There’s been a call in England that whenever Barcelona or Real Madrid put a English team to the sword about, despite the quality and the skill of the permanent giants of Spanish football, them devouring the competition in their league. Although those two may be better, the English league has the competitive edge that fans love to see. There is a typical over compensation, “our national team isn’t good, but our league is best in the world” and that longing English post-empire Saudade of being the best at something, always seems to resonate even in the reaches of your bog-standard football fan. Them assumptions are false however and Spain in a football sense is looking more exciting than ever.
Race for the top
After the revamping win this weekend for Barcelona, it seems like the race for 1st will go to the wire. A Real win would of practically prevented Barcelona from reclaiming the title and put them 7 points behind, instead they’ve moved within 1 point of first. All of the top 3 teams are incredibly talented and have very strong XI’s but all have the odd game where they look unmotivated and end up losing to a team they should comfortably beat. While Real have the added luxury of not playing either of the top two again, the Seville result could also be damaging and they do still have a tricky trip to Sociedad. Barcelona on the other hand have relatively easy run of fixtures(Villarreal away could be potentially troublesome) except that crucial one at the end of the season, a win in that game would all but seal another title, as they would have the head to head advantage then over both teams.
Atletico also have a relatively straightforward run of games but again the last game against Barcelona will prove crucial for them. It’s all a bit confusing as it’s so tight, however I think one of the largest denominators in the title equation will be champions league and how far each of them go. It’s certainly going to be a interesting run straight down to that last game in Catalonia.
This is the battle that seems worth so much more than a disappointed smile of a 4th place figure skater and it probably is, both monetarily as well as success wise, as Manchester united may find out next year. It seems although the start of the season showed something different, it will most likely be the fantastic Bilbao that takes fourth place. They have maintained relatively good form all year and they’re hard to beat, a team in some respects like Atletico, giving everything in every game and pushing every opponent all the way. However they also have Barcelona and Atletico in the coming weeks which may means other strong teams like Seville may be able to catch up. Like Bilbao, Seville have also been very impressive, while Rakitic is obviously their stand out man lets not forget they also have two deadly goalscorers in their arsenal in the form of Bacca and Gameiro, which may prove pivotal in the game against Bilbao. Seville may also switch their concentration to the Europa league, depending on their success against a tough Porto team. So it may come down to the wire between these two, but at the moment Bilbao are in driving seat , despite winning there last 9 and being bang on form, Seville still linger 6 points behind. Forgotten in this equation is Sociedad who arguably have probably the best XI out the teams battling for fourth, they look low on confidence at times and the champions league certainly drained them. The longer the season has gone they have had to cope with numerious injuries and it really exposes there small squad size. They have some quality players, but 10 points in these final games will seem like too much of a hurdle for them. Finally there is Villareal, although boasting a great start to the season they seem to be leveling out their for. Despite, from one point of view, overachieving for a team just coming up this year, they will most probably have to wait until next season to be closer to where the club really aims to be.
Poor old Betis are all but relegated, to claw 10 points between now and the 18th of may when you’re at the wrong end of the season is very tough task. They look likely to be relegated before the season will end, after a torrid and disastrous season, it almost seem like they will finally be put out their misery. For the rest however it will be to the final day. Like the Premier League anybody from 10th downwards can be sucked into the relegation battle as easily as a team can make it out. Getafe’s rocky season, with their inability to win games may cost them at the end of the season and they look like an sure bet for the other place, two luck filled wins however could pull them out of it, which truly shows how unpredictable it can be. Anyone who’s currently above Almeria in 16th may just have enough quality to see them through but for the rest of them it seems its relying on how awful your competitors can be. While the current teams in the relegation zone however are looking the most likely to go down. But nothing is certain and this season is more exciting than ever,in every part of the table and just like the premier league it will come down to that final day on the 18th of May.