Real revival under threat from Atletico

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The Independent Football

However, Real arrive in good form having climbed to fifth in La Liga. Kezman, whose brace for Serbia & Montenegro ensured Torres' five goals were not enough to secure automatic World Cup qualification for Spain, said: "We have to beat Real because it is so important to our fans. We're both in good form and we are one of the best forward partnerships in Spain."

Extra tension has been brought to the derby by an unprecedented attack on the impartiality of the match referee, Bernardino Gonzalez Vazquez, on Real's official website.

Getafe, the improbable League leaders, face a tricky match at Real Betis while second-placed Celta Vigo visit Osasuna. Barcelona are at Deportivo La Coruña.

While lesser lights still lead in Spain, Juventus dominate in Italy and can today move within a win of equalling the record for the best start to a Serie A season. The defending champions have made a perfect start with 18 points from six games. They should secure a seventh at home to a Messina team who have yet to win this season and conceded eight goals in their last two matches. Milan and Fiorentina, five points behind Juve, are at Cagliari and Lazio respectively.

The Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich, who meet Juventus in the Champions' League on Tuesday, face a daunting encounter today away to fourth-placed Schalke 04. Bayern have lost all five previous visits to the AufSchalke. "We have to stop using their stadium as an excuse," said their coach, Felix Magath.

Magath received some welcome news yesterday, when England midfielder Owen Hargreaves announced he will extend his contract with Bayern by four years, binding him to the German club until 2010.

Hamburg, a point behind Bayern having beaten the champions last month, are at home to VfL Wolfsburg.

In France, Fabien Barthez returns from a four-match suspension for spitting at a referee to play for Marseilles at home to Paris St-Germain. The leaders, Lyon, whose goalkeeper Gregory Coupet says he will not be standing aside for Barthez to return as easily for France, are at home to struggling Ajaccio.

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