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01.05.2010 17:24

Spanish League Preview – Week 35

The 8 teams involved in the relegation battle all play at 18.00 on Saturday, with Almeria, Sporting and Racing looking to reach safety, Jerez hoping against hope at the bottom and Tenerife, Valladolid, Zaragoza and Malaga all desperate to get points.

At the top, Madrid are at home to Osasuna on Sunday, whilst Valencia visit Espanyol on Saturday, Mallorca are away to Bilbao and Seville entertain Europa Cup finalists Atletico Madrid in a rehearsal for the Spanish Cup final.

How it stands:

Just six points separate next to bottom Tenerife and 13th placed Almeria as the teams go into their last four games:

Almeria: 38 points
Sporting 37 points
Racing : 36 points
Malaga: 34 points
Zaragoza: 34 points
Valladolid: 32 points
Tenerife : 32 points

Undefeated in their last four games, Clemente’s Valladolid could pull themselves out of the bottom three if they can overcome Getafe at the Jose Zorrilla, but they will have to do it without the suspended Pedro Lopez and the injured Asier Del Horno. For their part, Getafe are flying high after last week’s win over Seville and a victory would take them above Villarreal into a European spot if Barca can do the business in the Madrigal. Tenerife have also made a big effort to escape the drop zoneover the last few weeks, but with trips to Barca and Valencia coming up, they have to take the points at home against Racing to have any real options. A defeat for Racing would drag them into a tough end of season fight with a trip to Valladolid and home games against Seville and Sporting in their last three games.

Unlucky Malaga

Malaga were desperately unlucky not to win at Mallorca last week and if they can reproduce the form they showed then, they ought to beat Sporting. Although Sporting’s manager Manolo Preciado reckons: “the game is more important to Malaga because they are three points behind”, his own team need the win too after a horrible run that has seen them win just one game since the end of February and with two trips to Getafe and Racing and a visit from Atletico Madrid to come, things could get very complicated if they don’t get a result. Zaragoza have the easiest looking run in, visiting Deportivo on Saturday and Xerez, who could be down by then, next weekend with home games against Espanyol and Villarreal. Finally, Xerez face another do-or die game, knowing that a defeat at home to Almeria could see them virtually condemned to the drop, whilst a win for Lillo’s team would equally virtually ensure safety.

Camacho back at the Bernabeu

Real Madrid play Osasuna at the Bernabeu on Sunday, with much speculation surrounding the team ex-Madrid man Camacho will send out, given that his team’s point at home to Bilbao last week meant they are almost out of relegation danger. Valencia could clinch third place if they beat Espanyol in Cornella – where the home team have not conceded a single goal in the second half of the season –but will be without the suspended David Silva and Ruben Baraja. Mallorca are away to Bilbao, who’ve lost steam over the last few games, winning just one of their last five, and need a result to maintain their push for Europe. Finally, Seville and Atletico Madrid have a rehearsal of their Spanish Cup final on Sunday, with Quique’s team fresh from their win over Liverpool and Seville needing the win to challenge Mallorca for the final Champions League spot.
Spanish League Preview – Week 35

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