As the curtain prepares to close on the La Liga season, Saturday's final day will have plenty of drama with two European spots and all three relegation spots still on the line. This is going to be like watching a soccer version of the Royal Rumble minus the goofy tights, the production value and the scripted ending...we hope.
4th Place (Champions League)
Near the top of the table Valencia are in the driver's seat in the race for fourth place. After last week's win over Granada, combined with Real Sociedad's draw against Real Madrid, Los Che moved up into the final Champions League spot and opened up a two point lead.
Thanks to that lead if Valencia wins over Sevilla, they'll finish in fourth place no matter what Real Sociedad does. A Valencia draw against opens the door for Real to steal away fourth with a win over Deportivo La Coruña by creating a tie on points between the two teams. Real holds the tiebreaker -- the first tiebreaker in Spain is head-to-head results and Real won both games against Valencia this season -- and would take fourth place if the results broke that way. Real could also take fourth place with a win over Depor combined with a Valencia loss.
7th Place (Europa League)
Real Betis sitting in seventh place, three points up on Rayo Vallecano. That position should translate to a Europa League spot next season, so the Béticos will want to hang on to that spot. Much like Valencia, Betis holds their fate in their hands and simply need a win or draw against Levante to ensure they finish seventh. If Betis were to lose and Rayo were to defeat Athletic Bilbao, the Franjirrojos would jump over Betis on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Relegation Battle
At the bottom of the table all three relegation places are up for grabs as four teams will be fighting for the coveted 17th place, the final safe position in the table. Deportivo La Coruña are currently safe but have just a single point advantage over Celta Vigo and Real Zaragoza. Mallorca are at the bottom of the table, two points behind Depor.
For Depor to survive they simply need to win against Real Sociedad and it doesn't matter what the other three teams behind them do. If they draw their game, they'll need Celta and Zaragoza to both draw or lose. Should Depor lose and remain at 35 points, they would still survive if Celta to draws or loses AND Zaragoza loses in order to stay up on tiebreakers.
For Celta Vigo to survive they need to defeat Espanyol and hope Depor draws or loses. If Celta only picks up a point and Depor loses, leaving the teams tied, Celta would be relegated via the head-to-head tiebreaker. A Celta loss means they are relegated. If Celta and Zaragoza both win -- and Depor loses or draws -- Celta would be safe thanks to the tiebreaker.
For Real Zaragoza to survive they need to defeat Atletico Madrid and hope both Depor and Celta draw or lose their games. If Zaragoza draws, they would need Celta Vigo to lose -- Celta holds the tiebreaker over Zaragoza -- and Depor to lose, so the teams would end up tied, as Zaragoza has the tiebreaker advantage over Depor. A Zaragoza loss means they are relegated.
For Mallorca to survive they must defeat Real Valladolid and have Depor lose and both Celta and Zaragoza draw or lose. Even if Mallorca manage to finished tied on 36 points with Depor, they'd still be relegated on a tiebreaker. Mallorca will be relegated if they lose or if any three of the teams above them win.
Geez, that was a lot of information. I recommend you take two mild over the counter painkillers and lie down for a few minutes.