Spanish League Preview, Week 36
It’s not just the league title that might be decided with the games this midweek, anything but a win for Hercules would confirm their relegation, whilst anything but a win for Espanyol against Valencia could confirm they miss out on a UEFA spot.
Real Madrid’s game against Getafe could end in Barça taking the title before they even kick a
ball against Llevant, but the result could also have a big impact on the fight to avoid the third
relegation spot. Zaragoza and Deportivo are just a point below Getafe and they will hope to take
something against Bilbao and Real Sociedad respectively and see Madrid win. Real Sociedad
themselves are only a point above Getafe, as are Osasuna, who play Seville in Pamplona. For their
part, Espanyol are now four points behind seventh placed Seville and if they fail to beat Valencia
in Cornella, Pochettino’s team will have virtually bade farewell to European classification.
Getafe handed boost with Casillas absence
Iker Casillas will be rested for Madrid’s game against Getafe (40 points)
–something that hasn’t been too well received by the teams competing with them to avoid
relegation – whilst Michel is sweating on the fitness of Manu and Albìn, aware that
he’ll need them for the weekend’s big clash with Osasuna. Deportivo(39) are at home to
Bilbao and with their remaining games against Barça and Valencia, they must take something from the
match. Zaragoza(also on 39) face another Basque team when they visit Anoeta, but unlike Bilbao who
want the points to confirm their fifth spot, Real Sociedad, on 41 points, need the the win to avoid
slipping into the bottom three themselves. Osasuna, who also have 41 points, beat Zaragoza at the
weekend, for their second win on the run and will be hoping their good home form is enough to get
them past Seville and to safety.
Malaga look to confirm safety
In form Malaga –with six wins from their last eight games – play
Sporting and a win would virtually ensure survival ahead of their last two games, away to Bilbao
and at home to Barça, whilst Hercules’ relegation will be confirmed if they fail to win at
home to Mallorca. Almeria, with nothing left to play for but their pride, are at home to
Espanyol need win against Valencia
Marcello Pochettino knows: “beating Valencia is key to getting into Europe
–we need 9 points from our last three games and even then it’s no longer in our
hands”. His team’s defeat at the Camp Nou left them four points behind Atletico Madrid
and Seville, who they meet on the last day of the season, in the fight for a UEFA spot. Atletico
are away at Racing, before visiting Hercules and entertaining Mallorca in their last two games,
whilst in addition to their tricky game in Pamplona, Seville are also at home to Real Sociedad
before what could be the showdown at Cornella.