La Liga 2013, Week 30 preview and fixtures: A big battle for fourth place

Stuart Franklin

This week's La Liga schedule gives us a massive match between Real Sociedad and Malaga with fourth place potentially on the line. There's also another important relegation six-pointer as Deportivo La Coruńa faces off against Real Zaragoza.

Real Sociedad will try to create some space between themselves and Malaga for fourth place as the two teams face off this weekend at the Anoeta Stadium. Meanwhile at the bottom of the table Real Zaragoza will attempt to save themselves and potentially hand a major blow to Depor's survival hopes.

Friday, April 5th

Granada vs. Real Betis

(21:00 CET, 3:00 p.m. ET)

An interesting match opens the week with two teams that have plenty to play for at opposite ends of the table. Real Betis failed to move back into a European place with their draw last week but they remain only two points behind Valencia for 6th place. Granada remained four points above the relegation zone with their loss to Athletic Bilbao last week and would like some more points to secure their safety for next season.

Saturday, April 6th

Real Sociedad vs. Malaga

(16:00 CET, 10:00 a.m. ET)

Easily the biggest game in Spain this week, at least in terms of European place implications. Sociedad are in fourth place, one point ahead of Malaga for the final Champions League spot. With Malaga stuck in the middle of a UCL sandwich with a trip to Germany looming, there's really not a better time for Sociedad to play them. Manuel Pellegrini will likely rest some plays though Manuel Iturra and Weligton should play as they are both suspended for the next UCL match. A Sociedad win would put them in the driver seat to finish fourth.

Real Madrid vs. Levante

(18:00 CET, 12:00 p.m. ET)

You'll have to forgive Real Madrid if they aren't overly concerned about this match against Levante. There's basically not chance of catching Barca at the top of the table, though they'll probably want to stay in second ahead of Atletico. Madrid will be focused on their second leg match against Galatasaray so they'll likely be resting several regular starters.

Deportivo La Coruña vs. Real Zaragoza

(20:00 CET, 2:00 p.m. ET)

Depor might not survive in La Liga for next season but at least they're going down fighting. Two straight wins for Spain's last placed team have Depor four points from safety and only a point behind the other two members of the relegation zone. This game is the second straight relegation six-pointer for Depor as they face Zaragoza, they very team they are chasing in their attempt to remain in the top division next season. Zaragoza have been awful in 2013 but have somehow managed to stay just out of the drop zone. A win over Depor would be huge for them.

Barcelona vs. Mallorca

(22:00 CET, 4:00 p.m. ET)

Barcelona won't have Lionel Messi after he was injured against Paris Saint-Germain and you'd expect players like Xavi and Andres Iniesta to be on the bench with a UCL game on Wednesday. Mallorca are stuck in the drop zone but still have a chance of escaping. Celta Vigo took points on Barca last week and Mallorca would love nothing more than to do the same.

Sunday, April 7th

Celta Vigo vs. Rayo Vallecano

(12:00 CET, 6:00 a.m. ET)

Celta Vigo's draw against Barcelona gave them another important point as they attempt to avoid relegation. They're still going to need some help to save themselves but the best thing they can do is keep getting points. Rayo's hope of a European place next season have been squelched thanks to two straight losses so who knows what their motivation will be like for this one.

Osasuna vs. Espanyol

(17:00 CET, 11:00 a.m. ET)

Neither of these sides are going to do anything special this season but it doesn't look like either will be relegated either, so that'll make their fans happy. Osasuna's big victory over Valladolid last week probably gave them enough points to survive but there's still work to be done just in case some teams behind them get hot.

Getafe vs. Atletico Madrid

(19:00 CET, 1:00 p.m. ET)

Atletico Madrid failed to take 2nd place back last week thanks to a disappointing draw against Valencia. With Madrid busy with Champions League play, they could get another chance to make up ground on their rivals. Getafe still have plenty to play for as well since they still have an outside shot of making Europe next season. They'll need some breaks but a win over Atletico would give them a boost.

Valencia vs. Real Valladolid

(21:00 CET, 3:00 p.m. ET)

Valencia earned an important point against Atletico last week and took advantage of Betis' draw to remain in a Europa League spot. This fight is going to go down the last day of the season so every match is a must win at this point for Los Che. Valladolid are safely in the mid-table and are just playing for pride and positioning at this point.

Monday, April 8th

Sevilla FV vs. Athletic Bilbao

(22:00 CET, 4:00 p.m. ET)

The week concludes between two of the bigger name clubs in Spain playing in a game that has no implications on the European chase or the relegation fight. Siesta anyone?

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