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Real Madrid face tough Osasuna test away

Spain,Sports, Fri, 30 Mar 2012 IANS

Madrid, March 30 (IANS) Real Madrid face one of the most difficult games of the Spanish Primera Liga season when they travel to Pamplona Saturday to face an in-form Osasuna in the El Sadar Stadium.


Last weekend's 5-1 win at home against Real Sociedad stopped a mini-crisis after two draws had seen Madrid's lead at the top of the Primera Liga table reduced to just six points ahead of FC Barcelona.


Madrid followed that up with a 3-1 win away to APOEL Nicosia, which virtually assured them a place in the semifinals of the Champions League, but after that victory against a side that looked out of their depth, Jose Mourinho's men will have roll up their sleeves.


Osasuna are enjoying an excellent campaign under the guidance of Jose Luis Mendilibar and go into the match in sixth place in the table with a clear chance of qualifying for Europe next season.


The excellent season has been built on their form in El Sadar, where they already beat Barcelona and Real Madrid can expect probably their most hostile reception of the year from the Osasuna fans, Xinhua reported.


Central defender Pepe is still suspended for the match following the two match ban he was given following the Villarreal game and Rafael Varene will continue alongside Sergio Ramos in defence.


Winger Angel de Maria is also close to a return following his hamstring injury, while Javier Callejon should also be able to play after suffering a foot injury in Villarreal.


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