There’s more to this season than just the La Liga for Real Madrid, but after already holding what seemed to be a commanding league at the top of the table, finishing behind either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid will be something of a failure, no matter what happens in the Champions League.
With seven matches left to go in the season, Real Madrid don’t have too many difficult matches left. Three of them come on the road against Sociedad (5th), Valladolid (17th) and Celta Vigo (11th). They finish the season at home, with the trickiest match of their home stand possibly being Valencia, and the finish against Espanyol. We’ll get to that Espanyol match in a minute.
There are also the Champions League matches (where you can watch Real Madrid live) against Borussia Dortmund and the Copa Del Rey Final against Barcelona. Other teams slipping up, as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also clash in the Champions League (you can watch Barcelona live as well), is the key to this title race.
Barcelona’s remaining matches? Betis at home, Granada away, Villarreal away (tricky), Getafe at home, Athletico Bilbao at home, Elche away and the big finish against Atletico Madrid once more at the Camp Nou.
Atletico have the toughest finish of them all – That Barcelona match to end the season, Villarreal at home, Getafe away, Elche at home, Valencia and Levante away and Malaga at home. Probably the toughest of the schedules, as we remind you once more – Atletico have the shortest of the squads, and with two packed months like April and May coming up, it won’t be surprising if depth becomes a factor.
And that’s something that can harm Barcelona as well, especially going up against Atletico in two Champions League matches. Physical, brutal, maybe sometimes violent. Barcelona have lost their starting goalkeeper without anyone touching him. Some tired and maybe aching legs might cause them to drop points further down the road.
In terms of math – it’s simple. Real Madrid need to finish with more points, because they lose the head to head with both Atletico and Barcelona because of their results. Assuming Real Madrid win their remaining matches and finish with 94 points, they’ll need Atletico to drop at least four points, which means either two draws or a loss and a draw. They’ll need Barcelona to lose at least two points along the way, which means not winning two of their matches.
What about the final day? Espanyol don’t want to see Barcelona winning the championship. Both Atletico and Barcelona don’t want to see Real Madrid win the title as well. If the final day comes up and someone giving up means the big rival doesn’t win a championship, we might see teams doing and giving a little bit extra in order to lose so their fans might be happy.