State of the La Liga championship race

Posted on: July 7th, 2019 by
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Leaders Barcelona have a four-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid with 10 games left and are well placed to secure their fifth La Liga title in seven years.

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Luis Enrique’s side have what looks on paper to be a slightly trickier run-in, with trips to champions Atletico Madrid, who are fourth, and fifth-placed Sevilla and a home game against third-placed Valencia.

Real, who have a superior head-to-head record over Barca which is used before goal difference to separate teams with equal points, also have to play at Sevilla and host Valencia.

Champions League

Barca and Real are almost certain to claim Spain’s first two automatic berths in Europe’s elite club competition and Valencia and Atletico Madrid look set to battle it out for the third.

The pair are currently separated by a point, while Valencia have a superior head-to-head record after beating Atletico 3-1 at home and drawing 1-1 at the Calderon.

Sevilla are four points adrift of Atletico in fifth, while Villarreal are a further six points behind in sixth and their chances of Champions League football next season appear remote.

Europa League

If Sevilla miss out on a Champions League spot, they can at least console themselves with a place in the Europa League, the competition they won last season and in which they remain alive this term.

Villarreal have a five-point lead over seventh-placed Malaga and are in a strong position to claim the second Europa League berth. Malaga are five points clear of Athletic Bilbao in eighth.

Relegation

Five points adrift at the bottom and on a nine-match losing streak, Cordoba are almost certainly doomed.

The usual scrap among the teams in the second half of the table to avoid the drop will likely involve all the sides below 12th-placed Espanyol, who have 34 points.

Only six points separate Getafe on 29 points in 13th and Granada on 23 points in 19th, with Eibar, Elche, Deportivo La Coruna, Almeria and Levante in between.

King’s Cup

With Barca almost certain to qualify for the Champions League, their rivals in the King’s Cup final, Athletic Bilbao, are virtually assured of a Europa League place regardless of who wins the showpiece at the Nou Camp on May 30.

Barca are chasing a record-extending 27th Cup triumph, while Bilbao are seeking their 24th and first since 1984.

Promotion

Real Betis and Sporting Gijon are first and second in the Liga Adelante and best placed to claim the two automatic promotion spots.

Las Palmas, Girona, Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza are currently in line for a place in the playoffs, with the likes of Ponferradina, Llagostera, Leganes, Numancia, Alaves, Alcorcon and Lugo close behind.

(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)


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