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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

5 teams fight to avoid relegation in the Spanish league

BARCELONA, Spain ( Associated Press) — With the top spot in the Spanish league almost entirely decided, play is at the bottom of the standings.

The five teams – Getafe, Granada, Cádiz, Mallorca and Alavés – are all trying to avoid 18th and 19th-place finishes and join Levante, who have already qualified for relegation to the second division the following season. Assurance has been given.

Mallorca and Alavés are currently in the bottom three and need to overhaul rivals in their last two games.

All matches with any effect in the standings will be played at the same time on Sunday.

Getafe enters the final round in the best of the desperate bunch. Quique Sánchez helped Flores’ team return for a third stint in charge, needing only one point from their remaining two matches.

Getafe first face a tough test at home against a Barcelona team that is still trying to finish second. The league runner-up earns a berth in the Spanish Super Cup.

Granada, who have won two straight under new coach Ettore Karanka, are four points clear from the drop before visiting Real Betis.

Cadiz is only two points away from danger. It hosts champions Real Madrid on Sunday and will then play Alavés in the final round in what could be a winner-take-all showdown.

“I hope Real Madrid play well, but Cadiz plays even better, and we have a tiger eye, go to the match and try to win it,” Cadiz coach Sergio Gonzalez said on Thursday.

Mallorca should win their last two games starting at home against Rayo Vallecano, and expect their opponents to drop points.

“We are alive. We have two more finals left,” Mallorca coach Javier Aguirre said after taking a point in his team’s scoreless draw in Sevilla on Wednesday.

Alaves has the toughest job. Basque Country Club are four points away from safety and need to beat Levante and then hope to reach their last match against Cádiz with their chances.

The club said it would pay for tickets and bus rides for about 400 fans to go to Sunday’s match in Levante, Valencia.

Near the top of the standings, Sevilla still need to clinch fourth place and a final Champions League berth. The team leads Betis in fifth place by five points before visiting Atlético Madrid.

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More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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