La Liga, Round 34 preview: Barcelona faces Athletic Bilbao with their title hope on the line

David Ramos

Barcelona face a must win match against Athletic Bilbao if they want to stay in the title race.

The title race rolls, missing one of the three teams in the mix. Atlético Madrid looks to keep hold of the top spot against Elche on Friday, but their closest competitor for title, Real Madrid, will not play as their match against Real Valladolid has been postponed to early May due to Copa del Rey and Champions League play.

Four points behind the leaders are the battered and bruised Barcelona, who must rebound from their loss to Madrid with a tough match against Athletic Bilbao. Atheltic already beat Barca once this season, and it's conceivable that the Blaugrana could lose their fourth straight match in all competitions. Anything other than three points could put the final nail in the coffin for Barca's title hopes.

Sevilla could close within three points of the final Champions League place if they can defeat Granada and get an assist from Barca. If results go their way, Sevilla's trip to face Atheltic at the new San Mamés next week could be one of the season's biggest matches.

Valladolid's postponed match means that Real Betis can avoid being officially relegated for another week, no matter what happens in their match against Rayo Vallecano. Anything other than three points for Betis though, will simply postpone the inevitable, and to be honest, a Betis win would probably being doing the same thing.

Both Getafe and Almeria have the chance to leap front Valladolid with wins over the weekend. Getafe is on the road against Levante, while Almeria faces Celta Vigo. Osasuna is also on the cusp of the relegation battle, and could use a positive result against Valencia to stay out of the drop zone.

Friday, April 18th

Atlético Madrid vs. Elche

Saturday, April 19th

Osasuna vs. Valencia

Levante vs. Getafe

Real Sociedad vs. Espanyol

Sunday, April 20th

Almeria vs. Celta Vigo

Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Betis

Sevilla vs. Granada

Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao

Monday, April 21st

Malaga vs. Villarreal

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