The La Liga title race promises a thrilling climax. 36 games have been played with just two remaining. But, there is still much to play for after a surprising title battle.
La Liga Title Race
An Unpredictable Title Race in Spain
Just two points separate Madrid rivals Atletico Madrid (80) and Real Madrid (78), while a further two points back are Barcelona. All three teams have taken it in turns to slip up along the way. The word ‘consistency’ has only been a dream to the title rivals. So much that they have dropped a remarkably high number of points in comparison to most seasons. Just two rounds of matches remain to decide the most unpredictable La Liga championship possible.
Who Needs What in This Entertaining La Liga Title Race
Atletico Madrid depend on themselves. They will be crowned champions if they win at home to Osasuna and Real Madrid lose away at Athletic Club Bilbao.
Real Madrid realistically need to win both their remaining matches and hope that Atletico slip up. Real do hold the head-to-head in their favour over Atletico. Therefore this could be a distinct possibility given how close this race is.
Barcelona need to win both their matches and hope for a slim chance that Atletico do not win either game or that Real Madrid drop points too.
Here is a look at the remaining fixtures for the three title contenders:
Diego Simeone’s side blew a ten-point lead from January. For all the world they looked doomed to choke just like Newcastle United back in 1996. Yet the Red and Whites have found resolve and steel to lose just once in their last seven games. This run included a hugely important 0-0 draw at Camp Nou with a spirited performance.
Last time out the side won 2-1 against a capable Real Sociedad team to cement their favourites tag. The hardest games on paper are out of the way as they host Osasuna and travel to Real Valladolid on the final day.
Atletico Madrid v Osasuna Sunday, May 16
Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid Sunday, May 23
Real Madrid are digging deep into their well of reserves to mount a spirited title defence. Los Blancos drew in injury time against Sevilla at home before overcoming Granada 4-1 away last time out.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are running on empty. They are having to use players from the reserves to add bodies to the cause. Their whole backline is out injured but their warrior instinct means they are still in with a fighters chance to regain their crown. However, they have two tough fixtures to finish their campaign.
Firstly, the team have a trip to Athletic Club Bilbao before finishing at home to Europe League finalists Villarreal. Yet, that game is made easier by the fact Villarreal have to play three important games in a week against Sevilla and Manchester United before Real Madrid in the league finale.
Athletic Club Bilbao v Real Madrid Sunday, May 16
Real Madrid v Villarreal Sunday, May 23
Barcelona will be kicking themselves not to be leading La Liga. From being mid-table to grazing the summit, Ronald Koeman’s side have done very well to still be in the race. Yet the Camp Nou challengers have choked at the worst time possible.
There was the home defeat to Granada, that home draw to Atletico Madrid and drawing 3-3 at Levante with a two-goal half time advantage. Barcelona finish up with a home tie against in-form Celta Vigo and to basement side Eibar. Although they are still in the title race yet it would be a stunning way to lift La Liga were the Catalans to find a way to get past the Madrid teams now.
Barcelona v Celta Vigo Sunday, May 16
Eibar v Barcelona Sunday, May 23
The climax to this surprising Spanish football season promises to be a fascinating ride. Fasten your seatbelts because there is more entertainment left in this topsy-turvy title tussle.