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Cristiano Ronaldo and Other La Liga X-Factors Set to Shine This Weekend

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Other La Liga X-Factors Set to Shine This Weekend
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Levante's win over Elche on Friday evening opened this weekend's La Liga action, Game Week 16 offering up an assortment of intriguing collisions.

Some of Spain's top talents are primed for more fruitful outings than others, 2013 Ballon d'Or finalist Cristiano Ronaldo among them.

The Portuguese has stood out proudly for his club of late, but there are other talents doing a similar job for their respective sides, this weekend offering the chance to star once more.


Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Osasuna

Having scored in the midweek triumph over Copenhagen, Ronaldo further cemented his place as one of the world's finest, becoming the first star ever to score nine goals in the group stage of the Champions League.

With Karim Benzema coming upon a more successful vein of form of late, the Frenchman is likely to retain his post as Carlo Ancelotti's main striking option, with Real's talismanic forward ready to once again reign from alongside and floating behind him.

Although he missed last week's fixture against Real Valladolid, Ronaldo's record of nine goals in his last four league games is his most prolific of the season thus far, extended only further in their latest outing.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Relegation-threatened Osasuna have been dismal going forward with the ball this term and have one of the worst attacks in the league their defence being their only saving attribute right now.

However, as Marca's J. I. Garcia-Ochoa can testify, the attacker has a successful record when traveling to the Pamplona outfit:

The Portuguese scored two goals against Osasuna on his side's last visit to El Sadar, and he's scored seven times in the six times he's played the 'Rojillos'. Although Osasuna doesn't have an antidote to Ronaldo, the home side isn't ruling out the possibility of taking a surprise point or three from Real's visit.

However, with a record of 1.29 goals conceded per home game, Saturday's hosts are still likely to concede in number this weekend, with Real capable of bagging goals just about anywhere currently.


Diego Costa vs. Valencia

Valencia is on a downward slope in La Liga right now, Los Che winning just two of their last eight league games.

Meanwhile, Diego Costa's consistency has know no bounds. The Atletico Madrid talisman has failed to score in just three La Liga encounters this season.

Javi Fuego and Ever Banega are actually likely to be two of the Brazilian's biggest obstacles at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday, but if the Valencia midfield anchor can be quieted, Diego Simeone's side will have a far easier run of things.

This season, Miroslav Dukic's men have conceded an average of 1.86 goals per away game, with Costa lurking to take advantage of that record.


Antoine Griezmann vs. Real Betis

La Liga's basement side have suffered this season as a result of the packed Europa League schedule being added to their calendar, defence being the weakest aspect of their campaign thus far.

In that back four, right-back Javi Chica has been among the club's least impressive performers, presenting Antoine Griezmann with a weakness worth exploiting.

The Real Sociedad forward has excelled in his increased attacking duties, scoring nine goals so far this season, a record built largely on Real Sociedad's awesome presence when playing at home.

La Real have the best home attack in the Spanish top flight while Betis have been hopeless in foreign territory, conceding an average of more than 2.70 goals per away trip.

Should Griezmann line up on the left wing, he'll be sure to get some fortune against Chica, while right-back Nacho has shown gaps himself, should the French youngster switch to the other flanks.

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