Valencia’s defeat against Mallorca, Espanyol’s heroic draw when they already had both feet in the Second Division, added to Valladolid’s victories against Barcelona and Getafe against Betis, has meant that the last two league games have been key for seven teams, who will live the next two Sundays with the calculator in hand.
With six points remaining to be played, the highest category of Spanish football lives with concern the usual annual battle for relegation, in a classification table that is very even, and with only five points separating these clubs that live each game as a fight without quarter : Valencia and Celta, 40 points, Almería, 39, Getafe, Cádiz and Valladolid, 38 and Espanyol, 35. It will be the most expensive and tough stay in recent years.
More than 40 must be added to maintain the category, something that has happened up to 14 times in the last 23 years, the last in 2019 when Celta reached 41. The most expensive salvation since 2000 is that of Numancia with 45 points, the year in which three historic Spanish football players were relegated: Betis (42), Atlético de Madrid (38) and Sevilla (28). Meanwhile, Deportivo de la Coruña starred in the most expensive descent with 43 in 2011.
Two points of difference between position 18 and 13
The victory of Bordalás’ men at Villamarín has put a three-way tie at 38 points in the standings between Madrid, Cádiz and Valladolid, which today would condemn Pucela’s men to relegation.
There are only two points of difference between 18th and 13th place, at a crucial moment where the calendar will live these days with duels between direct rivals. Without going any further, next Sunday Almeria (39) will face Valladolid (38), Cádiz (38) against Celta (40) and Espanyol (35) against Valencia (40). Although if this were not enough, on the last date of the championship there is a Valladolid – Getafe in which, in addition to the three points, the average goal will be played, a fact that could be definitive to be saved; and an Espanyol – Almería that, depending on the results of this weekend, will be heart-stopping matches.
At this moment, Espanyol is the one that has it most difficult to save themselves. Luis García’s men will have to win the remaining two games to continue in the First Division. On the other hand, Celta seemed saved a few weeks ago, but their terrible run with four defeats and a draw in the last five games puts them in a difficult situation. Next Sunday they will play a whole final in Cádiz and end the season in Balaídos against Barcelona, who no longer play anything after being champion.
Almería’s victory last day against Mallorca gave them a lot of peace of mind, but the defeat against Real Sociedad has put them back in the fight for relegation. They are only one point above and have two direct duels: Valladolid, in Andalusia, and Espanyol, in Barcelona, will be their two rivals. Two games in which they will play absolutely everything.
Another of those who are in the ‘pomade’ is Almería, who has returned to get into the fight for relegation after losing to Real Sociedad. They are only one point above and have two direct duels: Valladolid, in Andalusia, and Espanyol, in Barcelona, will be their two rivals. Two games in which they will play everything.
Four candidates for two positions
If the relegation to Segunda is tight, the promotion to the highest category of Spanish football has been a real madness for many days now. The silver category is always difficult and very even, but this year the codes are impossible to decipher. The last day, which is played this Saturday, is reached with the two direct promotions to the First Division without deciding, and with up to four candidates for two tickets to the elite.
Granada (72 points), Las Palmas (71) and Alavés (70) depend on themselves to go up, since the Canaries and the Basques face each other in Gran Canaria. The other candidate is Levante (69), which needs to win and that the results are favorable in Los Cármenes or in the archipelago.
Granada, who has just won their last two games, has everything in their favor in a match that they will play at home against Leganés, a condition with which they have not given up a defeat all season. The victory puts them in the First Division directly, something that also happens in the event of a tie, since Levante could not reach 73 points and could only be surpassed by Las Palmas or Alavés, who will play a real final in Gran Canaria .
The team led by Xavi García Pimienta also has a chance to return to the elite of Spanish football. He plays at home against the people from Vitoria and if they win they will have a direct ticket. If they tie, they will also have many options to go up but they will have to watch the game between Levante and Oviedo: if the granotas do not win, UD would go up, and in the event of a local victory, as the particular ‘golaverage’ is tied with the Valencians, the Levante would have to win by more than five goals to beat Las Palmas. If they lose against Alavés in Gran Canaria, where they have gone five games in a row without winning, they would not go up directly in any case and would have to play their options in the playoff.
The calculations for Alavés are simple: win or win. If they draw or lose, they will play in the playoffs with Eibar, whose nine-game streak without a win took away their chances of direct promotion, and Albacete.
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