Elche - Real Madrid - Sunday 20.00 GMT
The weekend’s final game is leaders Real Madrid facing a potentially tricky trip to Elche. Madrid have won both their games since that embarrassment at the Calderon, beating Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 in La Liga and Schalke also 2-0 in the Champions League.
After both games Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed the performances showed his team was returning to their pre-Christmas form, and Cristiano Ronaldo ended his ‘mini-drought’ with the opening goal at Schalke on Wednesday, but Madrid still do not look physically or mentally at the best. They need the return of their injured big-names, especially Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, and James Rodriguez. Modric is closest to playing again having returned to training, but is unlikely to feature on Sunday.
Elche are another of the relegation candidates to have picked up form in recent weeks, with Brazilian centre-forward Jonathas continuing his fine form. Four of their six La Liga victories all season have come in their last six games, although Barcelona did win 6-0 at the Estadio Martinez Valero in January.
The home side have cut ticket prices in a bid to fill the 34,000 seater ground for Madrid’s visit, and coach Fran Escriba should field his strongest side. There was a frenzied atmosphere in last season’s fixture, when Ancelotti’s side won 2-1 thanks to a more than controversial 94th minute penalty. Madrid’s most recent away victory was also 2-1, with a late penalty winner, at Cordoba four weeks ago. That scoreline could well be repeated on Sunday evening.
Predicted result: Elche 1-2 Madrid at 9.50
Best bet: Both teams to score at 2.10