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HomeWorldBarcelona, Madrid resume Spanish league battle publish World Cup

Barcelona, Madrid resume Spanish league battle publish World Cup

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona and Actual Madrid resume their battle for the Spanish league title because the competitors begins once more following a seven-week hiatus for the World Cup.

When membership play stopped in early November, Barcelona and Madrid had been already threatening to make it a two-team race with 9 factors separating second-place Madrid from Actual Sociedad in third.

Barcelona has a two-point lead and hosts crosstown rival Espanyol at Camp Nou on Saturday, a day earlier than defending champion Madrid visits Valladolid.

The Catalan membership is below much more stress to win its first league title since 2019 after it flopped within the Champions League group part regardless of reinforcing its squad this summer time with funds it scrounged up by promoting off a part of its tv rights and different belongings.

“We’ve to be self-critical. We had been lower than the duty within the Champions League,” coach Xavi Hernández mentioned lately. “I feel we’ve competed nicely within the Spanish league. I’ve excessive hopes that we are able to win this league. That will give the membership some stability. It’s a precedence.”

Xavi’s quick concern is choosing a striker to steer his assault with Robert Lewandowski serving a three-game suspension. Lewandowski earned a one-game suspension for 2 yellow playing cards in Barcelona’s 2-1 win at Osasuna in its final sport again in early November. The Spanish soccer federation tacked two extra video games onto his suspension for Lewandowski’s “present of disrespect” towards the referee when he twice pointed to his nostril following his sending-off.

Lewandowski and his league-leading 13 objectives have helped put Barcelona on the prime of the desk. Xavi will seemingly look to both Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay or Ferran Torres to interchange the Poland striker towards Espanyol and subsequent league video games towards Atlético Madrid and Getafe.

A number of Barcelona gamers participated within the World Cup, together with Jules Koundé and Ousmane Dembélé, whose France misplaced within the closing to Argentina and former Barcelona nice Lionel Messi.

Xavi mentioned that the lengthy break has allowed for injured defenders Ronald Araújo and Sergi Roberto to each get well and be able to play on Saturday.

Barcelona will welcome an Espanyol workforce that has solely two wins this season and is in sixteenth place, only one level above the relegation zone.

Madrid is again in motion with Carlo Ancelotti making an attempt to get well its championship type following stumbles earlier than the World Cup stoppage. A loss to Rayo Vallecano and a draw with Girona in two of its closing three video games earlier than the break price it the league lead.

Karim Benzema must be able to play after his hopes of including a world title to his Ballon d’Or award had been ruined by a left thigh damage whereas coaching with France. Benzema has been hampered by accidents this season and performed in simply seven Spanish league video games.

“We’ve gotten Benzema again, which is essential,” Ancelotti mentioned on Thursday. “A really motivated participant has returned and we’re satisfied that he’s going to present us lots.”

Valladolid is in twelfth place after profitable three of its final 5 video games.

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AP World Cup protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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