Advantage Barca in La Liga race
But Atletico and Real will hope the chase goes to the final day
The three-way battle for the Primera Division title in Spain could come to a head this evening in the penultimate round of the season.
Barcelona will clinch a sixth championship in eight years if results go their way tonight but Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will be determined to keep things alive to the final day.
HOW CAN BARCELONA WIN THE TITLE TODAY?
Although Barca are level on 85 points with Atletico and only one point ahead of Real, Luis Enrique’s men could actually retain their title today.
That is because they boast the better head-to-head record against both capital clubs this season, which would be decisive should they finish level on points with either side. However, for Barca to clinch the trophy with a game to spare they would not only need to beat city rivals Espanyol but for Atletico to lose to relegated Levante and Real to drop points at home to Valencia.
WILL THE MADRID CLUBS SUFFER FOR THEIR EUROPEAN SUCCESS?
While both Atletico and Real will be expected to win this weekend, it remains to be seen how they react to their midweek European exertions. The two title hopefuls will undoubtedly be on a high after reaching the Champions League final, but physically the efforts in overcoming Bayern Munich and Manchester City in their respective semi-finals could yet hand Barca an advantage.
ARE BARCA OVER THEIR RECENT WOBBLE?
Barca were on course for historic back-to-back trebles not so long ago but a run of four defeats and a draw in six matches saw them dumped out of the Champions League and their nine-point lead in La Liga whittled away to zero.
However, since last month’s home loss to Valencia they have beaten Deportivo La Coruna 8-0, Sporting Gijon 6-0 and Real Betis 2-0, suggesting they have recovered their form at just the right time with two games left in La Liga and a Copa del Rey final against Sevilla to come.
WHO HAS THE TOUGHEST RUN-IN?
Barca’s toughest match would appear to be the derby against Espanyol, with their final match coming at Granada.
Real’s hardest test also appears to be today, with a rejuvenated Valencia visiting the Bernabeu before Zinedine Zidane’s men sign off with a trip to a Deportivo side who have won once in 22 matches.
For Diego Simeone’s Atletico, it is their final game against Celta Vigo which looks like it could pose more problems than tonight’s match with Levante.