Spanish La Liga: Final Weekend Preview
By Christine Jane Caparras | May 16, 2014 4:47 PM EST
After two consecutive draws and and a loss at Celta Vigo last week, Real Madrid have effectively lost their chance at raising the Spanish La Liga trophy this season and a chance at the treble after winning the Copa del Rey. The Spanish giants are still gunning for "la decima" or their tenth Champions League title when they go against city rivals Atletico Madrid on May 24. The final weekend will see them soldiering on to secure next season's Champion's League spot and finish third in the league or second if FC Barcelona loses to Atletico Madrid.
FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will be having a virtual final match on Sunday as the two are the only contenders left who can possibly win the title and incidentally ended up being scheduled to play against each other on the last matchday of the season.
Atletico knocked out Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League earlier this season (2-1 on aggregate) but the teams' head-to-head in La Liga ended in a draw.
Atletico now leads Barcelona by three points and only a victory will allow the defending champions the chance to lift the trophy again based only on their head-to-head results since they will be level on points.
A loss on Sunday will result in heartbreak for Atletico Madrid who are gunning to be the only team to win the La Liga ttle other than Real Madrid and Barcelona since 2004 when the feat was achieved by Valencia.
Barcelona is still waiting on the fitness of defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, while question marks remain over Neymar's return with the Brazil striker having been sidelined nearly one month, and this would be his last club game before preparing for the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Atletico is also waiting on the recovery of star striker Diego Costa who has also been sidelined after gruelling Champions League and La Liga matches. This could be one of his last two games with the club including the Champions League final due to his rumoured imminent move to Chelsea FC.
The last few weeks of La Liga saw the three teams playing hot potato with the title as Real Madrid drew two games and lost one while Barcelona also drew two consecutive games. Atletico was also held to a draw by Malaga preventing them from securing the title early.
While Atletico and Barcelona play for the title, five teams at the other of the table will be playing for survival.
Almeria, Getafe, Granada, Osasuna, and Real Valladolid are all flirting with the second division, with two of them certain to drop alongside last-place Real Betis. Valladolid hosts Granada while Betis is at Osasuna.
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