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What's going on in the La Liga title race this weekend?

Atletico Madrid look to extend their lead as Real Madrid get the weekend off.

State of play

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What happened in their last games? 

ATLETICO MADRID WENT three points clear at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 win at relegation threatened Getafe. It wasn’t a vintage performance from Diego Simeone’s side, but they got the job done with goals either side of the break from Diego Godin and Diego Costa. Barcelona’s hopes of retaining their title suffered a body blow with a 1-0 defeat at Granada. Real Madrid kept up the heat on their city rivals with a 4-0 thumping of Real Sociedad.

A terrible week for Barca was compounded with a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.

Spain Soccer La Liga Source: AP/Press Association Images

Who’s playing who? 

Atletico Madrid v Elche (tonight 7.30pm): Diego Simeone will hope he can call upon Diego Costa for the visit of the Alicante side. The big striker was stretchered off after scoring the second against Getafe last week. But it’s since been revealed that he only suffered a wound hitting the post, with Simeone quoted as saying, “one more cut does not do anything to this tiger”.

Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao (Sunday 8pm): Barcelona will have to pick themselves up off the floor following Wednesday’s Copa del Rey defeat to Real Madrid in Valencia. That defeat followed a surprise loss at Granada last weekend. All of this on top of their Champions League exit to Atleti. Meanwhile, Athletic go to the Catalan capital with back-to-back wins under their belts, and the memory of beating Barca in their meeting in December.

What of Real Madrid? Well, in preparation for the first leg of their Champions League semi final with Bayern Munich, they’ve been given the weekend off.

Predictions? 

Doubtful it will be comfortable viewing for Real, Atletico will likely be too strong for Elche at what will be a raucous Vicente Calderon. While as much of a slump as Barcelona have been in of late, they should have enough to see off Athletic on Sunday.

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