Round 38 in La Liga – What is at stake?

LaLiga will come to an end this weekend, with the last European place and the final relegation place still left to be discovered. Here is who will be fighting for what and the scenarios that lie ahead.

Europa Conference League place: Villarreal 7th (56 points), Athletic Club 8th (55)

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético Madrid and Sevilla are assured of Champions League football next season. Real Betis and Real Sociedad have booked their places in the Europa League, but Spain’s first ever Europa Conference League place will be up for grabs. Villarreal hold a slender lead over Athletic Club going into their respective matches on Sunday.

The Yellow Submarine will go to Camp Nou to face Barcelona, meanwhile, Marcelino’s Athletic side will head to the Ramon Sánchez Pizjuán to take on Sevilla. It is very simple; Villarreal will maintain the Conference League spot by matching or bettering Athletic’s result. Should both teams end level on points (Villarreal defeat and Bilbao draw), it will be the latter claiming the final European spot courtesy of a superior head-to-head.

The last time the Basque club was in Europe was in 2017/18, when they fell in the round of 16 of the Europa League to the eventual runners-up Marseille. They have been absent from continental competitions since.

As for Villarreal, should they end up seventh, next season would make it their eighth European campaign in nine seasons.

Relegation: Granada (37 points), Mallorca (36), Cadiz (36)

Three teams will be aiming to avoid joining Levante and Alavés in the Segunda División in 2022/23. Cádiz face already relegated Alavés and will be hoping the Basque side don’t bring them down with them.

Cádiz must at least avoid defeat to stand any chance of survival. A defeat will end their two-year stay in the top flight. The Andalusian outfit hope that they can avoid defeat and at least one of Mallorca or Granada lose. In the event that all three teams finish level on points (Granada lose and Mallorca and Cádiz draw), it will be Cádiz who go down.

For Mallorca, they must at least match or better Cádiz and Granada’s results to stay up. Should Mallorca and Granada end up level on 37 points and Cádiz win, then it will be the islanders dropping to Segunda. Mallorca will travel to Pamplona to take on Osasuna in their last match of the season.

As long as one of Mallorca and Cádiz don’t win, Granada are safe. If they win, they are also safe. The only way for Aitor Karanka’s men to end their three-year run in La Liga is if they fail to win while both Mallorca and Cadiz do so. Granada are at home to Espanyol for their final match.

David Parkes

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