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Juan Carlos Valerón PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ

Can Malaga and Valencia stay in touch with Real? With four points separating them from fourth place Real Sociedad – who face a tricky Basque derby in Pamplona- Malaga and Valencia meet at the Mestalla on Saturday, both knowing defeat could put an end to their Champions League hopes for next season. Valencia have lost just one of their last 11 games, though they’ve won only five, but a win against Pellegrini’s team and a slip up by Real would take them to within a point of the Basques ahead of next weekend’s trip to Anoeta. Malaga know this is a must win clash themselves after defeat in Donosti last week and with trips to the Bernabeu and the Camp Nou to come in the run in.

Since losing at the Camp Nou last month, Deportivo have won all four games, beating three relegation rivals and scoring 13 goals to lift themselves a point clear of the bottom three.Fernando Vazquez took over in La Coruña in February and has overseen an astonishing turn around, though he insists: “I’m no Messiah, I haven’t got a magic wand. Messiahs work with faith, but I am just methodical, intense and very demanding”.On Sunday Deportivo host Bilbao - Can the Deportivo miracle continue?

Will Monday be the end of the road for Celta or Zaragoza? With Mallorca managing just a point at home to Rayo on Friday night(1-1), the two teams below them, Celta and Zaragoza, face another massive game at Balaidos on Monday night. Celta are four points off safety, with Zaragoza just a point ahead of them. As the Galicians’ midfielder Natxo Insa: “this is our last chance!”

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