La Liga is heating up in the last stages of the season. Barcelona had the opportunity on Thursday to be on top of the Spanish league but could not defeat Granada at home. They ended up losing two goals to one despite being ahead with a Lionel Messi goal in the first half. Here is a preview of what we can expect from the games of the four teams that have title hopes for this year in La Liga.
Los Colchoneros sit on top of the league with 73 points, two points on top of Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Madrid side have not been playing very well as of late and come from losing to Athletic Club two goals to one. Before that loss, they had defeated Eibar and Huesca. Their coach Diego Simeone has been criticized for being too defensive with a great team of players in his possession.
Despite all of that Atletico Madrid still sit on the top spot of the league and will try to maintain there when they play Elche on Saturday. However, they will be without Brazilian left back Renan Lodi. The defender suffered a thigh injury and will miss their next match. Simeone must look at the bench to cover this loss and maintain their top spot.
Los Merengues will host Osasuna on Saturday in a must win match. They come from tying at home at home last weekend to Real Betis in a scoreless game. During the week they tied against Chelsea at home in the UEFA Champions League first semifinal match. Los Blancos will try to win this match and keep their title hopes alive.
They currently sit in second place two points behind the league leaders Atletico Madrid. Also, they are tied in points with Barcelona and are a point on top of Sevilla who are in fourth place. No doubt that this is a must win match and must win every game left and hope for a slip up in their other three rivals. It will be interesting to see if Real Madrid will put their full focus on the league as they are also trying to make it the final of the Champions League. Let’s see if they will rest any of their starters for this upcoming match against Osasuna.
Surprisingly, Barcelona lost at home to Granada on Thursday at home. They were on top for most of the match but were handed the loss in the last 11 minutes of the game. Despite having the league’s leading goal scorer in Lionel Messi, the Catalan team has struggled the entire season. They started the season very poor but picked things up as the league progressed.
Despite that they missed out in a great chance to be on top of the league but could not get a win at home. Now, they remain in third place and are two points away from Atletico Madrid, in which they will be playing against next weekend at home. This Sunday they will face a tough team in Valencia. Despite being in the 14 place Valencia always play well against Barcelona and this will not be the exemption.
Sevilla have been quietly lurking on top of the standings throughout the whole season. Now they have a great chance to be on top of the league. This Monday they will be hosting Athletic Club in a tough match. On the positive side they are on a five-game winning streak. In that streak they defeated Atletico Madrid, fifth place Real Sociedad, and Granada. No one had Sevilla still competing for a chance to win the title at this late stage of the season.
No question they surely have a legit shot to win the league but need the other three teams to slip up and loose some points. Next week it will be an important one for them as they will face Real Madrid in an away game. That game will be a make it or break it for them in the hopes for being champions this season.
Currently they sit in fourth place with 70 points and are clearly the dark horse in this race for the top spot. Nonetheless, they have a decent team that can compete against anyone in the league.
Tight Title Race
This year La Liga has blessed the fans with an incredible ending. There are four teams with legitimate chances of winning the winning. Atletico Madrid seemed like they were going to run away from everybody else but couldn’t manage to maintain the healthy lead that they had on the rest of the teams.
Real Madrid have been in touching distance of the top spot throughout the season. They have had their chances to be in first place but have been uncapable of being on top. Barcelona just had the golden chance to be the league leaders this Thursday, but they could not maintain their lead. Sevilla have been the quietest of the four and have been creeping up in points and now have a chance to come from behind and surprise everyone on being the number one team.
Indeed, this season will be one for the ages as five games are left which means that there are only 15 points left to grab. Some key matches will be coming in the next couple of weeks between these four teams. That means that some of them will have their title hopes diminished or put in danger.
All things considered this is an exciting time for the league. Every team has a chance to win the league and prove to everyone that they are the team who will conquer Spain. So, soccer fans buckle up and get ready for a bumpy and crazy ride. No question their will be a lot of twists and turns in the next couple of weeks as each team will do everything, they can to win the league.