Preview: Final weekend of La Liga to resolve European, relegation matters

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-16 21:02:54|Editor: Lu Hui
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MADRID, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The last weekend of games in the 2018/19 Spanish La Liga will decide who joins Rayo Vallecano and Huesca in the second division next season, and who will play in next season's Champions League and Europa League.

Girona and Celta Vigo are the two sides threatened with relegation and the situation is fairly clear. In order to stay up, Girona need to win away to Alaves and hope that Celta lose at home to Rayo. Not only do Girona need Rayo to do them a favor, but their inferior goal difference means there also needs to be a six-goal swing in Girona's favor for them to stay up at Celta's expense.

Given that Girona have lost eight of their last nine matches and Celta have lost just once since Iago Aspas returned from injury, the miracle Girona need looks highly unlikely.

In the race to finish fourth, Valencia will take the final Champions League spot if they win away to Real Valladolid, whose 2-1 win away to Rayo last Sunday means they are safe from relegation.

If Valencia fail to win, Getafe would finish fourth if they better Valencia's result in their home game against Villarreal, who secured their place in La Liga last weekend when they won 1-0 at home to Eibar.

Sevilla could also finish fourth, but Joaquin Caparros' side need to win their home game against seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao and hope both Valencia and Getafe lose.

A point in Seville would be enough to ensure seventh place for Athletic and with it a spot in next season's Europa League, although if the Basque side win at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, it would lift them up to sixth and see them avoid three preliminary rounds.

A win for Sevilla, however, would open the door for the winner of the match between Espanyol or Real Sociedad, who meet in Barcelona, to overtake Athletic and claim the final Europa League spot for themselves.

Espanyol have four wins and three draws in their last seven games, while their rivals travel to Barcelona following three straight wins, including a 3-1 triumph at home to Real Madrid last weekend.

None of the weekend's other games have any bearing on the outcome of the season, as Atletico Madrid, who on Tuesday confirmed that Antoine Griezmann will leave the club this summer, visit Levante.

FC Barcelona visit Eibar and with Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele all injured, coach Ernesto Valverde is unlikely to risk Lionel Messi ahead of next weekend's Copa del Rey final, meaning youngster Abel Ruiz could get another chance after impressing against Getafe.

Finally, Real Madrid draw the curtain on what for them has been a disastrous season with a home game against Real Betis, which many believe will be Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale's last appearances for the club.