Euro

Numancia eye Real upset

2008-09-11 10:55
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Soria - Promoted Numancia have set their sights on another massive Primera Liga upset when they travel to the Bernabeu to take on champions Real Madrid on Sunday.

Numancia humbled Barcelona 1-0 at home in the opening round of league matches and coach Sergio Kresic believes his side have every reason to believe they can pull off another shock result.

"What the theory says and what happens in reality can be different for any number of reasons," Croatian Kresic said.

"The fans can have an effect, the pitch and of course the players, but just like the other day when we had chances (against Barca), we'll also have them on Sunday and we have to make the most of them."

Bernd Schuster's Real Madrid started the defence of their back-to-back league titles with a 2-1 defeat away to Deportivo Coruna.

Real's new signing Rafael van der Vaart will make his league debut after missing the Depor game through suspension, while Italy defender Fabio Cannavaro could return after injury.

High hopes

Barca return to home turf looking for their first points and face a tough task against Racing Santander on Saturday.

The defeat for Pep Guardiola's side at Numancia did little to convince Barca fans he will able to improve on Frank Rijkaard's disappointing season.

Early pace-setters Atletico Madrid visit Valladolid on Saturday and are trying to keep their feet on the ground.

Qualification for the Champions League group stage with a 4-0 demolition of Schalke 04 was swiftly followed by a 4-0 hammering of Malaga at the Calderon on the opening day of the season.

"It's understandable the fans have high hopes but it is still early days," cautioned Atletico defender Pablo Ibanez.

Villarreal host Deportivo on Sunday after drawing 1-1 in their opening game at Osasuna, and will be without suspended defender Diego Godin.

New Valencia coach Unai Emery will hope to build on his side's impressive 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca when he returns to his former club Almeria, also on Sunday.

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