Barcelona aim to lift La Liga title on Sunday

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Madrid, April 28 (IANS) FC Barcelona will be crowned as this football season’s La Liga champions on Sunday if they are able to draw their game away against Deportivo la Coruna, who will be relegated to the Spanish second division if they fail to win.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde will take all of his squad to the Riazor Stadium for the game, although it is likely he will play his strongest squad available with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Phillipe Coutinho and Andres Iniesta in the side, reports Xinhua news agency.

Iniesta made the headlines on Friday when he announced in an emotional press conference that he would be leaving the club he joined as a 12-year-old at the end of the season. He will draw an end to a career which has so far seen him win eight league titles at Barcelona and a point on Sunday would make that nine.

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Deportivo in contrast are virtually doomed to relegation following Levante’s win at home against Sevilla on Friday, although the fact that head to head and not overall goal difference decides league positions between sides who are level on points in Spain, means they have a slight chance of avoiding the drop if they are able to win all of their matches.

However, results in other grounds could mean they are down by kickoff time on Sunday night with their current run of four games without defeat coming too late to save them.

Strikers Adrian Lopez and Lucas Perez have struggled for fitness this week, but should be available for the game.

If Barcelona do take a point on Sunday it will be the first time a team has lifted the title while condemning their rivals to relegation since Athletic Club Bilbao won the league in 1983, condemning Las Palmas to the second division after a 5-1 win.

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–IANS

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