Barca aims to seize title opportunity

By The Sports NetworkMay 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM
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Barcelona will look to take another step toward the La Liga title on Sunday when the club heads to the Martinez Valero to face Elche.

The Catalans seemed dead and buried in the title race a week ago but have since been left in control of their own destiny following Atletico Madrid's shock loss to Levante at the weekend and Real Madrid's crushing draw to Valladolid on Wednesday.

Barcelona enters the weekend three points back of first-place Atletico, but because the two clubs face one another on the final match day of the season, the Catalans know they can retain the La Liga title by winning their final two games.

Pedro has urged his team to take control of the situation, stating that it would be "unforgivable" to squander an opportunity for a second consecutive league title this late in the season.

"It would be unforgivable to not take this second opportunity," Pedro said during Thursday's post-training news conference. "But we also know we have two difficult rivals. We are aiming for the title. We are united in the dressing room, we can win these two games, that is clear. Without doubt we are going for it all. Elche's ground is a difficult place to go, but we will go there looking for that win. If we do not win on Sunday then winning La Liga will be very difficult."

While Atletico's title hopes essentially rest on its clash with Barcelona, Diego Simeone's men will first need to focus their attention to their home match against Malaga on Sunday.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, remains in the hunt with an outside chance of winning the title, but Carlo Ancelotti's side must take maximum points from its final two games for its best shot. The Merengues will travel to Celta Vigo on Sunday.

The relegation battle in the Spanish top flight is also heating up as the 14th and 19th places in the table are separated by just four points.

Real Betis is the only club in the top flight that has been officially relegated, but Osasuna, Valladolid, Getafe, Almeria, Granada and Elche can also lose out on top-flight football for next season.

Valladolid will take on Real Betis on Sunday while Granada squares off with Almeria, Getafe hosts Sevilla and Osasuna heads to Espanyol.

Elsewhere in the Spanish top tier, Athletic Bilbao, already assured a Champions League qualification spot for next season, will have little to play for when the club hosts Real Sociedad on Sunday, while Saturday's action will see Villarreal welcome Rayo Vallecano to El Madrigal and Valencia head to Levante for another installment of the always-heated Valencia derby.


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