Preview: Matchday 35 should see Barca lift La Liga title

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-26 19:53:58|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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MADRID, April 26 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona will be confirmed as the Liga Santander champions for the 2018-19 season if they win their home game against Levante on Saturday night.

Three points for Barca will make it impossible for second place Atletico Madrid to catch them and allow Barca coach Ernesto Valverde to rotate his squad in the closing weeks of the campaign as he looks to lead the club to a league, Cup and Champions League treble.

Barca could be tempted to rest players such as Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez against a rival that is in danger of relegation following a late-season slump, but Leo Messi is likely to start after being rested in Tuesday's 2-0 win away to Alaves.

It's possible that Barca may find themselves needing less than a win to assure the title if Atletico Madrid fail to win their home match against Valladolid.

Atletico once again showed they never give anything up after they beat Valencia 3-2 on Wednesday evening and will be favorites to take another three points against Girona, who climbed out of the bottom three with a 1-0 win at home.

The round of matches kicks off on Saturday at lunchtime with a derby between Athletic Club Bilbao and Alaves with the seventh place and a spot in next season's Europa League up for grabs.

Athletic's win over Leganes on Wednesday would put them six points clear of eighth and make them clear favorites for a place in Europe.

Saturday also sees Celta look to continue their Iago Aspas inspired recovery with a trip to Leganes before the decisive match in the Camp Nou.

Sunday has several games with both Europe and relegation among the issues.

Sixth place Valencia can revive their top-four ambitions with a home game against Eibar, who probably need a couple of more points before they can be assured of top-flight survival.

Valencia have two ways to qualify for next season's Champions League, which are either finishing fourth in Spain, or winning this season's Europa League and they will face Arsenal in the semifinals first leg of that competition on May 2.

Getafe will remain in fourth should they win away to Real Sociedad, who are ending the season in dreadful form, as shown by their 1-0 midweek defeat to Villarreal.

The win lifted Villarreal five points above the relegation zone and three more points at home to second bottom Huesca would just about secure the survival of Javi Calleja's side after a difficult campaign.

Fifth place Sevilla travel to Girona, who dropped into the bottom three during the week after suffering their sixth consecutive loss. Girona boss Eusebio Sacristan kept his job after Tuesday's 1-0 defeat to Valladolid, but would not survive a loss at home to a Sevilla team that put five goals past Rayo Vallecano on Thursday night.

Rayo could be the first team to be mathematically relegated if they lose at home to Real Madrid on Sunday and Valladolid win away to Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid were again disappointing when they drew away to Getafe on Thursday, but should be too good for Rayo who can't play top striker Raul de Tomas, who is on loan at Vallecas from Sunday's rivals.