Friday, June 22, 2018

La Liga preview: Real Madrid, Mourinho under pressure

SoccerNews in La Liga 24 Jan 2013


Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho faces an uncertain future after conceding the title to Barcelona this week.

Ahead of Saturday’s home match with Getafe and just after Barca’s first defeat of the season, Mourinho’s words will spark further speculation regarding his future as Real struggle to close a 15-point gap.

“The La Liga title is impossible now. There is too big a gap. We have to focus on other goals like the Copa del Rey and the Champions League,” Mourinho said.

“It does no good to obsess over these things. Obsession only makes things more complicated. Nothing will be easy. We need to stay calm and make the most of every opportunity.”

Defeatist words from a man who does not readily concede defeat, but in his defence, Real would first have to close a seven-point gap to second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho has rebuffed talk of a move to the French capital to take over Carlo Ancelotti’s job at Paris Saint-Germain, but talk remains rife of a potential move back to England.

Barcelona remain eight points clear of Atletico ahead of Sunday’s match with Osasuna after losing 3-2 to Real Sociedad.

The loss broke a 23-game unbeaten run in La Liga dating back to last March’s loss to eventual champions Real.

Gerard Pique received a red card before Sociedad fought back and will miss the clash with Osasuna.

Midfielder Xavi is set to sign a new contract on Monday and will join Carles Puyol in committing his future to the club after he signed a new deal until 2016.

In one of the other matches of the round, last season’s Europa League finalists Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid clash at the Estadio San Mames on Sunday.

On Saturday, Celta de Vigo are at home to Real Sociedad, Levante host Real Valladolid in a mid-table battle, Real Zaragoza host Espanyol and Deportivo La Coruna will look to wrench themselves off the foot of the table against Valencia.

In the other games on Sunday, Rayo Vallecano take on fourth-placed Real Betis and Mallorca host Malaga, while on Monday Sevilla are at home to Granada.


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