SPANISH LA LIGA – PLAYING TODAY
Barcelona vs. Cordoba 6PM
Levante vs. Real Sociedad 8PM
Eibar vs. Valencia 10PM
R. Vallecano vs. Espanyol
Villarreal vs. Deportivo La Coruna 2PM
Granada vs. Getafe 7PM
Elche vs. Malaga 9PM
A. Bilbao vs. Atletico Madrid 11PM
MADRID. Barcelona were frustrated by Getafe last weekend but will be expected to end the year on a high note by beating Cordoba today.
The Catalan giants are four points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid after they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Cosmin Contra’s side. With Real not in action in this round of fixtures due to their participation in the Club World Cup, Barca can cut the gap to just a point with a win over Cordoba at Camp Nou in their final game before the winter break.
Coach Luis Enrique insisted he was not concerned to lose ground on the leaders on a weekend when champions Atletico Madrid were beaten at home by Villarreal.
Pedro scored a hat-trick as a much-changed Barca dished out an 8-1 Copa del Rey hammering to Huesca on Tuesday to seal a 12-1 aggregate victory despite being without the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Barca have scored 21 goals in their last four home games in all competitions and Cordoba will have to find a way to keep them at bay. The Andalusian outfit are in the relegation zone, but are unbeaten in their last two league matches after following up their surprise 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao by playing out a goalless draw with Levante.
Cordoba will be hoping for a better outcome than when they suffered a 5-0 hammering in the Copa del Rey almost two years ago.
Midfielder Andres Iniesta has not started a league game since October, but Luis Enrique gave the Spain international another 45 minutes in midweek following his spell on the sidelines with a calf injury.
Iniesta will be hoping to get the nod to return to the starting line-up when Barca attempt to secure a fifth consecutive home victory in all competitions.
Cordoba had not won on the road in La Liga since their victory in Bilbao and, despite taking four points from their last two games, they slipped into the bottom three last weekend as a result of Deportivo La Coruna’s success against Elche. Miroslav Djukic’s men will be up against it today, but regardless of the outcome 2014 will go down as a sensational year for Cordoba after they were promoted back to the top flight for the first time in 42 years.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor