Almeria vs Villarreal preview - Yellow Submarine close on fourth

I have a say

Posted Wednesday, May 11, 2011 by PA

Villarreal can guarantee themselves a top-four finish when they take on already-relegated Almeria at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos, although third spot now looks beyond them.

The Yellow Submarine are currently seven points clear of fifth-placed Athletic Bilbao with only three games remaining having drawn 0-0 at Real Mallorca on Sunday.

Villarreal could yet claim third place as well, but that looks unlikely with Valencia moving five points clear after defeating Real Sociedad 3-0 at the weekend.

Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla said: "The truth is that third place is difficult after Valencia beat Real Sociedad. However, fourth is almost assured, because we would have to lose all our games and Athletic would need to win all of theirs.

"Let's see if we can secure fourth place by winning against Almeria."

The Spain international, whose side reached the Europa League semi-finals and Copa del Rey quarter-finals this campaign, added: "We've done well in three competitions, which was what we lacked in other seasons. Now we need to make that final effort.

"Almeria will want to finish well in front of their fans and play for pride despite it being a difficult time for them.

"We need one more little step to get fourth, but they are not going to give us anything and will go out to win the game."

Almeria became the first team to bid farewell to the Primera Division after they lost 2-0 at Getafe on Saturday.

That was the Andalusian club's seventh successive defeat and left them 13 points adrift of safety.

Midfielder Corona said: "These are very difficult moments in a footballer's career and for the squad, but it is now when we have to show our professionalism, our dignity and our respect to the profession."

He added: "Almeria have to be a serious candidate for promotion next season and we all have to work for that, even though there are no guarantees."

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