Ups and downs in LaLiga with just 4 games to go
With the title race back on, we look at the contest for European positions and the teams involved in a fierce relegation battle at the bottom of the table.
Four games remain in the 2015/16 LaLiga. Four games with a possible 12 points that will decide who secures the title as Barcelona's implosion has has opened the contest into a three horse race between Barça, Atleti and Real Madrid. Luis Enrique's side managing to put the Catalan sides title tilt back on challenge with a 0-8 demolition of Depor at Riazor whilst Atleti and Real Madrid picked up maximum points too with wins over Athletic and Villarreal respectively.
Things are equally as interesting in the race for a European spot and once again at the bottom of LaLiga, the battle to remain in the Spanish top flight will go right down to the wire.
Spain have seven European competitions allocations, nominally allocated to the top four placed leagues sides who secure Champions League football with fifth and sixth participating in the Europa League. The Copa del Rey winner is also allocated a Europa League spot.
With the recent UEFA regulation to add prestige to the Europa League, there is a scenario where five Spanish teams could classify for the Champions League being the top 4 plus UEL winner (as was the case in the current season with Sevilla as winners joining Valencia, Atletico, Real Madrid and Barça in the Champions League.
The allocation of European places will be determined by Villarreal and Sevilla's performance in the Europa League with Sevilla already guaranteed a Europa League spot as being finalist in the Copa del Rey. (The Andalusian side face Barcelona on May 22).. Villarreal and Seviila's final league standings will also have a key bearing on whether or not seventh place is good enough for a Europa League spot.
Things are somewhat more straightforward concerning the drop to Segunda with 18th, 19th and 20th placed teams playing in the second tier next season. With four games (Getafe, Granada and Levante have five with all three sides playing tonight) it's fair to say that in all likelihood the three relegated sides are set to be chosen from Getafe (28 points), Levante (28 points), Granada (30 points) Sporting (32 points) and Rayo Vallecano (35) though Espanyol, Las Palmas and Depor are still looking anxiously over their shoulder at the wrong end of the table.
Tonight we have a classic relegation six pointer at Los Carmenes as Granada host Levante (third bottom versus second bottom). 700 Levante fans are set to make the midweek away trip with the game totally sold out.
With 12 points at stake with each game a potential "final" for the implicated sides. The penultimate round if games (week 37) features another relegation decider as Sporting travel to Getafe. Given the narrow margin at the foot of the table it's feasible that head-to-head will be determined to separate teams tied on points as was the case last season between Deportivo and Eibar.
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