Barcelona feel confident of extending league run with victory at Murcia

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The Independent Football

Spain's weekend programme will go ahead as planned despite Thursday's horrific bomb blasts in Madrid. Matches will be preceded by a minute's silence rather than be postponed, even though the country is in an official period of mourning.

Spain's weekend programme will go ahead as planned despite Thursday's horrific bomb blasts in Madrid. Matches will be preceded by a minute's silence rather than be postponed, even though the country is in an official period of mourning.

Matters on the pitch may help to resolving issues at the top and bottom of the table. Barcelona, who have won seven consecutive League games, visit the bottom club Murcia tomorrow.

Frank Rijkaard's side have moved to within one point of third-placed Deportivo La Coruña, who visit struggling Real Mallorca, and despite their European exertions Barça will fancy their chances of claiming all three points.

The leaders, Real Madrid, have little time to bask in the glory of their Champions' League win over Bayern Munich as they prepare for a dress rehearsal of the Spanish Cup final at home to Real Zaragoza today, while Valencia will hope to take advantage tomorrow of a shell-shocked Celta Vigo, who were hammered 5-1 at home to struggling Espanyol last weekend.

A win for Milan against a wounded Juventus in Turin tomorrow evening could effectively end the race for the Italian title with 10 games to go in Serie A. Juve, six points adrift of Carlo Ancelotti's leaders, are still coming to terms with their surprise exit from the Champions' League at the hands of Deportivo.

They will have to face Milan without the injured strikers David Trezeguet (shoulder) and Alessandro Del Piero (calf). Second-placed Roma, who trail by five points, must secure three points at relegation-threatened Reggina.

Bayern Munich (at home to Hansa Rostock today) and VfB Stuttgart (home to 1860 Munich tomorrow) return to Bundesliga action looking to banish the memory of their Champions' League exits but face a difficult task catching the runaway leaders Werder Bremen, who have a seven-point lead over second-placed Bayern, and nine over third-placed Stuttgart.

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