Preview | 10 MAY 2015

Race for sixth and relegation dogfight the chief attractions of Sunday’s fixtures

The final sprint in the Liga Adelante sees several clashes with play-off hopes at stake, such as Llagostera-Numancia and Alavés-Ponferradina.

RCD Mallorca - Real Betis (Iberostar Estadio, 12 pm)

Betis travel from Andalusia to the Balearic Islands to open up Sunday’s action, in a match that will see Pepe Mel’s men look to maintain their lead over second by getting back to winning ways after drawing with UE Llagostera on the most recent matchday. For Mallorca, it is an opportunity to increase the six-point margin they have over At. Osasuna in the final relegation spot, and to move closer to confirming survival Mallorca coach Miquel Soler warned of the "danger Betis pose on the counter-attack" and of los verdiblancos’ "good form on the road". Meanwhile, visiting boss Mel noted that "Mallorca are a team who have spent many years in the Liga BBVA and have top-level players".

UE Llagostera - CD Numancia (Estadio Municipal de Palamós, 4 pm)

Up next is a clash between two sides not giving up on a place in the play-offs. Llagostera and Numancia, who sit in eight and ninth place respectively, are still in with a shout of taking sixth – currently held by R. Zaragoza – and to do so a win will be vital.

Llagostera coach Lluís Carrillo expects a game in which "set-pieces will be key", adding that his side will have to show intensity to battle for "every 50-50 ball". His opposite number, Juan Antonio Anquela, insisted that his team are out to "fight till the end for something special", and praised the hosts: "We’re up against an outfit who, together with Betis, have been the best team over the second half of the season".

In the day’s six o’clock clash, a Mirandés side who have all but done what they needed to take on Osasuna, with the men from Navarre in the thick of the battle to climb their way out of the relegation zone. The visitors are aiming to earn a positive result that would see them make it four games in a row without tasting defeat.

Enrique Martín Monreal will miss out on the chance to make his debut in the Osasuna dugout due to a health issue. His Mirandés counterpart, Carlos Terrazas, conceded that his side had hoped to "have more points at this stage of the league campaign", but insisted: "It still isn’t too late to move into the upper reaches of the table".

Zaragoza face another 'cup final' as they bid to stay on track for the target of sixth place and qualification for the play-offs. To do so, los maños will have to see off an Albacete outfit who come into the game clear of the immediate relegation heat and after beating FC Barcelona B on the most recent matchday.

Home coach Ranko Popović declared that the fixture is one that "can open a lot of doors as we look to achieve our final objective". Meanwhile, Albacete boss Luis César Sampedro noted that "a point could be a good result", but stated categorically: "I want to reach safety as soon as possible and we’re going to Zaragoza to look for the win".

It’s a match between relegation rivals at 7 pm. Racing, who lie in the bottom four, welcome a Tenerife outfit that are just five points better off than them, and the men from Santander need a win to move closer to their target of claiming survival.  

Racing boss Javier Pinillos made his feelings clear ahead of the match: "A defeat would complicate matters for us significantly, but there would still be five games to go to achieve our objective". Meanwhile, opposite number Raúl Agné explained that, were his team to come away with the win, "it’d be a massive result against a direct rival". D. Alavés - SD Ponferradina (Estadio de Mendizorroza, 9 pm)

The matchday is closed out by Alavés and Ponferradina, a fixture that sees two more teams face off with the coveted sixth position in their sights. Ponferradina are six points ahead of the Basques, so the hosts are running out of time if they are to take their place in the end-of-season battle for promotion to the Liga BBVA.

Alberto López, coach of Alavés, is aware of their position: "If we lose, it could be a decisive blow in terms of making the top six". Ponferradina boss Manolo Díaz is hoping to come away with victory: "A win not only keeps us in the hunt, it would also leave a direct rival in Alavés all but out of the battle".

© LaLiga - Year 2015

Speaking about: Liga Adelante, RCD Mallorca, Real Betis Balompie, UE Llagostera, CD Numancia, At Osasuna, CD Mirandés, Real Zaragoza, Albacete B., R. Racing C., CD Tenerife, Deportivo Alavés, SD Ponferradina, LaLiga 2