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23.01.2010 16:54

Spanish League Preview Week 19

Nick Bedson

Real Madrid could find themselves eight points adrift of Barca and level on points with Valencia before they kick off against Malaga in the weekendĺs final game on Sunday night, as the La Liga season reaches its midway point.

Emery: “we are going for a win”

Valencia are away to Tenerife in a Sunday evening kick off and boss Unai Emery reckons: “we’re up against a team who may not be at their best right now, but who will have the support of their fans and we’ll be playing in the heat of the island which they are much more accustomed to. However, we are going for a win and to get higher up the table”. Although the goal difference is very much in Madrid’s favour, Pellegrini’s team know that a win in the Canary Islands for Valencia would see them draw level on points and put even more pressure on at the Bernabeu for the night game against the improving Malaga. Madrid have a 100% home league record, but Malaga have not lost in the competition since 1st November and with just 2 goals, 1 win, a draw and a defeat in 2010 for Madrid, there has to be room for a possible upset on Sunday night.

Fight for European spots

Joaquin Caparros returns to La Coru˝a, when Deportivo and Bilbao meet on Saturday night with both teams vying for a UEFA place. Deportivo are just a point ahead on 31 and with fourth placed Mallorca(33) not playing until Sunday, the winner at Riazor could find themselves in the top four, as indeed could Seville, level on points with Deportivo, who kick off the weekend’s games at home to Almeria. Seville got a real confidence booster with their 0-3 midweek cup win against Deportivo, but they desperately need to improve in the league after four straight defeats, whilst Almeria have drawn two and won one of their games since Lillo took over as manager . Mallorca travel to Espanyol on Sunday after losing their 100% home record this season following their 1-2 cup defeat to Getafe.

Cup Hangover?

Getafe themselves are at home to Atletico Madrid, whose own cup hopes suffered a setback when they were held 1-1 at home by Celta in midweek. Atletico have won all three league games this year and scored 9 goals in the process, whilst Getafe have lost their last two, but remain on the fringes of the UEFA spots. Racing’s new star Sergio Canales has been the subject of much transfer speculation this week, being linked to Real Madrid and various Premier League teams, but on Sunday he’ll have to concentrate on the game in hand – a trip to Sporting – knowing that a win would take his team clear of the relegation area and into a comfortable mid-table spot. Racing beat Osasuna 2-1 in the week’s other Cup quarter final first leg and the Pamplona outfit wrap up the first half of their season with a visit to basement team Jerez, whilst second from bottom Zaragoza visit Villarreal, who’ve suffered a dip in form since drawing at the Nou Camp, losing to Celta in the Cup, drawing at home to Almeria and getting thrashed by Valencia in the league last weekend.
Spanish League Preview Week 19

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