Just a couple of months ago, when COVID-19 was at its peak in Spain, one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic, few would have imagined that the situation would improve so much, so soon, that now we’re racing towards the finishing line in La Liga.
The penultimate set of fixtures in the Spanish top-flight will be played this week, and there’s one team who are favourites to win the title – Real Madrid.
Having a four-point lead over their arch-rivals Barcelona, Los Blancos know that they need just one more win to end their three-year wait for the coveted La Liga title.
At the other hand of the table, relegation-threatened Leganes and Mallorca are both tied at 32 points each, but with just two matches remaining this season, it’s now or never for both the aforementioned teams.
That, and much more is at stake in gameweek 37, which begins on Thursday night. So without further ado, let’s preview the upcoming round of fixtures in La Liga.
Eibar vs Real Valladolid (Prediction: 1-1)
Kicking things off in gameweek 37 of La Liga will be Eibar, who are set to welcome Real Valladolid to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium on Thursday night. Currently, both teams are level on 39 points and have a similar motive going forward – to avoid defeats.
Both Eibar and Valladolid have done enough to prolong their stay in La Liga, as they in 15th and 14th on the standings respectively, but they would want to finish the season as strongly as possible.
Barcelona vs Osasuna (Prediction: 3-1)
Barring the Eibar-Valladolid game, all the remaining nine matches will kick off at the same time to keep things fair and square for all the teams.
That being said, Barcelona will host Osasuna at the Camp Nou this week, looking to do their job, that is to win, and hope that Real Madrid stutter in their game, which will be played simultaneously.
Barca’s title defence is out of their hands now, the least they can do is finish the season strongly to have the momentum within their stead for the Champions League next month. Meanwhile, 11th-placed Osasuna have little more than pride to play for, and we expect the home side to register a comfortable win.
Mallorca vs Granada (Prediction: 0-1)
Thankfully, Mallorca still have their fate in their own hands, and a win against Granada should be their sole motive this week. However, that’s easier said than done, as the home side have been fairly inconsistent in recent weeks.
Granada, who currently sit comfortably in 10th place on La Liga standings, are anything but pushovers and will give Mallorca a tough fight at the Iberostar Stadium, meaning this game has the makings of an epic encounter.
Real Sociedad vs Sevilla (Prediction: 0-1)
Since La Liga resumed in mid-June, Real Sociedad and Sevilla have had completely opposite fortunes and they are now scheduled to face off in gameweek 37.
While La Real have faded in recent weeks, falling down to seventh place on the back of their latest defeat against Villarreal, Sevilla are in the midst of a four-game winning streak, which makes them favourites for all three points in this game at the Reale Arena.
Sociedad need to win this game to keep their hopes of playing in the Europa League alive. It would be catastrophic for the home side, who will have nobody but themselves to blame if they miss out on European football nextseason.
Celta Vigo vs Levante (Prediction: 1-1)
The season may already be over for Levante, who are sitting comfortably on 12th place, but their adversaries of gameweek 37 have it all to play for.
Celta Vigo failed to win against Osasuna last week and now find themselves in a tight spot as they are in 16th place on the La Liga table, just four points above relegation places.
Their next home match against Levante is extremely crucial. While a win or a draw would all but prolong their stay in La Liga, a defeat against Levante would give the teams below them a huge lifeline.
Valencia vs Espanyol (Prediction: 1-0)
Espanyol’s relegation was confirmed last week and sadly for them, there’s little more than pride to play for, however, that’s not the case with Valencia.
Mathematically, reaching the Europa League places is still possible for Los Che, however, they would need all the teams above them to drop points, which is a highly unlikely scenario.
Valencia’s recent 0-1 loss to relegation-threatened Leganes highlighted everything that’s gone wrong for them this season, although we do expect them to narrowly edge out Espanyol and rise up from ninth on the table.
Real Betis vs Alaves (Prediction: 1-0)
It’s been a season to forget for Real Betis, who despite having spent freely in the summer, will fail to finish in the top half of the table. Luckily though, they don’t have to worry about relegation, unlike Alaves, who are walking a tight-rope.
Alaves know that when they travel to the Benito Villamarin this week, they simply have to win. A draw or a loss won’t really give them much security heading into the final round of matches in La Liga. So, the visitors will be expected to give it their all against Los Verdiblancos.
Real Madrid vs Villarreal (Prediction: 2-1)
The marquee fixture of gameweek 37 is the meeting between Real Madrid and Villarreal. It should be a stunning encounter, given there’s so much at stake.
A win for Los Blancos would seal their first La Liga title since 2017, but a draw or a defeat could possibly complicate matters for them. Judging by their recent form, Real Madrid will be expected to ‘suffer’, but win all three points against a high-spirited Villarreal side.
The visitors look well poised to qualify for the Europa League, but their recent 1-2 reverse at the hands of Real Sociedad took away all the momentum.
Getafe vs Atletico Madrid (Prediction: 0-1)
While Atletico Madrid have secured qualification to the Champions League next season, Getafe are still in the running to qualify for the Europa League.
After 36 games, both Sevilla and Atleti are level on 66 points, but Los Rojiblancos are in third place due to having a better goal difference.
Sixth-placed Getafe are embroiled in a dogged race to qualify for the Europa League and are tied on points with seventh-placed Real Sociedad.
The stakes couldn’t be any higher, and therefore, this game could be the one which seals Getafe’s European dreams or maybe break it.
Athletic Bilbao vs Leganes (Prediction: 1-1)
Athletic Bilbao are currently three points away from European places and they know that both of their remaining matches are must-wins, and that’s exactly what Leganes also need, to win their next two games to have any chance of avoiding the drop, starting with a tricky trip to San Mames.
The visitors’ recent win over Valencia gave them a slim hope but Leganes would need to win both of their remaining games and still need favours from teams above them to remain in La Liga.
Bilbao are also facing a similar situation as their European dreams will only be fulfilled if other Europa League hopefuls drop points.
This means that the match between these two sides could be another La Liga classic, and it could have huge implications on the fate of each of the two aforementioned teams.