Gerard Piqué celebrates a goal against Mallorca / PHOTO: Miguel Ruiz - FCB

Champions League

Real Madrid, Barça and Valencia have already secured the top three places and although
Malaga currently occupy fourth on 55 points, both Europa Cup winners Atletico Madrid, on
53, and Levante, 52 but with a better head to head goal difference against Malaga, could
catch them. Malaga are at home to Sporting in a game their Spanish full back Nacho Monreal
reckons: “we have to win – this is the most important game in our history”, - just what
Levante defender Juanfran believes ahead of his team’s game at home to Bilbao: “this is the
most important game in our 102 year history and it has fallen to us to go out and win it”.
For their part, Atletico Madrid are fifth on 53 points and after their Europa League win in
Bucharest on Wednesday and the ensuing celebrations they have to get back to work when
they travel to Villarreal, needing a win to have any chance of catching Malaga. If Malaga
win, they are in the Champions League, if they draw and Atleticowin, or lose and Atletico or
Levante win, they are out!

Europa League

Levante and Atlético Madrid could be in the Champions League next year then, but they
could also be out of Europe altogether if they lose. Mallorca (52 points) could overtake them
both if they catch champions Real Madrid cold at the Bernabéu, though their head to head
record against Málaga means a Champions League spot is not possible, whilst Osasuna, 51
points in eighth are away to already relegated Racing. Osasuna’s ex- Barça defender Damia
reckons:“we’ve got nothing to lose – we’ve got this far and we are nearly there. Let’s just
hope our legs have still got something left in them!” Sevilla and Athletic Club (49 points) would need,
Levante, Mallorca and Osasuna to all lose to be in with a shout. The Basques are already
guaranteed a place in the Europa League as Cup Finalists, but they will want to bounce back
after Wednesday’s setback and ruin Levante’s party, whilst Sevilla are away to Espanyol.


With only Racing definitely down, there are five teams who are under threat of joining them:
Sporting(37 points) Zaragoza and Rayo(40), Villarreal(41) and Granada(42). The only head to
head is at Vallecas, where Granada will be without Dani Benitez, amongst others, who was this
week handed a three month suspension for throwing a bottle at the ref last week. Sporting are
the only team who don’t have salvation in their own hands, needing to win at Malaga and for
results elsewhere to go their way, whilst Zaragoza will stay up with a win at Getafe and even
a point could be enough if Rayo or Villarreal lose, while Villarreal need just a point to ensure
they don’t go down.

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