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Barcelona play Zaragoza away from home

Spain,Sports, Fri, 06 Apr 2012 IANS

Madrid, April 6 (IANS) FC Barcelona look to reducing the gap to within three points of Real Madrid when they go away to play Zaragoza Saturday in the Spanish Primera Liga.


Barcelona can pile on the pressure on a Madrid side that entertains third placed Valencia Sunday.


Meanwhile, Zaragoza look to continue the incredible run of form that has seen Manolo Jimenez' s side win their last three matches to give themselves a possibility of avoiding relegation.


Jimenez has worked miracles with Zaragoza, who have won their last two home games, scoring dramatic last-minute winners against Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, as well as clinching a late goal to beat Sporting Gijon last weekend.


That has lifted them to third from bottom of the table, although they are still four points behind fourth from bottom Villarreal. The fans and players have started to believe that avoiding the drop is a real possibility and there will be an excellent atmosphere for the game, Xinhua reported.


On the negative side, Zaragoza are without influential midfielder Apono, who is suspended along with central defender Mateos and forward Luis Garcia also suspended for the game.


Barca travel without central defender Gerard Pique, who picked up a minor muscle injury in his side' s 3-1 Champions League triumph against AC Milan Tuesday night.


Pique will be replaced in central defence by Carles Puyol, while Adriano returns on the left, as Eric Abidal prepares for his liver transplant.


Barca are still without long term casualties Andreu Fontas and David Villa, although Ibrahima Affelay is close to a full recovery following a knee operation.


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