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What results do Real Madrid need to be LaLiga champions? How many points do they need?

Real Madrid can make sure of the 2021/22 Spanish league title when they host Espanyol at the Bernabéu on Saturday.

Update:
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
OLI SCARFFAFP

Real Madrid vs Espanyol: live online

Barcelona’s surprise defeat to Rayo Vallecano last weekend means Real Madrid need just a point at home against Espanyol on Saturday to seal their 35th LaLiga title.

Barça, the only team left who can catch the league leaders, were beaten 1-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday, leaving them 15 points off the top with five games to play. The Blaugrana’s 4-0 win over Madrid in March handed them the head-to-head advantage over their arch rivals, so if the teams were to finish level on points, Barça would win the championship. But, starting with Espanyol’s visit to the Bernabéu this weekend, Madrid only have to avoid defeat in one of their remaining games to prevent that from happening.

LaLiga Santander 2021/2022

ClassificationPTSWMTMLM
1Real Madrid782463
2Sevilla6417134
3Barcelona631896
Full classification
Upcoming matches
Real Madrid - LevanteT-12/05 15:30
Atlético - Real MadridS-08/05 15:00
Real Madrid - EspanyolS-30/04 10:15
Calendar

*Data updated to date April 30th, 2022

Real Madrid could be champions this weekend even if they lose

If Barcelona are to have any hope of overhauling Madrid, they must also win every game they have left - so, even if Los Blancos lose to Espanyol, they will win the league this weekend if Xavi Hernández’s men drop points at home to Real Mallorca on Sunday night. Given that Barça are now on a run of three straight Camp Nou defeats - the first time this has ever happened to the Catalans within the same season - that’s an eventuality one would be ill-advised to rule out.

Sevilla, who for much of the season have been Madrid’s closest challengers, were also 15 points behind with five to play as they headed into their clash with Cádiz on Friday. However, Julen Lopetegui’s side were already out of the title race, as their inferior head-to-head record against Madrid and Barça meant they could not finish top in either a two-way points tie with the former, or a three-way points tie also involving the latter. And, in any case, both scenarios are now no longer possible, as Sevilla drew 1-1 with Cádiz. That leaves Los Nervionenses 14 points adrift, with only 12 more available to them.

Madrid will win LaLiga this weekend if:

  • they win or draw against Espanyol on Saturday, or
  • they lose to Espanyol, and Barcelona fail to beat Real Mallorca on Sunday

Over 25 years since Espanyol’s last win at the Bernabéu

So what are the chances of Espanyol making Madrid wait at least another 24 hours? Well, their record at the Bernabéu does little to suggest they’ll do city rivals Barça a favour. Los Pericos last beat Madrid in Madrid back in April 1996, when Jordi Lardín’s double earned a 2-1 win for a team coached by José Antonio Camacho - a man who made over 500 appearances for Real as a player, before going on to manage the club across two spells that lasted a combined five months. Since that defeat to Espanyol just over a quarter of a century ago, Madrid have recorded 22 wins and three draws in the teams’ 25 meetings in the Spanish capital.

This season, Espanyol have managed just one win in 16 away LaLiga games, and have lost four of their last five on the road. It is, though, worth noting that Vicente Moreno’s side, who sit 13th in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone, did beat Madrid 2-1 when the sides faced off at the RCDE Stadium in October. What’s more, it looks like Espanyol will be lining up against a weakened Madrid team, as injuries, suspensions and next week’s European commitments take their toll on the hosts.

Real Madrid set to be far from full-strength

With David Alaba injured, and Éder Militão and Nacho Fernández both suspended, head coach Carlo Ancelotti will have to field a makeshift central defence, potentially featuring left-back Ferland Mendy alongside Jesús Vallejo, who has played seven minutes of LaLiga football this season. And with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Manchester City, the Italian is also expected to rest a few regulars. He has been tipped to send out two understudies at full-back, in Lucas Vázquez and Marcelo, and pick an entirely second-string midfield comprising Eduardo Camavinga, Fede Valverde and Dani Ceballos. In attack, Vinícius Júnior may also be left out.

See also:

Title party planned at Bernabéu and Cibeles

If Madrid do clinch the championship on Saturday, it is being reported in the Spanish media that the team will lift the LaLiga trophy immediately after the final whistle, before parading it around the Bernabéu. The players will then make their way to the Plaza de Cibeles, the square in central Madrid where the club traditionally celebrate major silverware with their supporters. It would be the first LaLiga win that Madrid have been able to enjoy alongside their fans since 2017: because of covid-19 restrictions, they clinched their most recent championship, in 2019/20, in a behind-closed-doors game against Villarreal - and there was no title party at Cibeles.

This week, Madrid city council has been busy preparing the square for potential festivities, and José Luis Martínez-Almeida, the capital’s Real-supporting mayor, certainly appears confident that Madridistas will be flooding Cibeles come Saturday evening. Speaking on Thursday, Martínez-Almeida did his level best to tempt fate, describing a title win against Espanyol as “almost certain”.

Real Madrid fans pack the Plaza de Cibeles to celebrate Los Blancos' 2017/18 Champions League win.
Full screen
Real Madrid fans pack the Plaza de Cibeles to celebrate Los Blancos' 2017/18 Champions League win.REALMADRID.COMDiarioAS

Real Madrid vs Espanyol: what time, how to watch

Real Madrid’s LaLiga matchday-34 clash with Espanyol kicks off at the Bernabéu on Saturday 30 April at 4:15pm local time (CEST). In the United States, that’s 10:15am ET and 7:15am PT. Viewers in the US will be able to watch the game on ESPN+. You can also follow the action with AS USA: Paul Reidy will be providing live-text commentary of the match, with build-up beginning about an hour before kick-off.

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