Real Madrid determined to recover from Liverpool defeat

February 27th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Feb 27 (DPA) Real Madrid are determined to recover from Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions Cup home defeat against Liverpool by scoring their 10th straight win.

On Saturday they are away to lowly but unpredictable Espanyol, who pulled off the surprise of the season last Saturday by winning 2-1 away to leaders Barcelona.

“What we have to do now is start to think about how to beat Espanyol on Saturday,” Real defender Gabriel Heinze said.

Easier said than done.

Espanyol are second from bottom but on Cloud Nine after their first win in the Camp Nou since 1982.

Wily old playmaker Ivan de la Pena, the two-goal hero against Barca, will be running the midfield for them, and his old partner in crime Raul Tamudo will be back in attack after a month’s injury absence.

On Wednesday Tamudo - who scored the second goal when Espanyol beat Real 2-1 last season - said that “we are really looking forward to the game.”

Second-placed Real are now seven points behind Barca, who held a 12-point lead two weeks ago.

Saturday’s other game sees third-placed Sevilla away to Athletic Bilbao, in a rehearsal of next week’s King’s Cup semi-final.

The big game on Sunday sees Barca away to stuttering Atletico Madrid, who are languishing in seventh place.

Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at home to FC Porto has left Atletico downcast, whereas Barca returned from Lyon in good heart after battling out a 1-1 draw.

Atletico will be without Luis Perea, Barca without Eric Abidal, Seydou Keita and Andres Iniesta.

Fourth-placed Villarreal - who were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Panathinaikos on Wednesday - will be away to Betis, while troubled Valencia take on Valladolid.

Valencia are massively in debt and have not paid their players since December. On Wednesday they announced that the building of their new stadium had been suspended, due to lack of funds to pay the construction company.

Sunday’s other games are as follows: Malaga-Recreativo Huelva, Numancia-Deportivo Coruna, Racing Santander-Osasuna, Sproting Gijon-Mallorca and Almeria-Getafe.

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