Fear of failure drives on Real Madrid
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Real Madrid insist they have not been paralysed by stage-fright despite seeing their ten-point lead in La Liga slashed to six by bitter rivals Barcelona.

Jose Mourinho's side, who tackle Real Sociedad on Saturday, have dropped four points in the past week after two 1-1 draws at home to Malaga and away to Villarreal, where they also had two players sent off.

Defending champions Barcelona, meanwhile, go to in-form Mallorca, unbeaten in six games.

Madrid were surprised by a last minute leveller from a free-kick by Malaga's Santi Cazorla last Sunday, before losing Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil to red cards against Villarreal on Wednesday after Marcos Senna had equalised with another late free-kick.

Mourinho and assistant Rui Farias were sent from the bench in a sign that nerves may be creeping in as Madrid get closer to breaking Barcelona's dominance of the last three La Liga titles. After the game Mourinho refused to speak to the press or allow anyone else from his camp to discuss the match.

Having lost only once in 22 league games - 2-1 at home to Barcelona in December - it was a major shock for Los Blancos to drop points twice in a matter of days.

But Madrid president Florentino Perez sent out a message of defiance in the wake of Wednesday's setback. "Madrid and their fans never give up," he said at the presentation of a Real Madrid theme park set to open in the United Arab Emirates in 2015.

Real Sociedad lost 3-1 at home to Levante in midweek, having to play the second-half with ten men after midfielder Gorka Elustondo was sent off.  Centre-half Mikel Gonzalez believes the feeling of injustice will spur them on in the Santiago Bernabeu.

"There is no point in complaining about referee decisions, both teams have a lot at stake on Saturday but if we can survive to the last period of the game alive, we have a chance of getting something from Madrid," he said.

Barcelona will go to Mallorca in good spirits. Lionel Messi will be in celebratory mood after becoming the club's all time leading goalscorer on Tuesday with a hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Granada, taking his tally to 234 career goals.

The little Argentinian will also be defending his position for the prize of Pichichi at the top of La Liga's goalscoring charts, where he now leads Cristiano Ronaldo by one with 34 league strikes.

Contest for third
Third-placed Valencia go to Getafe with coach Unai Emery under pressure despite their league position and good form in the UEFA Europa League. The 2-1 defeat at home to bottom club Zaragoza on Wednesday means the gap to city neighbour Levante in fourth position has been reduced to three points. Levante entertain sixth placed Osasuna on Sunday.

Also in the race for European football next season are Malaga in fifth who go to eighth-placed Espanyol.

Atletico Madrid, currently in seventh, go to rejuvenated basement side Zaragoza who are finally in touching distance - within two points - of Racing Santander and Sporting Gijon after being stranded at the bottom for the last 14 rounds of games.

La Liga fixtures
Mallorca v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Real Sociedad
Getafe v Valencia

Zaragoza v Atletico Madrid
Levante v Osasuna
Espanyol v Malaga
Athletic Bilbao v Sporting Gijon
Real Betis v Racing Santander
Rayo Vallecano v Villarreal

Granada v Sevilla