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13.03.2010 10:57

Spanish League Preview Week 26

Following their disastrous midweek European exit, Real Madrid travel to Valladolid on Sunday in desperate need of a win to boost their morale and maintain their challenge to Barca at the top of La Liga.

Manuel Pellegrini received the dreaded vote of confidence from club executives after the midweek knock out and he knows that he must deliver the goods when his team close the weekend’s games with a visit to strugglers Valladolid. There’s more pressure heaped on the Madrid team as they kick off just after Barca finish their game against Valencia. Seville, currently in fifth spot on 43 points, will be looking to do what Madrid couldn’t and get through to the Champions League quarter finals when they face CSKA on Tuesday, but first they entertain Deportivo who are just two points behind them in the challenge for fourth, whilst Mallorca, ahead of Seville only on goal difference, open the weekend’s programme with a trip to Getafe. Getafe have gone six games without a win, whilst Mallorca’s victory over Valladolid in their last away game was their first win in six on the road.

Basque challenge for Champions spot

Bilbao are also challenging for fourth themselves, lying seventh on 40 points and their boss Joaquin Caparros reckons: “it seemed crazy to talk about competing with teams like Seville, but after 25 games, we are up there with them. There’s no argument about it: we can fight for a Champions League place”. On Saturday the Basques travel to Sporting, who’ve managed just two wins in their last seven home games.

Hope for Jerez?

At the bottom, Jerez remain 10 points clear of safety despite their surprising win at Malaga last week, but ahead of Sunday’s trip to Villarreal, their leading scorer Mario Bermejo (with 6 goals) reckons: “we’ll not be after a draw – we go out for a win wherever we play”. Tenerife are five points ahead of Jerez and Sunday’s game at home to Espanyol is seen by their midfielder Richi as “fundamental. The team’s not down and out and a win would change everything”. With just one defeat in their last six, Zaragoza have lifted themselves following their winter signings action and a victory away to Racing could see them leapfrog the Santander team into relative mid table comfort ahead of Barca’s visit next weekend. Two other teams hovering above the danger zone are Almeria and Malaga who meet on Sunday, whilst Osasuna travel to Atletico Madrid for Monday night’s game.
Spanish League Preview Week 26

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