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Spanish League Preview, Week 37

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15.05.2011 12:18

Spanish League Preview, Week 37

Nick Bedson

The midweek games settled a number of issues in La Liga, but the third relegation spot and the third UEFA position are still undecided as the teams go into the penultimate game of the campaign.

Spanish League Preview, Week 37

Synchronised kick offs
All this weekend’s games will kick off at 21.00 on Sunday night, as La Liga tries to ensure that all the matches are contested.
With all the three teams below them losing in midweek, Villarreal’s point at Almeria guaranteed them fourth spot -Atletico Madrid lost 2-1 to Racing, Bilbao were beaten by the same score at Deportivo and in an extraordinary finish in Pamplona, Osasuna scored two late, late goals to beat Seville 3-2. Espanyol could only draw 2-2 at home to Valencia, but if they win in Zaragoza, they could overtake Seville in the last game of the season. Villarreal entertain Real Madrid on Sunday.

Zaragoza on a knife edge

Hercules and Almeria are definitely down, but Zaragoza are third from bottom on 39 points ahead of their game with Espanyol and if they are to catch Getafe(40)or Deportivo(42), they must win the game, which Espanyol also have to win of course. Should Getafe beat Osasuna(44 points) and Deportivo (42)take anything from the Camp Nou a Zaragoza defeat would send them down. However, should Zaragoza win, there will be all to play for next week between the three. Indeed, Sporting(43), at home to Racing, Real Sociedad(44) who are away at Seville, Llevant (44) away to Valencia and even Mallorca(44), who are away to Almeria, as well as Osasuna could go into the final game, theoretically under threat.

Below are some quotes from players and managers of the teams involved:

Javier Aguirre, Zaragoza coach: “I’m sure Zaragoza will survive –we are going to fight till the end”

Jose Luis Mendilibar, Osasuna coach: “We cannot look at what is happening on the other grounds – a point against Getafe will see us through”

Riki, Deportivo de La Coru˝a: “Zaragoza are worse than us”

Michel, Getafe coach: “I’m not looking at my own future beyond the next game. The important thing is that I can take the decision whilst I’m still with a Primera Liga team”

Manolo Preciado, Sporting coach: “We have 43 points and no team has ever gone down with that many. It’d be great to celebrate staying up in front of our own fans on Sunday”

Four into three UEFA spots

Following their last two defeats –against Malaga and Racing, Atletico Madrid (52 points) will be looking to give coach Quique Sanchez Flores a fitting send off at his last home game against Hercules, with a win enough to ensure a UEFA spot and the chance to stay in touch with fifth placed Bilbao (54), who play their last game of the season at the San Mames against Malaga, whose five game winning streak took them to safety in midweek. Seville, on 52 points, know that an Espanyol win would leave them needing to avoid defeat to Pochettino’s team next week whatever result they manage at home to Real Sociedad.

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