Madrid, Feb 20 (IANS) :It was a great week for both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League football, but now they face the task of taking that form back into week 25 of the Spanish La Liga over the weekend.
Barcelona defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium Tuesday night and Tata Martino's men will need to be back at their best when they travel to face Real Sociedad, reports Xinhua.
Barca may have knocked the Basque side out of the Copa del Rey recently, but have not won in the league in the Anoeta Stadium in their last four visits and dropping points which time would almost certainly see them knocked off the top of the table.
Atletico Madrid are also delighted after a disciplined 1-0 win away to AC Milan at the San Siro Stadium in the Champions League. Now coach Diego Simeone has to motivate them for what will be another tough trip to the north of Spain to take on a rugged Osasuna.
The game should be special for Atletico midfielder Raul Garcia who returns to face his former club a matter of days after extending his contract with Atletico.
The third side tied at the top of the table is Real Madrid and they should expect a calmer weekend as they entertain Elche at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo is still suspended, but with Jese Rodriguez winning over the fans in the Bernabeu, he should not be missed, although Elche will be looking for revenge after being robbed of a point due to a terrible penalty decision against them in the first meeting between the two sides earlier this season.
The round of matches kicks off with struggling Valladolid entertaining Levante and if that game is not exactly going to draw in a massive TV audience, Valladolid coach Juan Ignacio Martinez could face the sack if his side fails to win against his former club.
Getafe coach Luis Garcia could also see his reign come to an end if his side loses away to an improving Celta Vigo Saturday night. A run of just two points from 27 has taken Getafe worryingly close to the drop zone.
Malaga are also in freefall and Berndt Schuster completes a trio of coaches in danger of sudden unemployment should they lose a south coach derby against fellow strugglers Almeria.
Rayo Vallecano are in danger of being cut off in the relegation zone and will hope to find their attacking flair in front of their home fans against a Sevilla which could pay for having to play Europa League Thursday.
Rock bottom Betis are in a similar situation and know they have no option other than defeat Athletic Club Bilbao, who have themselves stumbled of late taking just two points from three matches.
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