La Liga: Rested Barcelona seek to keep record run rolling

Spanish champions back at full strength as last stretch of title race arrives

Afp March 11, 2016

MADRID: A well-rested Barcelona look to take another step closer to the Spanish title when struggling Getafe visit the Camp Nou today, looking like cannon fodder for the rampant European champions.

Barca haven’t lost in a Spanish record 36 games to open up an eight-point lead over Atletico Madrid in the title race with just 10 games remaining.

The team will be close to full strength with Neymar returning after he made the most of his suspension for last weekend’s 4-0 win at Eibar to return home to Brazil to celebrate his sister’s birthday.

Messi ensures Barca stay eight points clear

Javier Mascherano is banned, so Jeremy Mathieu or Thomas Vermaelen should be handed a rare start in central defence, while Luis Enrique could make a few more changes with the second leg of his side’s Champions League last-16 tie with Arsenal in mind despite holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

“We are aware that we could do another treble,” Barca midfielder Sergi Roberto told the club’s website. “We are in the final of the cup, there are 10 games to go in the league and, although the Champions League is very difficult, we will try to win it again.”

Getafe have taken just one point from their last eight games to slip to within a point of the relegation zone.

Advantage Barca as Real Madrid, Atletico held

However, on-loan Celtic striker Stefan Scepovic insists they won’t just head to the Catalan capital to make up the numbers. “We are not going there just to be on the pitch. We know the type of game we have to play to fight at the Camp Nou,” he said.

Meanwhile, Atletico will attempt to keep themselves in the hunt when Deportivo la Coruna visit the Vicente Calderon.

Messi, Suarez 'penalty of the century' rehearsed, reveals Neymar

Security will be tight in the Spanish capital as violent clashes between both sets of supporters led to the death of a Deportivo fan before this fixture last season. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2016.

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