Zaragoza v Barcelona, Sat 19:00
It’s unknown exactly what has changed so much at La Romareda over the last month but whatever it is has put Real Zaragoza back in the survival race after the side gained ten points from a last possible twelve, as Bet365 offer long odds on victory.
However, even this miraculous turnaround will be tested to its very core this week when the club face second placed Barcelona, who have just sealed their place in this season’s Champions League semi-finals.
Pep Guardiola’s side ran out as 3-1 victors over AC Milan after a stalemate first leg and will now be hoping to maintain their push to retain the La Liga title by adding a ninth consecutive victory in the Spanish top flight.
It will have helped Zaragoza that two of their recent victories came against Valencia and Atletico Madrid, both of whom have the distraction of a Europa League tournament to concentrate on.
However, it was still a shock to see Los Blanquillos emerge as victors in both matches as well as gain a draw against Osasuna as well as record a vital victory over Sporting Gijon who are now favourites to see the drop.
The spike in form still isn’t enough to boost Zaragoza’s statistical disadvantages however and Manolo Jiménez’s men still have the worst home defence in the Spanish top flight as well as its second worst home attack.
Barça sit just six points off league leaders Real Madrid and will be looking to pounce on any slipup Los Merengues may have in the coming month.
Real Zaragoza have won by a margin of more than a goal on just two occasions this campaign but their attack will need to be in the form of their lives if they are to penetrate the Barcelona defence, who have managed to keep a clean sheet in 40% of their away games this season.