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Valencia - Barca the biggest game in Spain's matchday 12
Last Updated: 2017-11-24 08:54 | Xinhua
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Sunday sees the most important game in the Liga Santander this season when Valencia entertain FC Barcelona in their Mestalla Stadium.

Barcelona travel to Valencia with 34 points from a possible 36, while Valencia are four points behind after winning their last eight games and with a 6-point cushion over Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

A win for Marcelino Garcia's side would take them to within just one point of the top of the table and establish them as genuine title contenders, while at the same time giving Real and Atletico the chance to close the gap on Barca if they can win their respective matches.

Although Marcelino will have to watch the game from the stands after being sent off during Valencia's 2-0 win away to Espanyol last weekend, he has the advantage of having had all week to prepare for the game, whereas Barca played away to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde took the brave step of resting Leo Messi and Jordi Alba for that match, but he will have to decide on a substitute for the suspended Gerard Pique for Sunday night, with Thomas Vermaelen likely to make his first league appearance of the campaign.

Real Madrid play Malaga on Saturday and will look to build on their 6-0 win away to APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League on Tuesday night to try and gain confidence in front of goal.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, who have only one goal each in the league, both netted twice in Cyprus, but may find it harder against a Malaga side coached by former midfielder Michel Gonzalez, who are showing signs of recovery, despite their delicate positon in the league table.

The round of games kicks off on Friday as Celta entertain a Leganes side that has lost its last three games, and continues on Saturday lunchtime with a Basque derby between Alaves and Eibar.

Alaves need to improve following a 4-1 thrashing in Getafe, while Eibar claimed their biggest ever top flight win (5-0) at home to Betis on Monday.

Betis need to recover from that defeat and halt a mini crisis when they entertain Girona, who are unbeaten in their last four games.

Atletico Madrid round off Saturday away to Levante, who have traditionally been a difficult side for Diego Simeone's team to visit.

Saturday kicks off with Deportivo la Coruna at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, who have just one win from their nine league games, and continues when Real Sociedad entertain Las Palmas, whose coach Paco Ayestaran will lose his job if his side lose for the ninth time in succession and the seventh since he took over.

There is likely to be emotion when fifth placed Villarreal entertain sixth place Sevilla after Wednesday's revelation that Sevilla boss Eduardo Berizzzo is suffering from prostate cancer and the club's confirmation they will stick by him during his recovery.

Valencia - Barcelona will then take all of the headlines before the round of games ends on Monday with Espanyol playing at home to a very solid Getafe.

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