La Liga – Title Race Scenarios

Posted on 7 May, 2014, by in Soccer

La Liga Table

We aren’t used to close finishes in the Spanish La Liga, but the table tells us an interesting story. With two (or three) matches left to play, depending on the team, we still have 3 teams capable of walking away as champions, with Atletico Madrid trying to fend off the challenge of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Things got very interesting thanks to a rare occasion in the previous matchday: All three teams failed to win at the same time, as Atletico lost to Levante, Barcelona drew at home with Getafe and Real Madrid had the same 2-2 result against Valencia, making things a lot more interesting for the big finish.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid loss

Current situation: Leading the league with a 3-point advantage over Barcelona and five points over Real Madrid. They’ve played one more match than their city rivals.

Remaining matches: Malaga (13th) at home, Barcelona (2nd) away.

What needs to happen so they win the championship: Pretty simple. Atletico Madrid need four points going into the final two matches in order to win their first championship since 1996. Anything less and we begin with calculations, but it’s good to know they have the head to head advantage over Real Madrid if it comes down to it. One important thing for Atletico Madrid: Losing to Barcelona and finishing even with them on points will give Barca the edge in the head to head on account of the draw between the two teams when they first met in the league.

Barcelona

Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas

Current situation: Second with 86 points, three less than Atletico, two more than Real Madrid who have a game in hand.

Remaining matches: Elche (14th) away, Atletico Madrid (1st) at home.

What needs to happen so they win the championship: Winning both matches won’t give Barcelona the edge, because if Real Madrid handle their obstacles, that will give them the title. For Barcelona to win the championship after gaining six points means that Real Madrid dropped at least two points along the way: One draw and two wins or worse. They can still win the title without winning both matches, but that’s highly unlikely, and in any case, it seems like beating Atletico Madrid is a must.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid draw

Current situation: Third with 83 points, 5 behind Atletico and two behind Barcelona, but have a match in hand.

Remaining matches: Valladolid (19th) away, Celta (9th) away and Espanyol (12th) at home.

What needs to happen so they win the championship: Winning all three matches won’t guarantee a title. They need Atletico Madrid to lose one of their matches, or to not win both of them. If that happens, Real Madrid can finish first with a perfect run, having a one point advantage in theory over Barcelona. Both head to heads against Atletico and Barcelona aren’t in Real’s favor, so they’ll need to at least match Barcelona’s point output on the final two matches (Assuming they win against Valladolid) and for Atletico to drop at least three points more than them.

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