5 January, 2013 - 15:09

La Liga Matchday 18: Vilanova is back!

La Liga Matchday 18: Vilanova is back!

While Barcelona faces fast-progressing Espanyol in derby on Sunday the most exciting point about the game is that Tito Vilanova will finally rule the team from the dugout.

The Catalan coach made quick recovery after undergoing surgery in December and already came to the training session on Wednesday. It is reported that the manager started the course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and would alternate work with treatment.

Currently Barca is leading the league winning 16 games and drawing just once. Espanyol under the new coach Javier Aguirre are 18th, yet they were not defeated in their last four fixtures.

Real Madrid fans are worried about the atmosphere in the team as Jose Mourinho left on the substitute’s bench captain Iker Casillas in the away game against Malaga. The capital club lost in the game 3–2 and the manager had to explain his decision before the game against Real Sociedad. The Portuguese tactician underlined that permanent place in the starting line-up is not good for any player, adding “confidence is important so is competition, and we will try and strike that balance.”

With the return of Gonzalo Higuain after a two-month recovery from the hamstring injury, Madrid coaching staff will show what conclusions they draw after the first half of the season.

MatchDay 18 fixtures:

Zaragoza 1-2 Betis
Levante - Athletic
Granada - Valencia
Deportivo - Málaga
Sevilla - Osasuna
Celta - Valladolid
R. Madrid - R. Sociedad
Barcelona - Espanyol
Mallorca - Atlético
Rayo - Getafe

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