La Liga weekend preview

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde wants nothing less than victory when his side host fellow European hopefuls Real Betis on Saturday.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 08:59 Post Comment

Ernesto Valverde: Looking for a win over Real Betis

Ernesto Valverde: Looking for a win over Real Betis

Los Che will look to arrest a four-game winless streak that has threatened their participation in Europe next term. During that run, Valverde's side were also knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage by Paris St Germain.

Valverde is wary of letting the season go flat and has called for his side to turn matters around against Betis, who sit a place and a point above them in sixth.

With Barcelona streaking away with the league, the fight for Europe, and relegation, have become the focus of the La Liga run-in.

Malaga's impending European ban has provided a number of clubs with hope of playing continental football next season.

The Andalucians currently sit fourth - meaning their one-season ban would kick in next term - to give clubs as low as Sevilla in 12th hope of reaching Europe.

Sevilla have a golden chance to boost their bid this weekend when they host a Real Zaragoza side that could have fallen into the drop zone by the time they meet on Sunday.

Celta Vigo or Real Mallorca could leap out of the drop zone before then. Celta travel to last-placed Deportivo La Coruna on Friday for a Galician derby that has developed into a war of words before kick-off.

Sought-after Celta striker Iago Aspas has drawn the ire of rival boss Fernando Vazquez after he said he hoped defeat would leave their rivals with "two feet in the second division".

Victory would, however, push Celta out of the bottom three although Mallorca could send them back in 24 hours later should they claim an unlikely win at Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho's side have started to find their best form of late and finally dragged themselves ahead of city rivals Atletico last weekend.

Atletico could even be four points adrift before they travel to Osasuna on Sunday while fifth-placed Real Sociedad, who ended the capital club's perfect home record last weekend, host Valladolid.

Barcelona will be fresh from their comeback Champions League success over AC Milan in midweek when they welcome Rayo Vallecano.

Getafe and Levante will both look to keep alive their flickering European ambitions. Getafe host Athletic Bilbao while Levante travel to Granada.

Elsewhere, Malaga, who reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 2-1 aggregate win over Porto in midweek, are at home to Espanyol.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Darron Gibson makes Everton comeback after nine months out with cruciate injury

Darron Gibson made his comeback after nine months out with a serious knee injury in Everton's friendly against Tranmere.

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Transfer news: Liverpool appear to be close to completing a deal for Loic Remy

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Loic Remy with the French forward reportedly having his medical in Boston.

Mail Box

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

Anyone But Rooney. Or Baines. Or Hart.

There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property