La Liga: Real Madrid take on bottom club Betis

Madrid, Jan 17: Real Madrid play away to struggling Real Betis Saturday afternoon knowing they have the chance to go level on points, for a short while at least, with La Liga leaders FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were able last week to take advantage of the draw between both sides in the Vicente Calderon Stadium to close the gap at the top of the table to just three points and with both Barca and Atletico facing tough matches this weekend, that gap could be closer by Sunday night, reports Xinhua.

Barca are away to a rugged Levante, while Atletico entertain an in-form Sevilla in the Vicente Calderon.

Compared to those two games, Real Madrid’s match away to rock bottom Betis looks to be a relative walk in the park. Betis have just 11 points from their first 19 games of the season and are currently seven points from safety.

They were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Club Bilbao Wednesday night, although that turned out to be a blessing in disguise for coach Juan Carlos Garrido, who has not been able to stimulate any reaction since replacing Pepe Mel at the start of December.

Real Madrid meanwhile travel with their moral sky high after progressing comfortably to the last eight of the Copa del Rey with an easy win against Osasuna in a week where they closed the gap on Barca and Atletico Madrid in the league and saw Cristiano Ronaldo finally win the Balon D’ Or award Monday.

IANS