Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2016 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 29, 2016
MADRID---Riding a seven-game winning streak and
with all of its stars in top form, Barcelona hosts
struggling Atletico Madrid this weekend in a match
that could help decide the Spanish league title.
Barcelona and Atletico have the same amount of
points, with Barcelona ahead on goal difference and
with a game in hand.
The Catalan club can start pulling away with a win
at the Camp Nou tomorrow, while Atletico has a
chance to show it still has what it takes to keep pace
despite disappointing results recently.
It will be the last league game between Barcelona
and Atletico this season. Both teams will still have to
play Real Madrid, which is four points behind in third.
Zinedine Zidane s team, coming off a disappointing
draw at struggling Real Betis, will play Espanyol on
Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where it
has been dominant this season. Fourth-place Villarreal,
seven points off the lead and theoretically still in the
hunt, hosts Granada on Saturday. Here s what to watch
for in the Spanish league this weekend:
Barcelona will face Atletico Madrid looking to win
its eighth game in a row in all competitions. Luis
Enrique s team hasn t lost in 25 matches, dating back
to a 2-1 setback against Sevilla in the Spanish league
in October. It is coming off a 3-1 come-from-behind
win against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey on
Wednesday, a result that allowed it to advance to the
tournament s semifinals for the sixth straight year.
After dealing with injuries and suspensions the last
few weeks, Barcelona on Saturday will be able to count
on its top three players---Lionel Messi, Neymar and
Luis Suarez. Neymar and Suarez scored a goal each
in the victory over Athletic at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona had its match at Sporting Gijon postponed
last year because it played at FIFA s Club World Cup,
a tournament it won. The game has been rescheduled
for Feb. 17.
MADRID---Spanish authorities are recommending
Sevilla and third division club Cadiz should each
be fined 120,000 euros ($130,000) for "supporting
and promoting" activities of violent fan groups.
The government s anti-violence commission said
yesterday the clubs failed to cooperate with authorities
who had warned the teams about their actions favoring
the groups. The commission said the "very serious"
fine to Sevilla is needed because the club failed to
control the violent groups behavior inside the Sanchez
Authorities said that in the team s game against
city rival Real Betis earlier this month, two large
banners promoting the violent fan groups were dis-
The banners used the by groups were different
from those pre-approved by authorities ahead of the
local derby, officials said.
The commission said the club had been warned
six times about its support to the violent groups in
the last two seasons, being sanctioned in 10 different
occasions. The club also was denounced many times
because of the fans violent chants at the Pizjuan.
Authorities said Cadiz needs to be punished for
giving violent fan groups a place inside its stadium
to keep their banners, megaphones and other objects.
The commission said it told the club several times
that it was not allowed to support the groups by
giving them a place to use at the stadium. It said
Cadiz also was punished for not providing enough
security personnel to promote fan safety inside its
Ramon de Carranza Stadium.
Separately, the commission fined Cadiz in 30,000
euros ($32,600) for not officially keeping track of fans
suspected of wrongdoing. Cadiz was twice sanctioned
last season for not implementing proper security
measures at its stadium.
Barcelona, Atletico duel for lead
FC Barcelona's Gerard Pique, right, celebrates after scoring against Athletic
Bilbao with his teammates during a quarterfinal, second leg, Copa del Rey soccer
match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday.
Atletico Madrid will arrive at the decisive match
against Barcelona looking to rebound from a home
elimination to Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey quar-
terfinals on Wednesday.After a scoreless first leg, it lost
3-2 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in its first home
defeat since Sept. 30.
It was the first time the team conceded three goals
Diego Simeone s team hasn t won in three matches.
"The best way to heal this wound is to win this Saturday,"
Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez said. "We have
to play a better match than today (Wednesday), that
is a given, and just as everyone thought we were the
favorites today at home, everyone will think FC Barcelona
is the favorite. Maybe the same thing as today happens,
but in our favor." Barcelona defeated Atletico 2-1 at the
Vicente Calderon in the league s third round.
MADRID'S HOME EDGE
Real Madrid is gladly back home when it faces Espany-
ol on Sunday to try to stay close to Barcelona and
Atletico Madrid. Madrid has scored 39 goals in its 11
home games in the league this season, an average of
3.5 goals per game. In its last four matches at the
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid outscored oppo-
Spain recommends fines
for Sevilla, Cadiz over fans
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