Barcelona keen to keep goals flowing in Almeria

March 13th, 2009 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, March 13 (DPA) Barcelona will be trying to keep the goals flowing Sunday in the Spanish Primera Liga against unpredictable Almeria.
Barca recovered their stupendous early season form Wednesday by thrashing hapless Lyon 5-2 for a quarter-final berth in the European Champions League.

“Now we have to keep this form going,” said Liga top scorer Samuel Eto’o, who scored his first goal in a month against the French champions.

Barca are six points clear at the top over Real Madrid - who were slaughtered 4-0 by Liverpool Tuesday - and seem to be over their three-week slump in form.

They are still missing defenders Eric Abidal and Carles Puyol, so veteran Sylvinho will have to continue at left-back.

Last season Barca were held to a 2-2 draw by Almeria, who are currently 10th.

Real, for their part, face a tough task on Saturday away to cup finalists Athletic Bilbao.

Their Tuesday meltdown at Anfield has provoked recriminations and tension at the Estadio Bernabeu, with interim president Vicente Boluda and unpopular sporting director Pedja Mijatovic in the eye of the storm.

Defender Gabriel Heinze raised eyebrows Wednesday by saying that “when things go wrong, this can be the worst club in the world”.

A club in even bigger trouble, cash-strapped Valencia, are also in action on Saturday, at home to lowly Recreativo Huelva.

Valencia, whose players have not been paid since December, have failed to win in their last five games and have slipped down to eighth place in the standings.

On Sunday, third-placed Sevilla are away to surprise package Malaga, who have moved up to fifth in recent weeks and are now dreaming of the Champions League.

Fourth-placed Villarreal visit number seven Atletico Madrid.

Villarreal captured the headlines by becoming the first Spanish team to win a Champions League knockout game in Greece, beating Panathinaikos 2-1. Atletico, by contrast, were edged out by Portuguese champions FC Porto.

Another interesting clash Sunday brings together lively Sporting Gijon and sixth-placed Deportivo La Coruna. The day’s other games are Valladolid vs Getafe, Espanyol vs Mallorca, Real Betis vs Osasuna and Racing Santander vs Numancia.

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