In the Spanish LaLiga a few weeks or months ago everything looked like Atlético Madrid would go all the way to their eleventh title. But now the fight for the championship title has become a battle of four. Even Sevilla FC has been back in the thick of it since last weekend.
After 26 rounds, Atlético Madrid were still six points ahead of FC Barcelona. Diego Simeone’s team lost only two games, conceding just 18 goals, so up to this point 0.69 per game. After the 2-1 win in the supplementary game against Athletic Bilbao on March 10, the Colchoneros were even eight points ahead of their city rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona to take the lead on Thursday
Seven match days later everything is different. Atlético was eliminated in the UEFA Champions League by Chelsea and only got eleven points out of the last seven games in the former Primera División. Most recently there was a 2-1 defeat away at Athletic Bilbao, which could cost Atlético the leadersip in the table. Real Madrid and Barcelona are only two points behind the leaders, Barcelona have one game less. This will be added next Thursday – at the home game against Granada, the public expects that the Blaugrana can take the lead.
Real Madrid stabilized their defense
The current situation in the table shows how constant a team has to be in LaLiga to be at the top in the end. Real Madrid mainly stabilized their defense, conceding only one goal in the last five league games. This means that Los Blancos have been unbeaten for 17 competitive games. Tonight the Champions League semi-finals will be played against Chelsea FC.
Barcelona seeks salvation in the offense
Barcelona, on the other hand, only made one slip in the league in the Clásico at Real Madrid. Apart from the 2-1 defeat, the Catalans haven’t lost a single league game since December 5th. At that time it was a 1-2 defeat at Cádiz on matchday 12. In contrast to the eternal rival from the capital, Koeman’s Barcelona seeks salvation primarily on the offense. In the last seven competitive games alone, the team scored 23 goals.
Sevilla tipped as outsiders
Julen Lopeteguis FC Sevilla is stalking the top trio slowly and constantly. Atlético Madrid are only three points ahead. If Barcelona win their supplementary game against Granada, Sevilla are still only four points behind the first, albeit with the weakest goal difference of the leading quartet. The gap from Sevilla to fifth in the table, Real Sociedad, is already an unbelievable 17 points.
In the upcoming weeks – after Barcelona’s home game against Granada – there are still five rounds left in which these four teams will play the most exciting La Liga title fight in recent history.
Barca to face Atlético at Camp Nou
Barcelona definitely have the best cards in this title fight and, above all, a special key game on the way to the championship. First, the weak team from Valencia CF (a), which is currently only a disappointing thirteenth, is waiting. Immediately afterwards, on May 8th, there will be a summit meeting with Atlético Madrid (h), in which the defensively stable Simeone Eleven could probably be left behind prematurely. The other games should be feasible on the last meters of the season: Levante (a), Celta Vigo (h) and finally Eibar (a).
Atlético needs to tame Barcelona
But Atlético Madrid could also stay on top with the necessary consistency and a good result against Barcelona. Elche (a) is the hurdle before the away game to Barcelona. Then the tough home game against Real Sociedad is up and finally the season finish against Osasuna (h) and Valladolid (a).
Tough program for Real Madrid
Real Madrid is the only one of the four teams with a double burden through participation in the UEFA Champions League. Between the two games against Chelsea, Osasuna (h) is the opponent of the record champion, followed by an exciting duel with Sevilla (h). But the final rounds are also more difficult for Zinedine Zidane’s team than for the competition: Granada (a), Athletic Bilbao (a) and Villarreal (h) are all difficult tasks on the way to the title. Thus, Barcelona should have a clear advantage over their rivals eyeing the rest of the program.
Sevilla needs five wins
Sevilla FC has outsider chances, but the red-whites would have to win the five remaining games to have a chance to land the big hit. The opponents of the Sevillanos are mostly difficult to play against: Athletic Bilbao (h), Real Madrid (a), Valencia (h), Villarreal (a) and Alavés (h) are the last hurdles on the way to a possible sensational championship.