Perez ready for debut, Xavi bullish

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VALENCIA. KAZINFORM - New Valencia signing Enzo Perez is hoping to have a debut to remember this weekend by helpingLos Che inflict a first competitive defeat on Real Madrid since September. Perez has joined Valencia for a reported €25m from Benfica and the Argentina midfielder could make his first appearance for the club in Sunday's visit of Primera Division leaders Real Madrid.

Real have won 22 competitive matches in succession since losing to Atletico Madrid on September 13 but Carlo Ancelotti's side showed they are not untouchable after losing 4-2 to AC Milan in a friendly on Tuesday, and Perez is eyeing a repeat at the Mestalla. "I would like to make my debut, I'm ready to play and even though I've only been here a little while it would be great," he said at his official presentation on Friday. "And if I can make a goalscoring debut, then so much the better. Of course we can beat Real Madrid, they have great players and a great team but on the pitch it's 11 against 11." Real start the new year with a one-point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga, while they also have a game in hand on most of their rivals. However, Barça are also in fine form with ten wins from an unbeaten 11-match run and they will look to keep the pressure up when they travel to Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Veteran midfielder Xavi told Sport: "There's enough time to recover the points that we've lost up to now. As well as that, we mustn't forget that Real Madrid have to come to the Nou Camp. There's a good mood in the changing room, we're united." Three points behind Barça are reigning champions Atletico Madrid, who have bolstered their ranks over the Christmas break with the loan signing of former favourite Fernando Torres from AC Milan. Torres will not be involved in Saturday's home clash with Levante but could make a return to Rojiblanco colours in next week's mouthwatering Copa del Rey showdown with Real Madrid, Kazinform quotes FIFA. "Fernando hasn't come here as some kind of saviour and I am in no hurry for him to start delivering right from day one," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said of Torres on Friday. "He will need time to adapt. His arrival will a a huge benefit to all of us."

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