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Winning The Primera Liga-Real Madrid's chances

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21: Raul Gonzalez of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on April 21,  2009 in Madrid Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Hemant DuaCorrespondent IIMay 2, 2009

Real Madrid, the defending champions of the Spanish Primera Liga who face league leaders Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, should actually fancy their chances of winning the league.

It has been a while now since Real have been contesting only for the Primera Liga title, given that they have been knocked out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

This has so far proved to be a blessing in disguise as it has enabled Real to go on an unbeaten run of 18 matches in La Liga, of which 17 have been wins. This has boosted their hopes of winning a third league title in a row, bringing them to within four points of Barca, whereas at one stage, the gap was of 12 points.

With a win at the Bernabeu on Saturday, they could put themselves just one point off the pace with four matches remaining.

Their rivals and title favourites Barca, in contrast, have to focus on all the three competitons mentioned earlier. Barca's 2nd leg Champions League semifinal against Chelsea will come three days after the match against Real.

That will be crucial in Saturday's match as Barca may or may not consider resting some players for the Chelsea match. This could propel Real, for whom this is a must-win game.

Should Madrid win this game, the momentum for the remaining matches will be with them. They have only to focus on the league and ensure there are no slip-ups.

Also, in the past decade, every year Manchester United win the league in England, the same year the Spanish league is won by Real.

Since United's 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough puts them in the driving seat for the Premier League title, Real can believe this is also their year.

So, though I like both the Spanish giants and prefer Barca, I get the feeling the Primera Liga trophy will be heading for the Bernabeu.

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