Racing Santander midfielder Aldo Duscher is wary about the damage relegation-threatened Real Murcia could do to his side’s European hopes this weekend.
With at least a 10-point gap to make up on 17th-placed Osasuna with only 12 points to play for, Murcia are firm favourites to join already-relegated Levante in playing second division football next season.
There is a real possibility that Murcia could do down this weekend when they travel to fifth-placed Racing, which is why Duscher fears Javier Clemente’s men could be especially fired up for Sunday’s match.
“Murcia still have a small chance to stay in the top flight and they will come to win the game and try to take the points,” said Duscher, who used last Saturday’s goalless draw between Murcia and high-flying Sevilla to back up his argument.
“As we saw last weekend, in the game they played against Sevilla, it will not be at all easy, but we are playing at our ground and at home we have to take the match.”
Racing have lost just four of their 16 home games this season, and while their tally of 20 goals scored at El Sardinero is one of the poorest returns in the division, their record of only 13 goals conceded is one of the best.
“We are calm because in our stadium, with the support of our public, we are going to create chances. We have to think that there are 90 minutes to create the opportunities that we are always capable of making at home,” Duscher added.
With three defeats in their last four matches – including two at home against Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna – Racing’s hopes of a Champions League place have taken a hit, but despite that they are still only two points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.
Whatever happens over the next few weeks, Duscher admits he would rather be in their position than Murcia’s.
When asked if he felt under pressure, the Argentina international said: “Pressure would be trying to avoid the drop but for us we are fighting for something nice for the club and the city.
“We depend on ourselves, we do not have to look at our rivals and as well as that we play three of four games at El Sardinero. We are full of hope and desire and I think that we are going to achieve it.”
Centre-back Ezequiel Garay remains sidelined for Racing, but coach Marcelino Garcia Toral should have an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from for Sunday’s clash.
Murcia might still have a mathematical chance of avoiding the drop, but the club’s midfielder Jose Maria Movilla is realistic about their hopes.
“It is going to be very difficult to achieve our aim of staying up now,” he said.
Murcia coach Clemente, who has been offered a new contract to remain at the helm next season, is without suspended duo Quique De Lucas and Abel Gomez for the match, while Abderrahman Kabous is injured.