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10.04.2010 13:15

Spanish League Preview Week 31

Although the World’s eyes are fixed on the Bernabeu, there are plenty of other interesting clashes in La Liga this weekend, including a third vs fourth clash in Mallorca and a meeting between the second and third from bottom teams in Tenerife.

Valencia were knocked out of the Europa League in midweek and with a 21-point gap between them and Barca, their objective now has to be to hang onto third place in La Liga. Mallorca’s home record, dented by defeats to Seville and Barca, has been the basis for their fourth place spot ( eight points behind Valencia), but two months of failing to win away from home has meant they need the points on Sunday to withstand the challenge of Seville and Bilbao who are breathing down their necks. Valencia boast the third best away record in the league with just 5 defeats, but they have lost their last three games on the road.

Fight for UEFA spots

Seville travel to local rivals Malaga in the opening game of the weekend, boosted by last week’s first win in seven games, whilst their hosts are deep in the relegation battle after losing to fellow strugglers Zaragoza in their last game. Seville are level on points with Mallorca, and Bilbao are three points behind them ahead of Sunday’s visit of Almeria. Villarreal look to be another team in the European mix, just two points behind Bilbao after a remarkable recovery from a terrible start to the season, whilst Atletico Madrid, who made a similarly disastrous start, are a further three points behind and play the other Madrid-Barcelona derby when they take on Espanyol in Cornella on Sunday.

Deportivo look to end horrendous run

Deportivo’s horrendous recent run - four defeats on the run now and just two wins in their last eleven -seems to have ruled them out of European contention, but they’ll fancy their chances of taking the points when struggling Racing visit the Riazor on Sunday. Racing are the team for the other relegation teams to aim for, lying fourth from bottom, with 31 points.

Crunch debut game for Clemente

Below Racing, Tenerife and Valladolid are six points adrift and with time running out and just eight more games to go in the campaign, the two face a vital game in the Canary Islands. Valladolid’s new boss Javier Clemente faces a tough task to save the team from the drop and he’s told his players: “we have to treat this game as if it was our last one”. Jerez remain the joker in the relegation pack and if there’s a draw in Tenerife and they get a win at home to Getafe, they could lift themselves into 18th place with Racing, next week’s visitors to the Chapin Stadium, maybe just six points ahead of them.
In the weekend’s other game, Osasuna are at home to Zaragoza.
Spanish League Preview Week 31

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