La Liga and Serie A return to the European football calendar this weekend as the Coupe de France reaches the final stages.
Real Madrid remain 16 points adrift of runaway leaders Barcelona who have dropped just two points in the league all season. Malaga will be hoping to secure Champions League qualification for the second successive season, whilst Deportivo, Osasuna, Espanyol, Celta Vigo, Mallorca and Granada are all battling relegation.
Over in Italy champions Juventus remain eight points clear of Lazio. Vladimir Petkovic’s side are closely followed by Fiorentina, Inter, Napoli and Roma, whilst AC Milan continue their climb up the table. Genoa, Sampdoria and Palermo are all embroiled in a relegation battle, whilst Parma continue to impress under Roberto Donadoni.
Our football tips this weekend come from Madrid as the troubled Spanish champions welcome Real Sociedad to the Bernabeu.
Weekend Football Tips
Real Madrid (1.18) v Real Sociedad (13.60); Draw (7.00)
Real Madrid’s defeat against Malaga before the winter break left Los Merengues 16 points behind Barcelona, with any hope of retaining the championship finally gone.
The comfort of home surroundings will be a welcome boost this weekend for Real Madrid who have conceded eight goals in their last three games in the league.
Iker Casillas could be recalled by Jose Mourinho following his public demotion, whilst first choice centre-backs Pepe and Sergio Ramos are out through suspension. Reserve player Nacho Fernandez could start at left back following injuries to Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao.
Opponents Real Sociedad are on an eight-match unbeaten run in La Liga and the Txuri-urdin will be hopeful of European football come the end of the season.
Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela has impressed since his permanent move over the summer and the Mexican striker has now scored seven goals in the league. Real Sociedad enjoy playing with width and Alberto De la Bella and Antonie Griezmann have combined well down the left hand side.
In-form Real Sociedad will fancy their chances of finding the net against Real Madrid who continue to look fragile and troubled at the back.
Both teams to score (Real Madrid v Real Sociedad) @1.66
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