As Barcelona rolls, focus shifts to top-4 finish
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -With only a debacle stopping Barcelona from reclaiming the Spanish league title, a pack of competitive sides is still in the hunt for a top-four finish and a Champions League berth for next season.
This season is almost two-thirds over and there is a logjam of teams jousting for the right to play in European club football's top competition and bank its lucrative payoff.
Only six points separate Malaga in fourth place from Levante in ninth, with Valencia, Rayo Vallecano, Real Sociedad and Real Betis in between.
Malaga prepares for its upcoming Champions League game with Porto by hosting Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, while Barcelona visits Granada before its trip to AC Milan to begin its own last-16 series.