Squad news

MATCHDAY 34: TARGETING EUROPE

28 Apr 2008
Deportivo is now targeting the next UEFA cup, while it keeps an eye over the Champions League. For the moment, the Galicians are occupying the Intertoto spot, but the positive streak lived by the squad invites to be optimistic and dream about returning to play the biggest tournament in Europe. Meanwhile, matchday 34 confirmed the relegation of Levante.

Two are the main news after matchday 34: First, Real Madrid has almost secured the championship since Schuster's squad only needs a point within the last four games. Secondly, Levante is already a team of Segunda Divisi�n after suffering a new defeat, this time at Huelva against Recreativo. Also, the second ticket in the drop zone seems reserved for Real Murcia, Clemente's squad needs to win the remaining four games and pray to see Osasuna or Zaragoza losing all the games, something that seems impossible. In the other side of the table, Barcelona and Villarreal already secured their participation in the next UEFA Champions League.

About Deportivo, the Galicians clinched the fifth win in a row and now they already secured the mathematical permanence. Now the goal is to reach a direct ticket in order to play in Europe during next season, or at least to keep the Intertoto spot. The UEFA zone is three points away from Depor and even the Champions League seems feasible since the fourth place is six points over the Galicians.

With Real Madrid touching the title with both hands, with Villarreal almost achieving an historic second place, and with the relegation of Murcia and Levante, the things still to be solved in la liga are: the fourth place in the table, the two direct tickets to the next UEFA cup, the Intertoto spot and the third and final relegated team to Segunda Divisi�n.

The situation after matchday 34:


The race for the Champions League spot seems reserved to Atl�tico Madrid, Racing Santander and Sevilla. Deportivo has its options, but it needs to keep the same pace and to see the other clubs involved in the fight falling. Just as it's happening right now. As the table shows up, Atl�tico, Racing and Sevilla have just added the 40% of the points within the last five matchdays, while the Galicians present a perfect 100%. If Lotina's team is able to continue with the positive streak and add at least ten of the last twelve points, it will probably secure a UEFA spot and maybe it will have an option for the Champions League.

But Depor hasn't secured yet the spot for the Intertoto and could end the season with empty hands. The following week is  very important since the Galician squad will play two games within five days: at La Romareda against Zaragoza and against Levante at the Riazor. Two wins in this two games will secure the Intertoto position and will give clear options in order to fight for the UEFA zone and even for the Champions League, especially since Depor will visit Atl�tico Madrid during the penultimate matchday of the season.

The Champions League spot, the two direct tickets for the UEFA and the Intertoto position represent the four European places that still in dispute, there are eight clubs fighting for those four spots: Atl�tico Madrid, Racing, Sevilla, Depor, Almer�a, Espanyol, Mallorca and Atlhetic Bilbao. The following is the comparison of the calendar of this teams:




Racing has an advantage since it has to play three of the four remaining matches at El Sardinero, while Depor plays two straight games against drop zone clubs, but its last two matches are against two clubs in the top-four positions. Meanwhile Atl�tico Madrid has to secure the Champions League place in the following two games since its facing two clubs that are having a grey second round, and specially because the last two games are against a strong Depor and against the recently resurrected Valencia.

Finally, Depor continues to be the best team in the second round, while Villarreal and Real Madrid are the squads with the most regular numbers in both rounds, reason that explains why they are occupying the two first places in the general table. Espanyol and Real Murcia remains ad the two worst teams in this part of the tournament.


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