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Real Madrid still have La Liga title in their sights

SoccerNews in La Liga, UEFA Champions League 9 Apr 2011

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Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka insists the team will keep fighting for the La Liga title until they are mathematically ruled out.

League leaders Barcelona are at home to bottom side Almeria on Saturday, while Real face a tricky assignment away to Athletic Bilbao.

But with eight games still to play, Karanka claims Real have not given up hope of closing the eight-point gap between themselves and defending champions Barcelona.

“When you’re part of this club and if there are possibilities and the numbers are there, we’ve never stop competing,” said Karanka, who was speaking in place of coach Jose Mourinho.

“There are other clubs that are playing for things and while we have respect for everybody, we still have to compete until the numbers say that it’s not possible.”

Heavy wins for Barca and Real in the first legs of their respective Champions League quarter-finals sets up the enticing prospect of four meetings between the Spanish giants in the space of 19 days.

The teams do battle in La Liga on April 16, before a Copa del Rey final four days later.

And barring a remarkable turnaround in one of the quarter-final second legs, they appear set for a Champions League semi-final showdown on April 27 and May 3.

“Before those four matches I can tell you that no player, no coach, no supporter is going to say that they would be happy if we lose against Barca,” Karanka said.

“Maybe after those three or four matches if they’ve been much better than you, I hope not, I’m sure it is not going to be like that.”

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