Atletico Madrid are poised to win their eleventh Liga Santander title if they overcome relegation threatened Real Valladolid on Saturday night. The Wanda Metropolitano based side are chasing their first league title since 2014 when they eclipsed Barcelona on the final day of the season and lead cross town rivals Real Madrid by two points going into the final round of fixtures. Zinedine Zidane’s reigning champions must beat Unai Emery’s Villarreal and hope Atleti slip up if they are to add to their record 34 Spanish top flight titles.
Trips to Valladolid’s Estadio Jose Zorilla are notoriously close encounters for Diego Simeone’s title favourites, with last season’s corresponding fixture ending in a goalless stalemate. Saturday’s duel is complicated by the fact that Valladolid are locked in a three-way battle against relegation along with Huesca and Elche, with both sides having slightly more favourable fixtures at home to Valencia and Athletic Bilbao respectively. Nevertheless, Atletico Madrid will be confident of getting a result against a Real Valladolid outfit that is winless in their last six La Liga fixtures and lies second from bottom to already relegated Eibar.
All four Champions League slots that are allotted to La Liga were resolved weeks ago but there is still a three-way battle for two Europa League places between Real Sociedad, Real Betis and Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine will miss out on European football next season unless they thwart Real Madrid’s title aspirations at the Stadio Alfredo di Stefano or beat Manchester United in next Thursday’s Europa League final. Sociedad are currently fifth, level on points with Betis but face a visit to unpredictable Osasuna for whom Ante Budimir cannot stop scoring. Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis meanwhile travel north where they play a Celta Vigo side that has won four games on the trot.
Action gets underway on Friday with Levante hosting Cadiz. The hosts have switched off during the final weeks of the season, having earlier illuminated the division by taking four points off leaders Atletico Madrid. Although Levante lie bottom of Liga Santander’s current form table with just two out of the last 18 available points, they showed a competitive edge in holding Barcelona to a thrilling 3-3 draw last week. The 2020/21 season ends with a three match programme on Sunday. Third placed Barcelona need victory at basement club Eibar to ensure direct qualification into the Champions League group stages, lest they are overtaken by Sevilla who welcome Deportivo Alaves to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Picjuan. Granada host Getafe in Sunday’s other fixture.
Levante v Cadiz
Real Valladolid v Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid v Villarreal, Elche v Athletic Bilbao, Huesca v Valencia, Celta Vigo v Real Betis, Osasuna v Real Betis
Eibar v Barcelona, Granada v Getafe, Sevilla v Deportivo Alaves