' said the Italian, who announced Angel Di Maria would deputise.

Ancelotti also insisted there was no ill-feeling between himself and defender Sergio Ramos, after criticising the Spain international following his 26th-minute sending-off against Gala.

``I'm happy with how the team is playing, everyone is motivated,'' he added.

``I have no problem with Sergio Ramos and he has no problem with me.

``Ramos is one of the best central defenders in the world. He has experience and quality.

``The whole world knows how important Ramos is for Real Madrid... there isn't a single problem.

``He will play and do well tomorrow.''

Luka Modric, who was suspended in midweek and rested at Almeria, could return to the side, but faces a challenge in ousting Isco.

The former Malaga midfielder has been given a new lease of life since Sami Khedira was ruled out for the season with knee ligament damage, scoring twice in the last two matches and reproducing the performances which endeared him to the Bernabeu crowd at the start of the season.

One player who will definitely miss out is Alvaro Arbeloa, suspended after picking up five yellow cards this season. Dani Carvajal is set to deputise for the former Liverpool full-back.

Valladolid head into the game in a contrasting position to their hosts, losing 1-0 at home to Osasuna last week to go level on points with the two teams in the final two relegation spots.

They will be without suspended winger Patrick Ebert and midfielder Oscar Gonzalez, who is carrying a knee problem.

Striker Javi Guerra acknowledged the disparity in quality between his side and Madrid, but declared Valladolid had not given up all hope of getting a result.

``Nothing is impossible in football and that's the mentality we'll take with us into the game,'' he told a press conference.

``We know it's going to be very difficult but at the end of the day this is football, it's 11 against 11 and although of course Real Madrid are a better team than us, they will have to prove that on the pitch.''


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