Real Madrid seek to secure La Liga lead (Preview)

Madrid, Oct 28 (IANS) Leaders Real Madrid will look to consolidate their place at the top of La Liga football when they meet hosts Alaves on Saturday.

Sevilla will play against Sporting Gijon, while third-placed FC Barcelona will face Granada.

Madrid, who currently lead the table with 21 points, will be tested against 11th placed Alaves, where coach Zinedine Zidane will miss the efforts of suspended defender Dani Carvajal.

After Saturday’s tie, Real Madrid will prepare for the fourth round of the Champions League group stage match against Legia Warszawa next Wednesday.

Sevilla will visit 18th-placed Sporting Gijon with an aspiration to win as the Andalusian team is just one point behind Real Madrid.

Barcelona, with instrumental midfielder Andres Iniesta down due to injury, will host Granada that holds the last place in the standings and desires to make its first victory this season.

The Catalan club, which is two points behind Real Madrid, will be looking forward to winning and chasing the league leaders ahead of the Champions League tie against Manchester City next Tuesday.

Fifth-placed Atletico Madrid will host Malaga amid promising midfielder Koke’s injury, but the team will seek to win after suffering a 0-1 defeat in the last round against Sevilla.

Eibar, 11th with 12 points, will host third-placed Villarreal on Sunday.

Osasuna, which holds the penultimate position with six points, will visit sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao.

Real Betis, 12th with 11 points will host 16th placed Espanyol, with only eight points.

Ninth positioned Las Palmas will face Celta Vigo, who are just a rung haigher than them in the standings.

Deportivo La Coruna, 17th place with eight points will face 15th Valencia.

–IANBS

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