Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde has said his side must assume it will have to win away to Sevilla on Saturday if it is to secure fourth place and Champions League qualification for next season.

Los Che goes into the final day of the Spanish season two points ahead of Real Sociedad, which travels to relegation-threatened Deportivo la Coruna.

With Sociedad boasting a superior head-to-head record in its meetings with Valencia this season, the San Sebastian club will qualify for the Champions League if the two teams finish level on points.

That means a draw for Valencia will not suffice if Sociedad wins at the Riazor.

And Valverde believes his side will have to register a fifth consecutive victory if it wants to play amongst Europe’s elite next season. Valencia will be without Andres Guardado as he has already flown out to join up with Mexico ahead of its World Cup qualifier with Jamaica on June 5, whilst Tino Costa and Nelson Valdez are both injury doubts.

Sociedad, meanwhile, has to hope for a favour from Sevilla and has the added complication of facing a Deportivo side that knows it will guarantee its top-flight status with a win.

Deportivo coach Fernando Vazquez is hoping his players will feed off the atmosphere at the Riazor rather than being intimidated by the situation they find themselves in.

Should Deportivo fails to win, the door would be open for its Galician rival Celta Vigo, Real Zaragoza or Mallorca to save itself with no side yet mathematically relegated.

Moreover, all three have winnable games at home against opposition with nothing to play for as Celta and Mallorca face mid-table Espanyol and Valladolid respectively, whilst Zaragoza hosts third-placed Atletico Madrid.

Celta is best positioned to save itself should Deportivo slip-up as it is just one point behind its Galician neighbour and tied with Zaragoza on 34 points, but has a better head-to-head record against Zaragoza. Mallorca, meanwhile, must hope that neither Celta nor Zaragoza win and Deportivo lose to have any chance of survival.

On Saturday, Barcelona will look to round off its championship-winning season by matching Real Madrid’s record 100 points total from last season when it hosts Malaga.

Emotional farewell

There is sure to be an emotional farewell to Eric Abidal at the Camp Nou as he plays his last game in a Barca shirt after announcing on Thursday that he would leave the club at the end of the season.

Victor Valdes is also expected to take his place in goal for the final time at the Camp Nou as he looks set to move on after more than 500 appearances for the club.

And there will be more goodbyes in the Spanish capital when Jose Mourinho takes charge of Real Madrid for the final time when it hosts Osasuna on Saturday. — AFP

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