Malaga vs Sevilla preview - Emery expects strong finish

Posted Friday, May 22, 2015 by PA

Sevilla coach Unai Emery wants one big final push from his side as they look to end the season on an unforgettable high with a top-four finish in La Liga and the Europa League back in their trophy cabinet.

Sevilla wrap up their league campaign on Saturday with a trip to Andalusian rivals Malaga and they still have a chance of snatching fourth place off of Valencia, who are one point above them ahead of their away game with Almeria.

Even if Sevilla do not manage to overhaul Valencia they may still get into next season's Champions League by retaining their Europa League title.

They will get the chance to do that next Wednesday when they face Dnipro in the final in Warsaw, and Emery is looking for a big week from his players.

He told reporters: "We are working on the Malaga game, because it is a path into the Champions League, and working on Dnipro.

"We are working hard day by day. I want us to have a competitive week at a high level.

"That we've got two objectives still available, and with our dreams alive, is the nicest thing."

He added when asked about what their priorities are: "To win the Europa League because that gives us the Champions League, but the league is what shows the consistency of the whole season.

"You know that you have 38 games and they set your objectives. Now, once you have a final, the priority is shared. Obviously the Europa League gives you a title and direct access (to Champions League), but we're not assured of that, the same as it's not assured that we can be fourth on Saturday."

If recent form is anything to go by, Sevilla would appear to be firm favourites against Malaga at La Rosaleda, because while Emery's men have only lost once in 20 competitive matches, their stuttering opponents have only taken six points from a possible 30.

That run has ruined their chances of earning a top-six finish, but they could still claim seventh place - and a possible place in the Europa League - if they beat Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao lose to Villarreal.

That is what centre-back Weligton is hoping will happen.

He told a press conference: "We're determined to say goodbye to the season with a victory at home. We know the rivalry that there is and our fans deserve it.

"We've been up there almost all of the season. Many of my team-mates and me we're very annoyed we're not now in the Europa League places.

"We will try to do what we can on our part and in football anything can happen. I hope that Villarreal play against Athletic the same as they played against us (Villarreal beat Malaga 2-1 last weekend).

"We have to do our part, which is to beat Sevilla."

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