Real Zaragoza have a chance
to get their season back on track when La Liga's basement side
visit leaders Real Madrid on Saturday and defender Paulo Cesar
Da Silva is hoping the team will be inspired by last season's
win at the Bernabeu.
Zaragoza managed to surprise Real 3-2 in April, helping them
avoid the drop last term, but travel to the Spanish capital this
weekend without a win in 12 matches and are six points behind
19th-placed Sporting Gijon with half the season played.
They were thrashed 6-0 at home to Real on the opening day of
the campaign, when Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick, before
suffering a 4-0 drubbing at Barcelona in November.
Zaragoza have fallen a long way since beating Arsenal to win
the Cup Winners' Cup in 1995 and have been rocked by financial
problems and fan protests against the unpopular president.
"We have to get the three points so that we can take a small
step forwards and rediscover some confidence," Da Silva said at
a news conference on Wednesday.
"It has not entered our heads that we are going there to
lose as we need the points whoever the opponent is and all our
matches now will be like finals," the Paraguayan added.
"We are expecting to see the best of Real Madrid and we know
we are going to one of the most difficult stadiums but we have
to try to put on a good performance like the one last year."
Jose Mourinho's Real side have a five-point lead over
second-placed Barca and will be looking to bounce back from
Wednesday's King's Cup elimination at the hands of their arch
rivals with a convincing win.
Real came close to overturning a 2-1 deficit from their
quarter-final first leg but eventually fell 4-3 on aggregate
after a dramatic night at the Nou Camp.
Barca, chasing a fourth straight Spanish league title,
sustained a couple of new injuries in the cup game as they
prepare for Saturday's game at Villarreal, who are 17th after an
Playmaker Andres Iniesta tore a thigh muscle and will have
tests on Thursday to determine the extend of the damage, while
forward Alexis Sanchez hurt his shoulder and will be sidelined
for one to two weeks, Barca said.
Third-placed Valencia, who have a 4-1 advantage for their
King's Cup quarter-final second leg at city rivals Levante later
on Thursday, have slipped nine points behind Barca after a run
of three games without a win and play at Racing Santander on
Levante, the season's surprise packages, are four points
behind their more illustrious city neighbours in fourth ahead of
their match at home to Getafe on Sunday.
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