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14.04.2010 11:43

Spanish League Preview Week 32


Real Madrid face a difficult game away to Almeria on Thursday, whilst third placed Valencia also have a big match at home to top four aspirants Bilbao, as La Liga squeezes in another midweek series of fixtures.

Almeria have lost just twice at home this season, against Valencia in October and Bilbao in November and since that defeat they have won five and drawn four – including the 2-2 result against Barca. Not then, the ground Madrid might have chosen to visit after their defeat last Saturday, but Almeria boss Juan Manuel Lillo is wary of the injured beast: “we could face a team whose security has been shattered or a team who are even more determined to win every game that’s left this season”.

Tight in race for European places

Seville lost 2-1 at Valladolid on Tuesday night and Mallorca will look to take advantage of that with a win at Zaragoza tonight, which would take them to within two points of third place Valencia who they beat last weekend and who entertain Bilbao at the Mestalla on Thursday. Mallorca’s Achilles heel remains their away form, but they have lost just once in their last four games on the road, drawing at Almeria and Racing, beating Valladolid and losing to Getafe.

For their part, Zaragoza suffered a blow to their hopes of avoiding relegation last weekend, but remain three points clear of the drop zone after Valladolid and Tenerife both won on Tuesday. Valencia desperately need the points against the always competitive Bilbao who know that a win would give them a real chance of making the Champions League spots.

Tenerife and Valladolid see glimmer of hope

That win for Valladolid - Clemente’s first – was matched by fellow strugglers Tenerife who won 0-2 in Gijon to leave them on 29 points, one ahead of Valladolid and just two behind Malaga, who travel to Pamplona to face Osasuna tonight and then host Valladolid at the weekend in what could be a relegation decider, especially given that Malaga face trips to Bilbao and Mallorca and a visit from Real Madrid before the season ends.

Tenerife don’t have it easy either, with trips to Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid over the next month. On 32 points, Racing are also not in the clear just yet and they will be looking for points at home to Espanyol tonight ahead of games against Valladolid, Tenerife and Jerez, who play at Atletico Madrid tonight, in their last six games.

In Tuesday’s other game, Getafe did their hopes of a European spot a power of good with a 3-0 win over Villarreal who they leapfrogged over into seventh place, just a point behind Bilbao.

Spanish League Preview Week 32

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