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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 12, 2006

UEFA Cup winners Sevilla target Champions League

MADRID, May 12 (Reuters) - UEFA Cup winners Sevilla have their eyes on a place in next season's Champions League when they host champions Barcelona on Saturday, in their rescheduled Primera Liga match from last month.

The Andalucians, fifth on 62 points, claimed their first European trophy on Wednesday with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Middlesbrough and can draw level with fourth-placed Osasuna with a victory in the Sanchez Pizjuan.

The original fixture was abandoned on April 23 due to a waterlogged pitch leaving Sevilla with a game in hand over Osasuna.

Spain's fourth place in Europe's top competition will be decided on Tuesday when Sevilla play their last game against Real Madrid and Osasuna host Valencia.

As his side celebrated their UEFA Cup victory, Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido signalled the club's ambition.

'The best is yet to come. We must continue working hard so that this is not just a one-off, and to see if we can improve on what we have achieved this year,' he said.

Barcelona wrapped up their second consecutive league title last week and are likely to be more concerned about avoiding injuries ahead of next Wednesday's Champions League final against Arsenal in Paris.

At the other end of the table, the third team to join already-relegated Cadiz and Malaga in the second division next year will be decided on Saturday.

Alaves occupy 18th place with 36 points, and are at home to Deportivo Coruna, while 17th-placed Espanyol on 38 points, host Real Sociedad.

King's Cup winners Espanyol have a theoretical advantage as 14th-placed Sociedad secured their place in the top-flight last weekend and have nothing left to play for.

'We are 90 minutes away from completing a historical season,' Espanyol coach Miguel Angel Lotina said. 'I hope the players concentrate on the success that awaits rather than on the possibility of relegation.'

Lotina's side have their destiny in their own hands and need a win to be safe, but they have managed only one in their last 11 league outings.

Alaves must win and hope Espanyol draw or lose. But they take on a Depor side who are in pole position, in seventh place, to make the Intertoto Cup next season.

The Basque side, who were promoted last year, have one win from their last eight games and will be without suspended first-choice goalkeeper Franco Costanzo.

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