The battle to beat the drop in La Liga is really heating up. Heading into the final three games of the season, we still don’t know the identity of any of the three sides that will drop down to the Segunda Division. It has been the most competitive season in many years with even top flight debutants Huesca giving a decent account of themselves and still in with a slim chance of survival heading into this weekend.
Villarreal look to have pulled their way out of trouble now but any of the teams in the bottom six could end this weekend in the drop-zone. It’s very tight with just two points separating Celta Vigo in 15th from Valladolid in 18th. With no fewer than four all bottom six clashes to come, there are some huge matches coming up over the final three weeks in the Spanish football season.
There are the current position and the odds for each team to be relegated from La Liga:
15th – Celta Vigo (37 Points) – 6/1 to be Relegated
Athletic Club (A)
Rayo Vallecano (H)
Celta are the biggest name in the relegation mire but their form has picked up of late with Iago Aspas returning from injury to inspire the Galicians to 3 straight home wins. They could only draw at Leganes last time out though and they have been sweating on the fitness of their talisman this week but Aspas now looks set to play against Barcelona on Saturday.
Crucially for Celta’s survival chances, Barcelona are expected to field a much changed side as they rest key men in preparation for the trip to Liverpool next week. The bookies actually have Celta as the clear favourites as a result and they do have a habit of turning over the big boys at Balaidos. Victory over Barca would move Celta onto 40 points and the very brink of safety. Anything less may leave them with a very nervy final day against fellow strugglers Rayo Vallecano as their next game away to Athletic Bilbao is a tough one with the Basques battling for European football.
Celta are the least likely team in the top six to go down at 6/1 with bet365 and they should be able to win at least one of their final two home games to stay afloat.
16th – Levante (37 Points) – 5/1 to be Relegated
Rayo Vallecano (H)
Atletico Madrid (H)
Levante eased their relegation fears with a vital 4-0 win over Real Betis in their last home game. They have struggled for any kind of consistency though following a bright start to the season. The Valencia club do at least have a goal in them with only four sides in the whole league having netted more times. However they are weak at the other end with 62 goals conceded so far, the joint worst record in the division.
Their next two games are both massive relegation six-pointers. They host Rayo Vallecano this weekend before travelling to Girona next time out. Victory in either match would most likely be enough to keep them in the division but they will be hungry to have sealed the deal by the final day when they take on Atletico Madrid.
They can be backed at 5/1 to go down with bet365 and there appears to be more value there than in backing either Celta or Girona to drop into the bottom three although much will depend on this Saturday’s result.
17th – Girona (37 Points) – 4/1 to be Relegated
Girona were dreaming of Europe at one stage this season and looked in no bother whatsoever when they won at Leganes in March to move onto 34 points. However six straight defeats followed that and they only hauled themselves out of the relegation positions last time out by beating Sevilla.
Two of their final three games are away but that might be no bad thing with Girona having the worst home record in the league but the 5th best away record. 62% of their points have come on the road but they have a tough one this weekend when they travel to Champions League hopefuls Getafe. Like the two sides above them, they may think one more win will do it and their final two games do offer them an opportunity to record it if things don’t go to plan at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.
Girona should have enough to stay up now having finally stopped the rot but they can be backed at 4/1 to go down with Betvictor.
18th – Real Valladolid (35 Points) – 4/9 to be Relegated
Athletic Club (H)
Rayo Vallecano (A)
Valladolid are the side currently in 18th place with all three sides who came up last year currently in the relegation zone. Valladolid are the team with the best chance of staying up out of those sides but they don’t really convince and remain the division’s lowest scorers with just 29 goals scored.
Their run-in is also quite tricky on paper but results over the next week may alter that slightly. Rayo Vallecano could potentially be already down by the time the sides meet next weekend. On the other hand, it could be a massive game if Rayo manage to pick up the points at Levante on Saturday.
Valladolid’s final game is against Valencia and again that really depends on where Los Che are at by that point. If they progress in the Europa League, they would have two cup finals on the horizon and may opt to rest all their best players. However they may also be still fighting for 4th place come the final day in which case it would be a seriously tough conclusion to the season for Sergio’s team.
They’ve come into 4/9 to go down with bet365, which isn’t a great price but it’s hard to see them having enough quality to beat the drop.
19th – Rayo Vallecano (31 Points) – 1/20 to be Relegated
Real Valladolid (H)
Celta Vigo (A)
The equation is a lot simpler as far as Rayo are concerned. They face three direct relegation rivals and will most likely need to win the lot if they are to stay up. That looked impossible when they were held at home by Huesca a fortnight back but a shock win over Real Madrid has given them a glimmer of hope again.
They will have talisman and top scorer Raul De Tomas back this weekend for the crunch clash with Levante. Victory in Valencia would then really set things up nicely for the home game with Valladolid and potentially even a final day survival showdown with Celta Vigo.
Lose on Saturday though and Rayo could be relegated this weekend so there is no longer any room for error if they want to extend their top flight stay. If you fancy them to mount a great escape, they can be backed at 5/1 to avoid relegation with betfair.
20th – Huesca (30 Points) – 1/200 to be Relegated
Real Betis (A)
The situation looks a bit more hopeless for Huesca but they may feel a bit hard done by this season. They’ve contributed a lot to the Spanish top flight and have outplayed their opponents in a number of games without finishing the chances that would have given them maximum points.
In truth, it looks to be as good as over for Huesca now. Their home match with Valencia is the final game this weekend and they will be relegated if they lose it. Even a draw wouldn’t really change anything. If they can pull a couple of unlikely results out the bag, they can at least look to a favourable final day home game against a Leganes side with nothing to play for. However it’s very unlikely to get to that point and they can be backed at 40/1 with Betfair to avoid the drop.