La Liga: Real Madrid can take another step toward title in visit to Osasuna
Madrid, April 19 (IANS) Real Madrid can take another step towards assuring this season's La Liga title if they win away to Osasuna on Wednesday night.
Real Madrid's win away to Sevilla at the weekend, coupled with Barca's shock home defeat to Cadiz on Monday, means that if Madrid win in Pamplona and Barca lose on their visit to play Real Sociedad on Thursday and also fail to beat Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, then Madrid could be champion this weekend.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is still without Ferland Mendy, Marcelo, and Eden Hazard for the trip to Pamplona, but with no league matches this weekend due to the Copa del Rey final, he is unlikely to make too many changes to the side that came back from 2-0 down against Sevilla.
Osasuna are sitting comfortably in mid-table and the El Sadar Stadium is one of the most hostile grounds Madrid will visit this season, while the home side has a powerful attack in Chimmy Avila and Ante Budimir, reports Xinhua.
Former Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka makes his debut in the Granada dugout after being named as their new coach on Monday when the La Liga strugglers visit fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.
Atletico didn't impress in their dramatic win at home to Espanyol at the weekend, but a win would take them into second place, although Diego Simeone is missing the injured Joao Felix, Thomas Lemar and Jose Maria Gimenez and Hector Herrera.
Wednesday's third match sees Celta Vigo at home to Getafe, with the visitors needing points to ease their relegation fears after a run that has seen them take five points from their last six games.
Thursday sees four games with Real Sociedad hosting FC Barcelona, Espanyol at home to Rayo Vallecano, Levante facing Sevilla and Cadiz taking on Athletic Club Bilbao.