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Real Madrid out to keep title hopes alive

On the back of its Champions League exit in favor of Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid's hopes of stealing the La Liga title could come to an end this weekend when the club faces Valladolid at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Claiming the Spanish league title is a tall order for Madrid as it enters the weekend 11 points adrift of Barcelona with just five matches to play, but the Catalans could clinch with a Real loss to Valladolid as well as a victory over Real Betis at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Madrid made a valiant effort to advance to the Champions League final after dropping the opening leg 4-1. The Spanish side was held scoreless until the final 10 minutes when Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos brought the Merengues to within one.

But time ran out and the Madridistas crashed out of the competition, leaving the club to invest in the Copa del Rey final as its final realistic chance for silverware this season.

Real Madrid managed to garner two points on Barcelona last weekend. The Catalans were held to a 2-2 draw by Athletic Bilbao, allowing Real to gain some ground with a 2-1 defeat of Atletico Madrid.

Should Barcelona gain three points on Real this weekend, Jose Mourinho's side will be forced to relinquish the title and turn its attention to the Copa del Rey final.

While there is considerable separation in the title race, the race to avoid relegation is heating up. Only five points separate 15th-place Osasuna from last-place Mallorca.

Osasuna will take on Valencia at the Mestalla on Saturday while Mallorca faces a massive clash with Levante at the Iberostar Stadium on Sunday.

Also in relegation contention, Real Zaragoza welcomes Rayo Vallecano to La Romareda on Sunday, Deportivo hopes to pull further away from danger with a positive result against Atletico Madrid at the Riazor on Saturday, and Granada will attempt to build upon a two-game unbeaten streak when it hosts Malaga at Los Carmenes on Saturday.

Sevilla and Espanyol, level on 43 points, will meet at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday in a match that means little for the impending fortunes of either side.

Monday's lone contest will see Real Sociedad attempt to solidify its fourth- place position when it heads to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to face Getafe, and Friday's only La Liga match ended with Celta Vigo claiming a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao as Iago Aspas scored the equalizer in the 84th minute for Celta, moving the club level with Deportivo for 17th place.

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