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Five Aside

Cissokho ready for UCL spot 'decider'

Valencia left-back Aly Cissokho says Sunday's Primera Division game at Real Sociedad will go a long way to determining which team secures La Liga's final Champions League qualifying place for next season.

With six games to play champions-elect Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid look assured of finishing in the Primera Division's top three. Behind them, La Real sit fourth in the table, two points ahead of Valencia, with Malaga - who are appealing a European ban - a further three points back in sixth.

Former Lyon defender Cissokho said winning this weekend's clash at Anoeta, and jumping over them in the standings, was vital for his side's future prospects.

"This game will determine the future," Cissokho said. "It will be a clash with a lot of pressure for the players and for the club. We need to play well and get above them in the table. Although there are still other games before the end of the season."

Champions League prize-money is particularly important for Valencia, given the club's estimated €450 million debts, and uncertainty over the futures of players including Roberto Soldado, Adil Rami, Jonas Goncalves and Cissokho himself.

Los Che playmaker Sergio Canales has been ruled out of Sunday's visit to San Sebastian, however initial fears that he was set for another long spell on sidelines were unfounded, but tests have shown a muscle tear which suggests a two week recovery period.

In further positive injury news for Valencia fans, Jonas, David Albelda and Jeremy Mathieu should all be fit to make this weekend's game.


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