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Madrid ready to seal La Liga title at Bilbao

Madrid ready to seal La Liga title at Bilbao

Real Madrid are seven points clear of their top rivals Barcelona with three games to play.

Madrid: Real Madrid can end a four-year wait for a Spanish league trophy by clinching the domestic title with a victory at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, regardless of three-time defending champions Barcelona's result against Malaga.

Madrid are seven points clear of their top rivals with three games to play, so even a Barcelona loss earlier in the day will award the Spanish leaders their record 32nd domestic crown.

Madrid's record achievement - Barcelona are next closest with 21 trophies - comes with the team building on their record 112 goals scored in a season, Cristiano Ronaldo looking to establish a record scoring total in a season, and coach Jose Mourinho set to become the first coach to win league titles in four different countries.

Mourinho has won league titles in Portugal with FC Porto, in England with Chelsea, and Italy with Inter Milan, and now the Portuguese coach looks set to add a Spanish title to his already impressive resume.

"A team like Madrid cannot continue on any longer being a supporting act," goalkeeper Iker Casillas said as he eyes his fifth league title with Madrid but first in four years that have been dominated by Barcelona. "We're a little tired of it and it looks like it's over. All of our work over these months, even years, is finally bearing fruit."

Ronaldo scored his record 43rd goal in Sunday's 3-0 victory over Sevilla, only for Lionel Messi to match that total with his own brace in Barcelona's 7-0 win at Rayo Vallecano. Messi's overall goal tally on the season is 65 goals to Ronaldo 57.

Barcelona's last three games will serve as preparation for next month's Copa del Rey final against Athletic, which will be coach Pep Guardiola's last game in charge before handing over the reins to assistant Tito Vilanova.

Barcelona responded to Guardiola's announcement of his departure by thrashing Rayo for their largest-ever away victory, with the coach rotating his team and leaving out Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas. Alexis Sanchez is questionable against Malaga, who are tied on points with third-placed Valencia in the chase to qualify for Champions League football next season.

Valencia haven't had the best week after they lost to Malaga on Sunday and failed to reach the Europa League final.

"Everything depends on ourselves," said under-pressure Valencia coach Unai Emery, whose club has been third nearly all season long. "If we take three points against Osasuna (on Wednesday), third place is ours."

On Tuesday, Villarreal travel to Sporting Gijon knowing victory secures their place in the first division and condemns Sporting — and likely Zaragoza — to relegation.

Villarreal are four points ahead of both Sporting and Zaragoza, who welcome Levante on Wednesday with the Valencia club also chasing the final Champions League spot. Villarreal are only three points behind Malaga.

Atletico Madrid must beat Real Sociedad to stay in touch with Malaga, whom they trail by six points, while Athletic will likely have no chance if they lose to Madrid with them already trailing fourth place by seven points.

In other matches, it's - Getafe vs Racing Santander; Granada vs Espanyol; Mallorca vs Rayo Vallecano; and Sevilla vs Real Betis.