Only six weeks remain in the 2010-11 La Liga season and while the title is all but decided, there are still plenty of intriguing races left for the final European spots and a frenzied battle at the bottom to avoid relegation. Several match-ups this weekend could go a long way in determining the fate of several clubs for next season. Real Madrid and Barcelona both face teams with something to play for, while the Spanish giants are coming off two derbies last week, including a 120-minute Copy del Rey final on Wednesday. The door could be open for Valencia and Osasuna to steal some key points. A Monday match between Zaragoza and Almeria, two teams in the relegation zone, could provide some intriguing entertainment as well.
Real Madrid vs. Valencia
Saturday, 12pm ET
The 2nd and 3rd place teams in La Liga play with very little on the line. There's virtually not chance of Valencia closing the 14 point gap to second, so it's all holding on to their six point advantage over Villarreal for the third automatic qualifying spot in the Champions League. Madrid's chances of winning the league are all but done, and between the hangover from winning the Copa del Rey and another date with Barcelona on Wednesday, there's every reason to believe Valencia could get a positive result in this match.
Barcelona vs. Osasuna
Saturday, 2pm ET
Fresh off a defeat in the Copa del Rey final, and a Champions League semifinal date with Real Madrid looming in the mid week, we might forgive Barcelona for not being completely focused against Osasuna. It could be a big chance for Osasuna to get points which could be vital as they scratch and claw to avoid relegation. Just how much Pep Guardiola decides to rest his star players could also play a big factor in how this match plays out.
Atletico Madrid vs. Levante
Sunday, 1pm ET
If Atletico want to play in Europe next season, they need to keep winning and put as much pressure as they can on Sevilla. Atletico has the easier run in to the end of the season, so despite not having the tiebreaker, it looks on paper like a spot in the Europa League is very much within reach.
Sevilla vs. Villarreal
Sunday, 3pm ET
Sevilla is in a battle to hold on to one of the two Europa League spots for next season. They are even on points with Atletico Madrid, but hold the tiebreaker. Villarreal are trying to stay in touch with Valencia for the final automatic qualifying spot for the Champions League. If they can't close the six point gap, they'll have to contend with a qualification match to make the group stages.
Real Zaragoza vs. Almeria
Monday, 3pm ET
This may not sound like a particularly flashy match-up, but both of these team sit in the relegation zone and if they have any hopes of surviving, they need to win. Two desperate teams fighting for three points could lead to some entertaining soccer.