Analysis: Four things to look out for in Spain's Matchday 38

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 20, 2022
Adjust font size:

MADRID, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The final round of La Liga games is played this weekend with the final relegation spot and who will play in next season's UEFA Conference League still to be decided. Here are some things to look out for as the curtain draws on another season in Spain.

FINAL WARMUP FOR REAL MADRID

Real Madrid put the finishing touches to their preparations for next season's Champions League with a home game against Real Betis in a game brought forward to Friday night.

David Alaba looks certain to miss out with a muscle problem, but the game gives coach Carlo Ancelotti the chance to give some game time to key players such as Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr and Thibaut Courtois, who he has rested since his side won the title. Meanwhile, others such as Rodrygo and Fede Valverde have their last chance to stake a claim to be in Ancelotti's starting 11 when Real Madrid take on Liverpool in Paris in the Champions League final.

It is also likely to be the last chance players such as Marcelo, Isco or Gareth Bale have to play in the Bernabeu, although given Bale's relationship with the fans, maybe he will miss out.

RESPONSIBILITY ON BARCELONA

Although Barca have nothing to play for in their home game against Villarreal, the visitors have a lot at stake as they look to ensure a place in Europe next season. Unai Emery's side need to match Athletic Bilbao's result at Sevilla to assure finishing seventh and although their fate is in their hands, Villarreal have only won once in the Camp Nou, while Emery has never won there as a coach.

Barcelona have ensured they will finish second in the table, but they are obliged to give a positive image in their last home game of a campaign which has seen them end up without any silverware, and this could be the last match at the club for several players, such as Luuk de Jong, Ousmane Dembele and Oscar Mingueza, and perhaps others such as Memphis Depay and even Frenkie de Jong.

BILBAO NEED TO PLAY THEIR PART

It has been a slightly strange season for Athletic Bilbao, who need to get a better result in Seville than Villarreal take from the Camp Nou to finish seventh.

Although the Basque side have beaten Real Madrid, Barca and Atletico Madrid this season, their chances of finishing in the top six were derailed by dropping points against teams in the bottom half, and with elections for a new club president around the corner and the future of coach Marcelino Garcia Toral still to be decided, there is an atmosphere of uncertainty about the future.

Qualifying for Europe is not in their hands, but the Basque side are obliged to play their part in Sevilla to give themselves a chance of ending five years of exile from continental competition.

TENSE BATTLE FOR LAST RELEGATION SPOT

Cadiz, Mallorca and Granada all need to win on the last day to avoid relegation on what promises to be a nail-biting last day.

Cadiz are currently in the last relegation spot, but visit already-relegated Alaves, while Mallorca, who are only ahead on goal difference, have a difficult trip to Osasuna.

Meanwhile, Granada are best placed. Not only are they playing in front of their home fans, but rivals Espanyol have nothing to play for and are currently looking for a new permanent coach after sacking Victor Moreno.

It is likely to be two hours where the teams will have to hold their nerves, but the commitment of rivals who have only pride at stake could also be a factor in who stays up and who drops into the second division. Enditem

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter