The season keeps rolling forward in Spain as La Liga reaches round 28 of a scheduled 38. Unlike boxing of course, we'll complete all the rounds but it's a stark reminder that the remaining number of matches for teams to win the title, claim a European spot or avoid relegation are dwindling quickly.
Real Madrid are in control of their fate in terms of the league title, sitting somewhat comfortably atop the table with a three point cushion over Atlético Madrid, and a four point lead over Barcelona. Assuming Los Blancos can match or better this two teams results going forward, they'll lift the trophy sometime in May. A great deal could still happen though in the remaining ten games and considering the various twists and turns we've already seen, surely this won't be a simple run in to the title.
Athletic Bilbao kept a firm grip on fourth place despite last week's draw against Valencia. Villarreal and Real Sociedad picked a really bad point to start slumping as neither side has won a league match since February. Athletic's seven point lead over Villarreal isn't insurmountable but given their consistent form this season, it's hard to see them blowing the advantage.
Real Valladolid escaped the relegation zone last week thanks to their upset win over Barcelona but now comes the hard part...staying there. Valladolid are even on points with both Almeria and Rayo Vallecano but ahead of them both on goal differential for the moment. The end of season tiebreaker though is head-to-head so this weekend's match between Rayo and Almeria could end up being huge come the end of the season.
Rayo won the first meeting between the two teams in October.
Real Betis remain in serious trouble as they currently sit eight points behind the pack of three teams playing musical chairs for the coveted 17th place spot in the standings. Last week's win over Getafe helped but with a midweek Europa League match on Betis' schedule, escaping relegation may require a miracle.
Here's the full schedule of games in round 28.
Friday, March 14
Saturday, March 15
Rayo Vallecano vs. Almeria | 1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. CEST
Málaga vs. Real Madrid | 3 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CEST
Atlético Madrid vs. Espanyol | 5 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. CEST
Sunday, March 16
Elche vs. Real Betis | 7 a.m. ET, 12 p.m. CEST
Barcelona vs. Osasuna | 12 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. CEST
Real Sociedad vs. Valencia | 4 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CEST
Monday, March 17
Villarreal vs. Athletic Bilbao | 5 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. CEST