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May 31, 2013

Vazquez glad to have fate in own hands

Deportivo La Coruna coach Fernando Vazquez believes the other three teams involved in La Liga's last-day relegation-deciding games all wish they were in his side's position.

Depor, who sit in 17th place, face Real Sociedad at home at the Riazor on Saturday evening, knowing they are safe if they defeat their visitors, who themselves need the three points to have any hope of beating Valencia to fourth spot and Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, Celta Vigo (18th), Real Zaragoza (19th) and Real Mallorca (20th) all kick off at home to Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Real Valladolid respectively, knowing they must win their games and then hope Depor slip up.

Vazquez said that even though his team face a tougher task on paper than their rivals, he prefers that they have their fate in their own hands.

"We have an extraordinary game, we must just think about winning it," Vazquez said. "It is very difficult for us to lose in the Riazor, we must think like that, the players and the fans. Three months ago we were ruined. Now we have three teams behind us. Our rivals say that it will be difficult for us, but they must be super optimistic because they are depending on us. I would not change our position for that of Celta, Mallorca or Zaragoza. We have the initiative, that is fundamental, tremendously important."

Celta coach Abel Resino has a huge goalkeeper-selection call to make ahead of the clash with Espanyol, after first-choice Javi Varas was ruled out with a dislocated elbow. Highly-rated Spanish youngster Ruben Blanco, 17, impressed as a substitute during last weekend's 2-0 win at Valladolid, however, more experienced regular back-up Sergio Alvarez, 26, has declared himself fit for the game after overcoming his own dislocated collarbone problem.

"In my head I am always first choice, but it is not me who decides if I play or not," Alvarez said. "It is not important who plays, what is important is that the team is saved. Whoever plays will be supported so that we can win the game."

Zaragoza go into their match against Atletico at La Romareda further burdened by allegations about match-fixing from previous seasons when they escaped relegation.

Manos striker Helder Postiga admitted the situation was difficult, but said he and his team would keep believing until the end.

"We are all inside a boat called Real Zaragoza and for that we must keep believing and thinking we can do it," Postiga said. "Until the referee blows the final whistle, we must think positively so that things go well and we know it is possible to do it."

Mallorca's preparations for their game have been dominated by a row with Mexico over striker Giovanni dos Santos, whose national side wanted him released for Friday night's friendly against Nigeria in Houston.

FIFA appeared to have ruled in Mexico's favour in the case, but La Liga authorities on Thursday gave Mallorca permission to field the player.

Mexican national team director Hector Gonzalez Inarritu, though, did not agree with the decision.

"The club is kidnapping the player and breaking a rule that is very clear," Inarritu said. "So we would like for actions to be taken against the club that is detaining the player by not letting him come."

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