Real keen to continue good form

2014-11-06 11:23
Cristiano Ronaldo (File)

Madrid - Real Madrid are keen to continue their excellent run in the Spanish Liga, with an eighth straight win on Saturday at home to modest local rivals Rayo Vallecano.

Los Blancos have not looked back since crashing 2-1 at home to Atletico Madrid in September. They have won their last 12 matches in all competitions, with Tuesday's 1-0 defeat of Liverpool their latest achievement.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has to decide whether to bring back Gareth Bale now that the Welsh winger is fit again - and for whom. The two candidates to drop out are Isco and James Rodriguez, though they are both in formidable form.

One player Ancelotti will not consider dropping is Cristiano Ronaldo, who is top of the scorers' chart with 17 goals.

"I want to be the best of all time, and I will try to make it happen," the Portuguese striker said.

"Everybody is saying that this could be the best Real Madrid side in history but we will only be able to say at the end of the season. If we don't win anything we won't be the best side but I am hopeful that we will win things this season.

"We are happy, things are going well, the manager knows the players better and I am on a good run."

Real are one point ahead of Valencia and Atletico. Valencia host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, with the aim of confirmning their best start since 2003.

"We are working hard and the results have been good," said Valencia's Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes.

"Also, the fans have really got behind us. Every day they are waiting for us to arrive for training, and that really gives us a lift."

Valencia will again be without injury victims Dani Parejo and Lucas Orban.

Meanwhile, Atletico will visit troubled Real Sociedad, who are second from last. Sociedad are without a coach since the sacking of Jagoba Arrasate, and will have reserve team boss Asier Santana in temporary charge on Sunday.

Valencia and Atletico are one point above fourth-placed Barcelona, who visit Almeria on Saturday.

Barca returned to winning ways on Wednesday with a 2-0 win at Ajax, in which Lionel Messi equalled the 71 goals record in the Champions League of Real Madrid idol Raul.

"This win will cheer us up, after the defeats we have suffered," said Messi.

When asked when Luis Suarez would score his first goal for Barca, the little Argentine said: "We are pleased that Luis is with us. Little by little he is adapting to the our philosophy. He is a great striker."

Meanwhile, Sevilla - who are level on points with Barca - will receive lowly Levante.

The weekend's other games are Cordoba v Deportivo, Celta Vigo v Granada, Getafe v Elche, Malaga v Eibar and Espanyol v Villarreal.


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