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Time for cool nerves in Spain

English.news.cn   2014-04-24 17:26:12

MADRID, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Matchday 35 in the BBVA Primera Liga will be a moment when many sides will have to hold their nerves if they are to achieve their hard-fought goals for the season.

The first side who will have to do their job are Real Madrid, who should nevertheless have few problems in defeating Osasuna in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday evening.

Madrid go into the game three points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, knowing a win will put all the pressure in the title race on their rivals.

Atletico face a difficult trip to Valencia on Sunday night in a game where both sides' European ambitions could also be a factor. Atletico have to go for their Champions League semifinal return leg away to Chelsea on Wednesday, while Valencia face Sevilla in the Europa League semifinal on Thursday.

It will be a question of priorities for both coaches, but it is hard to see Atletico coach Diego Simeone allowing his side to relax for an instant.

FC Barcelona received some good news this week with the announcement they will be able to make signings this summer. Barca travel to Villarreal knowing they need a win to keep their slim title hopes alive and coach Tata Martino has had the rare luxury of a week with no midweek game or drama in which to prepare his side.

Athletic Club Bilbao will also need to stay calm when they entertain Sevilla, who have won nine of their last 10 league matches, in a match that will almost certainly confirm which of the two teams takes fourth place and qualifies for next season's Champions League.

A win for Athletic will put them six points ahead of Sevilla with better head to head goal difference, while a win for the visitors, who have a tough Europa league game at home to Valencia, would give them a favorable goal average.

The San Mames Stadium is preparing to welcome Athletic with a special atmosphere to see their side into the much-desired Champions League place.

Elsewhere relegation is on the agenda as Elche entertain Levante and Getafe play at home to a Malaga side which assured its top flight future on Monday.

Celta Vigo know a win at home to Valladolid will mean they are safe from the drop, while their visitors know a defeat could see them drop into the bottom three. Meanwhile Almeria have to take something from their trip to face Espanyol on Sunday lunchtime or their short tenure in the top-flight will be very close to coming to an end.

Finally, Granada know a win at home to Rayo will see them safe, while defeat for Betis at home to Real Sociedad will see them mathematically become the first team condemned to the second division.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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