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Real Madrid under pressure against solid Deportivo side

Spain,Sports, Sat, 29 Sep 2012 IANS

Madrid, Sep 29 (IANS) Real Madrid will be under pressure to reduce the gap between them and Barcelona when they take on Deportivo la Coruna Sunday night at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Depending on Barcelona's result away to Sevilla Saturday, Real Madrid could kick off 11 points behind Barcelona and have a visit to the Camp Nou Stadium next weekend, reports Xinhua.

Deportivo have a poor record in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with just two wins there in Primera Liga in their entire history, although they also won the 2001 Copa del Rey final there in spectacular fashion.

That historic win, which ruined Madrid's centenary celebrations is ancient history now as Jose Luis Oltra's side get to grips with their return to the top flight after a season in the second division.

The side from Galicia has had a solid return to the Primera Liga with six points from five games and just one defeat, which came at home to Sevilla last weekend.

Real Madrid's 2-0 win away to Rayo Vallecano, although it came 24 hours late as a result of the sabotage to the electricity in the Vallecas Stadium showed that Jose Mourinho's side have regained their competitive edge.

Madrid's recovery continued with an 8-0 walkover against Colombian side Millionarios in the Santiago Bernabeu trophy Wednesday night. Although Millionarios may have been better employed spending their time sightseeing rather than on the pitch of the Bernabeu, the game did at least allow Kaka to show that he is a quality player as the Brazilian scored a hat-trick.

That could earn him a call to the bench, but it is hard to see the second most expensive player in the world knocking Luka Modric or Mesut Ozil out of the starting 11.

Mourinho will have to chose between his attacking midfielders, while Sami Khedira replaces Michael Essien, who has a slight physical problem.

Meanwhile Karim Benzema's return to form should see him start in attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and winger Angel de Maria.

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