La Liga title race: What are Barcelona and Real Madrid's remaining fixtures?

Who has the easier run-in, what does each team need to do and who will make it?

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Barcelona and Real Madrid both picked up dominant league wins at the weekend to ensure that both clubs remains level on points at the top of La Liga.

If the pair do the same in the next round of fixtures, this year's title race will be guaranteed to go down to the final weekend.

So, who holds the upper hand as the Spanish football season enters its final stages?

La Liga table

As of 8 May

Barcelona's remaining fixtures

Luis Enrique's Barcelona currently sit in pole position, level on points with Madrid but ahead by virtue of their superior head-to-head record.

Lionel Messi's last-gasp goal in the thrilling 3-2 clasico win at the Bernabeu in April guarantees the Catalans an advantage if they finish level with Madrid at the end of the season. Goal difference is not used to separate teams on a equal number of points in La Liga unless they also have an even head-to-head record.

So essentially, Barcelona have an extra point; that's how important their recent clasico win was. Their next game sees them travel to the Canary Islands to face Las Palmas, whose solid home form has kept relegation worries at bay. Quique Setién's side held Madrid to a draw on the island back in September.

Madrid also dropped points to Eibar at home, which happens to be Barcelona's final fixture of the season. Luis Enrique's men took all three points on their visit to the Basque Country in January, beating Los Armeros 4-0.

Real Madrid's remaining fixtures

Real Madrid, crucially, have a game more to play. The title is therefore in their hands but they still have to negotiate several tricky fixtures, including two away trips.

Up first a home game against Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla, by far the best side on either Barcelona and Madrid's list of remaining opponents, but one whose form has stuttered of late.

The much-discussed rearranged game with Celta Vigo follows next, the original fixture having been postponed in February after Celta's stadium suffered storm damage. 

Eduardo Berizzo's side have lost their last four in the league but that may be down to them focusing on Europa League commitments. The second leg of their semi-final tie against Manchester United will be played on Thursday.

Assuming Madrid win both games and Barcelona beat Las Palmas, Zinedine Zidane's men will enter the final day three points clear, only needing to avoid defeat to secure the club's first title since 2012.

In that scenario, Barcelona would need to beat Eibar and hope Madrid drop points in order to snatch their third consecutive La Liga crown.

How do the run-ins compare?

Remaining fixtures, with current league position of opponents. Home fixtures are in bold. The darker the red, the more difficult the opponent.


Barcelona's run-in can be considered the easier of the two, especially given that they have fewer games to play.

Madrid's is far from straight-forward, even in a league as lop-sided as La Liga. Much will depend on this weekend's meeting with Sevilla, the hardest paper on fixture for either side.

Who will win it?

 


Our money's still with Madrid, even though Barcelona are showing little sign of letting up.

Much may depend on Madrid's European commitments but, with a place in Cardiff's final all but assured, Zidane's men should be more than capable of fighting on two fronts.

Comments