Brief news from La Liga ahead
of this weekend's matches:
Leaders Real Madrid could be crowned La Liga champions for
the 32nd time on Sunday if they beat Sevilla at home, and
second-placed Barcelona lose at Rayo Vallecano.
Jose Mourinho's side, on course to lift a first league title
in four years, have 88 points from 34 matches and hold a
seven-point lead with four games left to play.
Real have romped to 6-2 victories in their last two matches
against the Andalucians.
Real have a full squad to choose from but ninth-placed
Sevilla will be without suspended midfielder Gary Medel and
striker Manu del Moral.
Sevilla have been fined 600 euros by the Spanish
football federation after fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch
to delay the start of last weekend's clash against Levante in
protest at the kickoff time being changed to accommodate the
After three consecutive matches without a win, Barca
travel to Madrid to play 15th-placed Rayo, for the first game of
Pep Guardiola's drawn out farewell after the coach said on
Friday he would be leaving at the end of the season.
They will be without injured Spanish internationals Xavi and
Third-placed Valencia need to pick themselves up from
Thursday's Europa League semi-final exit to Atletico Madrid in
time for the trip to fourth-placed Malaga on Sunday.
Unai Emery's side have a three-point advantage in the race
for the last automatic qualification berth for next season's
Valencia's Spanish youth international Sergio Canales will
be out of action for another six months, the club have said,
after he had a relapse of a knee injury in Thursday's defeat.
The 21-year-old midfielder, on loan from Real Madrid, had
surgery on a damaged ligament in his right knee in October and
had just returned to action.
Surprise package Levante, who were expected to be fighting
to avoid relegation by now but instead are in fifth place, keep
up their push for a first venture into European competition when
they host Granada on Saturday.
"We are going through a fantastic period. After so many
years of suffering it's a moment for us to enjoy and the icing
on the cake would be to qualify for Europe," Levante defender
Juanfran told reporters.
Basement side Racing Santander, who have taken only two
points from their last 10 matches, have to win at Real Sociedad
on Saturday to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
Racing are 11 points behind 17th-placed Villarreal, who host
Osasuna on Saturday.
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