Sports Burst - Which Real Is For Real?

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by Tim Stannard

 

Ronald Koeman admits Barcelona need to keep on winning in battle against the current league leaders 

 

Sports Burst post the question on Tuesday whether it would be ZZ-Top or ZZ-Flop in Tuesday's LaLiga game against Athletic Bilbao for Zinedine Zidane.

Sharp-dressed man, Karim Benzema, ensured it was ZZ-Top. The French striker has legs and knows how to use them with a brace in a comfy 3-1 win to make it four victories in a row for Real Madrid in all competitions. 

Real Madrid are almost ZZ-Top of the table in third place, but with the same number of points as Atletico Madrid and another regal member of LaLiga - Real Sociedad. 

 

Despite Europa League strains seeing La Real with three draws in a row, the side lead by Imanol Alguacil is still leading the way in LaLiga. However that domination is either going to be boosted or weakened by a big game today on beIN SPORTS - a visit to Barcelona. 

Using schoolyard sporting logic, Barca were only able to squeeze past Levante on Sunday, a team in the relegation places, so Real Sociedad should do considerably better in the Camp Nou. 

Ronald Koeman certainly seems to have that vibe beaming ahead of the match that "I like how they play. I'm aware we'll have to play well, with confidence and possession to cause them problems."

 

"I'm always optimistic, this team always tries to find the solutions to win games," said his touchline opponent, Alguacil.

The American pair of Sergino Dest and Konrad de la Fuente have both been included in the squad announced on Wednesday morning ahead of Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad - a huge match that is live on beIN SPORTS from 2:50PM ET. 

 

 

The Lille club that could in Ligue 1 action today

 

LaLiga is not alone in having a perfect power play at the top of the standings, this season. That's the lay of the land in Ligue 1 at the moment. And then some with five teams within three points of each other at the top of the table - Lille, Lyon, PSG, Marseille and Montpellier. 

Lille are currently leading the way having lost just the single match all season, powered by an array of attacking talent such as Jonathan Bamba, Burak Yilmaz and Canada's own Jonathan David.  

 

Lille are in action today in a midweek round of action and you can see their visit to take on Dijon at the bottom of the table for free at 1PM ET on beIN XTRA. 

The match is followed by another humdinger as Eduardo Camavinga's Rennes hosts a Marseille side that has won six on the bounce in Ligue 1 to leave the team just two points from the top with two matches in hand over everyone else. 

A definitely troubled PSG have the change to recover a little from Sunday's home loss to Lyon with a match against Lorient that is live on beIN CONNECT 4 from 3PM ET.  

While Neymar misses out due to an ankle injury, Thomas Tuchel revealed that a return against Lille might be possible as early as next weekend. 

The Sports Burst live show will give a full preview of a massive day on beIN SPORTS. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12pm ET.

 

 

Palmeiras move through to Copa Libertadores final four 

 

Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad...full round of Ligue 1 action...still needing more? 

Then how about some clinching Copa Libertadores drama to follow it up?

South America's supreme club competition is - mostly - at the quarterfinal second leg stage when it's go big or go home for some teams. Tuesday saw Palmeiras opting for the former with a 3-0 win over Libertad (4-1 on aggregate) to book a semifinal spot. Palmeiras will face the eventual winner of Thursday's Nacional v River Plate tie. 

 

Wednesday sees a finely-balanced all-Brazilian battle between Santos and Gremio which is 1-1 from the first leg. That gets underway straight after the Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad game on beIN SPORTS at 5:05PM ET, so no flipping. 

And no flipping after that as a double dose of Brazil is followed by a double dose of Argentina. Racing Club and Boca Juniors are playing a quarterfinal first leg match from 7:20PM ET on beIN SPORTS.