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  La Liga Preview: Revived Barcelona face Gijon

La Liga Preview: Revived Barcelona face Gijon

AFP
Published : Apr 23, 2016, 6:33 am IST
Updated : Apr 23, 2016, 6:33 am IST

Having scored four and provided three assists as Barcelona roared back into form with an 8-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna in midweek, Luis Suarez has refused to contemplate any other outcome than

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 laal.jpg

Having scored four and provided three assists as Barcelona roared back into form with an 8-0 thrashing of Deportivo la Coruna in midweek, Luis Suarez has refused to contemplate any other outcome than Barca retaining their La Liga title.

The Catalan giants lead Atletico Madrid solely thanks to their superior head-to-head record with Real Madrid just one point back in third with four games to go.

However, having taken just one point from their previous four league matches, Suarez believes Barca are fully back on course for a 24th La Liga title.

“We needed that victory. We came off the back of many games suffering and, as we are human, the defeats hurt,” he said.

“It is in our hands and if we win all our games what the others do doesn’t bother us. We are the leaders and we are convinced we are going to win it.”

Lionel Messi and Neymar were also on target against Deportivo as Barca’s star front three responded in style to their critics as fatigue appeared to catch up with the South American trio.

Barca will be back to full strength for the visit of a Sporting Gijon side fighting to avoid relegation on Saturday with Gerard Pique to return from suspension in central defence.

However, Barca could be third by the time they kick-off with Real Madrid in action away at Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid hosting Malaga earlier on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a major doubt for Real’s trip to Vallecas with a minor hamstring problem.

However, with Zinedine Zidane’s men in sensational form having won their last eight La Liga games, midfielder Luka Modric believes they have the strength in depth to cope with Ronaldo’s absence.

“We are Real Madrid and we have the squad to fight for the two titles,” said the Croatian.

“ We are full of confidence, playing well and we have to continue like this till the end of the season.”

However, it is Atletico who appear to have the easiest run-in of the three title contenders with three of their remaining four at home.

Atletico have won eight of their last nine with Fernando Torres scoring in five consecutive games for the first time in his career to lead their late season title push.

Diego Simeone’s men will also be without a key player in inspirational central defender Diego Godin as he suffered the recurrence of a hamstring problem.

Fixtures Saturday: Las Palmas vs Espanyol, Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid vs Malaga. Sunday: Barcelona vs Sporting Gijon, Eibar vs Deportivo la Coruna, Levante vs Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla vs Real Betis, Getafe vs Valencia. Monday: Villarreal vs Real Sociedad. Tuesday: Celta Vigo v Granada.

Location: Spain, Madrid