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Relegation Battle

Sporting visit Levante in relegation six-pointer

It has been 16 days since either of these teams last kicked a ball in earnest, but it could be worth the wait for the winner of this vital relegation six-pointer.

Sporting visit Levante in relegation six-pointer

For the bottom and second-bottom teams in LaLiga, every game between now and the season’s end is a final. Eight of them remain for each club, including tonight’s meeting at the Ciutat de Valencia.

Sporting Gijón will have a new-found confidence after the unexpected three points they picked up against Atlético in El Molinón before the international break. Levante, on the other hand, missed out on the chance to go three matches unbeaten for the first time this season with their 2-1 loss away at Deportivo.

Those matches are already long forgotten, though, as they were played 16 days ago. There has, therefore, been plenty of time to prepare for this so-called final.

Levante coach Rubi will have almost all his starters available for this one. Only midfielder Simao Mate, who has played every time he has been available, will be missing after he picked up his tenth booking of the season at the Riazor. In the Levante back line, the injured Toño also misses out, but Juanfran may have started ahead of him in any case.

Sporting’s Abelardo will also play a similar lineup to the one that took to the field over two weeks ago, although he will be without Bernardo, Menéndez, Barrera and Canella, all injured. Sanabria and Ndi will be the biggest source of problems for Levante. With eleven goals to his name, Sanabria is the Asturian side’s top scorer this season, while Ndi has been useful in his dozen league appearances.

With Levante and Sporting five and two points from safety respectively, a slip up this evening could prove very costly.


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