Messi’s goals against Rayo Vallecano at the weekend means it is only Celta left for the record to be set.
Cristiano Ronaldo achieved the same feat last season but scored fewer goals than Messi is on course for – the Argentine has already netted 42 times in the league.
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.