Real welcome back key quartet to consolidate lead

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid, leading Spain's Primera Liga by just a point from Valencia, welcome back a quartet of stars for the trip to Albacete this evening.

The Albacete coach, Cesar Ferrando, saw his side lose narrowly to Madrid in the Bernabeu earlier this season. But David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Ivan Helguera, who all missed this week's international friendlies though injury, will be fit to return along with Luis Figo, who was suspended for last week's 5-1 thrashing of Sevilla.

Anything but an easy win would be a shock for second-placed Valencia, who entertain rock bottom Murcia.

Internazionale meet Juventus in Italy's match of the weekend but the astounding form of the Serie A leaders, Milan, means the match is unlikely to influence the destination of the title.

Juve are looking to clinch second place and a spot in next season's Champions' League, and Inter are in the running to finish fourth.

However, both know it will take a minor miracle to prevent the Scudetto finishing in Milan's trophy cabinet as Carlo Ancelotti's team travel to struggling Modena holding a nine-point lead.

The reigning French champions, Lyon, face a tough test against Marseilles at the Stade Gerland tonight, aware that a single mistake in their eight remaining games could allow Monaco to seize the title. Lyon won 4-1 when the sides met at the start of the campaign but Marseilles have now climbed to sixth place.

Bayern Munich and Stuttgart continue their pursuit of the runaway Bundesliga leaders Werder Bremen.

Bayern, who remain nine points adrift, travel to Kaiserslautern, who have won three and drawn one of their last four home matches. Stuttgart, a further five points behind, must win at Wolfsburg, who have won nine of their 13 home games. Bremen entertain Freiburg tomorrow.

Ajax will look to underline their Dutch title ambitions with a fifth straight win when they meet Groningen at the Amsterdam Arena tomorrow.

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