Real Madrid will look to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona this Saturday as they open the Week 28 slate against sixth-placed Celta Vigo in the hopes of sealing back-to-back victories.
Los Merengues bounced back from the recent derby defeat to Atletico Madrid by claiming a 3-1 win at Levante on Wednesday, but they remain a massive 12 points off table-toppers Barca.
Zinedine Zidane's men are still hopeful of closing the gap on rivals Atletico in second, however, as Los Rojiblancos prepare for a tough trip to face Valencia, who have won five of their last six outings.
The league title looks like Barca's to lose with 11 games remaining, and the leaders travel to Eibar on Sunday in the hopes of establishing an even greater cushion at the summit.
We provide all the vital viewing information ahead of Week 28, complete with live stream information and score predictions.
|Saturday, March 5||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||Real Madrid||3-1||Celta Vigo|
|Saturday, March 5||5:15 p.m. GMT/12:15 p.m. ET||Villarreal||2-0||Las Palmas|
|Saturday, March 5||7:30 p.m. GMT/2:30 p.m. ET||Getafe||1-1||Sevilla|
|Saturday, March 5||9:05 p.m. GMT/4:05 p.m. ET||Deportivo La Coruna||2-2||Malaga|
|Sunday, March 6||11 a.m. GMT/6 a.m. ET||Real Betis||2-1||Granada|
|Sunday, March 6||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||Eibar||1-3||Barcelona|
|Sunday, March 6||5:15 p.m. GMT/12:15 p.m. ET||Real Sociedad||2-1||Levante|
|Sunday, March 6||5:15 p.m. GMT/12:15 p.m. ET||Sporting Gijon||2-3||Athletic Bilbao|
|Sunday, March 6||7:30 p.m. GMT/2:30 p.m. ET||Valencia||1-2||Atletico Madrid|
|Monday, March 7||7:30 p.m. GMT/2:30 p.m. ET||Espanyol||2-2||Rayo Vallecano|
Atletico Plotting Revenge at Mestalla
Atletico have risen to become one of Spain's higher powers in recent years, but despite their evolution, Diego Simeone's side have continued to struggle when coming up against Valencia.
The capital outfit have won just one of their last three encounters with Los Che and dropped to a 3-1 defeat in their most recent trip to the Mestalla. Not only that, but Yahoo's Andrew Gaffney lauded Valencia's 2-1 win over Malaga on Wednesday, a result that moved them back into the top half of the table:
There was also a fantastic comeback for Valencia against one of the toughest sides in La Liga, Malaga, away from home. A vital 2-1 victory.— Andrew Gaffney (@GaffneyVLC) March 3, 2016
Thankfully, Atleti's most recent meeting with Gary Neville's side resulted in a 2-1 victory at the Vicente Calderon, but after failing to beat Valencia in 2014-15, they'll have the double in their sights this term.
Eight points currently separate Simeone's side from leaders Barcelona, but after beating Real Sociedad 3-0 on Tuesday, the Atleti boss insisted the progress of the Blaugrana isn't on his team's mind, per Spanish daily Sport:
We keep trying to improve ourselves. We know it's very unlikely Barcelona will lose matches. So we only think about ourselves.
I think that today's game went very well at the beginning. We found ways to play a good match. We played well from the midfield upwards, having chances to score. The second goal at the start of the second half also made us live more comfortably for the remainder of the game.
Prior to their 2-1 win at the Mestalla in April 2014, Atletico went 11 years without an away win over Valencia in league competition, a drought they'll be hoping isn't set to repeat itself.
However, Los Che appear to have finally found their footing under former Manchester United defender Neville and are sure to present would-be title contenders Atleti with an obstacle.
Prediction: Valencia 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid Set Celta Vigo Streak in Their Sights
Real Madrid will play host to Celta Vigo on Saturday having suffered just three home defeats to the Galician outfit in their 35 total meetings, the most recent of which came all the way back in November 2006.
Manager Zidane has also received a boost ahead of Saturday's clash after Simeon Gholam of Sky Sports quoted the Frenchman on Friday, confirming Gareth Bale will return from injury just in time for the clash: "Gareth will be in the squad tomorrow. It is very good news and it makes us very happy - and the fans, too."
Per Bleacher Report's Rik Sharma, Zidane saw a very positive response from his troops in terms of work rate against Levante following the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid just days prior:
Zidane criticised Madrid for not running enough against Atletico - last night they ran 116km, more than in any other game this season— Rik Sharma (@riksharma_) March 3, 2016
Real have won their last three successive meetings with Celta and will look to add a fourth in Week 28, trumping their record streak of consecutive wins against the Celts in the process.
This season's Primera Division title race may be as good as decided to many, but that only drives the need to see a response from Real Madrid for the remainder of the season.
Celta travel to the Santiago Bernabeu undefeated in their last three outings—their best streak of 2016 thus far—and considering they haven't conceded in their last two games, their threat isn't to be underestimated.
Prediction: Real Madrid 3-1 Celta Vigo