For the first time in a very long time, there is a 4-horse Title race in the Spanish top-flight. Just 6 points separate the top four teams in La Liga with only 3 matches left to play. The La Liga has never been this competitive.
Last weekend, all top 4 teams faced each other in what could have been a pivotal week of the season. However, matters only got more complicated as all matches ended in a draw meaning things remained the same. The remaining 3 games have now become very delicate and the League Title is precarious.
League leaders Atletico Madrid will lick their wounds if they eventually lose the Title. As at February, Atleti were 10 points clear and had seemingly sealed the Title. A poor run of form resulted in them stuttering and allowing their opponents back into the race. Their 0-0 draw against Barcelona last weekend means they have a superior head-to-head advantage over Barcelona. They however have a lesser head-to-head advantage over Real Madrid in 2nd place.
Reigning Champions Real Madrid have had a tough season. Los Blancos have had almost 60 injuries this season, the most of any club ever. Zinedine Zidane has had to resort to playing players out of position and using a lot of youngsters. However, Atletico Madrid’s slip has brought them back into the race. Real Madrid’s uncertainty was on show on Sunday again when they failed to capitalize on Atleti’s draw, only managing a draw themselves. Los Blancos’ remaining fixtures are the toughest of all top 4 teams. They have to play Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal and must hope Atletico stutter. They however have a superior head-to-head advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid.
Barcelona have been able to rescue a disastrous start to the season into a promising one. Their start to the season was so bad, they were 13 points behind Atletico in January. Lionel Messi’s announcement that he wanted to leave the club compounded their issues. They have however built up an impressive late rally. They won the Copa del Rey and are still chasing the La Liga crown. A double in a season that was threatening to be their worst in almost 20 years would ease many of Barcelona’s problems. They have a somewhat easier run-in till the end of the season than their opponents. They will face Levante, Celta Vigo and Eibar. Barcelona however have the worst head-to-head advantage of any of the top 3.
Sevilla have been this season’s surprise packages. They overcame a shaky start to the season and have kept up with the big boys for much of the season. They were only 3 points behind League leaders Atletico Madrid at the end of April. Their home loss to Athletic Bilbao last week could however be the end of any Title dreams. They however showed spirit and grit to hold Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw. Sevilla are 6 points behind Atletico and must hope the top 3 teams falter for them to have a chance. They have to play Valencia, Villarreal and Alaves and must win all matches.